🇧🇬 Monzo in Bulgaria


#1

I just spent two weeks in Bulgaria. Unfortunately could not use the card anywhere where they use Bulbank (Bulgarian United Bank) or Raiffeisen Bank terminals. It turn out most shops had their tills connected to either of those two banks. I tried numerous times at numerous supermarkets, shops, restaurants and coffee shops - got the same error - Card number invalid. The same goes for ATMs.
I used the card a few times on different ATMs - works perfectly fine with the notification popping up on my phone at the same time as the receipt from the ATM. The exchange rate was much better than most bank’s official exchange rate.


Does Monzo current account now work in Bulgaria
Travelling with Monzo: Europe
Competitor update
(Yavor Punchev) #2

Hey Maria, I had a very similar experience!

I couldn’t find any ATMs that would work though – for me it was always failing. Do you remember which ones of the ones you tried did let you withdraw money?

Cheers!


(Emma) #3

Hey @yavor! Looks like James found that PostBank and Banka DSK worked :+1:


#4

Hey, Yavor.

For me it worked on Post Bank and DSK ATMs. I’m pretty sure there were a few others but cannot remember which banks they belonged to.

I’m going to Bulgaria in a weeks time, will test on other ATMs and let you know.

Many thanks,
Maria


(Yavor Punchev) #5

Thanks Maria and Emma,

I’ll be there in the beginning of August as well, so will try it out in a few places.

Cheers!


#6

Hi guys I’m here and have found that it also works at Fibank machines.

I was doing a spot of grocery shopping yesterday and found it does not work at any Kaufland (supermarket) machines or at their tills.


(Stefan Blaginov) #7

I went to Bulgaria in October 2016 and I can confirm that the ATMs from the following banks did not work with Monzo’s card:

  • UniCredit Bulbank
  • Reiffeisen Bank
  • Investbank
  • Central cooperative bank
  • Société Generale Expressbank

The POS terminals from Unicredit Bulbank declined the card as well.

However, I had a successful cash withdraw from a First Investment Bank (FIBank) ATM.


(Meylin Bayryamali) #8

To be honest, I’ve had similar experience withdrawing cash from UniCredit Bulbank, Reiffeisen Bank, Investbank, Central cooperative bank with my Barclays card.

It is strange as all the banks listed except UniCredit Bulbank and Central cooperative bank are foreign banks with branches in Bulgaria. Does this mean that they dont only work in Bulgaria but anywhere abroad as well?

I will visit Bulgaria in December and will test my card then! Hopefully the issues will be resolved.


(Teodor Georgiev) #9

I was also not able to withdraw from Piraeus Bank, so that’s one more to be added to the list.


(Alex Sherwood) #10

Thanks for sharing this :slight_smile:

Just to check, are you a verified user & also, did you try enabling Magstrip withdrawals?

Were you able to withdraw money from any other bank’s ATMs?


(Teodor Georgiev) #11

Hi Alex! As far as I know, I’m a verified user, I’ve been using the card in the UK without any issues (including withdrawing cash and paying with it). On all Bulgarian ATMs that I tried, it failed. Tomorrow I’ll look around for any ATMs of the banks from which people had successful withdrawals.

As for the Magstripe withdrawals – I haven’t come across anything specific about enabling it, might contact support to ask for that.


(Alex Sherwood) #12

Thanks for sharing your feedback.

If you’re an iPhone user, you can enable Magstripe withdrawals from Card > Profile > Security. If you’re an Android user, you’ll need to ask support to enable them for now (& it wouldn’t hurt to check that you’re a verified user at the same time).

Please do let us know if you manage to figure out the solution :slight_smile:


(Stefan Blaginov) #13

Dskbank ATMs work as well.


(Mark) #14

Any update with Magstripe withdrawals enabled ?
I’m going in March and had hoped to use Monzo only.


(Alex Sherwood) #15

Some feedback on using Monzo in Bulgaria -

Note - I’m sharing this here until the post is merged, at which point this comment can be deleted.


Competitor update
(Ryan Chan) #16

I went in December 2016 and I can confirm about FIBank! :+1:


(David ) #17

Hi, has there been an progress made on getting Monzo more widely accepted in Bulgaria?

Going skiing there and dont want to get caught out.


(Alex Sherwood) #18

I would hope that now that you can enable Magstripe withdrawals (see above), you won’t run into the same issues that other users did, before this option was available. It looks like no one’s reported back after trying this out.

Just to let you know, my understanding is that any issues with acceptance are due to a combination of MasterCard & prepaid cards, rather than Monzo specifically so I wouldn’t expect there to have been significant changes on this front, since the last feedback was shared.


(David ) #19

Ah ok. 50% of Bulgaria hates prepaid cards. Ah well I will take some cash as a back up and hope that I can find one of the cash machines that do work.


(Alex Sherwood) #20

That’s a pain, hopefully it’s not long now until Monzo launches the current accounts & debit cards which should solve that issue, by the sound of it.

Please do let us know how you get on!