Do Starling allow Apple Pay payments above £30?


Apparently not at the moment @Brian, very frustrating to be honest. Any limit should be published clearly and really you should be able to toggle this on/off in app or pre-authorise spend via the app.


I’ve got all my money for a deposit for a car sitting in a goal in Starling - this is the first I’ve heard that i may not actually be able to pay the garage when collecting my car by debit card.

why are these limits not displayed anywhere?


I had the same experience with an online card transaction (not Apple Pay our Android Pay). I got notified it had been declined. When I rang Starling they said it was for security reasons. I asked if I could retry the transaction and they said no, I should use a card from another bank.

The experience was not good and made me glad I’d not closed my legacy account.

A similar experience happened when I used the legacy card, but I got a text stating to reply and confirm it was me making the transaction. I replied, got confirmation, retried the transaction and it went through. That’s how it should work and should be an example for Starling.

Starling need to get this sorted if they seriously expect people to switch to using them. As it stands there are too many circumstances preventing users from relying on it being their only account, and the CS standard response seems to be to recommend using another bank’s card. This raises the basic question of “if I have to rely on another bank for some transactions, why don’t I just use that bank for all transactions and have a hassle free life?”


@sarah.guha , @JamesPratley Any comments on this discussion? What exactly are the security measure that stop us spending the money held with Starling when over a specific value? Is this anything do do with the card processor?


I hate it when banks spout “security measure” and “for your protection”. It’s not for our protection at all, only theirs.

Regulation and legal protections entitle card fraud victims to a refund, including any interest or charges on their account as a result of the fraud.

The Monzo Pre-paid card lets you pay up to £2,000 in a single transaction so this isn’t a limit imposed by GPS and more likely a limit imposed by Starling themselves.


I’m disappointed that there has been no response by Starling yet to this request, even to say we will get back with an update.


Hi all,

Sorry for the delay to join this thread. The response that @Ben posted above from our customer service team is accurate. Apple Pay is technically limitless but as a bank looking after your money, we have decided to add a security step when a transaction of £500 or more is attempted in order to make absolutely certain it’s you making the transaction. To do this, we send you a notification telling you to make the purchase using chip and pin and therefore proving you have the physical card as well. Once you have authorised a payment in this way the £500 limit is removed altogether for Apple Pay. Having noted your feedback we are in the process of reviewing this threshold.

For your Mastercard debit card other automatic limits do also apply which are separate from the above security for Apple Pay. These limits are in place to limit the exposure and impact to you should your card become compromised. On your card you can spend up to £10k or 20 transactions per day and you can withdraw £300 at an ATM per day.

I hope this helps and I have noted about helping to have these somewhere to reference more easily. If you have a need to make a payment above £10k please reach out to our CS team who can help.




Thanks for the update. Unfortunately it doesn’t answer the question/comment that I made earlier.

A couple of months ago I tried to make a payment using my card and the transaction was declined. When I rang CS I was told that they couldn’t do anything and I had to use a different bank’s card, which I did. When I tried my legacy bank card it also declined, but an automated process allowed me to confirm it was me making the transaction. I then tried the transaction again and it was successful.

The question is what are Starling doing about this? It appears I’m not the only one receiving the advice to use a different bank when contacting CS. As I mentioned earlier, most people will simply choose to stick with the legacy bank as there’s no point maintaining 2 accounts and playing roulette when trying to make payments.

It’s far easier for people to just use the legacy account that they know will either work first time or have mechanisms in place to allow the transaction to be made. If they’d done a full switch they wouldn’t have this option and would be unable to make the transaction they desire.

I appreciate everything Starling are doing and the account has some great features, but it ultimately keeps failing at the most basic of things: being able to spend our money without worrying about if we’ll be successful or not and having to maintain a separate supplier “just in case”. This is ultimately going to discourage people if it isn’t rectified soon. Imagine BT telling people they should also have a Virgin phone line installed, just in case the BT service went down. This wouldn’t happen and people would leave.

It may make sense to fork this discussion into a new thread as it isn’t Apple Pay related, but stemmed from a response that someone on this thread had when contacting CS.




I don’t know the details of your transaction decline specifically - was it associated to Apple Pay limits? This thread is about those limits and so I wanted to answer that questions specifically. If in the context of the Apple Pay limit our CS team has advised you to use another card, then I will make sure they are corrected on this point.

