New debit card without embossed numbering


Apparently the new cards come without embossed numbering. Is that true?

I want to note that this is a BIG problem for people travelling to the US. I’ve had my cards fail and being declined so many times there - no chip reader, magnet strip doesn’t work - or a network outage, etc. Merchants in the US do still resort to using the “old style” way, and even more so with European cards, which do fail quite a notable amount of time. And another time I had a merchant which had a system that needed my post code to use the chip reader, and it only accepted numbers, not letters (and that was even at an airport… who would believe it).

Also I’m not sure what people with bad sight or blind people think about this change…?

Note also that you have the card in your wallet in landscape mode so I’d like to see in landscape mode, at the top of the card, which card it is and which one I have to take out, without having to take out the whole card.

A new kind of card for a new kind of bank

Somebody’s going to have to give us all permissions to merge threads at this rate… :roll_eyes::persevere::weary:


And another time I had a merchant which had a system that needed my post code to use the chip reader, and it only accepted numbers, not letters (and that was even at an airport… who would believe it).

American post codes are called zip codes. They solely use numbers.
Where you are asked for a zip code in the States you can use 99999 - this will identify your card as international.


I hope there’s still a choice when it comes to renewal.

Part of the problem with being a new tech company is navigating the world of innovation -vs- if it isn’t broke don’t fix it.

In this case Starling should leave it alone (because nobody complained and everybody was happy with a standard debit card) and fix the problems with their App and reliability (with which people do have issues).


In most cases you can input whatever US zip code you wish as many self-service terminals in the US are not performing any match check with your card. 90210 is always a good bet!


I used to just put in nonsense, my work zip or random numbers if i needed to use my Halifax instead of my Wells Fargo. In my decade living there i only saw an imprinter once too that i can think of, and then i remember it purely because they didnt actually use it because it fell on the floor in a comedic way during the blackout so they just wrote on the slip, so i wonder if thats more prevalent in certain sectors or regions, their banking system does tend to be a horrific mess.


Precisely. Beverly Hills 90210 is a golden rule for travelling in the USA! :rofl::rofl::rofl:


I know this is going to get lost in the swarm of complaints, but if anyone is listening, please keep in mind this card has 3 big issues: ACCESSIBILITY, SECURITY, NON-EU.

ACCESSIBILITY: no raised numbers for sight impairment, white and pale turquoise has very low contrast and unreadable in bright light
SECURITY: the CVV and number should never be on the same side! I cannot scan this card for anyone or leave it on a table without freaking out
NON-EU: cannot use for car rental or hotels in Mexico, US, Canada, and Japan, I’ve literally been told they can’t accept it and been in arguments already!

Please go back to the old card. I loved its colours. Alongside my Barclays cards, it looked natural. Now I have to explain my own credit card to someone! Before, you were quietly supplanting high street banks with something just as good. All of the other challenger banks have ugly pastel coloured cards. Do not copy the pastel trend, please. Their services suck, they inspire fear of being scammed, and they are way behind Starling now… but this card is a total dud. I’ll be forced to change away from Starling if it is kept. I cannot use this in my daily real life of travel anymore. Why try looking different? You’re replacing the high street bank. So you have to breed confidence by doing all they do, just as well or better.


Haha! Definitely have to do that and remember for the next time. Intriguing that the cashier didn’t know that. You would expect that at an international airport, they would have the one or the other foreign card which doesn’t work right away and requires manual entry.

@Mathew_Toth Thank you so much for that comment! It resembles so much what I am thinking, and you were able to express it so much better. I sincerely hope Starling listens to this, these are big concerns!


This new card design isn’t one I like but that’s no big shakes, we’re all entitled to our opinion, tom-ah-to tomato etc.

But it fails on actual functionality, security, travel worthiness, confidence in usage, possible reception by unfamiliar, foreign or older services (and their staff), difficulties for anyone with sight issues, etc etc. It is a disaster in all these areas. Plenty of other customers have gone over these in detail.


