🇨🇦 Monzo in Canada [Discussion]

(Jolin) #41

Why should any terminal ever ask what network you want to use? I found it very confusing in the US. Why should I choose debit or credit? What are the implications? Even with magstripe, why wouldn’t the terminal just use the debit network if presented with a Canadian debit card. Nonsensical.

(Allie) #42

So you can pick which network you want to use. And with magstripe it’s understandably trickier for the terminal to know for sure what networks will work. With chip, it should be easy to only give a list of Application Labels for AIDs the card actually has…

(Jolin) #43

Why would I want to pick which network to use? I just want to pay. I find the whole interface confusing and obtrusive. It just slows things down and presents a choice that I have no information with which to make a decision!

(Allie) #44

Mostly if your bank gives you an incentive to use one over another. For example, the uni I went to gave student fee overpayment refunds on a prepaid card. Purchases on US regional debit networks were 50 cents, but Visa purchases were free.

Another bank I know of in the US pays 10 cents cash back for each Visa Debit transaction.

(Jolin) #45

Right, I guess it’s one of those things that makes sense if you’re in the system. I still think it’s crazy, but :man_shrugging:.

(Joe) #46

Hey there,

I’m in Canada at the moment for the month and am aware that I can withdraw cash from the ATM up to £200 with no charge from Monzo but every ATM I’ve tried here in Toronto so far has tried to apply a charge for withdrawing by the bank that owns the ATM.

Does anyone have any experience of cash withdrawals at any Canadian banks that don’t charge using Monzo?

Thanks, Joe

(Alex Sherwood) #47

Hey Joe, I’ve moved you post to the dedicated topic for Canada. Judging by the comments here & in the wiki, ATM charges are unavoidable. It looks like Alex might be able to tell you who charges the lowest fees though :crossed_fingers:

(Joe) #48

Hi guys,

Am in Canada at the moment and no issues on the whole, everything is working great although I am encountering issues when trying to pay for a drink at Coca Cola vending machines, when trying either contactless or PIN entry. Had this issue last time I was in Canada with Monzo prepaid and seems to still not work with Monzo debit. Have tried this at machines in Alberta and British Columbia.

Any ideas? Card works fine on a range of other vending machines, parking ticket meters etc.

(Allie) #49

Coca-Cola machines in the US and Israel submit really bad authorisation messages that LOTS of banks decline including local banks in the US. Could be the same in Canada?

This is for contactless. But contact and swipe also failed on a recent trip to Israel. Those never even got to Monzo… Only an Android Pay attempt even reached Monzo! And it had the infamous CVC mismatch… Gotta wonder why Coca-Cola machines are so bad.

P.S. when I say ‘the infamous CVC mismatch’ this is because this is the result of a poorly constructed magstripe emulation contactless. I have no idea why contact/swipe failed in Israel for me and in Canada for you. Possibly a routing issue?

Also, it had a PIN pad? I’ve never seen that on a Coca-Cola machine. Only contactless/swipe and sometimes contact chip (with no CVM support).


Doing my research here before my trip next month as I am deciding whether to go completely cashless and trust Monzo to carry me through :pray:

In case I do need to make a withdrawal… am I right to say that the lowest fee I can expect is $3 per withdrawal, unless someone has found a reliable free ATM source since? :blush:


Nobody knows? :disappointed_relieved: I assume not much has changed since the creation of this thread then. I guess I’ll find out for myself soon!


Took me a little while, but thought I’d report back now that I’ve been there and back. I was away for 2 weeks in Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec.

TL;DR: Monzo worked about 90% of the time - there were places where cash is still king sadly or didn’t accept Mastercard. :cry:

In Ottawa, Monzo worked pretty much flawlessly with contactless (Canadians seem to prefer to call it “the tap” instead :smile:). In places where contactless didn’t work, chip and PIN always worked so no need to use magstripe. Annoyingly the bus to get out of the airport only accepts exact change so sadly I had to take out some :dollar: :cry:

Montreal was a little disappointing I have to say when it comes to accepting Monzo - there were quite a few places that only accept Interac (the payment network Canadian debit cards are on) or didn’t take card payments at all. That was the only ATM which didn’t charge me a withdrawal fee, even though it said it did on screen. :sweat_smile: That means I had to take out more :dollar: (don’t be mad at me pls :mondo:). For places that did accept Mastercard, contactless worked perfectly (except the STM machine for getting a metro pass, where I had to use chip and PIN).

Quebec was probably the best when it came to card payment! Monzo worked perfectly throughout my stay just on contactless. It even worked in neighbouring towns and cities (Levis, Beaumont etc), where you’d expect Monzo to fail since they may not have the most up to date BIN table. I almost got away with not spending physical :dollar: until I wanted to buy some maple syrup in the market :sob:

P.S. It was expected Monzo didn’t have much data about Canadian merchants, so I was quite excited to see a number of my crowdsource suggestions reflected in my feed soon after their submission! Hopefully that means next time someone gets a ticket from STM, you’ll get a pretty name straight off the bat :blush:

(Jean) #53

Hi this is my first post. I am going to Canada in August and waiting for my new Monza card to arrive. Was wondering if anyone had any problems using the card at petrol stations as I have read alot of travel cards aren’t accepted at most filling stations. Thanks.

(Emma (still not the app)) #54

It’s not a travel card, it’s a current account debit card :wink:


…and a full debit card not a prepaid debit card

(Emma (still not the app)) #56

If you look at this thread it should help

(Jean) #57

Thank you for that Emma.

(James Berry) #58

Currently travelling around BC; Vancouver, Vancouver Island and Whistler. I took moneyt out of an ATM at Vancouver airport without a problem.

In general everything has worked with a couple of exceptions:

  • Coca-cola vending machines don’t work at all (not even with some other UK cards)
  • On the BC ferry they did a mag-stripe payment attempt which came up on Monzo with an immediate refund - paid with a different card
  • Some transactions have become confused on my timeline, with the wrong merchant shown. Monzo support have said this is because the same acquirer is being used but it doesn’t give full confidence…
  • …and one particular transaction had a second “payment” in the timeline of a few pence as apparently it settled at a different exchange rate and didn’t update the initial transaction which confused the hell out of me


I just found a cheap ATM with a $1 charge in Costco. You don’t need a membership card as it is in the food court section, which is open to the public.


@jabes BC Ferries are notorious for randomly declining cards but almost always work on the 2nd or 3rd attempt, I doubt it was a Monzo issue. The Coca Cola machines often don’t even work with Canadian cards…not sure they even put card readers on them. Only why Canadian Interac Debit card works on them reliably.