What's the plan for offline card payments?

(lee) #1

@tom Is Mondo Planning to offer offline payments thus loosing the instant / real time balance option for these transactions (and therefore the difference between what’s currently in the market?)

If yes, at best doesn’t it marginalise what Mondo have already achieved and worked on or at worse make it pointless?

Offline Transactions
(Adam) #3

petrol pay-at-pumps are nearly all offline transactions. Most trains, aeroplanes and ships are still offline due to connection issues.

(lee) #4

Then they should make it opt in. Id rather them take a stance on it though. Who is a petrol station to dictate if it will tell me the balance for a week when it could do it immediately. Most fast pay are supermarkets and you can preselect an amount of fuel in loads I’ve seen so zero excuses.

Planes are more frequently being kitted out with wifi another area that’s been under invested by some airlines. A lot of companies still act like card payments are new :roll_eyes:

(Adam) #5

It appears some transactions can be offline and when they arrive, it shows as ‘delayed transaction’.


(James Billingham) #6

Personally, I think it would be foolish for Mondo to entirely prevent offline payments. Just accept that they happen occasionally, handle them, and draw the user’s attention to them once they’re synced back online.


I think its more that merchants dont like allowing prepaid cards for offline transactions, rather than Mondo’s choice. Might be wrong but I have had a prepaid debit card before and got similar declines when paying @ pump.

(lee) #8

Yeh but they should be so self serving allowed to dictate. There’s no technical reason it can’t be done.


I think its this…

If you go overdrawn with your bank due to a delayed transaction its not really a problem as the bank can issue credit in the form of an overdraft (costs them nothing) and they can fuck up your life if they need to (credit score, bailiffs) but a prepaid card isn’t as tightly linked to your identity and credit profile and the company isn’t licensed to issue credit and so can not go into the minus.

If a £100 transaction is authorised without clearing it with the card provider then the balance could have been £1 and fraud could be pretty easy (the card doesn’t know what your balance is). The merchant doesn’t have that reassurance that it will get its money like it does with a credit or current account debit card. With that in mind it makes sense to me.

(Andy Little) #10

I honestly don’t get why pay at pump is done as an offline transaction. Money wise it’s doing the same as the self checkout at a supermarket, and the petrol stations do online transactions inside.

In terms of delayed notifications, I don’t think there is anything Monzo can do about it other than mark it as delayed and maybe file it chronologically once it arrives (assuming there is a date stamp of when the actual payment took place).

(Ben Green) #11

Once Monzo switches us all over non-prepaid debit cards, I don’t think will be an issue any more. I think they currently fail for the reason that @leon44 has explained

… Whereas with non-prepaid card, if there’s not enough, it’ll simply go overdrawn once the transaction eventually gets authorised.

(Dan) #12

It’s not quite the same as a checkout at a supermarket.

At the supermarket, the amount is final, and you authorise through PIN/contactless, the bank then authorises that amount, and you’re all good.

At a pump, there’s a dilemma.

The petrol station doesn’t want to give you the ability to put out petrol without already having your card details - so you can’t just drive away. So you give them your card beforehand. This issue here is, they don’t know how much they’re going to charge you yet - you haven’t filled up.

But they’re got the card details at the end, why don’t they just put through a normal transaction then? Well if they did, they run the risk of you not having enough money, and your bank declining them. So to avoid this happening, they put the transaction through as an offline transaction - which the bank should accept, and leave you negative.

Obviously this then creates the issue we have now. There are alternatives that the pumps could use - preselected amounts (£5/£10/£20/£30/£40/£50) or a second enter of card + pin to pay at the end. But these would require reletively major changes (I’m talking major to the supermarkets) to their POS systems.

(Ben Green) #13

Why not prepay your chosen amount (you get told beforehand how much that’s worth in fuel) and then begin pumping. The pump automatically cuts off once its reach the amount paid. Probably as you’ve already stated…

… Not to mention the mechanics of the pumps themselves.


I heard some self checkouts are online but others offline but not sure if this down to the age of the checkout or the difference in manufacturer. I was told once certain cards don’t work on contactless as there is no connection to bank unless you do a chip and pin but having been to multiple supermarkets for work I can’t remember which one told me that (or if they were talking out of the erm seat of their pants)

(Andy Little) #15

True. It’s not quite the same, but if they did it as an online transaction it would be better all round. They could pre-auth the maximum (tends to be WAY more than the average fuel tank) then charge the correct amount right away. Much like I’ve had a number of hotels do with bar tabs.

Though having to go inside isn’t really a problem.


They have pumps like this in the Baltics where you preselect an amount before filling up (e.g. at Selver supermarket unattended pumps)

(Alex Sherwood) #17

I can see where you’re trying to get to here but that would mean that Monzo logs that amount for the transaction until it settles (customer support can help with these scenarios but it would be a pain to deal with every time) so I’d rather they the petrol stations didn’t implement this solution!

Edits (made after Andy’s subsequent reply) in italics / strikethrough

(Andy Little) #18

I meant they, the petrol station. More of a hypothetical scenario.
As far as Monzo goes, I think it’s best to just flag the transaction when it comes through to them (I’m guessing a day or two later) and, if possible, back date it in your feed.


In certain cases such as my local ASDA the ePOS terminals in store are online with a landline/broadband connection but the automated petrol station (there is no kiosk manned service) is the very far side of the car park so set up differently and not online all the time

(james_e_bell) #20

If i recall correctly (from working with airline terminals), some merchant terminal configurations can actually force acceptance of an offline payment, even if the card is configured to never be used offline and the issuer explicitly says it is not allowed.

I think in that case it comes down to who is accepting the risk that the transaction is rejected/there is not enough balance (the merchant takes the risk).

If im right in that, ultimately Monzo does not have the ability to fully stop all offline payments even if thats their preference (hence some users will see the monzo card working offline with delayed transactions in some places e.g. on an airline)