Wrong location reported for vending machines

A few weeks ago I used my :monzo: card to pay a vending machine; I noticed the reported vendor and location made no sense at all - “Acme Vending Machines” & Slough, or something similar. (I was in SW7…)

It might not be possible to get a more meaningful vendor name, but is there not some ‘real’ location data from the card machine sent through?

If so, the vendor name could perhaps be changed to “Payment @ location” if the vendor location is radically different from the transaction location.

Alternatively, or as well, it would be good if metadata contributions could include these fixes.

it is the same when shops report the wrong address (perhaps their previous address or their head office) it depends where the terminal (in this case built into a vending unit) is registered. If registered with the address where it is used the information will be correct, should they register them all with one address there is not much Monzo can do about that. Other posts have advised how correct location information can be advised from the iOS app. Currently though it is not possible from within the Android app.

Anyone got a link to how Monzo do the geographic matching?

Never sure if they’ve got a database that matches transaction strings to merchants to cross reference with their addresses… or if it ever pings gps on your phone during a transaction?

Anyone know, is it all server-side? Does Mastercard hold a geolocation database?

I’m pretty sure that it’s the former, as you wouldn’t expect to have such different locations for merchants if Monzo was using the phone’s GPS (& the phone might lose it’s connection in some stores + the location data’s usually not that precise).

As for the location database, you can see which sources (maybe not a comprehensive list) Monzo uses to identify a location, by requesting your transaction details from the open API. Here’s the details for TFL -

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The Selecta vending machine I use at work keeps moving around varied locations. (Basingstoke, Bluewater; after I corrected the data and now it shows as a London address.) I don’t bother to correct the address anymore as I believe the way the card machines are set up may be incorrect which causes these issues.


I assume that’s on iPhone?

Does it ‘stay corrected’ for future transactions at the same place? Is it also crowdsourced now, so if a few people say the same thing (or if you’re the only person that’s used that vending machine with :monzo: I suppose) then it changes it for everyone?

Yes on my iPhone and it doesn’t stay corrected. I changed it to Bluewater it’s actual location from being in I think it was Basingstoke and for a short while was corrected. The vending machine now reports as being in London SE1.

@alexs :+1: Looks likely, thanks for the feedback. Will have a dig around with the API. Looks like a portion of it might be matching via other services like Foresquare and Google. Interesting stuff!


Oh, that’s a shame.

I think the aim is to ‘crowdsource’ other metadata - like vendor name and category - so hopefully that will extend to location too. As in if >X% users with transactions at a place make the same modification, and <Y% users there make a different modification (X,Y pretty low values, since not everyone would bother or know) then it should update for everyone.