Monzo joins Apple Pay after controversy peaks

By Emily Nicolle on 17th May 2018

Challenger Banks

It’s been a very long wait for Monzo users, but Apple Pay support has finally arrived for the hot coral card.

Monzo joins Apple Pay after controversy peaks
Image source: Source: Monzo

Announced today, digital bank Monzo has finally completed support for its iPhone users to add their debit cards to Apple Pay. The mobile payments capability has been one of the bank’s most requested features since the bank first launched in 2015, and has also been a point of contention in recent weeks. The upcoming arrival of Apple Pay has been continually hinted at by Monzo for a while now, which caused some impatience amongst dedicated users who have been following the feature’s journey. 

Earlier this week, Apple Pay became available for several Monzo users who had turned on notifications for when the Monzo card would be ready to add to an Apple Wallet. Some successfully managed to trial Apple Pay in that time, while others were unable to add their cards at all. 

Monzo’s head of engineering Oliver Beattie later issued a statement to users saying: “I’m really sorry: this shouldn’t have happened.” This was then followed up by another apology from Monzo’s online community manager Richard Cook, who confirmed that Apple Pay would be arriving soon.

Cook added: “If you’ve already added your Monzo card to your Apple Wallet, you can keep it. But new folks can’t add their cards for now.

"And we’d like to say sorry again for how we’ve handled this. Not just today, but for some of the things we’ve said previously in this topic and on social media. We’ve let you down and we’re not happy about that. But we’re learning a lot from this, and we’ll make sure it’s better in the future.”

This caused a significant backlash from many users, who were upset that those who had managed to add their cards to Apple Pay were allowed to keep using it despite no one else gaining access. 

One of Monzo’s crowdfunding investors commented that Cook’s reply was “quite the understatement”, and that now the feature was live for some, Monzo users “at least deserve an explanation”. Many were annoyed at the continued secrecy, arguing that this went against the bank’s acclaimed ethos of transparency and fairness.

From today, all Apple users of the Apple Watch, and iPhone models SE and later, can add their Monzo cards to an Apple Wallet. They can then make contactless payments using their device to make purchases in store, online and in-app.

Monzo’s CEO, Tom Blomfield said today: “We know just how much Monzo customers have wanted this, so I’m really glad to say that Apple Pay is here!

“Apple is famous for building beautiful products with simple, intuitive interfaces. Their design thinking has long been a source of inspiration for us. Monzo’s mission has alway been to make sure everyone can use and manage their money effortlessly, and with Apple Pay we are one step closer to achieving that.”

 

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