Monzo Card Not Working On First Bus


Anyone else had any luck using contactless payments on busses? I’ve just tried to use it on a First Bus in Sheffield it declined instantly without any attempt to take the payment.

Is this the first time you’ve used the card?

No, had the card a few months even used it already this morning perfectly fine.

Never had any problems using it on First, in Leeds or Sheffield.


One time I had this weird thing were my card was declined and frozen when trying to use Lime. Support said that anti-fraud mechanism blocked the transaction.
Did you try to use it again afterwards? Did it work?

I once had a decline in a perfectly normal, routine establishment where the card had always worked. Paid via another method, left & checked the app - my card was frozen. No explanation to this whatsoever, but upon unfreezing the card, all was well again. It hasn’t done this again since.

I used Monzo contactless on First Bus Glasgow yesterday. However Google Pay (same card) didn’t work (it usually does) :thinking:

That’s interesting, because it was Google Pay I tried to use. Thanks for that I’ll try just using my card in future

I use my Monzo card with Google Pay on First Bus Hampshire and it seems to work fine :thinking:

If you’re using your physical card on the bus a lot, try making a chip and PIN transaction or do any transaction/unblock at an ATM at least every couple of times you use the bus.

Bus card terminals use offline payments and like with all other cards, there is a limit to how many of these you can make before the card needs to be connected back to the Mastercard network and be reset for fraud prevention (this is also a requirement by EU law under PSD2’s Strong Customer Authentication). Monzo users are significantly more likely to run into this because you all use contactless so frequently!

Unfortunately, most terminals won’t tell you why a transaction has locally declined so it’s difficult to know when you’ve hit this offline limit.

You shouldn’t see the same issue with Apple Pay or Google Pay because your device likely has an internet connection.


Funnily enough, on my local Arriva buses Google Pay used to work, but now is declined every time, whereas the physical Monzo card works fine.

Never had any issues on First or Stagecoach Buses in Sheffield, just dont try and pay on your card on the tram…

Used twice today and no problem. It took about 5 minutes before i got an notification :hugs:

I use my on Diamond buses in Worcestershire through the Diamond Bus app.

Buy an all-day ticket with my Monzo card and then just tap my phone on each bus.

Do First buses have an app, and would that way be easier for you at all?

the way how bus network works outside of London if you use contactless to pay on the bus via apple/Gpay or physical card they are usually offline when try to take the payment the following day and it’s declined then thier system will block that particular card for future use on the buses even if you have money or not, so the way around this you need to re-add your card to Apay/Gpay or get a new card they don’t give you a way to re-authorise your card again like in London transport for it to work again

Used it this afternoon to get home with the card and it worked fine so it does seem to be a Google Pay thing. It’s a fairly new plus card and this is the first time I’ve had to get the bus in years, so there’s no previous decline there to be worried about.

Clearly not Monzo that is the issue here, which is good news

YY. Google Pay (Monzo) declined again today, physical card contactless no issues.

This may or may not be relevent / coincidence, but they always used to take a £1 pending payment and then change it. Some Google Pay stopped working it’s been a £0.10 pending payment, so First have changed something.

My Monzo card keeps getting declined by Dunnes Stores in Belfast. Happened with the old one and with my new Monzo Plus card when trying to pay via my Apple Watch (amount was below 30£), but worked before with other merchants…

I’ve used mine in a different Dunnes Store. The terminals are a bit ropey so I’ve always used chip and pin

Yeah, chip and pin did the job for me too. Odd though, that starling and hsbc work just fine