Pay at Pump Card Decline


Anyone had their card declined at Tesco pay at pump due to not being authorised?

Failure to authorise Pay at Pump at Sainsbury's
ASDA £99 in the news - what would Starling do


I did read that, but I had way more than £100 balance which is what I don’t understand?


Hi there,

In @patrick ‘s post he explains that some retailers haven’t been complying with these rules and so we have had to apply an additional layer of pre-authorisation amounts too in order to reduce the number of card disputes and the situation where customers have gone into unauthorised overdrafts. If you have specific questions about your transcation please get in touch and we’ll be able to provide further explanation.

Please be assured that this applies to pay at pump transactions only, paying at the till or kiosk will be authorised if you have available funds.

Failure to authorise Pay at Pump at Sainsbury's

Hi Sarah,

Thanks for clarifying, it must be todo with my local Tesco filling station then, no problems with kiosk payment.


I have paid for fuel at Morrisons which shows the pre-auth amount of £1 on my account with no issues.


@sarah.guha If you ring fence £100 for example and I put £20 of fuel into my car how long will it take for the £80 to become available again?


It is NOT Starling. It is the MERCHANT (the fuel pump operator) doing it, and they are just following MasterCard advice.

When you use an automated fuel dispenser (pay at pump) it has a different merchant MCC number and therefore should block off £75, 99, 100 or whatever the merchant deam their maximum fill.

If you do not pay at pump and use a regular garage the MCC number will be different and this won’t apply.

While garages historically may have used a £1 authorization before fuellung they should no longer be doing so, if they have properly implemented Mastercard instructions.

If a pump is still using the old £1 authorization, it may change at some date when they finally update their systems.

It is not just Mastercard doing this though, as Visa have a similar project.

It is also not just the UK implementing this but it is bring rolled out across the globe, in France, US, Canada, Malaysia, etc…


Agree, don’t know if it’s the FSA’s teritory but it ought to be UK Merchants need to get their act together and their IT in order. This country is pants for c*** IT even Waitrose have useless point of sale terminals.


Rejected at Tesco Pay at Pump Bridgend this morning. Plenty to pre-authorise in my account. Also rejected at Home Bargains using apple pay this morning.


Hi @Steve_Massingham. For pay-at-pump, you may have sufficient funds, but if the merchant is still attempting to pre-authorise £1 only, then the transaction can be declined at pump, and payment can be made at the kiosk.

If not already done so, please send us a message in app about the Apple Pay decline. This will need to be looked at. Thanks.


I have plenty of funds in my Starling account. Today at ASDA which has a card only credit/debit pay at the fuel pump fuel station (no kiosk) my Starling Mastercard debit card was “not authorised” and thus no fuel. I rang Starling customer services to be told that it is a Mastercard issue and nothing Starling can do. Luckily I have not cancelled by Barclays debit card and used that instead so got fuel. But the bigger picture, if I cannot rely on the Starling Mastercard to work at a card only fuel station I cannot give up Barclays! I cannot travel on business 300 miles and find I cannot fill up despite having more than sufficient funds in the account. Starling need to sort this as for me it could be a deal breaker.


I suspect it could be a deal breaker for quite a few people. Hopefully Starling can work with MasterCard to resolve this.


Hi @Isospray_Fire_Test!

This was answered above in this thread as well as explained in a bit more details here:

That explanation in this thread:


Anyone else has this, refuses to authorise at Sainsbury’s, works at Tescos. I’ve got funds to cover the £99 and an unused overdraft. This is the 3rd time I’ve tried. This and reports of the card not working in French motorway tolls are slightly concerning…


Happy Birthday!


Lol, cheers.


Might be worth reporting this to @StarlingSupport - they have a process to investigate and escalate it to MasterCard if necessary.


Tried reporting it, but just got a cut and paste answer about how some retailers pre authorise the maximum £99 payment


It seems customer service has let you down, so let’s see if the community can help. (Maybe @anne can deal with the fact that another customer is reporting an unhappy experience with CS).

Do you know if the pump tried to authorise £99? If not, that may be the reason.

MasterCard changed the rules and started declining pumps that don’t authorise £99. Traditionally pumps authorised £1 before the rules were changed, and some retailers haven’t changed (or even refuse to change) their pumps. As such MasterCard decline the transaction and it’s outside Starling’s control.

However, MasterCard seem to be inconsistent in their application of this new rule, since my card works at my local Tesco pump which continues to authorise £1.

I’m not sure that anything can be done until MasterCard and the retailers get their act together and stop penalising customers.