International payment to Monzo account missing

I know, I know. I hadn’t read the blog post about not being connected to Swift before initialising a transfer from AliPay (China) to my monzo account. The transfer was “successful” according to the senders logs, but that was on Monday. Nothing has arrived in my Monzo account.

What should be my course of action? Should I wait longer, or do I need to contact Monzo?


If the sender says it was successful then you need to hope it appears or goes back. Neither of which seem likely now.

I hope it wasn’t a lot of money!

Monzo wont be able to help. As soon as it hits their system it will show in your account, until then they have no visibility of it.

You’re best chasing AliPay. If it isn’t successful it should be returned to AliPay, so keep an eye out there too.


It was a lot of money :slightly_frowning_face:

Could take a few days to show in your account.

If showed successful, I’d probably wait 5 working days to do its job and get a transaction reference from the sender and ask Monzo to have a look.

In theory, it should bounce back to the sender eventually. In my experience this happens in most cases eventually but can take a lot of time.

I think there’s generally five main possibilities here:

  1. It bounces back to your sending bank (Alipay) and is automatically credited to your account. This could take days or in some cases I’ve seen, months.

  2. It bounces back to your sending bank (Alipay) and ends up in one of their large ‘holding accounts’, and then needs to be manually matched to your account by their customer service.

  3. and

    • same as 1) and 2) but it ends up in the receiving bank (Monzo) and either gets automatically credited, or stuck in a holding account. In fact, I am not sure this is possible as Monzo are not connected to SWIFT, Monzo should know more
  4. The money gets stuck in an intermediary bank and is generally permanently lost.

As you can see you will need to contact both banks/institutions and discuss the missing transfer in case it ends up stuck in one of them. Bare in mind it might take time you may want to contact them now, in a few days, and then every week for a couple of months to make them go look for it - don’t just give up!

Really hope you get your money back


Thank you for your advice. I will follow up with both sides.

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Just to update, the money was eventually returned to the source account with reason “Invalid bank account number”. I was already in contact with a CSR at AliExpress/AliPay who were surprisingly helpful, and were going to issue a recall for a charge of $15, but in the end it wasn’t necessary.