Freeze Card for Certain Merchants

(Alex Sherwood) #1

Seeing this reply from villancikos -

gave me this idea.

Sometimes Monzo users will have to transact with merchants who they don’t trust so a feature that enables the user to freeze their card, to prevent transactions from certain merchants being authorised (based on the merchant group id) would save the user having to worry about unanticipated transactions. This might also be useful when travelling, for example this -

is fine, as long as you gave a tip but it is a practice that seems open to abuse.

If the user could pay their bill & then freeze their card for the restaurant, they wouldn’t have to worry about the later charge. In this example, it would also enable the user to ‘pretend’ to pay a tip of course so I’m interested to hear other user’s thoughts on this.

So that's where all my money went
Freezing a card as a regular activity
Duplicate charge on my Mexican Debit Card
The Monzo Extraordinary Ideas Board!
(villancikos) #2

Makes sense. It’s a feature I don’t conceive because of course is not possible with regular banks. But I would find it cool to control even more you cards. I wonder if for merchants is more fraud-friendly which it’s obviously bad.

(Ben Green) #3

I wonder if this could be used in conjunction with this feature

…which is intended for use online but it could easily be expanded to use in physical locations as well.

For your example, after the initial transaction at the restaurant, you could hypothetically tap on the merchant and select a virtual card from a list (or create a new one) to use for all future transactions at that merchant. You can thereby freeze/block that particular merchant. Any attempts to use the details of the actual card will be diverted to the virtual one and declined. Might be less work in the long run.

Would that be an acceptable alternative?

(Robbie) #4

Freeze all takeaways after 2am on Friday and Saturday. :shower:

(Ben Green) #5

Your idea is more along the lines of this one,

… as it’s blocking a category rather than a merchant. A popular idea that I still argue that is feasible.

(Alex Sherwood) #6

That’s a good point, if there was a way to present the specific merchant their card, that would be ideal.

I think it might be too time consuming to set up each card with Apple Pay though so there would need to be some changes to the process flow in order to make this a viable option.

(villancikos) #7

This makes a lot of sense. Would like that feature as well…

(Ben Green) #8

If you like to show your support as well as share any suggestions of your own, feel free to comment on that thread please :slight_smile:

(Ben Green) #9

Could we also make it show this image when a transaction is attempted?

Or perhaps be given a choice.

(Alex Sherwood) #10

Haha well this was more for stopping the merchant taking a payment but that would be perfect for this idea -

(Ben Green) #11

The basic principle of the idea works for both, but you’re right that the image is better suited to that feature.

A more smug image could be used for this one :smirk:

One random picked from an array of pre-selected images or gifs would help reduce the monotony if they’re being attempted too frequently as well.

(Nicholas Martin) #13

Didn’t want to start a new thread as it’s somewhat related… I’d really love to see the ability to block/unblock a merchant from taking further payments.

I’ve recently run into an issue recently with an online merchant persistently trying to take money (fraud dispute) from all cards ever associated with my account with them.

While the ideal solution for me would be to authorise per transaction (I know this is technically impossible), being able to block/unblock a known merchant instantaneously would be great (similar to freezing).

(Naji Esiri) #14

@njbmartin Hey Nicholas! Something like this would be tricky! For example if a customer signed up for a 12 gym membership, and then blocked the merchant from taking payments using this feature, effectively we’d be helping them break a contract.

On a case by case basis we can open an investigation and block merchants from an account where appropriate. Do bear this in mind and get in touch via help or PM if you’d like us to take a look!

(James Billingham) #15

It is actually a requirement of all payment card providers (including Monzo’s prepaid scheme) to allow this. I used it successfully a few months ago -

It is known as cancelling the “Continuous Payment Authority” which the merchant has. Monzo must comply with requests for this. However, as noted by the FCA, this doesn’t change any contracts you have with the merchant, but this is between the customer and the merchant - Monzo is not a party to these.

