Card blocked while travelling

Hey guys, I have a problem with my Monzo current account card.

I recently activated my card (previously a beta tester for the current account) and it seems like it updated my PIN without notifying me.

So after incorrectly entering my PIN shortly after, my card has now been blocked. Has anyone else been in this situation? I managed to discover my current PIN with help from customer support, but right now I can’t withdraw cash, which is pretty essential where I’m travelling (South America).

I can’t use an ATM to unblock my card as those services aren’t available for foreign debit cards. Does anyone else have any solutions? Customer Support suggested sending out a replacement card, which seems crazy as it would likely take 2-3 weeks I assume.

Also, I still have my prepaid card with me, but that is also now blocked since I updated my Monzo account to the current account!

Appreciate any tips.

Have you tried actually using the card? MasterCard only bans CVM fallback for UK domestic transactions. Monzo can (if they choose) authorise transactions that fall back to online PIN or signature (if offline PIN is blocked, the Monzo card will next attempt online PIN then signature, depending on terminal capabilities).

I did the same with MBNA (Amex network but still) once on a trip abroad and I didn’t get any declines. CVM just fell back to signature.

P.S. I just read this closer. The fact you blocked the offline PIN is irrelevant for ATM transactions, as they’re all online PIN anyway. Now, Monzo knows offline PIN is blocked and can decline based on that, but they really shouldn’t if you’ve told them what happened… if they’re still blocking transactions at ATMs, then this is a place that they could improve. A button to say ‘help, I blocked offline PIN, but I’m travelling - please authorise online PIN and signature transactions until I get home’.


Any reason you think a replacement card will take 2-3 weeks? Is this what you’ve been told or a stab in the dark? Assuming the latter I would recommend clarifying delivery times with CS.


From reading the original post he said it was an assumption, probably because of him being abroad. They might be able to post it out on a faster international delivery service for him (may have to pay though).

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Yes, it looked to be a stab in the dark. This is one where it would be good to get confirmation from the horse’s mouth.

I was told by CS up to 2 weeks but I think that could be a little ambitious, not sure how good the delivery service is here.

I will have another go at a chip and pin transaction when I get the chance, since I know the correct pin now. However that’s not easy to find here! I can access my account on a ATM but I’m not allowed to withdraw or view my balance as it says my card is blocked.

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Can you ask Monzo to unblock it?

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Unfortunately it doesn’t tend to work like that. Once it’s blocked, no amount of entering the correct PIN will resolve the issue until the card is unblocked :frowning:

That’s why I said it’s worth asking Monzo to unblock it. It sounds like if the PIN try counter is tripped, Monzo declines online PIN (including ATM) and signature transactions. This might be an area they could improve, allowing these, especially whilst outside the country (inside the UK, MasterCard rules prohibit CVM fallback, though I’m not sure an ATM counts as CVM fallback since that would be online PIN anyway).

I have to assume that if Monzo were able to do that they’d have offered to do so? I can’t imagine they’d overlook something so obvious ?

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They can per network rules (CVM fallback is only prohibited for domestic UK transactions, and an ATM isn’t CVM fallback anyway) from my understanding but maybe not how their system is designed.

Fraud analytics is complex and behaviours can’t be changed at the drop of a hat as risk assessments need done. That said it sounds like this is an area they could improve.

Can’t wait to travel to see how some things are handled. Some people on here say Monzo declines at terminals without PIN support. I cannot fathom that. The most likely situation is that they decline PIN bypass, which a lot of merchants in the US will do without asking you (most US banks allow PIN bypass if they have PIN priority at all).