New Push Notification: Suspicious Transactions

Today I had a bit of a panic. I got a Monzo push notification to say that £0.69 ($0.88) has been taken from my Monzo account for a company called Argonics.

I didn't recognise the name, and after a quick search, I couldn't ever remember purchasing anything from a manufacturer of "industrial wear products".

I clicked through the Monzo app to report the transaction as suspicious, and as I was doing it I got another notification, for £50 at Virgin Bet.

Fortunately I've got a gambling block on my Monzo cards and that auto-rejected it, but if not, that could've been a bit of an expensive hit to my account!

I immediately froze my card (which was super easy in the app) and through talking with support, confirmed that they were not me, and we looked at what the next steps could be, as it appears my card details had been stolen / breached.

We got a new card ordered and the old card completely blocked, but it was still a pretty nerve-wracking experience.

I've thought for a while that one thing I love about using Monzo over my HSBC/First Direct cards are how I get real-time push notifications with accurate location data. This is such a huge safety tool for consumers, because they can immediately see if something looks suspicious, without needing to log in and check their accounts, which I do a little less often than with Monzo.

I know that Mastercard now require the banks using their card platform to provide push notifications to customers, which means anyone using Mastercard should be protected by this - awesome stuff! And I believe Visa will be requiring similar too to help support consumers.

Two key questions I had to protect customers further:

  • Would 3D Secure not protect us? The answer was no because, TIL, merchants have the option of not going through it. This is a bit concerning given things like gambling are obviously a target to use with stolen card details
  • Should Strong Customer Authentication not protect customers? Again, it depends on how these standards are implemented, as in Monzo's case I'd not hit the £100 limit which would trigger SCA enforcement.

Overall it was an unfortunate experience, and I was lucky enough to be timely with blocking the card, but it shows that there are more things we can be doing to help consumers stay safe, especially those who may not be regularly checking their accounts or that may not be as suspicious as me!

Written by Jamie Tanna's profile image Jamie Tanna on , and last updated on .

Content for this article is shared under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International, and code is shared under the Apache License 2.0.

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