Issues with Card Payments | 11/07/2018




You certainly did.


Cheers @Oliver_Wright. Same will go with Clydesdale/Yorkshire bank, Virgin Money, Handelsbanken and Danske Bank- the UK’s other Debit Mastercard-issuing LINK members.


It would be useful to hear about these things via push notification. I realised there was a problem because Curve sent me a text message (as I opt-in via their statuspage). And while an incident was reported in-app, you’d only know about the issue if you visited the Starling app.

It would just need to be a very simple message, something like “We’ve noticed a problem: please open your Starling app for details”.


And socials and status page. Push notifications would be nice.


Yesterday I attempted to pay for a small (less than £20) bill in a Romanian restaurant and my card was declined despite funds being available. No notification was received in the app.

I contacted customer support and the response was they were receiving some reports of problems with MasterCard transactions and to try again. I’ve recently switched my current account to Starling and wanted to know how widespread and common these issues are from other customers. If I’m to trust Starling as my main account I need some reassurance this won’t be a frequent issue. Issues such as this are not only frustrating but quite embarrassing.


Hi @AndyM - The issue yesterday was MasterCard as a whole - It affected every bank as far as I’m aware (it personally affected my Tesco Bank and Monzo bank at the same time).

Outages with Starling are rare - They happen, which tends to be down to the card processor they use (GPS), but you’d have to be unlucky to get caught.

I’d be comfortable with Starling being my main account.


Thank you. It sounds like simply unfortunate timing then in that case. Faith in Starling restored.


I’ve raised the lack of notification on a card decline. There should be a notification to say why. They’re still in the early stages of development so its probably on their list of things to do but if it’s an external issue, lack of funds or exceeding daily limits, a push notification would be nice.


Lack of funds already triggers a notification as I found when I had used my overdraft (offset in a goal). I suspect in the case of a failure with MasterCard then it may be outside of their control (e.g. a notification isn’t sent from MasterCard). Although I’m a software developer I’m not familiar with MasterCard processes/APIs


Our CTO has confirmed that this is the case. As we are not a member of the LINK network, card transactions always go via the MasterCard network. As a result when MasterCard was down last week we were impacted for a short period. In contrast many (but not all) bank issued debit cards are on the LINK network and hence can use their ATMs.

Thanks @Brad_T :star:


Thanks @Oliver_Wright for confirming my statement was correct. given that, I’ll repeat my concern regarding Starling’s lack of LINK membership and hence total reliance on MasterCard for ATMs, leaving them more exposed to this single point of failure than the high street banks. What consideration is being given to LINK membership?


We don’t currently have plans to join the LINK network at the moment.


Exactly why I have closed my account with you. A shambles from start to end, pitiful customer service with no empathy whatsoever for the difficult situations customers are put in, because of your system malfunctioning. I will be make sure people I know avoid using Starling ever, the high street banks are at least trying to improve their level of customer service, you just don’t care at all. Very poor company.


Genuine question, what part of the Starling system has malfunctioned?


Well, Mr Pedantic, obviously in your eyes no part. Surely, it’s my fault that transactions with my card were refused when I had funds. It’s clearly a malfunction with me that caused payments to be authorised without the money being debited from my account until a day after. Please accept my humble apologies wise guru :joy::joy::joy:


This was a MasterCard issue, just as a few weeks a go there was an issue with visa. You can obviously close your bank account if you wish but the bank you switch to could just as easily have problems next week. They all do at some point and the other cases I’ve seen are much worse than anything that’s happened at starling.


Hi @James_Ellis, welcome to the community…

I appreciate this might fall on deaf ears, and you’ve already made your mind up - But for you, and anyone who subsequently finds this thread… It had nothing to do with Starling, and everything to do with MasterCard.

You could have used any VISA card fine (you may have also heard about the huge VISA outage not too long ago).

But if you had attempted to use any other MasterCard from any bank - It would not have worked.

It’s a shame you’ve closed your account, as I have a feeling Starling will be one of the best banks, with a brilliant customer service team in the very near future.


Hey @James_Ellis, I’m sure this outage caused you some issues by the tone of your post. I’ve had a couple of instances personally where I’ve been a bit miffed with either the service or the performance of the product, all of which have been dealt with and rectified through working with Starling representatives (even as high as the CEO). I’m not saying you have done anything wrong, but did you work with them to help address the issue? Collaboration tends to get things done.


Ouch, put those claws away!