Receiving international payments with Monzo

How reliable is the IBAN generator? Has anyone used it before?

It works, you get the IBAN but as the blog says, there’s more to it then that. Up to the sending bank how they route it after that, and that’s where it can go wrong. If you like roulette then you can give it a go

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I have to say it’s extremely disappointing that international transfers are the faff they are with Monzo. It’s a completely basic feature that should take absolute resource precedence over (nice) gimmicks like round ups or cute things like ability to change the app’s logo. This is core functionality for any respectable bank. And now the blog posts suggests at least a few months for payments outside the EU SEPA network…


Have to agree with you 100% here.

In addition. Though I can understand that Monzo appeals to those who like certain features - am being very careful with my words here - I feel that with respect to core functionality they are lacking in many respects.

Ok, I understand that ‘legacy’ banks are old news, but their core functionality and features are not. They are accepted as given, yet Monzo lack so many of them.

The international payments situation reads like a debacle to me. Just implement existing practices. Prioritise these ‘legacy’ features accordingly!


Re-read the blog post where it’s stated: “We aren’t connected with SEPA and SWIFT”

I would like to suggest that you do become connected!

With regard to international transactions (inbound), there are literally hundreds of (foreign) banks with a UK presence that are primary SWIFT members, so why not you?

A great many of who have customer bases smaller than you.

In my personal experience, and that of friends; inbound via another bank is where things spoon up good and proper. You become the third link in a chain. One that ultimately is unnecessary.

I would like to pre-empt any comments stating that swift does not facilitate the transfer of funds - I know.


Great to see the transparency here!

International payments have always confused me. On the one hand it would take 4 days for a payment to go from Natwest to a German friend of mine but when the other half moved here from Muscat, Oman he sent me £15k. His bank asked for the Sort Code and Account Number and the payment was received in seconds to the NW account. It was free as well (NW charged me €20 to send to Germany). Even weirder was that it showed up as a faster payment inbound on the Natwest side.

I put such lightning quick payments from the Middle East into the class of “magic” (even though it has a far higher chance of being related to British expats building up the banking sector out there).

Different people have different definitions of ‘basic functions’ I guess. For me, someone who’s never sent or received an international transfer in 30 years of personal banking, this is really wild and exotic and once-in-a-lifetime stuff we’re talking about!


This was me up until about 5 years ago, and I suspect it is the case for most people. However, there are a number of “common functions” (I won’t call them “basic”) of bank accounts that most people never use (can Monzo issue a banker’s draft for example, or send a high value guaranteed same-day CHAPS payment?), and finding your bank doesn’t offer them can be a surprise.

It doesn’t surprise me that Monzo doesn’t do these things, but they aren’t “legacy” functions either.

These days most of my income comes in via international transfers, and in that sense Monzo isn’t for me. Yes, I can transfer money across from my non-bank current account that is able to receive international payments with no incoming fee (Nationwide - thank you!), and that is what I have been doing. A minor inconvenience, but still disappointing that I will have to keep doing this for the time being.


Yeah, I get the point. It’s one of those things that isn’t important…until it suddenly is.


Monzo should really explain why they’re building these odd workarounds rather than doing direct connections to the international networks


Is it possible to receive international payments directly into a Starling account?

Starling gave me an IBAN when I signed up for a Business Account. No idea if they’re affected by the same issues as here though.

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Same with personal account - there’s an IBAN and BIC clearly stated in the Your Account tab.


Starling is an active participant of Swift. Monzo is not :frowning:

The question is: Why not?

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Maybe it is related to cost?

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Starling also operates as a BACS (& maybe SWIFT in the future?) payment gateway for businesses, so it makes sense for them to invest in it given they can then resell it to those customers. Monzo not having this “business” side of products wouldn’t be able to make it profitable so easily.

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No. I don’t think so.

If it were, I would be worried for Monzo as a bank. As it would not be operating on par with like sized banks.

As I mentioned previously, there are dozens of foreign banks with a presence in the UK (and elsewhere) with similar sized customer base as Monzo who are active participants in Swift.

Of course, cost is a factor, but as others have done it then my question as to why Monzo has not still stands.

The primary market for foreign banks is likely to be expats, etc where international transfers are a key feature. For Monzo, I imagine it’s just a question of time and priority.

Connecting to financial networks probably takes a lot of time, paperwork, etc. I can imagine that it’s not a common need with a target market of primarily domestic customers that Monzo has. I imagine/hope Monzo have a good idea of how much demand there is for various features and prioritise accordingly. I’d be surprised if they don’t eventually connect in to international transfer networks and make this smoother.

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I just want to reiterate that we’re gutted we’re not going to make the deadline we set ourselves with this - the entirety of the Big List might have seemed ambitious at first but we definitely thought it was all achievable.

Unfortunately, as was the case here, when you’re working together with a number of third parties and systems it can be a little more difficult to align timelines.

The NatWest correspondent set up is very much a short-term option though, we still plan to directly connect to SEPA (and are already progressing our own SWIFT setup).

By going with NatWest initially (and then connecting directly to the relevant schemes and networks at a later date), we should be able to offer a more native solution and then make improvements on our side without disrupting the customer experience - i.e. you could make payments to the same Monzo IBAN (and the end result would be the same).

As you’d expect, feedback like this :point_up: is always welcome :pray:


Commiserations in failing to achieve your aims, but I think the fall back option of using a 3rd party as a correspondent is a good idea!