Contactless card declined

Tried to use contactless card yesterday in NHS Hospital and it was declined twice - UNKNOWN CONTACTLESS. I then tried to use the chip and pin instead - worked fine. Any ideas why it may have been declined?


Was it your first time? The first time you have to use chip and pin then contactless will work.

I have never used chip and pin on my Monzo card but contactless works.

You are always told to use your card in a chip and pin machine or in an ATM before you use contactless for the first time.

Ah ok! Well I have used it in an atm so that explains that :blush:


No… I use contactless every day

Could be their reader in the chip and pin machine. I do the staff swipe cards at work and they have similar chip and sometimes the reader doesn’t recognise the chip and needs disconnected/plugged back in or reset and that normally fixes it.

I’m sure this didn’t happen with Monzo for me. It was true with some other cards, though.

Maybe they do work without doing it, but I’m just going off what Monzo states (and most banks) as well as adding that the use of an ATM for a service is classed as a Chip and Pin transaction.

Personally I’ve always used an ATM whenever I’ve got a new card as I have a cash machine around the corner from me and I still use cash.