Payment Protection/Security

(Peter) #1

Hello all,

So I’ve become a Natwest refugee and pretty much moved all of my banking over to the Monzo CA Preview for the past 5 weeks. Everything has been running smoothly and I have no complaints.

One concern I do have however is that I travel a fair amount and use my card online quite often in varying currencies and such. In recent years I’ve been the victim of card cloning on two occasions (mostly from the US) with fraudulent transactions attempted.

One thing I can praise Natwest for is that they were always incredibly quick in reimbursing my funds (literally the same hour) and normally had a new card out to me the next day - no questions asked, and the whole experience was pain free. In fact, I didn’t even lift a finger - they called me minutes after the transaction attempts took place, restored my balance and I was all sorted.

Alongside that, occasionally my card would be temporarily blocked if they felt certain transactions were not legitimate and I would confirm via text.

As much as I love Monnzo, I can’t help but think I am less protected and perhaps more vulnerable to fraudulent transactions than as with a high street bank. Alongside that, I would worry about the kind of process Monzo has in place for reimbursement - even if I clearly did not make the transaction.

Can anyone shed any light on how Monzo deal with these situations?

(Tony Hoyle) #2

I was surprised to learn that if the magnetic stripe is disabled the card can still be skimmed because it’s using the same data as the front of the card.

IMO they should ship cards with a completely different number on the magnetic stripe, so then disabling (or never enabling it) would work everywhere and skimmers would get nothing. Otherwise, what is the point in having the ability to disable it?

(Peter) #3

That I did not know - very interesting.

I don’t want to knock Monzo as I know it’s a new bank which is learning it’s way. That being said, being the victim of fraud is a serious situation and I feel it’s important the bank has a robust process in place to;

  1. Validate the authenticity of the payment as quickly as possible
  2. Ensure the customer has their balance restored as quickly as possible

Someone tried to buy $800 of goods at Best Buy when my card was cloned last year. They started off with a smaller payment of $70 which was approved, but the $800 was declined.
Natwest returned the $70 to me immediately and issued a new card before I even noticed the $70 authorisation minutes earlier.

So far, it seems my Monzo CA card accepts pretty much every single payment no matter what the value or location.

What happens if that $70 was taken on my Monzo card without my consent? Would Monzo act in the same way Natwest did, or could I expect to wait days whilst Monzo talks to Mastercard or whoever?

I think we should be concerned about this to be honest - just freezing your card isn’t an alternative. There needs to be documented information on this subject by Monzo.


Unless the Monzo app had the surprise ability to rearrange tiny iron-based magnetic particles on a band of magnetic material attached to a small rectangular piece of plastic, it shouldn’t have been surprising.

We do not need to be concerned at all. They are monitored by the Financial Ombudsman Service for complaints, the FCA and Bank of England for banking standards and Monzo’s Terms clearly state:

9.2. If your card is lost or stolen or someone else finds out the PIN or if you think your card, card number or PIN may be misused, you must;

9.2.1. without undue delay, pause the card within your Monzo mobile application. You can also permanently cancel the card via the mobile application. If you do not have access to the mobile application, call us without undue delay on 0800 8021 456 (we have a 24 hour service) so that we can stop your card and PIN;
9.2.2. stop using the card, card number or PIN immediately. If you find the card after you have temporarily paused it, you can re-enable it via the app and continue using it. If you find the card after you have reported it permanently lost, stolen or misused, please cut it up and dispose of it.

9.4. You may not be liable for any use of the card, card number, PIN or mobile application by another person who does not have your permission to use it or if it is lost, stolen or destroyed …

Monzo have been very good at refunding fraudulent transactions from what other people have stated on these forums. I’m sure someone will comment soon about their experiences.


Indeed Monzo have been very good. I had a fraudulent contactless transaction refunded in 10 minutes after getting in touch with support.


I demand to know why Monzo’s app does not give the ability to rearrange tiny iron-based magnetic particles on a band of magnetic material attached to a small rectangular piece of plastic. :rage:

If they enabled that then it would be easy to cut down on fraud. If they’re to be taken seriously as a Bank they need to do this immediately. And issue chequebooks.

And where are they going to locate their branches? I’ve seen absolutely zero discussion about this. I deliberately didn’t search the forum to ensure it was the case I’d seen no discussion. I expect them to close for lunch and Wednesdays would be a half day.

