Keeping Android Pay active when your card is lost


I lost my Amex card recently and called up to cancel it. They asked:

Do you want to cancel your Android Pay virtual card number too, or keep that open so you can carry on using the card through Android Pay while you’re waiting for your new card to arrive?’

Because my phone was safe, I opted to keep my Android Pay virtual Amex card active.

That was awesome because it meant I could carry on using my Amex card as normal with Android Pay, even though I’d lost the physical card. No need to stress over backup credit cards, or be without money for a few stressful days. Just swipe with your phone and you’re done.

Now Monzo supports Android Pay - could you consider implementing ‘freeze card’ and ‘order new card’ in a similar way?

I checked with Support and they said at the moment when you freeze your card it will freeze both the physical Monzo card and the Android Pay virtual card. Then once you’ve clicked ‘order new card,’ both the AP and physical card stay blocked/frozen. I asked if I could click to unfreeze the card temporarily to make an AP payment, but they said they wouldn’t advise that because it opens up fraud risk on the physical card. That’s probably a remote risk, but I get the logic.

Losing your bank cards always sucks, but I feel like Monzo could make it slightly better by allowing you to keep using AP as normal in that situation. The real/virtual card number should really help there. If Amex can do it, I’m sure Monzo can!

(Jolin) #2

That is strange, as on Slack yesterday, @tristan said that Monzo will auto-update card details on Android Pay if you lose your card and order a replacement. Would be good to get clarification if possible. Maybe the auto-update only happens once the new card arrives?

(Hugh) #3

it could also be something that is just rolling out? Maybe it will be in the next update as it is mostly backend work anyway?

(Tristan Thomas) #4

I think I might have got that wrong :thinking: Paging someone who actually knows what they’re talking about… @daniel.cannon!


Someone asked a similar question yesterday - I found that some banks don’t disable your Android Pay while you are waiting for a replacement card;

(Daniel Cannon) #6

Currently we only update (and unblock) your Android Pay card once you have activated your replacement card (not when it is ordered), until then both cards remain frozen.

I hope that we will be able to implement some of the suggestions in this thread in the future and I will talk to the Product and Fincrime teams to see how we can make them work!

(Harry) #7

Quite a few banks auto-update the details and allow you to continue using Apple/Android/whatever pay so it would be cool to see Monzo implement this as well.

(Patrick) #8

Does Android pay have to even be linked to card? Can Android pay set-up not be done through other authentication methods sans card? Maybe an “are you trying to generate a new Android pay virtual card for your account?” kind of an approval in-app notification or email? This would let you freez/cancel/set new card and/or Android pay individually?


When I had Amex replace my card, it updated in Android Pay with the new card number immediately and could be used straight away.

(Patrick) #10

Why does it need to update at all though? Or if I freeze a physical card because I’m not 100% sure where it is, why does an alternative method of payment (the one on which I’m presumably making the freezing action) also be froze until new card is ordered?


Android Pay knows the real card number, when that is changed, Android Pay gets updated with the new card number issued by Amex (or any other issuer).

(Patrick) #12

I’m aware of that, I’m questioning why that has to be the case and why Apay has to be linked to hard physical cards and not the account itself. Probably not an issue with other legacy banks but when you are given more control about the state of your card (freeze) that change across the board doesn’t feel right.

If Google rules dictate that android pay must be linked to a card, could issuing a virtual card in the Monzo app exclusively for Android pay be a solution?

(Valeri) #13

Had the same experience with Halifax and Apple Pay - I was very nicely surprised as my cards disappeared while I was on holidays in Hungary and actually I was perfectly able to settle out bills through my phone. Ah modern technologies :blush:


Yep, that’s what happened with me!

As I understand it, Android Pay uses a ‘virtual’ card number to process the payment (so when you make an AP purchase, the card/PAN number that passes over the MasterCard system isn’t your normal Monzo card number, but a second, linked, virtual card number). If you click on any card in the Android Pay app, it will show you something like ‘Virtual Account Number: Mastercard ****1234.’ But for some reason the main menu screen in Android Pay also shows the last 4 digits of the ‘real’ card number. So I think Amex updates those last 4 digits so they match your new ‘real’ card very soon after you report your card stolen. I don’t know if they generated a new virtual number.

It’s very odd because those last 4 digits almost seem cosmetic - more a part of the Android Pay UX than the functionality of the payment system. And the narrative around ‘we will update your Android Pay’ seems confusing/unnecessary - it happens in the background. It would almost be better not to mention it to customers!


Awesome, thanks! It’s such a cool feature and gives you so much more security/confidence that you can keep on with your life even if you lose your wallet. It’s especially valuable when you’re travelling and losing your cards can leave you completely stranded and vulnerable.

If Amex can do this functionality, I’m sure you can too! It’s great from a product perspective, and the fincrime angle must be solvable!


Really good point - if you have your phone with you to freeze the card using the app, the phone is by definition not compromised!

(Allie) #17

It would cause issues for TfL if there was no linked real card, and for anyone else who may ask for the DAN to be linked back to a PAN.

That said, there’s no reason for it to be interrupted - most banks let Android Pay keep working seamlessly.

(Valeri) #18

In my experience with ApplePay/Halifax, what happened was the as soon as I reported my card as lost or stolen Apple Pay notified me that the card has been disabled and within a minute or two I received another notification that the card has been enabled which upon checking was actually updated with the new card number - I also received an email that my new card is on my way and that I can use it though Apple Pay in the mean time. As such I presume the DAN was always linked to a PAN

(Dan Woodhouse) #19

Something similar happened with my Apple Pay with Santander when I was burgled. I cancelled all my cards, including my Santander debit but they explained on the phone that my Apple Pay would continue to work. It was a bit of a lifeline really, because it took 5 days for them to send me a replacement debit card!

(Allie) #20

Two things here - one don’t keep all your eggs in one basket, or cards in one place. I have cards for rarely used accounts at home and at work as backups in this situation. Two - yeah, it’s great, isn’t it :smiley:

Yes, there are things that need the PAN (though that could be a virtual PAN if the card doesn’t really exist), one I can think of is adding a card to the TfL site.