Google Pay query


I’m not sure if this is a Starling issue or not, but thought I’d ask here anyway.

I’ve been an avid use of Android/Google pay since its release in the UK. When I got a supported watch in January I switched to using it in preference to my phone (but still have my phone enabled)

A few weeks ago it started prompting for my unlock on my watch. I didn’t think much of it as I was in Spain, so figured it was a security thing related to my location.

However, since then it’s continued to require unlock on most transactions, even in shops I regularly visit. This means it’s now a 3 step process; tap, unlock and tap again.

Just to confirm, my watch is already unlocked as it’s the first thing I do when I put it on. The watch stays unlocked until the heart rate sensor detects that I’ve removed it.

This is new behavior, and was working fine until the end of May. It used to prompt for unlock every now and again, inline with the random manner in accustomed to. It now requires unlock with far too much frequency.

When presenting a Google pay device, who requires the unlock? Is it Google or Starling? Who should I be asking for support?


Sounds like an issue with your watch, I don’t have to unlock my watch to use it with Google pay.

It will be Google pay that decides whether you need to validate or unlock your device. All processing is done by Google pay not Starling.


I figured it was Google, but wasn’t sure if the back end request to Starling could result in them requiring extra security.

It’s odd that it was working for nearly 6 months, but then started prompting. It’s not every time, but almost every time. I can find no settings on the watch that should cause this behaviour.


Does the same behaviour occur with other cards in your Google Pay wallet?


Unfortunately I don’t have any other cards to try it.


From personal experience it’s not the bank, it seems to be whoever makes the hardware.

I have to unlock my phone with my fingerprint every time when I use Google pay, others just have to have the screen on.

Some seem to be more strict than others.


That’s my point. The watch didn’t ask to be unlocked up until a few weeks ago. It has had no software updates, but has now started prompting. I’d say it’s currently prompting about 90% of the time. Before it was less than 10%.


I had the same thing happen with my last phone, possible update via Google play services.

It would be nice to know how the level of security is decided and what is changing it.


Maybe try removing the card from Google Pay and add it again?


You don’t mention the transaction value, unlock is required over £30


Any transaction, even as low as £2.

I’m aware of the requirement to unlock for over £30, in fact I even pointed it out on another thread.


I have to unlock for every transaction. I have never used it for over £30.


I think its dependant on the actual technology you are using I don’t need to unlock my watch to use it with Google Pay, however I know someone else with a smart watch and I asked her on Friday whether she has to unlock hers to use Google Pay and she says she does.


That’s my point. Only ever had to unlock for over £30, which is normal. Then a few weeks ago I started getting prompted for almost every transaction.

No software update, no hardware change.