Some of the UK’s hottest fintech startups went down on Sunday — here’s why

Tom Blomfield, CEO (left), Jonas Hucklestein, CTO (right), Monzo
Monzo CEO Tom Blomfield, left, and CTO Jonas Huckestein. The startup, app-only bank was hit by Sunday’s outage. Monzo

LONDON — At least four fintech startups that offer payment cards linked to apps went down on Sunday when a company that helps them all process payments was hit by a technical glitch.

App-only bank Monzo, money management startup Loot, all-in-one card Curve, and foreign exchange card provider Revolut all warned customers on Sunday that payments were failing on its network after a problem with a partner.

Business Insider understands that the partner in question is Global Processing Services (GPS), a Dubai-based company that sits between the startups and the MasterCard network to help them process payments made on all their cards. A source says that GPS was hit by a technical glitch that needed emergency work to fix. GPS did not respond to BI’s emailed request for comment at the time of publication.

The startups began experiencing problems at 9.45 a.m. GMT (4.45 a.m. ET) on Sunday morning and full service was not restored until the early hours of Monday morning, BI understands.

Leah Templeman, Monzo’s head of pre-paid cards, said in a push notification to customers at 8.37 a.m. GMT (3.37 a.m. ET) on Monday morning that the app and cards are once again “fully functional.” She promised “a full post mortem, including what we would do differently next time,” on the startup’s blog later this week.

So-called “neobanks” — apps that offering banking or bank-like services and are often linked to cards — have become one of the hottest areas of fintech in Britain over the last 18 months, with money flooding into the sector and over a dozen startups setting up shop. Monzo, which has 120,000 customers, is currently crowdfunding to raise £2.5 million at a £65 million valuation.

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