Contactless refund not working

I used my monzo yesterday to buy a Christmas present in papaerchase however found an alternative so returned to the store for a refund.
I used contactless to pay and the transaction showed up on my account instantly as normal. I used contactless again for the refund and 24 hours later the funds have still Not shown up at all in my monzo account. Does it normally take a while to process?

from a search using the frying pan (top right ) several replies to the question “how long does it take for a refund to appear” seems like its anything up to about 7 days :slight_smile:


Yes, in my experience, though that was on the prepaid scheme

Refunds take 7 to 10 days to process usually and this could be longer given the time of year. Apologies :frowning:


Great! thank you for all the swift responses :slight_smile:


This is going to be unpopular, but the one thing I hate about Monzo is how it pretends transactions are instant. They’re not. Authorisation is not a settled transaction and it creates unrealistic expectations.

In reality, Monzo behaves like any other Mastercard. Transactions take a day or two to settle, sometimes longer, and refunds take a week or so. It is not instant, that’s a bit of make believe Monzo has created. A lot of people love it. I love Monzo but it’s the one thing that irks me about it.

I’m sure everyone else will now proceed to pummel me with tomatoes for this view, since it’s one of the big Monzo selling points and most people seem to love it. Just never forget, it isn’t real. It’s make-believe and when the illusion doesn’t work (like on a refund) don’t be shocked.


Not unpopular with me. Everyone is entitled to their opinion.

I quite like how the notifications are instant. There is the word ‘pending’ in barely a discernible font next to the notification, though, so there is, at least, an acknowledgment that the transaction hasn’t been finalised.


While that’s broadly correct, I don’t think users should have to worry about it.

We’ve made 99.9% transactions instant; with a bit of work we should be able to make most refunds instant. FX rates fluctuate between authorisation and presentment; we should be able to make that disappear as well.

The quirks of various payment schemes create cognitive overhead for users. Most banks simply foist that pain onto their users. We try to abstract it away. While it’s not yet perfect, I think it’s much better than most other banks. And with a bit of work we can get pretty close to perfect.


Agreed, it’s in there… but it’s all mashed together into one feed instead of separated into pending and posted transactions like legacy banks do.

Wow, a reply from @tom himself. I’m honoured :slight_smile: I imagine you meant that you think users shouldn’t have to worry about it… and I definitely see the point. As I said, it’s a big selling point of Monzo and most people seem to love it… I don’t expect my opinion would change something everyone else likes and is a big selling point. I love the product you’ve created and I’m using it as my main current account.

Personally, maybe it’s the nerd in me, but I find it quite interesting to watch and I like to know quickly what has and hasn’t been actually posted to my account. I do see the point tho, thus why I said, I can’t imagine you’d change it.

What I do find very interesting here is that you have said you can make refunds and FX rates instant, too. I’m watching with anticipation at how you’ll be able to do this… that intrigues me. That said, it also worries me (I’d hope you wouldn’t do the conversion yourselves and add some margin to cover the risk… I like getting the straight Mastercard rate - basically the best rate out there available to consumers for most currencies).

In any case, thanks for the response. I really do love the Monzo product, I’m using it daily and it’s been absolutely fantastic!


I see ‘pending’ transactions as an irrelevant implementation detail… I don’t need to know any more than I need to know what tom had for breakfast.

I buy an item for £5, £5 disappears from my account. Simples.

That banks have pushed their implementation onto others has caused no end of trouble… my wife was always in and out of overdraft and was often confused as to why, because her bank continually lied to her about the available balance. After Monzo, no more confusion, and she knows exactly how much she has.


See, I think that would be a great in-app feature. ‘What @tom had for breakfast this morning’ at the top of the home screen :slight_smile:

How did they lie? That’s a strong word. You may not like the implementation but lie implies intentional misleading.


Well… she’d go to her balance and it’d say £20, think ‘great’ and buy £20 of food, then the account would be in overdraft because due to a ‘pending’ transaction that was not the balance at all. In fact I can’t remember a time when the ‘balance’ she had on her bank was actually correct, when I started checking it (because I couldn’t work out how she kept ending up in overdraft either).

Given the bank has exactly the same information monzo had, they could have given the correct figure at any time but chose not to do so. The cynic in me suggests that this is quite profitable for them.


When you pay someone cash the cash disappears out of your wallet right away; your wallet’s balance goes down immediately. With cards the bank is indeed lying by showing you a « balance » that’s different from reality. Users shouldn’t know nor care about the implementation, when their bank tells them that their balance is X they should be able to spend X without going overdrawn days later.


Giving the proper information would require throwing out all the rust and building good software, something legacy banks can’t do due to the lack of technical skill and common sense in management.

Honestly, and this is where it gets confusing, it is Monzo that is not showing the correct balance (I won’t call it a lie, as the intentions are good). Money hasn’t transferred from your bank isn’t received by the merchant until the transaction posts a few days later.

Most banks, however show an ‘available balance’ this is your actual balance minus pending transactions. Does your bank not offer this?


Refunds tend to vary significantly.

I had an Amazon refund hit my account within 20 minutes of having an email saying I’d been refunded, but I recently waited a full 7 days for a refund from Currys.

They always come with a note stating “delayed from X date” which is a little confusing. Does it mean Monzo were aware of it on the date it was delayed from?




Whether the money has reached the merchant yet is irrelevant… it’s not available to you to spend therefore is not part of your balance. From your point of view the money is gone, you cannot spend it… any figure that includes that money is misleading.


I think this is somewhere we need to agree to disagree, as I’m more interested in what is technically in my account, not what I can actually spend. It’s a different perspective, and neither of us is right or wrong. I’ll totally acknowledge most people agree with you, that’s why Monzo has done things the way they have.


The instant refunds from Amazon were most likely for transactions that haven’t been presented yet, so they can amend the authorisation and that is instant. As far as the delayed note is concerned it’s most likely that the merchant when making the transaction is including a date but only submits that transaction to their acquirer bank some time later, at which point it reaches Monzo.

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We put it in your feed within minutes of us receiving and processing it from Mastercard. You can think of refunds as reverse collections/presentments so are subject to a delay of very roughly 1–3 banking days from the time the merchant sends it to the time it arrives with us in a Mastercard clearing file.

In many (but not all) cases, we will receive the “till time” for a payment. This is generally the time that the refund was issued at the till. When this happens, the service will attempt to show you the date that the file says that refund was created in addition to the date and time we received it in the feed as normal.

In many cases where a merchant issues a refund while the transaction is still pending, a merchant can send us an instant Mastercard message to reverse the authorisation as no longer needed. This can only be done before they collect the money though!

In the real world, most merchants don’t bother to reverse the authorisation and will just leave it to expire. When this happens, you can either wait for the full 7–8 day expiry time from the date of the original transaction (30 days in a small number of cases including hotels and car hire) or if you require the refund urgently, check that the original transaction is still pending and send a refund receipt along to us in support. :slightly_smiling_face: