🇰🇷 Monzo in South Korea [Wiki]

This is a wiki crowdsourced by the Monzo Community to help you travel with Monzo.

Just like Wikipedia, anyone can edit it to help out others. If you have any tips or feedback for visiting South Korea with Monzo, please feel free to edit this guide. You can also add a comment t or question below — someone will then incorporate your comment into the main text below and then delete your comment. To create your own “Monzo in …” guide if one doesn’t already exist, just copy this template into a new post and write away!

Safe travels! :wave: :airplane:


Currency

South Korea’s currency is the South Korean won (₩)

The going rate can be found on the Mastercard exchange site.

Card usage

The current account card is not currently working with a number of merchants in South Korea. We’re working hard on fixing this but have no definitive timeline for the moment.

ATMs

  • Most ATMs provide the ability to select a language.
  • ATMs are generally located inside of branches.
  • When using the machines, selecting ‘Checking Account’ is advised.
  • The majority of ATMs utilise magstripe so be sure to enable it every 24 hours!
    ATMs in convenience stores don’t work with Monzo even when marked ‘global’. You need to use a bank. If there is a row of them look for the one with the different writing over the top. This will be the global card reading machine

Payment and withdrawal limits

All Monzo cards have some payment and withdrawal limits. To check yours before you leave, tap on the manage card icon and then tap on Spending and card limits.

Crowdsourced merchant data

Data can be patchy due to mapping restrictions in the country against foreign data use/exporting.

Miscellaneous


To edit this guide, just tap the pencil icon below. Alternatively, add a reply with your comments and someone from the community will incorporate your suggestions into the guide and then delete your comment.

2 Likes

Hi, I got back from Korea yestersay having spent 10 days there. I wanted to give an overview of my use of Monzo in Korea for any fellow travellers.

The card worked in the following;
Kimbab Records (indie record shop in Hondae)
Burger King
Olive Young (cosmetics chain)
Paris Baguette (bakery chain)

It didn’t work in the following;
Uniqlo (global clothing store) in Myeongdeong
Daiso
HomePlus (Korean wide supermarket)
A skin clinic/pharmacy whose name I forget.

Is there any update on Monzo working in South Korea? Would be disappointing to see it not work in the majority of shops.

There just seems to be an issue with foreign MasterCards in general in SK. Both my UK and Canadian MasterCards were unreliable in SK but my Visa cards worked fine.

Unfortunately Monzo does not work in South Korea, I’ve tried in several shops like Starbucks, Uniqlo, 7Eleven and the transaction was always declined. My debit card from a UK high street bank works perfectly - I hope Monzo will solve this issue soon, otherwise they are not really a reliable card when travelling outside Europe.

Just wondering if anyone had any recent updates on how monzo works in South Korea? I have created an account very recently, but have read that the card has issues in South Korea. I’m wondering if anyone knows how many of these issues have been solved. I don’t really need to use it for withdrawing money, just to make small payments day to day. I’d appreciate any feedback!

I was there 2 months ago. My card didn’t work in Daiso, Artbox and Kyoto bookstore but was fine everywhere else, apart from one random time when it didn’t work in a CU convenience store that I visited pretty much daily LOL.
I withdrew money at Woori and KEB bank and both were fine.

I was recently in South Korea, and noticed that it didn’t work in any of the stores or hotels that I tried to use it in.

A couple of things I noticed that was really disappointing:

  • It seems that Monzo know it doesn’t work properly in South Korea. Why can’t Monzo send a notification to tell customers when they try to use it (and it doesn’t work) that there are issues in how it works in South Korea.
  • I contacted the customer service when it didn’t work, and they first told me that the problem was with the terminal. Then when I explained other cards worked, and that my card didn’t work on other South Korean terminals, the advisor told me my card is probably faulty. Why is the customer service advisor unaware of the correct information?

If Monzo is aware of the problems with card transactions then that would be annoying.

I’m currently in Seoul and having to carry enough cash to match any card purchase is very frustrating… especially when I’ve hit my ATM free withdrawal limit.