The good and bad side of mobile based banking


Just returned home from Fuerteventura.

Last monday I used my card at a self service machine inside the only McDonalds on the island. Two days later I received notification of a payment to Netflix and a reversed transaction to Dealbest in USD. Both transactions I knew nothing about. Really great that I was instantly made aware of these transactions, especially as I was out of the UK.

The only explanation for this was that my card was read by a NFC reader in the 60 seconds it was out of my RFID wallet or the self service machine was tampered with.

Now the bad side, I used the in app chat but because of inconsistent roaming coverage my app kept disconnecting. This meant that the first agent that was assigned never got back to me after a few hours. I decided to just leave it until the next morning after locking my card etc…

Following day I eventually managed to keep a connection and eventually got chatting with an agent.

My issue though is that after hours of time wasting the response from CS was to contact Netflix because I stupidly mentioned that I have a genuine subscription so they basically passed the buck and blamed a billing error, despite my certainty that the transaction was fraudulent. I contacted Netflix and they confirmed it was fraudulent and refunded me within 24 hrs.

With regards to the Dealbest transaction reversal no information was given by Starling and I received the response of “If you think you’ve been comprimised, cancel and order a new card” - I was surprised by this as I was expecting a bit more of a human response to the problem, not a robotic legacy style bank response.

I suppose I just felt as if the response wasn’t taking the issue seriously enough, especially as I was outside of the UK.

On one side the notifications were a godsend, but on the flipside it wasnt the best of customer service…

Just thought id mention it so people have some feedback on my experience


That’s not good to hear - definitely something @StarlingSupport should look into in regards to improving in the future.


Similarly, I’ve only been with Starling for a month and have been pinged backwards and forwards over the last week with various staff members/responses for what I think is a pretty simple question to answer if someone was to just stop and read it. Really disappointed :disappointed:


I think the bank is great, until something needs attention and that’s when it falls down at present.

The problem may lie with training of staff or dealing with the influx of new customers, etc but either way taking a step back and like you say “stop and read it” is sometimes all it takes…


Hi @krism!

I am sorry to hear about the back and forth.

I do believe the request is being processed now :slightly_smiling_face:


Hi @Brianthelion!

Thank you for sharing your feedback; it is always welcomes as we do want to identify areas that we can to improve on.

I do apologise about the experience you had and I have taken a look at the contact you had with us so that I can pass the feedback on.

Have a great evening :slightly_smiling_face:


Hi Logan

It looks like you may have dealt with the request directly? In any case, you were able to read and understand what I was asking first time. Appreciate you taking the time to look into it.


fraud attempt aside, the disconnections of the support chat are really frustrating. it gets interrupted just by waiting… even when using a very stable connection.

surely there are many technical reasons to not be able to keep a persistent connection during the entire support session, but this shouldn’t be visible to the user.


There seems to be a lot of complaints appearing lately regarding Starling Bank’s customer service that is offered through its in app chat service and a lot of praise for Monzo’s.

Perhaps Starling Bank could change the software it uses to Intercom which appears to have a lot of positive feedback? @LoganAllan


it seems to be a very quick and dirty cheap inhouse implementation, and we all prefer to have the developers working on actual banking features.

revolut uses and judging by the complaints they get about the chat it doesn’t work well… but at least doesn’t get continuous disconnections :frowning:

I feel the power of “not invented here” but as starling attracts more customers these problems will grow exponentially and it’s the perfect example of something that should be outsourced.


To be fair, Zendesk is a pretty popular helpdesk solution that had been around for quite some time. That said, there is obviously something wrong with this implementation for it to keep timing out and dropping connections.


The lack of visual feedback as well as the 5 minute drop-off is also very frustrating. On Monzo you are told a typical response time, whether the chat has been read or not and who is online chatting. You can also leave the chat and when an agent becomes available the chat begins - no time-outs. This should be a priority over all development, starling are growing rapidly, this current solution isn’t good enough and will impact on the reputation of starling if left as it is.


Hi @MX4!

Sorry for the delay.

I am quickly going to quote Patrick here:

It was mentioned in this thread:

The chat issue will be resolved soon! We’re just testing it internally to make sure all works as expected :grinning:

In App Chat Android vs iOS... differences?

In the long term I think having “personal account managers” would be something that would set aside Starling from the rest. What I mean by this idea is to have say a team of 10 people that look after a certain account range, eg 1000 accounts and when someone from that account range has a query it goes straight to one of the CS that covers that range and then have some sort of WhatsApp style messenging system to pass messages back and forth.


In principle it’s a good idea, however you then have the problem of how do you farm out these customers when the specific agent is on annual leave/sick etc. I’m not sure if there is a right answer when your dealing with Customer Service.


Thanks for the response, as long as Starling Bank are aware and addressing the complaints then that’s reassuring. Thanks for that.


Are you able to share what the fix will be? Is it just for the timeout issue or will there be some improved functionality like visual feedback, ability to leave and respond later etc…


I wasn’t meaning a specific agent, rather a specific team… for the exact reason you mentioned, annual leave, etc… I worked for T-Mobile 10 years ago and our call centre teams were set up in a similar way for pre arranged callbacks, etc . It worked pretty well to be fair.


For now it will be fixing the timeout issues. We’re wanting to have a reliable chat function first before going down the road of visually improving it.

It is on the roadmap (the in-office one) to vastly improve the chat function both on a visual and feature front


Interesting to get confirmation that there is a roadmap other than the one we’re aware of… #transparency :stuck_out_tongue: