Will Monzo keep a pre-paid card facility?

Hi Saveen,

Apologies, if this thread doesn’t now make sense, Alex deleted his original reply.

I’m afraid a temporary cap doesn’t help. Let me give you a real world scenario, hopefully that’ll help explain what I mean.

I’m off to Taiwan for a month on business. I transfer £10,000 to my current account for the trip. However, I do not want to use my card where that £10,000 is held anywhere outside of a banking hall or similar. Therefore, I want to transfer what I need for the day, say £500 to another card, so that if it is in any way compromised, I can simply stop using it and the risk is only for the amount that account holds.

Does this make sense?!

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Once your pre-paid card is compromised, what do you do? Am I missing something :-/

V.clear! Perhaps Virtual Accounts will solve this then?

Check out this thread:

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You use your main card in a banking hall or similar to withdraw cash whilst awaiting a replacement card for the compromised account.

Unfortunately no, not unless Monzo is issuing cards for the virtual accounts.

A second physical card should not be necessary. Also check out this thread and @MightyAx’s comment




Thanks Saveen, yes, if the card can be switched between accounts within the app, that’s perfect!!!

The caveat on the second thread, is that example shows virtual accounts aren’t truly separate in the real world, they are constantly pulling from the same pool of funds.

and pre-paid card is not for 5sum to spending there a limit of like 1k a spend :stuck_out_tongue:

Sorry, I have read through your comments again and understand your concerns which I think apply to all debit cards in general in higher risk scenarios.

So what’s the answer? I think there are two arguments:

  1. Maybe not 2 sets of cards / card numbers but many like Final.

  2. To build better fraud prevention mechanisms and rely on consumer protection for unauthorised payments.

@JamesBell articulates general sentiment around this here:

And a solid counterargument to Final’s approach:

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From my point of view, as a customer, it’s only a real nuisance. If my main card is cloned and the thieves spend £10,000 in a local Apple store, it’s Monzo who would have to pick up the bill, I’ll eventually get a refund. However, when travelling, it’s the eventually that becomes the issue. I much prefer to transfer a day-or-two’s worth of funds when I’m travelling onto a pre-paid card. This obviously goes back to my original question, whether or not Monzo would keep pre-paid. I would have thought that given the fraud epidemic, that Monzo losing £500 - or nothing if that were in the conditions of use - on a pre-paid as opposed to £10,000 on my current account card, would actually be a benefit to them. It could also be a great marketing opportunity geared towards those who travel, that Monzo allows you to move funds as needed onto a separate card, so your main account can never be compromised. The Final solution of generating a new card number per transaction also looks awesome.


Yep, you raise valid points but because of the operational complexity mentioned by Tom I think it’s unlikely that pre-paid and current accounts will operate concurrently.

Fraud protection features like Revolut’s, which can be turned on/off, will help though:

  • Magnetic stripe transactions
  • Online transactions
  • Geolocation (location of phone vs. transaction)

I agree, it seems that the Monzo team are also fans of Final so watch this space!

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Final is certainly interesting. The problem of fraud protection on most accounts is that you’re still suspending the entire account if fraudulent activity occurs. This creates the problem of being unable to access the account until new cards are issued which is worthless whilst you’re travelling unless you’re offered an Amex style global courier service. It can also leave all your direct debits and standing orders bouncing which can subsequently wreck your credit history.

I’ve had a main account compromised and having suffered from the fiasco that ensued, I now no longer use my main account card anywhere but inside a major banking hall. If I’m anywhere else or online I use prepaid.

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Fraud protection on debit cards means freezing the card but not the whole account, surely?

Not sure what others think, but I agree, being without a card when travelling is an inconvenience and you have raised a solid case for Final style protection!

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You’d think, huh?

However, HSBC froze my entire account whilst I was in Japan due to fraudulent charges via my debit card. I believe it was cloned when I’d used it a few days earlier in the Philippines. This happened to be towards the end of the month, so many of my direct debits got bounced, which trashed my credit rating. I had to pay to put notices on each failed payment, explaining the situation, but it didn’t help, took years to recover my 900+ rating, fortunately I didn’t need a mortgage or loan in the interim!! I’ve always used pre-paid cards since then.

That’s insane! So your credit rating was adversely affected through no fault of your own. How many years ago? HSBC should correct their mistake and remove the information from your credit file.

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Wouldn’t the easiest solution to this problem be to open two :mondo: accounts? Use one as your main current account and the other as a travel account. When travelling, you can transfer the daily spend amount from the main account to the travel account. A transfer between two accounts within the same bank will be instantaneous. You could do this now with a traditional bank or building society and remove the need for a pre-paid card.

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I think you could do that but it would mean that you fragment your :mondo: reports.

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True, but it’s no worse than getting a separate pre-paid card, and probably quite a bit better. The primary :mondo: account would still have an accurate spend about in its reporting, but big chunks would show as transfers. You could classifying them as ‘travel’ or ‘expenses’. Then the travel Monzo account would have proper travel reports and details on spending. So you could look at one account to analyse your travel spending but still have full overall spend in your current account.

Not ideal, I agree, and integrated support for this use-case in a single :mondo: account would be better. But I think what I’ve outlined would be an improvement on what @endoftheQ is currently doing.

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In truth, when Monzo becomes a bank, I can use my account in exactly the same way as I use the current pre-paid card. I transfer from my main third-party bank account £500 a day and get the benefits of the Monzo card that way. However, it does disadvantage Monzo, as I’m never going to use them as my main bank account, so they lose the benefit of my current and saving account deposits that I’m holding at a different bank.