Suspend contactless security check during pandemic

I normally use contactless when buying in shops, and every so often Monzo forces use of chip + PIN instead as a form of security check. I’m under the impression this is something Monzo has chosen to do and isn’t mandatory. It could be wise to suspend this during the pandemic — it forces the user to touch the pad when we’re currently trying to reduce contact w/ surfaces!

You can do the pin confirmation in app

After the decline tap the notification in app, authorise and then pay by contactless

It’s not optional, it’s mandatory btw


You’re incorrect about this being something Monzo have ‘chosen’ to do. It is a requirement of Strong Customer Authentication.


As stated, this is a requirement under PSD2 Strong Customer Authentication. It is EU and UK law.

I would say that Monzo is better than most banks in this regard, because you can in the vast majority of cases reset your contactless limits in the app without needing to touch a terminal PIN pad.

I think every bank in the UK is discussing how to do better at this, but it will involve regulation and law changes to make a meaningful shift.


Why can’t the UK just support contactless + PIN. It would make sooooooo much more sense if the PIN pad would just say security check and ask for a PIN every now and again…

I’ve only had this happen once in the UK it was using AMEX in Miller & Carter.

That’s amazing! I didn’t realise you could do the security check in app. I actually got that notification yesterday when it said “transaction declined” on the notification. Maybe it would be better to say something like “please verify transaction”?. Because i just defaulted to using a different payment method (Apple Pay in this case) because i didn’t want to touch the pinpad.

I know this has been asked in another thread somewhere, but I can’t find it.

Is there any reason why Monzo couldn’t implement it in the same way Revolut has? Being able to reset it via the app is great. But Revolut allows you to reset it before you even hit the limit which I found more convenient and less anxiety inducing than having to do it after a failed attempt.

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Because Monzo don’t think that follows the rules. Doesn’t prove you have the card at the time as you’re preauthorising it


Resetting it in the app at any point doesn’t PROVE you have possession of the card. Originally they didn’t think resetting it in the app in any form met the rules I think? But I’m glad it was relaxed somewhat.

Why is everyone so hung up on touching these PIN pads? You do know you can catch the virus from touching your own phone, don’t you?


You Apple or google pay and you don’t have to reset it.

You can in theory get the virus from your phone but that assume people don’t wipe down their phones. I always do.

I use my Apple Watch to pay, it’s easier to clean and it avoids me touching my phone

Or ANY of the products in the shop before they even get to paying. I agree that whilst we should avoid unnecessary contact, people are getting hung up on one single thing.

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My phone is covered in my own poop though according to science.

I don’t need to be touching what everyone else has for dinner last night too - on the PIN pad. They’re never cleaned.

If it was possible to work out how many people caught coronavirus from PIN pads I’m sure it would be somewhat alarming…

I’ll answer both of these in one response. The PIN in-app was added quite late on in the development of our Strong Customer Authentication project initially as a workaround for contactless only terminals and for e-commerce cases where the merchant does not apply either 3D Secure v1 or v2 where they are required to by law and we cannot accept the transaction without it.

This feature was not intended to be used as much as it has become used as contactless usage has exploded in the last month or two.

We will probably take another look at it, but there are some higher impact things to do before then. :slightly_smiling_face:


Don’t touch your mouth after you touch the PIN pad, wash your hands at the first opportunity. Door handles, railings, shelves, baskets, trollies… they all get touched too.

You’ll never be able to work out a number, there’s no way of controlling for all the other surfaces being touched in a shop. Even if you could, I’m sure the other way, that it would be much lower than one might fear.

Covid-19 is a respiratory disease, you’re far more likely to contract it from breathing in infected air than you are from touching an infected surface and then touching your mouth (especially if you’re avoiding mouth touches and washing your hands). There’s growing evidence that when inside a shop, the single best thing you could be doing to reduce your chances of spreading Covid-19 is wearing a reusable face mask.

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and meanwhile my international cards I can be asked for my PIN on a UK PIN pad - enter nothing - press enter and it’ll approve :joy:

The thing is, once you’ve taken the tube to the shops, opened a few public doors, picked up and put back things on the supermarket shelf, pushed the trolley around, grabbed the “next customer please” pyramid on the checkout conveyor and absentmindedly leant on the deli counter, getting hung up on touching the PIN pad makes no sense.

If you’re washing your hands as much as you should be doing anyway right now then touching stuff won’t make much difference.

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Mine turned up yesterday - might go shopping soon :shopping_cart:


Those look rad. Where did you get them from?