Monzo users plagued by yet more card outages

26 October 2017

Monzo has apologised to its 450,000 prepaid card users for multiple system failures, which have left customers unable to make payments in recent days.

The problems have been ongoing since 23 October, although the challenger provider tweeted last night that its service “is back” and that cards should now be “working normally”.

However, it still advises users carry a “back up” just in case.

Chief executive, Tom Blomfield, comments: “It’s been a difficult week for the stability of our prepaid card. Issues with our payment processor have meant customers haven’t been able to make payments on four occasions over the last few days. I’m hugely frustrated by this, and I’d like to extend our apologies to the people who’ve been impacted. Current accounts have not been affected by these issues.”

It’s not the first time the banking app has been hit with payment outages. Moneywise reported a similar issue in August.

What is causing Monzo’s payment issues?

Monzo set up its prepaid cashcards using a third party payment provider as a go-between between itself and Visa. While this enabled the company to get its first product up and running quickly, it has led to significant issues recently and Monzo lays the blame with this third  party provider.

In contrast, Mr Blomfield explains that its current account payment processor is managed in-house and does not experience the same instability issues.

All Monzo cashcard customers will be invited to switch to its current account by the end of November. The prepaid card will then be phased out for both new and existing users.

Mr Blomfield explains: “More than 450,000 customers are now using our hot coral cards, so it will take a few weeks for everyone to be invited to upgrade. Our aim is to have invited all our users to upgrade by the end of November.

“I hope this gives some reassurance to customers who are worried about the stability of Monzo going forward. Being unable to make payments with your card is unacceptable and I totally understand why you might be concerned, but please know that the whole team are doing everything they can to offer you a current account as soon as possible.”

My personal experience

I am a user of the Monzo cashcard myself as I find it a handy way to budget my disposable income.

I hadn’t been affected by these latest prepaid card outages until last night, when I tried to buy something at my local supermarket.

The payment failed but my Monzo app showed that the money had been debited from my balance. The supermarket staff were obviously confused but told me I had to pay with a different card as the payment hadn’t gone through. I did, but I took a receipt to query the issue with Monzo when I got home.  

It was a highly frustrating experience. However, I will say that the in-app customer service team were very obliging and corrected the issue for me later that evening. 

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