As I don’t have access to your specific transaction I cannot comment otherwise at this point. But in general it is our aim to provide a service that is reliable and that can be trusted without needing an alternative card. Unfortunately as many of you know on the community we have experienced some issues with our card service recently which are working hard to resolve and we are listening in terms of your on-going feedback on this point.

Thank you.


Sarah, not Apple Pay related but general debit card usage. I’ve not been able to succesfully complete a transacation of more than £600 using my Starling card. When contacting CS about one transacation (card not present) I was told it was due to a security restriction. I had to use another card and when asking what the restriction was I’ve not received a number or any details around this. I would expect Starling to handle security in these circumstances using the app to check that you actually wanted to carry out the transaction in question and allowing the setting of limits for different types of transaction before authorisation is required. My legacy bank texts me in the very rare occurrence (spending over £5k) and I can respond instantly to authorise the transacation and am able to have to the merchant run the card a second time to complete the process.


Hi, It’s definitely a nice idea and we will look to add additional features like this. In regards to your specific transaction I cannot comments but I’ll follow up with the team here. Thanks.


Thanks @sarah.guha - this does need to be reviewed because an ApplePay purchase can also be in-app (i.e - all those who wanted to buy the iPhone X last month) so there simply isn’t an option to ‘authorise’ the purchase with chip and pin first. I would’ve thought ApplePay itself is actually the most secure way of paying for something because you’d need to cut off my finger to use it without me know (or my head! if I had an iPhone X!).

As a compromise, I would suggest have options within the app that you’d need your password or pin to reset to set a maximum limit you can spend with Apple (and I assume android pay?)


I know a guy … :joy: lol


I think the threshold definitely needs to be increased. With Apple Pay you need to be present with your device and provide a personal form of ID (your finger print or face). You can’t copy someone phone/watch and ID. As you said even the option to set a limit. Or if the limit is met perhaps a real time push notification asking “was this you?” And you agree to it with pin or finger print / face.


As I mentioned, my transaction wasn’t Apple Pay but a normal card transaction. I only mentioned it as other people on this thread have had a similar experience, including Henry Lee who posted almost an identical scenario after me.

This wasn’t related to the GPS outages, but specifically to “fraud protection” mechanisms which are unfortunately stopping legitimate transactions and CS only offering the solution of using another bank.

It would probably make sense, as I mentioned above, for a moderator to split out all the comments on this thread who have had similar (noon Apple Pay) issue and make a new thread out of them.


Leave that with us

Deferred Settlement - Completely Hopeless

Hadn’t seen your post before, but chiming in now to co-sign. This limit is appallingly restrictive applying to absolutely all Ecommerce transactions. I left First Direct after 10 years for Starling after having both my card and even bank to bank payments routinely blocked or escalated, it became impossible to use them as my bank.

I can’t believe I’m back in the same mess. There is ZERO basis for Starling (noting @sarah.guha’s comment) to be using cheap excuses like ‘looking after your money’ and ‘security’. There has been good security (fraud) software for years that can distinguish risk more selectively than simply a blanket ban on payments above £500.

Speaking with experience, I wouldn’t expect such a basic risk assessment from a small startup providing a payment gateway to tiny websites, let alone a challenger bank that want to be taken seriously as a credible player. That it occurs on a biometric authentication (Apple Pay) AND Starling can’t support 3D Secure is even more ridiculous.

Wow, just wow Starling. Count me as amazed at your choice of priorities that this is still an issue, with some of the other features you have been adding to the app. The first and most basic function of a bank is to support access to and use of your own money.


Thank you for your comments, I have shared your feedback with our card ops team and will update you on any changes we make based on your feedback.


So there’s a £500 limit on non-chip and pay transactions? This applies to CNP transactions too?

If so, that is bonkers - Starling can see exactly how much money goes in to my account each month; I’m very fortunate that this is a decent sum, and I should be able to spend it as I wish, with appropriate security measures that are relevant rather than a blanket ban. Otherwise this is just worse than ‘old bank’ thinking and you’re going to piss off customers and cause them to leave.



Starling have announced they’ve reviewed this and changed their limits.

The important point is that “it won’t apply when paying online with Apple Pay.”

Changes should be in place within the next week.