ASDA £99 in the news - what would Starling do


I saw this on the BBC and wondered what starling would do. Although less of a problem now I can recall a time where having £99 pending transaction for fuel when I had only put say £20 in would be a real problem.

Asda petrol: Questions over pay at the pump charges -


This is mentioned in other posts as well.

I’ve personally experienced this at Sainsbury’s, they essentially pre-authorise £99 before they unlock the pump.

That said petrol prices near me are currently 127.9p so a full tank of petrol is well in excess of £60


The only real issue is that fuel companies can un-ringfence that initial reservation of funds for an AFD transaction in about 20 mins, but some seem to take a couple of days to do so which is where the problem lies for many cardholders on lower incomes.


And presumably some banks are better than others when it comes to unringfencing than others. I presume starling are one of better ones


Money Saving Expert reporting Asda now suspending £99 pre-auths with immediate effect.

In my experience all AFD pre auths of whatever size take 5 working days to disappear - so 1 week.

£99 is a lot of money for some people. All well and good saying it’s only ringfenced but it is effectively a reduction in available funds.


Got to say, I just accepted the 3-5 days holding, but since this all kicked up I spent quite a bit of time looking at MC/Visa’s documentation on it, accordingly they should be releasing it within an hour of the completed transaction.

Then again, I may just be reading it wrong…


Nice to see Asda have dropped this but isn’t the pre auth amount set by MasterCard/visa? I’m just thinking even if they drop the limit they’ll just need to raise it back to £99 again at some point in the future anyway.


Because of this and the fact that, with Starling, I expect my balance to be my REAL balance and not my “perhaps balance maybe for the mean time”, after years of using pay at pump, I only ever go to real people now, since joining. Maybe I’m keeping them in a job too? Although that’s not really why. :grimacing:

I know in some instances, like my local asda being entirely automated or sometimes other places at night, it isn’t possible but I try to avoid that. Also, with Tesco+ allowing me to buy groceries or fuel up to £250 with only my phone and without needing my wallet, and taking the CORRECT money out instantly (and with the lovely Starling instant notification on my watch) I tend to use that anyway.**

I think it’s ridiculous that it takes so long to sort out how much you spend on fuel in this day and age! :rage::rage:

Does using the phrase “in this day and age” (at 38) automatically make me really old?

**I don’t work for Tesco! :flushed:


It should be perfectly possible for the transaction to complete (excluding settlement) before you’ve left the forecourt.


The more I read about this the more I think the problem is less the petrol station owners but the banks / card issuers.

Happy to be corrected…


I experienced this on Saturday. I had to fill my motorbike twice, a total of £37. My Starling card wouldn’t authorise on both occasions so I had to use my legacy card after transferring funds over from my Starling account. The excess reserved funds were only actually released this morning.

Admittedly Starling/MasterCard wouldn’t authorise as they were only reserving £1. However, if they’d reserved the MasterCard required £99 I’d have had £198 blocked on my card for 4 days for under £40 of fuel.

This is another reason I can’t use Starling as my sole account. The are too many occasions where if I’d done a full switch I’d have been stuck.


Whoever thought of this, its so dumb.

I’m betteing most cars don’t even take anywhere near £99 worth of fuel either.

I don’t think its an issue of affordability either its just not designed with any thought to the end user. It knows as soon as you put the pump back down what you spent so it should debit that much.

Someone on monzo mentioned the new BP app does the same.

Also how is this any less risky then allowing people to fill up before they pay?


Why can’t they just take the actual amount for pay st pump. Rather than a £1 or £99 authorisation.


I believe Asda are backtracking and stopping this trial - lots of negative press!


Because they don’t know before you have dispensed your fuel how much you are going to have. When they used to do £1 preauthorisations they had people end up getting free fuel as their banks then did not approve higher amounts after they had taken the fuel, so by getting the authorisation for a higher amount they can be sure that the driver is in a position to pay. If they settled the transaction within minutes of taking the fuel it would be not so bad, but when it takes them days to do so that is crazy in this day and age!


The pumps do not know if you are a car, van, minibus, tipper truck, etc. A £99 dispense of fuel is very possible with some vehicles.


Isn’t this just laziness on the petrol stations part? If the pump asked you how much fuel you want (max) and only dispensed that amount (unless you chose less when using the pump) then the pre-authorisation would be more reflective of what you want to spend. Imagine having £99 reserved for filling up a £6 petrol can


They could authorise in say £10 chunks, as you were filling up, so at worse you’d have £10 more auth’d than you spent


I have used Automated Fuel Dispensers abroad where you can pick a preset amount and it authorises that and automatically stops dispensing when it reaches that amount (for safety it will stop before if your tank is full, and then amend the authorisation to the correct amount) but I have never seen such options on UK AFDs.


I like the sound of all above ideas rather then the current £1 or £99 Idea. Shame we can’t adopt them.