(Naji Esiri) #16

The merchant block request process is the solution we provide for this.

It requires a little more information from the customer than a simple ‘block merchant button’ in the app, but ensures these issues can be resolved quickly by the support team :slightly_smiling_face:

(Nicholas Martin) #17

Actually, it doesn’t break the contract as it’s no different to not having enough on the card. They will continue trying to take the payment and then in most cases get in touch with the person to either try a different payment method or inform them that under contract they will be charged late fees or cancellation fees etc.

As @billinghamj, it’s not up to Monzo whether I block a merchant or not, it’s up to me (the customer).

So adding a button to perform such an action would skip the unnecessary step of having to get in touch with customer support and explain why. Perhaps allow / force the user to type a reason for the block.

(Ben Green) #18

An alternative solution to part of this problem (online payments only) will be mandatory by 2020, but Monzo have the upper hand over legacy banks due to their high agility.

You can read more here

It’s my understanding though that this is designed to combat online fraud, but it could easily be extended to authorising all new direct debits regardless of who, how and where they were setup, online or not. Most direct debits are setup online nowadays though.

Unless I’ve misunderstood the concept, I do foresee an issue that allows online retailers to charge a customer using their card details instead of their account number and sort code; as with card details most banks aren’t aware of the location of the merchant, whether offline of not. Monzo however are aware of merchant locations and if it took place online or offline. Therefore it would be easy for Monzo to extend the security to all online transactions requesting payment whether by card details or direct debit.

New online merchant you’ve never paid before. Authorise payment of £XX.xx

Maybe not to everyone’s taste but could make it an option at least.

This also has the added bonus of allowing us to prevent failed payments due to lack of funds. See a request for authorisation -> transfer from another account before the request expires -> authorise the payment -> done.


Would be great if you’re able to freeze the card but let some transactions from certain merchants (whitelist) go through. Or the opposite way around, unfreeze the card but disable certain merchants (blacklist).

(Rob Falla) #20

There is no mechanism whereby Monzo or any other card provider could implement a mechanism that facilitates blocking a merchant as described in this thread.

First, once an amount has been auth’d, even in a pre-auth situation, you the card holder can not change the final settlement amount.

  • If you disagreee with the settlement amount discuss the ‘mistake’ with the merchant
  • They will usually issue a partial refund for the challenged amount.

Honest merchants will always deal fairly with you.

Trying to use such a capability to dodge paying a tip is just plain mean, fortunately the card schemes make such a use case impossible.

Second, say you are having genuine problems with legitimate transaction concerns, like a merchant double charging and not correcting their mistake, or perhaps a dodgey merchant adding random charges to your account in the hopes that you simply don’t notice (this is where the notification service in Monzo provides significant value), you can raise a chargeback request.

  • Chargebacks enable you to claim back money when a transaction is successfully challenged
  • You need to be prepared to prove that the chargeback is justified
  • If upheld, the merchant will have the money taken from their account automatically and they will also face a significant charge to cover the cost off the chargeback investigation

Remember in most cases once a consumer makes a chargeback claim the merchant has that consumer added to a blacklist so that no future card transactions are possible from that consumer. Should you want to trade with that merchant again in the future it will likely have to be cash only.

There simply is no mechanism whereby such a facility as that requested in this thread could be implemented.

(Alex Sherwood) #21

As I mentioned in my original post, the freeze would prevent the initial authorisation, just as the user freezing their card currently does now. Presumably Monzo receives enough information about the merchant to identify them at this stage in the process. In which case, it seems like it should be possible to implement a feature like the one I’ve described?

One of the use cases for this feature is to deal with merchants who you don’t trust :slight_smile:

I mentioned this as a potential issue, I certainly wasn’t advocating it!

I’m keen your thoughts on my above comments. Also, if you can think of a way that my use case could be addressed differently it’d be great to hear it, rather than purely focusing on the elements that you believe are impossible :raised_hands: