No overdraft so how to stop contactless?

I think contactless just normally allows payments less than £30 without a balance check with the occasional pin check. So how does Monzo stop you going overdrawn when you have no agreed overdraft?

Only merchants like TfL can perform offline transactions. All other merchants, like supermarkets, have to go online to obtain an authorisation first, which involves a balance check by Monzo. TfL transactions will go through even if you don’t have any funds to cover them - this is true for any contactless-enabled debit card issued by a UK bank.


Good job I live in Wales then! Thanks - I didn’t know this!

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Not sure how it works where you live, but what I said about TfL usually also applies to purchases on any other means of public transport that support card payments, including on planes, like when you pay for something on a Ryanair flight. There is nothing your bank can to to stop them, unless you are using a prepaid card, which are not offline-enabled.

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A good example in Wales is the Severn Bridge contactless terminals. They have special authorisation to carry these out offline.

Not for much longer though as it’s soon to be free!


On another note, Monzo has a £20 buffer for these scenarios so you would likely be able to avoid overdraft charges in the first place.

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The card is online-preferring so unless you’re at an offline-only terminal (which are pretty rare outside of edge-cases like airplanes) you will always get an online balance check.

In a year of living in London I’ve never ever got an offline transaction. The only ones I had were on airplanes so far.


Hey :wave:

Most contactless transactions are online and therefore we are asked to authorise the transaction on our end which involves doing a balance check :raised_hands:

Some offline payments are also possible.


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