Possible Acquirer Outage (29/03/18)

UPDATE 8:45PM - This seems to be resolved now! :sunflower:

original post below

Hey all!

We are currently seeing a lot of declines coming through this evening whereby our cards are getting rejected when customers attempt to pay at some merchants and withdraw from some ATMs.

Other merchants are working, and after investigating with our engineers, we believe this to be a merchant acquirer issue. A card acquirer is a bank that operates a merchant’s card terminal. This error has resulted in card payments failing at terminals operated by a specific card acquirer. We are currently investigating the issue further to see what we can find out.

If you’re having trouble paying by card, we’d recommend attempting to withdraw cash from the nearest ATM (until the issue is resolved). Barclays ATMs appear to be impacted by the same issue, so we would recommend trying an alternative provider.

We are confident that this is not an error with our systems - however, we felt it best to let you all know.

We’ll post again with an update when we have one!

You can also keep an eye on our status page for updates : http://monzo.statuspage.io :+1:


Explains my decline in the Co-Op just now!

I don’t know the ins and outs of this stuff, but how come my Amex was ok?

Our current hypothesis is that it’s the specific merchant acquirer for Mastercard. Meaning that a combination of Mastercard and the affected terminals wouldn’t work, but Mastercards will work on terminals operated by different acquirers, and non-Mastercard cards should be fine.


I kind of wish Monzo hadn’t apologised in the Status message to be honest. It’s great that you’re giving users a heads up but the apology is going to make some users think that this is another reliability issue that Monzo’s responsible for :grimacing:


Counterpoint : Whilst I think there is some validity to that argument, ultimately the relationship is between Monzo and our customers.

It’s why we used to apologise on the prepaid when the infrastructure we used for that used to go down. It wasn’t our fault but card processors, merchant acquirers, etc don’t mean anything to the end user.


Monzo offer a service. Their service is being impacted. They are apologising for this service impact.


Ok but you chose your suppliers & you’re responsible for that decision. You don’t get to choose the merchant acquirers..

You can let users know that there’s an issue without taking responsibility.

1 Like

Perhaps Alex was pointing out that the wording was a little too profuse? :+1:


Crikey. Most customers won’t see or understand the difference between a Monzo fail and a fail elsewhere in the process. I think this is exactly the right thing to do.


Sure, but that still doesn’t mean anything to the average customer.

If a user gets their card swallowed by a faulty ATM, we say “I’m sorry that this has happened to you” - apologies don’t always indicate fault, they are a token of empathy.


I don’t have a problem with that type of message at all. Perhaps it is just the wording that’s a little off this time, in my opinion.

We apologise for the trouble caused = we caused this trouble, for me.

1 Like

It’s also happened what seems like every day this week. Now I know it was different parts of the banking system each time and not Monzo, but it looks bad.

I’m starting to see why banks never tell anyone what’s going on…


Was trying to figure out a way to word this but you hit the nail on the head there!


Agreed. While I understand it’s not Monzo’s fault, apologies are not exclusively used to denote blame.

A bus company apologises when a road closure diverts them. A train company when Network Rail overrun engineering works. Etc etc.

Just good for a company to say sorry.


Of course you could do that, but then you’re back to the way legacy banks approach things - or even worse a passive aggressive type of formulation like “I’m sorry if that feel upset” (rather than being accountable for the issue that caused the upset).

My view of course.


No you’re not. The legacy banks don’t even notify users even when it’s their fault.

I agree, just not like this.

This one was, that’s my problem.

It’s the trade off with the transparency monzo hold so dear to their heart…

1 Like

Barclays are saying their ATMs are fine on their status page


I don’t have a problem with Monzo being transparent about the issue.