Enabling mag stripes on Android devices permanently

One of the Monzo team has enabled my mag stripe for the period I’ll be France (just in case). It’s been enabled for a period of two months. Is there any reason it can’t be enabled permanently?

It has been done as a fraud prevention measure as most fraud done with a mag strip. Doubt they will change their mind on this.

I’m sure somebody on the team can give us the full reason but as a quick response, it’s all down to risk of fraud. Magstripe is FAR less secure than the EMV chip and is able to be cloned with very cheap and commonly available equipment. Most ATM fraud is done by reading the magnetic strip with a skimming device and getting the PIN using a PIN pad overlay or camera. For most accounts this is enough to then write the data to a blank card and start using it in other ATMs to get cash out.

As the number of ATMs that don’t support EMV drops (especially now with America moving to chip cards), it greatly reduces Monzo’s (and therefore your) exposure to fraud to disable these less secure technologies unless it is required for travel to a specific country where EMV chip supporting ATMs are less common.

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We made the decision to keep the stripe disabled to prevent fraud, as @anon44204028 stated :slight_smile:

I imagine that we’ll review the decision before the current accounts launch, but it seems that the majority of users are happy to keep it disabled and enable it when needed.

Soon, you’ll be able to toggle it on a 24 hour basis in the Android app. as is currently available in the iOS app. This is the most secure way, as if you get a decline because you need it enabled, the app will inform you of that, and you’ll then be able to instantly enable it yourself for the required transaction.


Thank you - this makes total sense.

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