[India] Revolut works at ATMs but not on POS terminals...


I’m a Revolut user, based out of the UK. I exchanged around 250.00 GBP to INR about a week back, before setting off on a trip to the north-east Indian city of Guwahati. For those who don’t know, Guwahati isn’t a Tier 1 metropolitan city like New Delhi or Mumbai, it’s more like a Tier 2/3 city. I have two cards associated with my account — one physical and one virtual.

Now, I’ve been facing a weird issue with my payments which I’d like some pointers on. Here’s what’s happened so far:

  • While changing flights at the New Delhi international airport, I paid for a meal at McDonalds using my physical card, which went through fine (the transaction appears as pending on the app).
  • At the same airport, I attempted to use my virtual card to pay for an hour’s worth of Wi-Fi access. This time, the transaction failed (and it appears as pending on the app).
  • Ever since I reached Guwahati, any attempt to use the physical card at a POS terminal results in the terminal spitting out some variation of the error message International card blocked/declined (these transactions do not appear on the app).
  • ATMs at Guwahati allow me to withdraw money using my physical card without any problems (the transactions appear as pending on the app).

Can someone please advise me on how to make the physical card work on POS terminals? Is there something that I’m doing wrong?


Have you checked “security” section in the app? ATM are driven by switch other than the rest.

Well since your Mastercard is an International Card, it may be blocked by the P.O.S… I assume this is mag-stripe? I doubt there is Chip+PIN in India but if there is, give it a go.

Also, as @redi said Make sure in your security settings Mag-stripe is on and there is not a limit on your card.

@redi and @Quexity: Thanks for your replies.

a. Every time I attempted a transaction, it was through the chip & PIN route — mag stripe payments have been discontinued in India for quite a long time now.

b. My Revolut card isn’t a MasterCard, but a Visa one.

c. My security settings look like this:

  • Location-based security: disabled.
  • Swipe payments: enabled.
  • Contactless payments: enabled.
  • ATM withdrawals: enabled.
  • Online transactions: disabled.


is there an error with every P.O.S terminal you’ve tried?

Hmmmm, Visa… Have you tried contact with in-app support?

@Quexity Every POS terminal in Guwahati. The card worked fine at a McDonalds’ POS terminal in New Delhi, though.

@redi I have. Unfortunately, there’s no record of the transactions getting declined on Revolut’s backend infrastructure, so the rep told me to try another transaction (which, I think, will fail as well.)

In the mean time, the failed transaction at New Delhi airport went through, and I’m now thinking of filing a chargeback.

Do you have both Visa and MasterCard? Is there a possibility to check MasterCard behaviour in there?

@redi Nope! Two cards: one physical, one virtual. Both Visa.

Indian-issued MasterCard cards work fine, though.

I give up…:neutral_face: I am sure that @AndreasK will help :grin:

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There was a short period of time with technical problems that prevented payments from going through yesterday, I believe. There is a thread here about this somewhere …

Can you please send me a direct message with your phone number linked to your account and I will have a look.

@AndreasK Yep. Done!

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Same happened to me in Vietnam. ATM fine, POS only new ones worked, 95% didn’t.

Was the magstripe enabled?

Exactly the same for me in Vietnam. I am currently in Hanoï and I could pay in only 1 restaurant…
At the ATM, everything is ok.
I thought my card was damaged, but it looks we are several with the same issue.
Thanks for your help

I’ll include my conversations with Andreas here for reference:

— — — — —— — — — —— — — — —— — — — —— — — — —— — — — —— — — — —

Conversation #1

The last transactions that failed were made at:

  • A small liquor store, with a very shady-looking POS terminal (I didn’t notice the brand of vendor; but I’m sure it was neither by Verifone nor by Ingenico).
  • A small restaurant with a POS terminal by Ingenico.
  • Another small restaurant with a POS terminal by Ingenico.

The error message was some variation of “International card blocked/disabled”.

I went to the local Café Coffee Day this morning to record a failed transaction to show you. Embarrassingly, it worked. Here’s a copy of the receipt: [REDACTED]

The POS terminal involved was one by Ingenico.

The feeling I get is that multinational chains (like Café Coffee Day this morning and McDonald’s at Delhi Intl. Airport) are more likely to allow POS payments using Revolut than Mom and Pop outlets in small cities like Guwahati.

I’ll be heading out to the city again in a couple of hours to see if I can record a transaction failure.

— — — — —— — — — —— — — — —— — — — —— — — — —— — — — —— — — — —

Conversation #2

Okay, I tried two POS payments last night. Here’s what happened:

  • The first payment was at a pan-Indian ethnic clothing store. The payment went through smoothly. The POS terminal used was one by Ingenico.
  • The next payment was at a local confectioner’s. Here’s where I managed to break things: https://i.imgur.com/ilLQE3C.jpg

— — — — —— — — — —— — — — —— — — — —— — — — —— — — — —— — — — —

My final takeaway was that Revolut supports POS transactions on terminals issued by some banks (HDFC Bank, State Bank of India, Union Bank of India, etc. in India) and not by others.

Hope these help! Cheers!

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Oftentimes merchant fees for accepting international cards are higher. Given the way you describe the situation, it would seem that the merchants simply dont accept international cards.

Its understandable as in some countries the fee for processing an international card is more than twice as much as the regular fee for national cards