Holiday mode (SMS feature & info for overseas travellers)

User story:
As a customer in a country where I don’t have data coverage

I want to be notified when key activities take place on my mono account

So that without data coverage, I can still be informed of important events & take appropriate action

This could be on the form of a feature toggle ”holiday mode” that when activated, enables certain and notification settings and gives me the info about exchange rates & how to best use the atms for currency rates etc

I’m currently in India with work. My monzo app is on my personal device on three network. data roaming is off as iit already charged me £80 for having it on 10 mins. But I can receive text messages.

I tried to withdraw cash for a purchase using my monzo card, but no matter how hard I tired, it kept giving me an error. I couldn’t make the purchase in the end.

30 mins later when I hit a wifi hotspot. Boom :facepunch:t2:Notifications from monzo app that my atm requests had been declined as magstrip access had been disabled. Had I been sent a message, or been able to activate some sort of Holiday mode even if I couldn’t have made the change there and then to activate magstrip. At least I would have known why & be able to find a WiFi hotspot to fix (would be cool if the feature could be toggled via an sms response!)

Hope that’s sufficient info


The main issue with SMS is that it’s hopelessly broken and insecure.

Should Monzo have an SMS feature, fraudsters could abuse that fact by sending messages pretending to be from Monzo directing users to a malicious link or similar.

For your particular use-case I would recommend either switching to a carrier that doesn’t scam you on roaming charges or get a local SIM when you arrive.


Monzo already uses SMS for example when signing up to Google pay,

I think the idea of sending a SMS when Monzo can see that the app is offline, and the customer is repeatedly trying a transaction, is very useful.


You’re right, SMS has its down sides. Though other banks do offer similar services for fraud prevention. I.e I tried to male a credit card purchase last time o was here which declined due to fraud prevention block. I instantly received a text from the bank, and knew why it hadn’t gone through & was able to remedy.

Expecting customers to buy alternative SIM cards etc I don’t think is a reasonable expectation; imagine all the holiday makers who don’t have data roaming packages (usually outside of Europe)

A narrow use case perhaps, but would be interesting to see other feedback


I agree that an SMS is useful, but this is Google using the SMS for verification, not Monzo :+1: