What to do if phone is lost/stolen while travelling?


I don’t understand you.

With any alternative (e.g. Caxton, Clarity, etc.) I don’t need a smartphone to use my card nor to active spares etc.

['ve not used Monzo yet but my original question was: “How do I protect my money and gain access to it again if my phone is lost or stolen?”

Just to clarify, Monzo can be used solely without your phone. Phone is used for top ups, well and monitoring if you care - to monitor your spending real-time.

You may as well get Monzo, top up with funds for whole trip and leave phone at home. Monzo will work like any other prepaid card.

Note though: Monzo has magstripe payments disabled by default, you can unlock them from the app and it works for 24h. I’ve seen some stories where people unlocked magstripe payments for longer periods before the trip via in-app support, so they wouldn’t need to enable magstripe every 24h (no internet access to do this themselves via app). This is only relevant if you’re going to country where magstripe is still the king. :slight_smile:

As Sam mentioned earlier, you don’t need a smartphone to use your Monzo card either.

As far as I know, Monzo don’t provide spare cards but they will send you a replacement if you lose your card.

Between that & Sam’s advice, I believe your question should be covered here - did you have any other particular concerns?

@Avishai As I understand I need a smartphone to top up. For a 6-18 month trip outside the UK, I’d not want more than a few weeks expenses on the card at once so would need a smartphone regularly to top-up, surely, unless I’m missing something?

@alexs Forgive me, but I believe my concerns are still unaddressed?

You can also top up by bank transfer -

It’s not a problem :slight_smile:

If there’s anything else that you’re not sure about could you please break down exactly what you are concerned that you won’t be able to do?

Edit - And since this hasn’t been mentioned earlier in the thread - please bear in mind that Monzo’s still in beta & you should always carry a back up card with you.

@samw I can see how logging user out would work, but is Monzo support able to completely lock account? Basically, to ensure that thief with my phone (=access to emails) won’t be able to log back in?

I think I have compiled a decent answer. While we wait for @samw to answer ‘account logout/lockout’ thing to fully clarify, there are few aspects that makes your money a lot safer.

  1. If thief got ahold of your phone and even knew the unlock combination (looked over your shoulder), sending any money out of Monzo has to be confirmed with touch id/card pin. This means that app on unlocked phone can’t be used to send money to someone else.
  2. Even if thief had both: your phone and your card, without touch id/card pin, there’s nothing they can do either, with card or with phone, apart from contactless payments. However, you can disable contactless payments in the app, just a minor inconvenience but no one can go for under £30 shopping spree. :smiley:
  3. Going even further, there is an option to get pin reminder, but it requires providing details about you in chat with support OR touch id identification. It’s very, very unlikely that thief would get ahold of that info and successfully retrieved pin reminder.

But as Alex mentioned, back-up card is a must. But Monzo seems to be quite well prepared for most common scenarios, including less common scenarios where thief would be able to unlock your phone. :smiley:


@Avishai just wrote a cleaner reply than what was in my head. Even noted the possibility to phish the PIN.

I’ll also add that while there might be concern for locking your phone being cracked, encryption (as is default on the latest OSs) plus sending a remote wipe command would make data retrieval neggliable. The remote wipe would activate before they get as far as opening the app in any useful way and can be done either with Apple/Google’s tools or potentially via your corporate e-mail account, if you have one linked on your phone.


By the looks of skimming this thread do people not use PIN numbers/Touch ID?

I have had my iPhones lost/stolen and I just blocked them with the network and wiped them via iCloud when I got to a net cafe and then never thought about them since.

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Hey Monzonauts! You’ve given us a lot to think about here; theres so much we can do about making it easier, quicker and more straightforward to react when you lose your phone and card. I really love the way Apple do this with Find my iPhone where you can log out and wipe your phone from another device. I wonder what we could do to emulate this for Monzo :thinking:

But to go back to some of the points people have raised here, we shouldn’t be asking or expecting people to carry a second phone with them. It’s worth remember that financial activity such as sending money out of your account, would require knowledge of your card pin number. Access to the Monzo app itself shouldn’t pose a major security risk, however, we don’t want people to access the app in unauthorised ways. If you’re concerned and get in touch with us, we can do a number of things, such as change the email on your account so that it’s not one on your phone, and force log out your account.

We want you to feel safe travelling with Monzo, and we’ll be working to improve this in the future :blush:


I know what you mean about Apple Find my iPhone feature :wink:

Maybe :mondo: could add a feature for Android that would take care of this? I personally have an Android and I have Kaspersky Anti-Virus that would take care of it. :mondo: could possible have a kill switch like that and maybe you could activate it by call a phone number and typing in a secure code or have a web interface that would allow you to use a secure login to wipe your phone or at least all apps that have something to do with finances.

I know it’s not the main mission of :mondo: so wouldn’t expect anything, but maybe it can be something like a nice thing to have in the future or something you might be able to build via their API (not engineers so I am just making a guess here).

On another note, can :mondo: add emojis to the community for Android and IOS.

Android already has Android Device Manager :wink: https://www.google.co.uk/android/devicemanager

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My question, please?- :cry:
I appreciate your detailed response, but it kinda relates to future. Until we have equivalent of wiping phone, is it possible for Monzo to LOCK account, rather than logout only?

Edit: I misseed it, little bird pointed this out for me:

we can do a number of things, such as change the email on your account so that it’s not one on your phone, and force log out your account

Sorry @Avishai :see_no_evil: We can freeze your card so that can’t be used, and we’d be able to ensure that that nobody else could access your account. If we’ve blocked your card for example, you can’t send money through the pay a contact feature.

We’d be able to talk about this a little more if it happened to you, but yes, we could invalidate an account so that nobody would be able to carry out actions on the account. To do this we would change the email address and force log you out.

As @garete said, if you’ve got your phone registered with Find my iPhone, or an Android equivalent, that will allow you to totally wipe your phone, thus preserving all your personal data, including Monzo


This is where you need basic online banking. If you lose your phone you are completely locked out of your account. There needs to be some way of being able to make a transfer of funds sans mobile. Either through a basic online banking portal, telephone banking (eugh) or just by simple email.

The latter carries security issues, but perhaps if users were able to pre-nominate an account and an amount, that could be transferred in the event of a lost phone, that would improve things.

It’s all very well saying get another phone. Generally when travelling I carry a backup phone, but you can’t always guarantee it’s going to work with the Monzo app. The app my have been updated whilst away, and limited bandwidth might mean you’re unable to update it. Like-wise if buying a phone abroad, you might not get something modern enough to run Monzo. I’ve seen this in Morocco, and Bolivia and other parts of South America.

But when the current account launches, with faster payments, the need to top up with a card becomes nil.

Topping up is pointless if you’ve lost the card. It’s about extracting your funds to another account.

When the current accounts launch, could the international number be printed on the back of the cards alongside the 0800 number? This makes it easy to find when travelling, when access to the internet/a web browser is not always available.


The international number should show up in the greeting received when arriving in a new country. Problem solved.

Not if you loose your phone!

If I lost my phone, instead of trying to find an internet connection so I could search these forums, it would be much simpler if the number is on the back of the card, so I can just phone Monzo. Having both UK and international contact numbers is pretty standard on my other cards.

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