Contactless not working on buses?

I used to use my Monzo card on the buses using Apple Pay Contactless and it worked fine. However i’ve noticed over the last few weeks, it is not working and is being declined instantly.

I also get a notification that the cost of travel was only 10p? It works fine if I take my Monzo card out of my purse and pay via contactless - but it will not work with Apple Pay on the bus services. Apple Pay Contactless works everywhere else though?


Yep, it isn’t working.

No response from Monzo about it but we do have a thread already. It looks like an upgrade by the bus companies has borked Monzo’s Apple Pay.

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has any of the cards Apay and Gpay worked before and was declined due to lack of funds? I if so you need to delete the Apay card and Gpay cards and re add them again for it to start working on the buses

I’ve noticed this too, also the 10p thing.

Nope. I’ve got a £1,000 overdraft with Monzo so it always worked was never declined before I tried that day. The other thread has a wide range of people getting declines who it worked for before.

It has something to do with an upgrade to the bus systems as the £1 check and a full fare deduction hours later has been replaced with a 10p deduction and a full fare deduction within 20 minutes or less.

sometimes the buses has problems taking money and the system usually blocks the card, for future use so to get around this you need to delete your virtual card and add again to generate a new card number for it to work on the buses again

I had the same problem with westmidlands buses and doing that fixed the problem


I have tried this but its still being declined. Other cards work fine - just Monzo.


Anyone else had any luck using contactless payments on busses? I’ve just tried to use it on a First Bus in Sheffield it declined instantly without any attempt to take the payment.

Is this the first time you’ve used the card?

No, had the card a few months even used it already this morning perfectly fine.

Never had any problems using it on First, in Leeds or Sheffield.


One time I had this weird thing were my card was declined and frozen when trying to use Lime. Support said that anti-fraud mechanism blocked the transaction.
Did you try to use it again afterwards? Did it work?

I once had a decline in a perfectly normal, routine establishment where the card had always worked. Paid via another method, left & checked the app - my card was frozen. No explanation to this whatsoever, but upon unfreezing the card, all was well again. It hasn’t done this again since.

I used Monzo contactless on First Bus Glasgow yesterday. However Google Pay (same card) didn’t work (it usually does) :thinking:

That’s interesting, because it was Google Pay I tried to use. Thanks for that I’ll try just using my card in future

I use my Monzo card with Google Pay on First Bus Hampshire and it seems to work fine :thinking:

If you’re using your physical card on the bus a lot, try making a chip and PIN transaction or do any transaction/unblock at an ATM at least every couple of times you use the bus.

Bus card terminals use offline payments and like with all other cards, there is a limit to how many of these you can make before the card needs to be connected back to the Mastercard network and be reset for fraud prevention (this is also a requirement by EU law under PSD2’s Strong Customer Authentication). Monzo users are significantly more likely to run into this because you all use contactless so frequently!

Unfortunately, most terminals won’t tell you why a transaction has locally declined so it’s difficult to know when you’ve hit this offline limit.

You shouldn’t see the same issue with Apple Pay or Google Pay because your device likely has an internet connection.


Funnily enough, on my local Arriva buses Google Pay used to work, but now is declined every time, whereas the physical Monzo card works fine.

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Never had any issues on First or Stagecoach Buses in Sheffield, just dont try and pay on your card on the tram…

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