Failed Debenhams Payment


I had an issue where I was trying to purchase some travel money with Debenhams online, it would get authorised but then reversed by Debenhams immediately. I ended up paying with my HSBC card (which I’m hoping to ditch completely if things go well). Customer services just sent me a message to say they are looking into it to try and understand what’s happened and will get back to me.

Compromised Card Feedback
Welcome to the community

It was indeed at the Millennium Centre. That doesn’t sound quite right, hopefully @StarlingSupport will get to the bottom of this for you. Shoot us a message or anyone else in the community if you have any further questions or just want to chat, we are happy to help and I love talking FinTech!


Thank you for raising this.

Account security is important to us. Buying travel money can sometimes trigger a security rule, on occasions like this the payment may decline.

We’re looking into what happened here; we’ll keep you updated via the app :+1:


I’ve had embarrassing situations in the past - a BP fuel station springs to mind - where my card has been declined due to a security alert being triggered. (This was with Barclaycard, pre-Starling, a few years ago.)

Given the instant nature of Starling notifications, it would be great if you could implement a check so if a transaction looks suspicious, we could approve or deny it straight away in the app.

Nationwide sends an SMS to ask if a transaction is genuine sometimes.


Hi Dan,

this would be nice, but it’s not possible at the moment. The data from merchant’s terminal travels through multiple systems before it reaches Starling. Starling then needs to respond in a timely fashion, and the response must travel back through those parties to the terminal. Each exchange between any of the parties has a time limit.
A -> B -> C -> D and back…to A

This all has to happen in less than X seconds. I don’t actually know the X …because I don’t know all the parties involved, and all the time limits for each exchange(arrow)) but it is most probably 2-5 secs.

This cascading exchange of information must not be interrupted by a manual step. Even the fastest reaction by customer would necessarily require more time then allowed for Starling to respond to nearest node in the chain and the transaction would fail (because of timeout) . These time limits are by design and something we cannot fully control.


Thanks for the explanation @Kris. In that case, could an approval notification be used to remove the lock and allow the customer to make the transaction again, this time without it being flagged? This would be the equivalent of what Nationwide do with their text messages.


Hi, we’ve moved this discussion to it’s own thread so you can discuss this fully. Thank you!


Or perhaps a function in the app under the card options that says authorise all transactions for the next 10 minutes?


Good idea @Peter_Whitehouse! :+1:t2: