Monzo rate inconsistent with Mastercard rate

Dear community

I’ve just started using the product and I’m happy with it

I just had a question regarding the exchange rate used. Monzo states that they use the mastercard exchange rate without any mark ups yet by checking against the mastercard currency converter there is a discrepancy.

Below is the rate from 26 April 2021 on the mastercard website

1 GBP= 3688529.76

And here is the exchange rate within the Monzo app

1 GBP = 3332548.28

That is a difference of about 10% between the two.

Why? I’ve reached out to customer service regarding this- No reply.

Since that time the exchange rate has changed again but still the same rate in Monzo. Monzo hasn’t updated their currency pair here since November 2020

That’s the wrong way around. If you’re spending in Venezuelan currency, you need to be checking From VES To GBP.

The Mastercard exchange rate isn’t quite the same as the interbank rate and usually comes with a not-infinitesimal buy/sell spread.

The rate is from different days. You made the transaction on 26 April, but the rate is set on the day the transaction is finalised. You need to compare the rate for that day.

2 Likes

What day did the transaction settle? That’s the day you need to look at the exchange rate for

1 Like

Tried that first but the mastercard currency tool breaks when you try do it the other way cause of the super small number. I’m assuming the rate that appears on the mastercard website is the mastercard rate and not the interbank rate.

The transaction settled on 26th April

Settled on 26th April-

I apologise for jumping in and not contributing anything meaningful, but I could help but comment on the number of Bolivars to the pound :exploding_head:

I’ve been the proud owner of some Vietnamese dong about 10 years ago, but they don’t even come close to this.

Reminds me of the Turkish Lira and 1 million notes :grin:

1 Like

It matters which way you check because the rates won’t be exactly the same. Mastercard typically has a 1-2% spread for major currencies, maybe wider for less stable currencies.

I don’t know anything about the Venezuelan economy and the Venezuelan currency, but it’s possible that the exchange rate is so volatile that Mastercard have decided on a 10% buy/sell spread to protect themselves against fluctuations, hence the ‘discrepancy’.

In the end, you need the rate that you aren’t able to view to be able to say if there’s an actual error anywhere.

2 Likes

It does look like the MasterCard tool isn’t supported for currencies that have an exchange rate of <0.00001

I think the effective rate the “right way” is about 0.00000025.

Not sure why it’s set up that way but if you compare two values from other currencies (eg GBP>EUR and reverse) you’ll see the same spread

Pretty sure this is the country where their economy is so bad and so hyperinflated that they’ve tried to replace their actual currency with Bitcoin.

ETA:

2 Likes

This is very good and accurate! Compared with others… Given it is Venezuela.

Just spoke to Mastercard about this- they are aware of the problem with this currency pair on their converter and advised me to use the one here

https://www1.oanda.com/currency/converter/

The buy sell spread is there but is nowhere near what Monzo is offering.

Here’s another one from 6th May- 17% difference



This has only been a problem this year. I used the card without any problems last year but since 2021 it’s like they’ve stopped updating their rates

So Mastercard have given you a 3rd party link to a currency convertor, which shows the interbank rate. You can’t get such a narrow spread (0.2%!) with Mastercard even for major currency pairs. Says nothing about Mastercard’s rate. My understanding is that Monzo has Mastercard do the forex for them and they just show you whatever they get from Mastercard.

Honestly I think Mastercard are just fobbing you off because their tool is broken for this currency and they have nothing else to offer you. I’ll repeat this again.

There’s no point looking elsewhere because Mastercard sets their own rate. Given what other posters have said about Venezuela, the spread you’re seeing is perhaps not completely implausible.

3 Likes

Correct, Mastercard Global Clearing Management System and the Mastercard settlement process deals with exchange rates.

3 Likes

Sorry for bumping this up, but is the same logic true of other currencies? I’ve got a US account, and I’ve noticed that when withdrawing cash in Canada, I get charged just a little more than with my Revolut card (also US-issued, also using US$ as base currency), where C$5 shows as US$4.15 on the date of the transaction on MasterCard’s site, and that’s what’s charged when I use my Revolut card, but the same withdrawal is charged an extra cent, US$4.16, with my Monzo card. I can’t find it in me to get that worked up over such a small difference, but I am curious now.


Possibly rounding - maybe one rounds up and the other down?

The rate of CAD$1 → $0.08288 is the same as $1 = CA$1.2065 – so, it seems that either Monzo are truncating the exchange rate, or there was a very minor fluctuation in the rate to below $1.2050 whereby Monzo took 1.20 as the exchange rate instead.

1 Like

Yeah and MasterCard often exchange between currencies for less common currency pairs, which can make the rate even more volatile. Usually it would be converted VES-USD-GBP although some South America currencies go TRANSACTION CURRENCY-CAD-GBP due to US sanctions (and the popularity of the Canadian Dollar with banks in South America).