Monzo users hit by card outage: Carry alternative payment

4 August 2017

Challenger bank Monzo has warned customers with its prepaid card to carry a backup card with them for the next few days as it’s experiencing difficulties with its payments technology, meaning cards are only working intermittently.   

Monzo received its banking licence in April 2017. It mostly offers prepaid cards at present but it is slowly rolling out current accounts.

However, the service has been plagued by technical issues this week, which has seen its prepayment card processor go down for a few minutes to over an hour. This has meant prepaid card payments have failed on “several occasions”. Similar problems also occurred in March.

Worse still is that in an apology issued to customers today, chief executive Tom Blomfield said these issues “may continue for at least the next few days” and added that Monzo “doesn’t know how long it will take our card processor to fix the issues”. He’s urged customers to carry an alternate card from another bank in the interim.

Mr Blomfield says: “People across the UK have come to rely on their Monzo cards and if at times you can’t use your card, you lose trust in us. These outages are unacceptable. I want to personally recognise that and apologise on behalf of the whole company.”

He added in his statement that the issues are as a result of a third party card processor, and that its in-house payment system used to process debit card payments is unaffected.

Moneywise verdict

As a user of Monzo’s prepaid card myself, it is disappointing to have to worry about whether my card might work or not. However, the company has been very communicative about the issues, sending updates via the app and email, so I don’t feel like I have been left in the dark by the company. You can also check the status of the outage on the Monzo website

The upside of the product is that I have complete visibility of my spending habits via the app, and can control my money very easily as a result. The zero cost of using my prepaid card abroad is also nothing to sniff at.

However, the company plans to make its prepaid cash cards redundant eventually in favour of current accounts. While many will appreciate the full use of a current account, some might prefer the simplicity of a cash card. 

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