Receiving international payments with Monzo

I used the IBAN calculator and used my BIC listed in the app but other apps don’t recognise the IBAN/BIC when making a payment? Why is this? Especially as Monzo listed IBAN calculator as a possible solution?

Indeed, I thought that was interesting too. I guess it could just be a stop-gap, to get it working sooner. As an uninformed observer, it sounds like Starling plugged in directly in December…

Out of interest, which banks (and currencies) are you trying to send the payments from?

If it’s in Euros, from a bank within SEPA, then this is the type of payment we’re aiming to improve with our upcoming NatWest set up.

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I found an IBAN for my Monzo account number using the IBAN calculator, and tried transferring 1 Euro to it from my Dutch “bunq” account yesterday. It bounced back this morning with the message “Refund due to settlement rejection (PY01)”…

It was from Bank of Ireland in Euros. It was rejected on the payment screen itself at the BoI side as it didn’t recognise IBAN/BIC.

Hi everyone :wave:

I just wanted to share an update about how it’s going.

As I said, we plan to use NatWest as our ‘correspondent bank’ for Euro payments (and, in the longer term, fully integrate with SEPA and SWIFT for all international payments).

To do this, the next step is for us to attempt and receive a test payment, to check that everything’s working as it should, or find and address any issues.

Test payments

These international payments are usually sent through a few different parties before they get to a Monzo account. We’re doing test payments to make sure payments are processed through each party seamlessly, and safely make their way to Monzo!

We’ll try to send a Euro payment from a European bank (i.e. one that’s connected to SEPA) to a Monzo IBAN, and check it arrives as it should.

The issue we identified last week, and are working on right now, is making sure we actually receive the necessary payment messages from NatWest so that we can credit the correct Monzo account.

Testing is an ongoing process: we’ll keep trying payments, fixing any issues that crop up, and trying again until we’re confident we can receive them reliably.

What happens after that?

After that, we’ll need to work out how we handle any FX involved (including how we show you the exchange rates in the app). And we’ll also need to make sure that every bank is able to identify Monzo and route payments to us (in a similar way to our approach to merchant acceptance, we may have to contact some banks directly to do this).

We’re still on track to launch this in the next few months, but we’ll know more definitively in the next few weeks once we’ve been able to successfully receive a test payment. I’ll share any updates on this thread. :blush:


That’s great news. You can send some test payments to me, if you like. I can DM my details any time, just give me the word :joy:


Happy to be a tester if needed - my main banking is with Deutsche Bank in Berlin and I often make small SEPA transfers back to the UK (mostly Barclays right now).

Happy to test out. Send and receive money from Sweden :sweden:

Happy to test, I have free SEPA payments my side :slight_smile:

Surely it will be NatWest telling you the rate, not Monzo working it out?

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Really interesting that Monzo are partnering with NatWest.

I’ll just leave this quote here. :sweat_smile:

[Monzo] is an attempt to do something that I am really, really passionate about… I’m passionate about destroying NatWest bank. Because I hate those bastards.
Tom Blomfield


Post of the year right there… :arrow_up:


Being boring and rational about this, I imagine Monzo would have shopped around for the best wholesale rate (or however it’s priced). Yes, it’s likely to be expensive (given both Natwest and Monzo are taking a cut) - but hopefully there’ll be a nice price cut when the Monzo directly connected service kicks in…


I can test I use permanent TSB in Republic of Ireland and it does sepa payments as long as the exchange happens out with them I shouldn’t get charged anything just exchange rate I hope

IBAN would be super useful, as I work for a UK office of an international company, and they need an IBAN in order to pay my salary.


Hi @bamesjerry, does this mean we only likely to see incoming Euro payments in the short term? What about payments from outside Europe - is that more like a long term ambition (2019?).

Correct on both points - though it’s worth pointing out that a number of international payments are already received by Monzo accounts each day (though not quick or reliable enough for us to be happy to say it’s a ‘feature’ just yet).

For inbound EUR payments via SEPA, these definitely won’t work at the moment - they’re usually stopped at the point of creation when the sending bank does a ‘SEPA reachability’ check and Monzo’s BIC isn’t found on this list.

Hope that clarifies things a bit.


Ah thanks for the reply. It’s probably too risky for me to attempt a payment from outside the EU at this stage then. Any idea when it will become more reliable? Are we looking at this year? (I know you love it when we ask about timelines :blush:)

Indeed :upside_down_face:

We’ve actually already started looking into what can be done to improve certain aspects of the current setup but, as far as direct connections to SWIFT or SEPA go, this is very unlikely to be done this year.