More card controls / freeze functionality

I’ve been trying to decide between Monzo and Starling for a little while now, one of the best things for me about Starling (even though i prefer the Monzo UI) is the additional card controls they offer, which i would love to see in Monzo, and would then completely swing me in favour of using the Monzo account/app!

They have many more card controls other than just block gambling, location & freeze.

My favourite ones are:
• Disable contacless payments
• Disable online payments
• Disable ATM withdrawls

I like this as it offers you added protection for online/contactless payments, so you can enable only IF/WHEN you want to use the card, at all other times, you are thus protected from fraudulent online payment or contactless skimming!

Disabling ATMwithdrals i likely wouldn’t use, but i can see it being a usful update for some people.

I really would love however the other 2 card control options added to Monzo!

Also, if you’re consisdering it, VIRTUAL CARDS would also be great so as to nullify online payment fraud…


That is a feature with Starling that I find better than over at Monzo. I hear secondhand from a friend that Revolut has something similar

Given what we can see of the Monzo infrastructure, it does seem like something that could be relatively easily implemented (see freezing cards, unlocking magstripe, blocking gambling), so I can only imagine

a) they have not got to it yet or
b) they have a differing view for reasons unknown


I genuinely don’t understand how this can be enforced short of physically breaking the radio contact in the card.

1 Like

You don’t disable the card physically, you disable electronic payments via contacless system.

Starling already do this, so we already know that it is prefectly achievable…


I’m not sure what the use case is here? Would you turn each toggle on and off all the time?

1 Like

The same system of full round trip authorisation that allows for instant notifications allows for determining the type of the payment. This is how they can show it as an online transaction, or an ATM or whatever, and is also how then can block gambling payments


But how would that work for offline contactless transactions?

The use would surely be to provide added security? Barclays have the same controls, and I have online payments disabled as I would never use that card for those. At least a few times I’ve had a text saying an online transaction had been attempted (presumably due to leaked details), without which the money would have been successfully taken.


Maybe their cards don’t do offline on contactless for this exact reason?

Halifax recently launched something similar:



This seems a lot less clear than the Starling implementation. I would rather just use something that calls things by their names like “contactless”, “online”, “card-present”, etc than something that attempts to simplify it and fails miserably.

1 Like

Maybe, but is that even possible. I refer back to my first reply - I genuinely don’t know how this can be enforced 100%, and would welcome an authorative statement from someone who knows (assuming such can be done without breaching any non-disclosure agreements where applicable).

Maybe someone can more clearly explain merchant codes and the other information that arrives via Mastercard. Would appreciate that

The card can be programmed so it only ever allows online transactions so the bank then has a say in every single transaction, but that obviously brings downsides like not being able to do offline transactions on airplanes for example.

Another option is to make the card prefer online but allow offline fallback if necessary, however in this case card controls will not work for the latter.

Another one is to “update” the card after each transaction (although I believe issuer script only works for contacted transactions) to reflect the user’s settings on the card itself (so if you disable contactless, next time you use your card, issuer script will tell the card to no longer authorise over contactless). The issue is that the card becomes out of sync from the in-app controls and can cause confusion (if you re-enable contactless in the previous scenario, you’d still need to do a contacted transaction first for the issuer script to run and update the on-card settings).


A “freeze card except for mobile wallet payments” option would be the most use for me.

It would be a great feature for if you’d lost your card and think you might know where it is, but you also need to make a payment.

Would give great peace of mind knowning I can still use Apple/Google Pay without worrying that my card might have been stolen instead of lost.

I also know a few people who really hate contactless (they think it makes spending too easy for them). They’d love to be able to disable it.


Barclays has these…


1 Like

You might not ‘toggle on and off all the time’, but just not want a contactless card. Other banks (e.g. Lloyds I know for sure) will supply a non-contactless card on request, but if it’s configurable in settings Monzo would only need to ship one card, and not have to deal with such requests.

One might toggle online payments off for a while, until next needed say, after having to supply details over the phone - but still want to be able to use the card for ‘card present’ transactions.

Full card controls are a must for me. Revolt, TransferWise and seemingly Starling implement this.

1 Like


Revolut have this feature and I would love this on monzo. I’ve just moved my current account here and would like this as a feature.

The ability to turn off contactless payments is fantastic for fraud prevention.

Freezing the card disables Apple Pay which I use all the time.

Also a virtual disposable card. A feature I use in revolut and think it is fantastic.


At the least I would like to be able to enforce all payments to need authorization with the app, online or not.