Possible Acquirer Outage (29/03/18)

It’s difficult to make a blanket statement like this.

In my view, your suggestion would be a retrograde step and would chip away at some of the empathy and customer focus that Monzo has.


Cool, you’re not actually addressing the issue of where the responsibility lies & whether Monzo’s statement reflects that accurately.

I don’t want to speak out of turn but perhaps this topic should be left to discuss the outage or any updates from monzo themselves rather than an argument over wether they were right to be empathetic to their customers…


That’s not what I’m debating. I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t discuss this here?

I think we’re basically getting into semantics now.

Ultimately if the ability to use our product is affected, it is de facto our responsibility, regardless of whether this is service problems with us, with Mastercard, with merchant acquirers, whoever, because our customers have a relationship with us, not with anyone else (chosen as a supplier or otherwise).

I understand the point - but if I was talking directly to a customer right now who was unable to pay for their shopping or couldn’t get home (and many of us have been doing exactly that for the last hour or so) then I don’t see any problem at all with saying “I’m incredibly sorry/We can’t apologise enough for the trouble this has caused” - which is the same sentiment used on the status page.

Agreed. I don’t think there’s any continued value from discussing the semantics of responsibility ownership. I’ll update the original post as well as making a reply when there is one to give.


Any idea which merchants are being affected?

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We’ve heard Pizza Hut, IKEA, Co-Op, McDonalds…not an exhaustive list by any means


IKEA are ingenico iirc :see_no_evil:

I had an online fail with a Curve MasterCard (not linked to Monzo for that transaction) about an hour or so ago, just in case there’s a pattern here…

Mind sharing the retailer and i’ll give it a go.

It was for healthy food that is incredibly good for you.

Papa John’s

I thought it was lack of 3D Secure to start with, but as they’re a partner for Curve rewards it seemed a bit odd. Worked with a Visa card via Verified By Visa.

UPDATE : All seems to be resolved now as of 8.45pm :grinning:


Great! Thanks for the swift replies and keeping everyone up to date.


And for anyone, like me, who wants to know what a merchant acquirer is, complete with flow chart:

I hope that comes up on The Chase or Only Connect…



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That’s exactly what we did :innocent: We also sympathise with how frustrating it is, so we’re sorry.


:grimacing: :zipper_mouth_face:







I’d contend that this would happen anyway with or without the apology. People just see the downtime.

I’d suggest that the only way out of this would have been to have been to remain quiet, which I think would ultimately be counter-productive and cause much more damage,

All in all, it’s lousy luck, coming so quickly after the previous outage. But I remain convinced that it was the right thing to do.

Your mileage will, of course, vary.

(While I’m happy to carry on this line of conversation, I wonder if it might not be better to get some distance from the incident before looking back on it. If I were at Monzo working on it, I imagine I’d be a bit stressed and exhausted - and having to defend the language used to communicate issues immediately during and after the event would almost certainly irk me!)


It does make my heart sink a bit when I see this, and we reach out to people on the Monzo and our personal Twitter accounts to explain things.

We do have to remember that most people do understand the situation, and would prefer us to be up-front regardless of what’s causing the outage. If 5/500,000 customers (0.00001% of our user base) feel upset, then that’s a shame, but we shouldn’t hold back our reporting or stop saying sorry. We owe it to our users.

Which one is going to upset more people?

  • “We’re really sorry, but another bank is having problems cascading to Monzo users.”
  • “Another bank has caused an outage for our users, but it isn’t our fault.”

I suspect the second one.

For every negative message about an outage, we receive many many positive ones thanking us. These customers keep us going :muscle:t2: