I was in Kenya last week, and wanted to use my Monzo card for payments. I successfully used it for ATM withdrawal, but had 4 out of 6 card payments fail. After the 4th failure, I gave up.
After the first failure, I contacted customer ops, and (after nearly an hour waiting for a reply) was told that Monzo didn’t even receive the transaction, and it was most likely an issue with an out-of-date payment terminal. The Monzo rep referred it to the acceptance team, but couldn’t do anything more than that.
After each failed payment, I used another card - my Starling, B, amex, and Revolut cards all worked without issue, with the same payment terminal.
My question is, why do payment terminals need to be updated to support Monzo? I thought the whole point of a payment network like MasterCard was that the terminal simply forwarded the details to the network, and MasterCard would take care of querying the issuing bank. If the terminal has to be aware of all new banks, what is the point in MasterCard? And why does Starling work when Monzo doesn’t?
I realise that this may be something that Monzo can’t control, but as a customer that doesn’t particularly care if Monzo succeeds or fails, it does dent my confidence in the product. Regardless of whose fault it is, if my Monzo card fails whilst all others succeed, I’m not going to use Monzo in the future.