When Is An Online Payment Not An Online Payment?



I made a payment through an iOS app using my Starling card without remembering at the time I had disabled online payments. The payment went through regardless. I queried this with CS and they said it was processed as a manual payment.

A couple of years ago I got a frantic phone call from my bank asking me if I had made two online transactions at online travel agent websites each for £300. I informed them I hadn’t (no verified by visa). They, from my perspective, grudgingly accepted this and refunded me.

So I was delighted when Starling allowed me to disable online payments, which I did straight away thinking I would re-enable it as needed.

Last week I needed to order some devices for a service I use and so fired up their app which took me to their store. I put in my Starling card details and completed the transaction. A few hours later I opened my Starling app to check something and then remembered that I had thought I had disabled online payments. Sure enough I had.

I immediately queried this with CS and they went off and investigated. The answer came back that this payment was processed manually (whatever that means). So even though I made the payment through an app it was not flagged as an online payment.

Looking at the payment in the app it is categorised as “Card Payment” whereas a payment for an Office 365 subscription I have is shown as “Online Payment”

This seems to flag up an issue. How can you block online payments with any confidence if the online merchant doesn’t process it as an online payment.

What is the definition of an online payment?


Keep us posted, Jon?


It doesn’t sound as though Starling can do much about that.
Disturbingly it looks as though the website for the merchant has taken your card details and done a Cardholder not present transaction by manually keying in your card details.

If anything Starling has made you more aware that this has happened.


@Gareth_Wright I agree it’s not in Starling’s power to mandate how transaction are processed by merchants.

My point is the app says it can block Online Payments but this plainly doesn’t mean payments made online. It is in the merchants gift if they present it as an online payment.

So should the block be on Cardholder Not Present instead?


Yes, you were led to believe you were making an online payment but the merchant processed manually.
Starling would have blocked an online payment as per your request but they have no way of knowing that you entered those details online and that they were subsequently used to process a manual payment.

Thus the payment went through.

Personally I’d always block cardholder not present and mag stripe payments as these are the two methods most likely to be used to rip me off.


This is my issue. Online Payment is a subjective term.

There is no dispute that from my perspective that it was a online payment as I entered the card details online. As a customer I should not have to second guess if the merchant is going to play loose and fast with how they process that.

If Starling can’t block all transactions that a customer makes online as they have no control over enforcing this then they should block Cardholder Not Present instead which is a much more stricter defined term.


AFAIK you can’t block CNP and mag stripe with Starling?


I understand @Jon.

However, blocking Cardholder Not Present transactions will not block e-commerce as they are different things.

CHNP is usually when you pay over the phone providing your card number, address and CVV (Big no for me) or in some cases mail order etc.

Unfortunately it also gets used by some online merchants who have access to a PDQ machine but don’t have an online payments processor such as Stripe, Worldpay, Paypal etc set up.

At the moment Starling doesn’t provide the ability to lock the card for CHNP payments, though it may be on the road map.
@JamesPratley @sarah.guha will be able to clarify that point.

In the interim I would suggest that you contact the merchant in this case and making sure that your card data is removed from whatever email / database it’s ended up in.


Nope not at the moment. There is another discussion on the forum about these


Therefore the term in the app is misleading unless you are an expert in card transaction processing.


I’d have to agree the wording can be improved