Card Frozen but Contactless payment still authorised


Hi guys & girls, I locked my card or freezed it which ever word you prefer to use, I used my card at Tesco’s Contactless today while it was frozen, I forgot to un- freeze it alarmingly the transaction went through is only now in the early hours of the morning but I checked my card status & it was frozen . Peace out :rainbow:


It’s likely that Tesco used an offline auth for the transaction. Blocking a card doesn’t disable contactless on the card, it just ensures any transactions that are ‘online’ (checked live) will be rejected.

It’s a known problem with contactless cards and all banks that issue ‘offline’ cards have the same issue. The only 100% safe way to disable contactless is to request a card without it.

What will be interesting is to hear how Starling handle the transactions. Since the card was blocked it should be rejected when Tesco present it, but each bank seems to handle this differently. Plus, since it clearly was a legitimate transaction then blocking the payment may cause issues.


Is the transaction shown on your statement?


Not sure in this case. My balance was immediately reduced so not an offline trans


Hi mate, not entirely true as I’ve stated in another post there is another card issuer where you can turn off contactless and all online transactions and all chip n pin. Already tested them all. And with Contactless turn off no transaction goes through whether off-line or online. Tested it thoroughly many outlets and always declined the transaction whether off-line or online but thanks for the input


I’m not sure how they can do that as it’s a flaw with contactless itself. The only thing they may be doing is forcing all transactions online, much like prepay cards.


I’m not Sure how they do it either mate. But definitely worked I tested it exhaustingly because I love little gadgets like that. The future is bright.


If it’s Monzo or Revolut (or any other prepaid card issuer) it’s because all tranactions are online, so an instant rejection can be issued.

Debit cards with a current account differ as they often support offline/delayed transactions. For these some terminals (mainly TfL) have a blacklist of cancelled cards to prevent offline fraud, but it’s not ideal.


Did you get a notification at the time of the transaction @BritishSeaPower?


Yes mate.


Hi there, Have you reported this to our CS team? We’ll take a look at it for you. If you paid at Tesco the transaction will have been made as an online transaction so if you’re card was locked it shouldn’t have expected it to go through - so we’ll try to debug.

We are looking at adding the ability to disable contactless transactions on your card if preferred for those who are cautious about using their card with contactless.


@sarah.guha Any chance if you could confirm if Starling plan to actually ‘disable’ contactless on the card with such an option (such as via a issuer script)? This would be preferred over a bank side control that could be overrode with an offline transaction.


It wasn’t a big issue for me so I just thought I’d report it here in the Bug thread :rainbow::blush:


At the moment we’re focused on a control in app to disable contactless.


Thanks for the response. Does that mean you’ll be disabling it on your end when the user disables in app but not modifying the card application in any way in the short term? If so, a longer term solution which also blocks it at card level would be highly desired. :slight_smile:


Thanks @admdly - we’ll bare that in mind.


Just a quick question on this, has anyone else actually had their Starling card do a Contactless transaction ‘offline’?

Whenever I do it there’s always a delay so I think it’s doing it online. In big supermarkets, it’s not too bad because they have fibre MPLS networks or whatever, but it’s REALLY noticeable when I’m being naughty and buying a bacon sandwich from the Pasty Van that visits our industrial estate because it connects to Barclaycard over the GPRS (2G) connection via O2 which has a really bad signal near us. If I use my Santander or Barlcays card, it will instantly authorise it without connecting over GPRS.


That’s interesting, perhaps the cards are configured to prefer ‘online’ transactions. This would mean it would use an ‘online’ transaction wherever possible, but still capable of an ‘offline’ transaction where that’s the only possibility.


That’s right, our cards will always try to process online if they can - this means you get all your transaction details in realtime in the app, rather than a delay to the next day like some offline transactions.


I have noticed that contactless takes a long time in Subway when ever I visit. In fact I can fill my drink from the despenser and go back for my sandwich and it’s still being checked.