So I recently returned to UK after spending a few weeks in China. I had some issues withdrawing cash at first but after chatting with the support guys (who were very helpful) they re-verified my account and I was able to withdraw cash with no problems.
Using the card was more of an issue. Initially I was in Wuhan where everytime I tried the card it was rejected. Interestingly there was never a notification on the app which made me think they were not processing the card correctly. Retailers always inserted the card, and I would enter my pin and then fail
For the second part of the trip I was in Shanghai and this was a different story. This time when I handed the card over, retailers spotted it was not a UnionPay card and pressed some keys on the card machine before inserting it. I would then enter my pin, wait a second and success payment authorised
I suspect had retailers in Wuhan done the same, it would have worked fine there too. Hopefully on a return visit I can find out.
So as great as Monzo is, one of the increasing ways to pay in China is using WeChat Pay, it’s accepted everywhere from restaurants, shops and even street traders. The down side you need a UnionPay or Chinese debit card to upload cash. I tried Monzo and other traditional Credit Cards but WeChat does not allow you to upload cash from a credit card. After catching up with a friend in China, I found out you can be sent money to WeChat using Red Packets, so after giving him some cash, he transferred a red packet to me and that helped buying things, cash and hassle free.