Just because they’re a challenger bank with a fancy-schmancy app it does not mean that they shouldn’t bend over backwards to accommodate people like me who are clearly stuck in the past.

Monzo, I expect a letter from you, addressing my concerns, within the next six weeks. Toodle-pip.

(Jeff) #7

I haven’t had a fraud issue myself yet (touchwood!), but a few months ago, an ATM at a petrol station shorted me by £10. I messaged them immediately, got a message promptly asking me to fill out a short form, and was refunded the missing money to my account immediately after I told them I’d filled out the form.

Everything on Monzo’s end was super prompt and as helpful as can be — and no waiting on hold for twenty minutes and jumping through hoops as would be likely with a high street bank. Now granted, this isn’t someone buying a TV in America on my card, but I’m confident if something like that happened we’d be safe.

My Lloyds current account was skimmed somewhere a few years ago and despite using the card to pay for something in Pret in London at nine in the morning, they decided the best response was a text checking if I’d used my card in the U.S. Even after I called to query it they somehow failed to notice the overseas transactions so I figured it was because I’d used it via Paypal in the U.S. recently — it wasn’t until I received another text that the fraud team noticed the suspect transactions and asked me if I’d tried to spend $180 in a pharmacy in Texas :joy:

Once the full CA rollout is complete and we get/start getting all the shiny new features promised, like virtual card numbers for online transactions, would it be possible for Monzo to add an option to fully block magstripe transactions in the payment processor, thus achieving the ability to ‘disable’ it? I and most other users certainly don’t need it in the U.K. and we could of course manually toggle it on when abroad if needed.

(Geoff Pascoe) #8

I think the idea was that Monzo would effectively issue you two virtual cards. One would have it’s number on the front, and a different card number would be contained in the magnetic strip. Then if you disabled the magnetic card, nobody could use it by simply typing in the numbers, as you would disable the virtual card, not just magnetic strip transactions.

Granted, I don’t think this is something that anybody does, but I think it’s a good idea nonetheless

(Tony Hoyle) #9

I’m sure Monzo would handle fraud as fast as possible.

My legacy bank allowed hundreds of pounds of transactions on a credit card over 2 weeks before someone actually tried to contact me… as their web access was such a PITA I rarely looked at it, and as I’d not used the card had no reason to do so (plus it wouldn’t have shown ‘pending’ transactions anyway so would have looked clean).

With Monzo I’d get an instant notifcation and could freeze the card which limits what a fraudster can do - as some posts on the forum have shown… people are catching this stuff instantly. Seems much safer to me.

(Tony Hoyle) #10


The alternative being I manually rearrange the iron based magnetic particles with a strong magnet… tends to be pretty final though… if I every went to the USA I’d be a bit hosed.

(If there's the wrong end of a stick, you'll find me holding it.) #11

I agree, the instant notification is very reassuring. I believe, though, that if your card is used fraudulently, it’s the bank’s money they are spending.

(Marta) #12

Worth reminding of this article:

initially linked in this thread. Of course, not everyone is brave enough to face thieves, but that’s not what I wanted to point out. Due to the way Monzo is set up, the guy was given much more information than banks give us normally.

I had to call metro bank earlier today because they blocked my credit card after I tried to purchase something online. So much hassle for a transaction that was $10, I had to call them, verify that it’s me, confirm it was my own transaction and only then they unblocked my card. My card was blocked only because of $1 verification, it was never charged with $10… I asked support guy if I can go ahead and buy my stuff peacefully now, he said that it “should work”, but no guarantees. (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

Knowing that user is not liable for card cloning and related fraud, I much more prefer Monzo’s approach, than usual bank approach. Monzo’s behaviour is predictable, old banks - not really.

Worth noting that if a user gives out enough details to allow the third party to access his account, the user will be liable. Same thing is user voluntarily makes payment to a person who turns out to be a thief. Interesting stats can be found here:

I feel protected in the same way because Monzo/Natwest/other banks operate under same UK regulations. So only thing I have to be extremely careful about is giving out security details and password to my email. :slight_smile:


I had an issue last week my card was charged twice for an in-store purchase. Contacted Customer Service and money was back in my account in less than an hour.

(system) closed #14

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