That’s all I (and, it looks like, a fair % of your customer base) would ask!

I chose Starling Bank over the other challenger banks and have been advising others to open accounts - citing all the plus points I’m sure most customers reading this will concur with. This new card is a huge step backward in a fragile new banking environment. Re-think! If you’re dead set on this new design then at least also offer the other one as well. I have had to open Monese and Monzo accounts as backups, not by choice but simple common sense. I suspect many many others are having to do the same.

Consider also, Starling, most of your customers won’t yet have received this nightmare of a card so the damage to Starling’s business will barely yet be felt. Think again!


Blind people can’t read the numbers on any card, it’s not braille, some banks have cards with notches on so they know which way up they should be

This is a no brainer, don’t put it upside down on the table, when you scan it all the numbers face down.

Could you please explain why ? and what the arguments were about
As far as the colour and orientation, in fact any of it I don’t care, it’s a card and it pays for stuff, all I want.


I travel to the US 2 or 3 times a year, never had any problem with my UK cards - Starling included. Here’s a tip for the when asked for zip code fix …


Two things…

Don’t you need to use a credit card for car rentals anyway? So they can put a hold on then

I used my virgin vertical card with non embossed numbers fine…


They can do it on debit cards as well :slightly_smiling_face:


I did not know that!


I do believe the option should be given, that was my only criticism.

Although not a user of Starling, I believe the option should be the end users.


You can be visually impaired but not blind. My eyesight is fairly good, but white on teal is hard going.

Lots of phones/PCs have a high contrast accessibility setting to avoid issues of this type


I am the opposite, I can’t read raised numbers and as the cards get older and the numbers get worn it gets harder still. On my card at the moment the plain writing at the top “starling bank” is half the size of the numbers, first 4 are already illegible to me, and a lot easier to read. Can’t comment on the new card as I don’t have one in front of me


Blind isn’t the only kind of sight impairment. It can also be accidental damage: raised letters don’t rub off. I’ve had that happen to nonsense Electron cards far too often, especially since Chip and PIN became ubiquitous.

Proposing I turn my card upside to be safe is not a justified response. My Amex has its CVV number on the front too and it creeps me out; it stays in my wallet at home now. ATM card reader attachments, private cameras, and other sly ways of peeking at your info become very easy with it is all on one side. For card scanning to prove ownership, I now need to edit a PNG after I scan it. It’s added hassle when there wasn’t any before.

Raised lettering is also important for card impressions and being accepted in as many places in the world as possible. You can’t use any service which wants to take an impression of the card. This is no longer common in West and East Coast main cities or EU anymore, but smaller businesses in the Midwest, Mexico and Canada, especially car rental companies and hotels, will not serve you without a carbon copy. @mike2 makes some good points about it being an important fallback, too, especially in places following less cutting-edge practices.

Even if they do in the end accept it, I don’t want the 10 minute argument about why they should accept my bank card.

It has been ten years since going there but I imagine this would also become an issue in a number of Southeast Asian, South American, and African countries. China, at least ten years ago, took carbon copies of cards religiously. It was part of their standard merchant protection whenever you used the train or went to a mom and pop restaurant. (I do hope that has changed, because it was bloody annoying!)

My main objection to the new card, though, is that it is a downgrade from the standard debit card banks issue worldwide and merchants expect – in fact, it looks like a third-party issued prepaid card now. If the new Starling card was the standard format of an Amex, Bank of America, or HSBC card, I would have to swallow its inconveniences for the sake of practicality, but this situation is the opposite; Starling is not HSBC and making a new card format only hurts us, its loyal customers, when we travel far and wide.

Standing out as a challenger bank is hard going – I use Starling as my main account now as show of support – but I think this is a bad call. The whole point of Starling, for me, is to replace bureaucratic & incompetent high street banks. I think this defeats the main aim of being treated as a viable alternative.


Yes, whoever first invented the shiny raised number was a sadist.