If anyone has any tips for @ok_boyle on using Monzo in Kyrgyzstan, please post them here
Some tips of my visit to Kyrgyzstan (after teaching there a few years back).
It’s probably fair to say that MasterCard (and by extension Monzo) is not extensively accepted by banks/ATMS/POS machines in the country. In Bishkek you shouldn’t be too far from a ATM that will work, but in other cities/ towns I’d advise having a backup visa.
ATMs that will accept Monzo:
Demir Bank (big red ATMs)
CBK - http://www.cbk.kg/en/atm - (green and gold ATMS)
ATMS that won’t:
Most shops will have two different POS machines, one from Optima Bank, the other from Demir bank. Only the Demir bank machines will work with Monzo.
Demir bank POS machines do have contactless but it doesn’t seem to work with Monzo cards at present.
Even though all the card readers use chip and pin, they still make you sign a receipt.
If wanting to pay by card at a restaurant or bar, it’s best to check they have a MasterCard card reader before you order, as not all do and will only accept Visa.
There is an ATM at Bishkek airport which accepts Monzo
The Yandex taxi app works in Kyrgyzstan and accepts Monzo
Oh one more thing.
Monzo thinks some ATMs are actually in Kazakhstan, so you will get odd messages welcoming you to Kazakhstan as you take money out of these. This happened once or twice to me, I have no doubt it’s actually the ATM providers fault but something to note either way