Tap to activate your Monzo debit card!

(Beatrice Borbon) #1

If you use Monzo on Android (and have a device that supports NFC), you’ll now be able to activate your new Monzo debit card just by tapping it on your phone. Magic! :crystal_ball:

Is the Monzo app PSD2 compliant?

Sometimes I really regret moving from Android to iOS :disappointed:


I can confirm it works brilliantly - I used this to activate my wife’s card last week.

(Christos) #4

Theoretically this should also be feasible in iOS.

From the description in the blog, NFC is only used to read the card details, something that is supported in iOS 11.


iOS 11 only allows read access to certain type of NFC “tags” (as defined by the NFC Forum), you still can’t send raw APDUs which is what you’d need for activating the card. They could work around this by changing the card’s firmware to be able to emulate an NFC Forum “tag” that iOS 11 would be happy with but that would only work for new cards - they can’t easily update existing cards.

(Christos) #6

My bad then!


(Brandon Billingham) #7

Can anyone at Monzo actually feedback on the reason why this can’t be done using Core NFC in iOS 11? Just interested from a technical perspective as Core NFC supports the 5 types in the NDEF format, so is Monzo doing something a bit more specific? :slight_smile:

(Brandon Billingham) #8

Hi Andre - what are you basing this on sorry? Do Monzo specify the format in which the data is exposed through NFC? I’m just interested in the inner workings.

(Rika Raybould) #9

At a very high level, the data we need for card activation is stored in the Mastercard Debit application on the card. This is accessible in a similar way to how a payment terminal would interact with the card during a payment. We would need to be able to talk to that application and request the details for activation.

The Core NFC framework on iOS only allows access to NDEF formatted data storage NFC tags and does not allow for raw reads and writes over the NFC interface. :slightly_frowning_face:

You can find out a little more about contactless EMV from episode 4 of Monzo Insider. :tv:

Monzo to Monzo payments via NFC
(Jolin) #10

In theory, could a future Monzo card include an NFC tag with the necessary card info which could be read by iOS? Or is this (1) not possible; (2) a security risk; or (3) not allowed by the EMV standards? I don’t know anything about NFC, so I could be completely misunderstanding the whole setup.

(Tobias Friedrich) #11

Awesome, does that also work when I have both iOS and Android? It should right, so I can compensate for the missing NFC access on iOS by using my Android phone. Just like in the early days when Monzo only supported iOS and I had my Android phone as main driver, I used my iOS phone to use the Monzo app. :smiley:

(Simon B) #12

Yep, once the card is activated, it’ll be live in your app on both platforms :slightly_smiling_face:

(Tobias Friedrich) #13

:heart: Awesome! :airplane:

(Rika Raybould) #14

I could be wrong on this but based on my understanding of both standards, I do not believe it is possible to mix present NDEF data and an EMV application from the same device at the same time. :disappointed:


Didn’t work for me today :frowning: had to activate manually.

(Oneplus 5 with NFC 100% turned on)


Yeah, but faceID :sunglasses::sunglasses:


I can’t get it to work on my iPhone 7 :thinking:


Read the post or change your phone. @Haitch

(Simon B) #19

This is an Android-only feature due to NFC limitations on iOS :grinning:

(Herp Derp) #20