Monzo as "Payment Processor" for Retailers

Instead of going through an external payment processor and losing 3% per transaction, you could offer retailers to accept Monzo payments via QR or NFC.
For example, a retailer that accepts (let’s call it) “Monzo Pay” has a QR code at the till. Monzo customer scans this QR to pay for the product. Money goes from Monzo customer to retailers Monzo account. This bypasses the external payment processor and saves on the transaction fee.
You can use this saving and keep 1% for yourself, give the retailer 1% and give 1% back to the customer (similar to Amex) as an incentive to use “Monzo Pay” in the future.

This is how it often works in Asian countries where they use LINE or WeChat to pay for products. It also allows smaller retailers or individuals to receive payments without the need of complicated payment terminals and scary contracts with payment processors.

Monzo might already have bits and pieces of the functionality, but this needs to be made as a solid product.

I think customers would rather just tap their card or phone rather than scan a QR code and then enter the amount to pay.

If you have dynamic QR codes with the payment amount embedded then it’ll need integrating with the point of sale machine which is probably too big of a barrier.

A merchant can already generate a QR code to go to their link, but there’s limits on there.

3% is pretty high for here in the UK, but payment processing of all cards (with a card machine like square etc) for business accounts I think is a good ideas for business accounts.


Well, not necessarily. One QR per cash register, sales personnel has an iPad, they tap the price and the transaction with the price gets linked to the QR. It might not work for everyone on the high street. If the customer gets a benefit for every transaction, I don’t think he would mind scanning. Also, the cost of iPad will be paid off after a couple thousands transactions.

Certainly a no from me, as a customer I don’t want to be messing around with QR codes, phone out tap and I’m gone.

Phone out, open app to scan QR code, nope, I’d rather not have extra steps.


QR codes haven’t really taken off in the UK, have they? I’d be surprised if most people even had a QR code scanning app installed on their phones.

Something I didn’t learn until recently but you can just point your phone camera at them. You don’t need a separate app.



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Isn’t this the whole point of “apps” on cards? That cards advertise their payment networks and order of preference. So if Monzo became a network, and got on POS machines and issued new cards, you could just tap or insert and it would “work”?

I’m sure Mastercard wouldn’t take too kindly to such antics though, otherwise we’d surely have seen every bank have a go at getting cheaper rates in the same way?

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That wouldn’t work for GDPR and security reasons. The QR code would need to be generated for each individual transaction.

If it’s not then I could for example take a picture of your EPOS system’s QR code and sit at home spying on what your customers are purchasing. Especially useful if I run a rival business and I want to see how well your products are selling.

At that point the development cost spirals way higher than any potential saving from having the system in action. It’s a nice idea, just the practicalities kill it unfortunately.

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The fee is nowhere near 3% on U.K. debit cards. Most large retailers pay less than 1% in total.

QR codes will never work in the uk

I’ve only ever used one once in a chippy as I didn’t have change and she said she’ll do PayPal

Our card fees are 1%<< if you’re a small business and if you’re big I think on average it’s around 0.1-0.5%

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One of the big investors in Monzo over the years has been Stripe, so I don’t think this is a goer

Thank you for your replies. Seems it’s not that easy. :+1:

If I remember correctly my Nationwide card had the LINK app (was called NBS ATM) on it for LINK ATMs, so I assume that’s how LINK processes ATM withdrawals without going through the main card networks.

Sadly I don’t think this will work for mobile payments without explicit cooperation from Apple/Google. I don’t think there are APIs to create arbitrary card “apps” on them beyond the ones it already has for the major card networks.

I mean the entire NHS track and trace system is based on QR codes. As is the in-person registration at UK covid testing centres.

I’m willing to bet hardly anyone scanned themselves into a pub, gym, restaurant etc when they were open. It’s not something I’ve got facts and figures on just a good guess :sweat_smile:

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Not a single person uses it tho


I don’t know what places you were going to, but I’ve been to places where they won’t serve you until you’ve scanned the QR code or put your phone number on the list.

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I’ve not been to a single place which has required you to scan the QR code.


I refuse to download the app, I always opt for the much more privacy friendly pay as you go number on the paper.