Warn user when getting bad exchange rate from ATM

TransferWise have just introduced this on their debit cards: https://transferwise.com/gb/blog/notification-when-you-fell-for-dcc

Would be great if Monzo could do the same.

Monzo already don’t have any charges in the conversation, they use the direct MasterCard rate.

Monzo do have charge 3% on ATM withdrawals over £200 within a rolling 30 days.

If you need to use lots of ATMs aboard take Starling too for £300 a day free.

Either way always choose to pay in local currency.

I know that Monzo doesn’t charge extra, but it’s not always clear when using an ATM whether you’re getting charged in the local currency or your card’s currency with a bad exchange rate. I accidently did this in Denmark, even though I thought I had chosen the local currency on the ATM.

Anyway, it would still be nice to have. TransferWise’s numbers show that many people still (accidently?) withdraw in the card’s currency rather than the local as well.

So you’re wanting Monzo to pickup when you’re abroad and pay for something in Sterling and go sucker you should have paid in local currency.

Could be useful as you get the message after the first alert to be more accertive in future

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This is a really good idea. I imagine Monzo will be aware from the ATM/transaction location being non-UK and the sum being in sterling.

It’s simple things like this that will genuinely help people. I’m all for it.

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I like idea of trying to get DCC blocked.

Location tracking and ATM locations and it sending a push alert would be funny.



This probably won’t happen. The cost to Monzo in terms of support time from people thinking their cards have been blocked outweigh the benefits. Also it might be tripped up by false positives.
Maybe a toggle in app though.

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TW tried to block it and apparently Mastercard wouldn’t let them, so same goes for Monzo I guess. But a notification after the withdrawal would be a nice alternative.

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I can’t see it being very high on the priority list. You can already tell if DCC has been applied by looking at the transaction. If DCC has been applied, there’ll only be a GBP amount showing.

I think the thing is, we’re on a bank’s forum, we’re pretty clued up and we know these things.
The general public won’t though and will see the sterling amount in their account and carry on their day.

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It doesn’t need to be high on the list. It would just be nice to eventually have something like this. I think it’s progressive and fits perfectly with Monzo’s consumer friendliness.

That’s obvious to you, but not obvious to everyone. It’s definitely not as clear as it could be.
Instead of a GBP withdrawal being the indicator for a withdrawal done with DCC, it would be better to give the transaction a special label or send a notification or something in the likes of that. That would be better UX as opposed to the user having to rely on whether the transaction is GBP or not.

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Oh it won’t happen. I just like the idea of having a toggle to block DCC, just like blocking gambling in the app. MasterCard would never implement that.

I know this would piss PayPal off but Monzo could alert people buying in non sterling and remind them to hit the link next time that says let my bank do the conversation which isn’t obvious.

Really like the idea, but think it should be extended to all purchases abroad. I had a similar thought yesterday while in a shop in Indonesia. I was offered the option to pay £138 in pounds, or in local currency. I chose the local currency, and Monzo’s use of the MasterCard exchange rate meant that I only paid £133.

Therefore, I think the idea should be extended to all GBP payments abroad.

When the payment is submitted from abroad, before approving it, Monzo could send a notification to the customer to warn them that they’re likely to get a suboptimal rate, and to ask them to confirm. If the customer chose to confirm, the transaction would go through. If the customer cancelled, the transaction would be declined, and the customer advised to resubmit in local currency.

It’s not possible to do that as far as I know. There’s only seconds for Monzo to accept or decline a payment. So they’d either have to:

  1. Decline the payment, push a notification and ask to try again in local currency, or
  2. Accept the payment but push a notification that DCC was applied and some info.

Option 2 is probably the only suitable way. You’d have a lot of confused people if they didn’t have their phone (with internet) on them otherwise.

I’d probably also suggest a helpful tutorial transaction feed/notification for people who use their card abroad for the first time that highlights things like DCC, magstripe (if needed), rippoff ATMs, scams and other basics.


Thanks for your input on this. That was an area over which I had some doubt. In that case, I’d like them to:

  1. Decline the transaction
  2. Immediately send a notification to the customer recommending they pay in local currency, but that if that’s what they really want, they should simply resubmit the payment
  3. No need for the customer to respond to the notification (which also means that if they haven’t switched on data roaming, they can still get the transaction to go through)
  4. Customer tries again in whatever currency they choose
  5. Ideally, give the customer the option to suppress (or re-enable) this functionality for future transactions

Do you think that would work, or do you have any ideas on how to improve that journey?

Monzo can’t be anti–competitive though.

It’s one thing educating customers, but another declining their use of the account and forcing them to use Monzo’s exchange rate.

I completely agree DCC is a rip–off. If only the UK was part of some supra–national trading organisation which had the power to ban this kind of thing across whole continents.


Sounds like a great idea if it can be done. You got my vote.

Hi @j06, I see your point. I wasn’t trying to make it anti-competitive. Just to create a journey that gives the customer a bit of a warning.

A way to achieve this without seeming anti-competitive might be to integrate the option to opt into this functionality - perhaps as part of their “Welcome to “ notification.

Would that allay your concerns?

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