Near Real-time exchange rates?

I thought that Monzo would offer me near real-time exchange rates on foreign currency transactions, however, when I just checked my first FOREX transaction the app reports “the … rate is not final yet and will settle in a few days”.

I have a Revolut card and I can see the exchange rate at the moment of the transaction.

The tentative rate shown in the app is £1 = ZAR15.87.

The actual rate (also shown by Revolut) is £1 = ZAR16.14 so this tentative rate from Monzo is hopelessly uncompetitive and more in line with my high street bank!

Can Monzo explain why the rate cannot be immediately confirmed and why it is so uncompetitive?


I think that Monzo should be directly passing on the mastercard exchange rate ( However the rate you will get is the rate when the transaction settles. There seems to have been a ~0.2 increase in the exchange rate in the last ~24 hours, which would account for the difference. If monzo is caching the exchange rate values, or using the exchange rate at a certain time every day for calculating estimates that would explain the discrepancy.

In case anyone else is wondering, this is correct.

I know that Revolut have partnered with CurrencyCloud & it looks like their Conversion Cloud product, enables the conversion of “30 currencies at wholesale rates” in “real-time”.

On the other hand Monzo offer the MasterCard wholesale rate & they determine the FX rate when a transaction settles, usually a few days after the purchase is made. As a result, the conversion rate fluctuates.

But the feedback in this post (& the subsequent replies) is that the difference between the two provider’s rates is usually marginal. Sometimes Revolut offer the better rate & sometimes it’s Monzo.

Money Saving Expert says that Monzo’s rates are better too…

Click the screenshot to view the full image.

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