Bank account verification with Three

(Daniel Schramm) #1

My friend tried to sign up to a plan with Three today. They made a £1 charge on her Monzo card to verify her bank details, but she was told she would have to provide additional information (photo ID and bank statement) because the Auth Code on the reciept wasn’t all numbers (it was something like AEB51F). He said something about it not being a standard chip and pin card, or something along those lines.

She was still able to sign up fine by getting the statement off the app, but I was surprised that the Three employees appeared to be treating this differently to other cards. Thought I’d post the experience here to see if that was expected?

(Liam W) #2

That’s nonsensical. The Auth code can be letters or numbers.

At a guess, their system is old and crap and doesn’t support this.

Proof that it is valid:

A six-digit alphanumeric code assigned by the issuer to identify the approval for a specific authorization request. Also referred to as “issuer’s response code,” “authorization approval code” or “authorization response code.”

(Andre Borie) #3

I feel this is one of those cases where an idiot at the store throws a tantrum and makes up a “policy” just to show he knows better and to make himself feel important.

Not really surprising coming from such a brand though - it’s the blind leading the blind, nobody in there even has a clue as to what they’re doing besides “this guy told me to do that”.


I reported this to Monzo a year or so ago, I suppose it’s not been resolved by either party.

Three’s signup system (internal, not the online ordering one that’s customer facing) requires that an authorisation is done on the card. Another system asks for the authorisation code as verification it has been completed but does not accept letters in the code and Monzo’s all contain letters. Unless there’s some work around it will mean any time a customer with Monzo is signing up to Three other Than online it will fail unless they use another card or it is some how overridden.

(Andre Borie) #5

Monzo doesn’t have to do anything though, they are compliant with the spec.

(Liam W) #6

If that’s the case, Three need to update their system. The auth code can contain characters.

I wonder why Three’s system is like that?

It’s interesting that the card issuer sends it though, that means Monzo is generating it. Maybe they could send vanity auth codes… That’s be fun (in a way).


It’s probable just been that way forever, they charge your card £1.50 or something and then give you the cash.

(Andre Borie) #8

It would be nice to send “friendly” (:joy:) Auth codes to merchants known not to accept the debit cards.


Or just use numerical ones like every other card issuer (even if the rules dictate it’s not necessary)

(Andre Borie) #10

Why limit yourself just because some shitty companies don’t want to play by the rules? Not to mention if the spec allows for alphanumeric codes there must be a reason for that. Presumably the codes should be unique within a certain time period and alphanumeric characters make it less likely you’d run out.

(Marcel Ruhf) #11

Just speculation, but there could also be a difference in how Visa issuers handle it, versus MasterCard issuers (with Three’s in-sore system only supporting the “visa-way”).

(Change Works) #12

So that your customers can buy stuff?

It’s just another reason not to go full Monzo. It doesn’t always just work. It may not be Monzo’s fault, but every week there’s someone on the forum reporting some difficulty with one company or another.

(Marcel Ruhf) #13

IMO the payment schemes should start to “kick the butts” (for lack of a better phrase) of shoddy acquirers, who continue to flounder the rules. Comply with rue rules or you get cut off from the payment networks within 18 months.

(Change Works) #14

Sure, I agree, but until then…?

(Andre Borie) #15

On the other hand, this has been the first complaint about auth codes for over a year of Monzo current account (and more if we count the prepaid), so it’s really not a big deal.

(Marcel Ruhf) #16

That’s the problem.

The point is, MasterCard has been around for a while, but acquirers still seem to get away with floundering the scheme rules.
It doesn’t seem to be a Monzo-specific problem - there are many of the same discussions on the Starling forum - who also use MasterCard.

I have a policy of refusing to deal with merchants who don’t accept my debit card, whichever that might be - although I haven’t experienced it yet.
I am the customer. I choose my bank. As a merchant, it’s your responsibility to ensure your customer’s cards are accepted, and if it’s an acquirer issue, switch to an acquirer who complies (I’m that harsh when it comes to big companies - I would be less hash if it’s a corner shop having this issue, who might not have the capacity to investigate the problem themselves or switch acquirer due to cost).

(Richard Cook) #17

Hi @dpschramm

That’s certainly pretty strange. I’ll report it and see what we can turn up.


Lol wut. That would irrationally annoy me. I’d slide the coins back across the counter and say to but it back on my card. :no_mouth:


They gave me £2.50 back with £1.50 taken from my card so I couldn’t complain

(Paul) #20

Three are the absolute pits for customer service. I’d see it as a blessing in disguise and go to a different network!