Foreign ATM transaction, changing debit amounts



I withdrew 200EUR from an ATM in Lisbon on Friday evening. The withdrawal showed up immediately in the app, and showed a £ debit of 151.XX (can’t remember the exact amount), however, on looking at the app today, it now shows as a £152.37 debit.

Either way, that’s a fantastic rate - but I think it should be more clear to the user that until the amount clears from the card, it shouldn’t be relied on as an atomic value. It was a little jarring to see the balance change in the app when I opened it, when I knew I hadn’t made any other purchases.


(Hugo Cornejo) #2

It seems you’ve found a little moving piece that so far is inherent to currency exchange. Sorry for the confusion that it produces.

Even though we show you a GBP amount from the moment you make your purchase the reality is that (at least for now) we need to wait until the transaction settles to really know the exact final amount of the currency conversion.

We’re working on a way to display that nuance clearly on the app, so you’ll know that the amount can change during that brief period until the transaction is definitive.

Down the line, the moment we are a bank, we’ll try to come with more elegant solutions to give you proper visibility of how much are you really going to pay in GBP at the same time that you make the purchase. It’s a tricky business problem that we can’t tackle until we’re on our own :slight_smile:

(ritchiem) #3

Does the transaction give you the amount in local currency? Might be good to include that. I’m taking my on holiday in two weeks so will be doing some ‘testing’ :slight_smile: … ooh I see it does now that I’ve read more of the forum. That is indeed cool. Looking forward to my trip even more now.

( related to Monzo CEO, Investor in Monzo ) #4

and its a great exchange rate :grinning:- recently in Austria and paid everything possible with Mondo , top up from my UK bank account worked a treat so didn’t have thousands on my Mondo card until a few minutes before I needed it to pay the hotel bill etc - does limit a single transaction to £1000 though at the moment, so might need to split bills - which again wasn’t a problem for the Hotel when they realised they just took three payments. Need to remember your PIN as most don’t have contactless facilities.

(Alistair) #5

A clear indication that the amount may change would be definetely warranted.

Following our lengthy discussion about Foreign currency transactions last month I was all excited about using Mondo to pay a bill instead of Paypal - A$1000 => £515 with paypal or £482.21 with Mondo. That was great - 35£ cheaper than Paypal. Submitted expenses straight away with a screenshot of the transaction to justify the exchange rate.

Except the transaction has now cost me £485.57… sure it’s only £3.26 difference - still far better than paypal - but can’t really get the difference back now that the paperwork is submitted. A warning would have saved me from submitting so fast

(tom) #6

I totally agree with you - we currently show you the amount we’re sent by MasterCard at the time the payment is authorised, but MasterCard actually converts the currency at the point of settlement a couple of days later, and we amend the payment at that point. I wrote a blog post about authorisation/settlement a couple of months ago.

Sometimes the amount moves slightly in your favour, sometimes against you. But it’s dramatically better that other ways of converting money.

In any case, we definitely need to warn you guys that the amount may change - apologies for the inconvenience we’ve caused you.

In future, we’d definitely like to fix the currency conversion the second you make the payment, ensuring the amount you see never changes. This requires a fair amount of work to execute a load of realtime FX swaps, but I think it’s important. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

(Evan Davis) #7

Perhaps the GBP amount can be displayed in italics (or other style) until the transaction is settled.

Foreign Currency Rendering in the daily transaction flow
(PhilB) #8

Prefixing with ~ would be enough, no?

And/Or a note under the statement line/on the detail page like how TFL pre-auths get annotated showing that the transaction hasn’t yet been settled. (You could even show the current conversion rate here. “This FX payment is not yet settled, and will likely change slightly. Currently valued at £[blah]”)

(Michael Basil) #9

In my experience, most people don’t know what “~” means even though it would be much cleaner than something like “approx”.

(PhilB) #10

Could always pop up a bubble in-feed the first time it appears, or if it’s used in conjuction with an in-line clarification it would probably become self evident, no?

(James Billingham) #11

Or just put something in the notes section, like TfL transactions etc

(Alex Savin) #12

Oh that’s a nice aspect I haven’t thought about yet. Will Mondo card work fine in US too for cash withdrawings and card payments?

(Ben) #13

What about displaying the amount in the local currency (with a tooltip or whatever saying “Estimated amount: £50”) until the transaction is processed?

(Hugo Cornejo) #14

Quick update on this topic, it’s not final but we’re working along these lines…

Long story short, amounts are grey until they settle and you have a proper explanation of what’s going on. What do you think?

We’ll try to use this abstraction approach on similar problems around holds and preauths. Nothing decided yet though.

Highlight pending vs debited transactions
:philippines: Monzo in the Philippines [Discussion]
( related to Monzo CEO, Investor in Monzo ) #15

how about in red so it brings your attention to it more that its a pending transaction ?

(Hugo Cornejo) #16

We use red for declines. Keep in mind that the grey colour extends to the feed too…

Once they settle, the GBP amount turns completely dark.

(James Billingham) #17

I could see that being a good device across the app.

  • red - failure, no money movement
  • green - success, money moved
  • grey - approximation/estimate/pending/forecast/trend

(james_e_bell) #18

I like the look! Are you also testing this with people who aren’t aware that that the exchange rate is determined at settlement time? I worry that a first time user who doesn’t know how this works (or how auth/settlement works) might think that Mondo is playing them with the exchange rate. Maybe a ‘why?’ link or something that explains it to them but disappears after they have done a few of these types of transaction?

(Terry) #19

I like the look and I also like the idea of having a little why button next to it, some people may not realise the exchange rate can change before it settles and debits the account.