Starling, a new phone and my GooglePay pain!

Morning all!

I wanted to share my pretty painful experience with Starling over the last few weeks as I’m wondering if anyone else has gone through these issues or maybe even found a resolution.

First things first, I recently moved from a Google Pixel 2XL phone to the new Pixel 5. Setting up starling again went great until it came to my googlepay. I was met with:


After speaking to various members of starling’s support team, I have been met with the same answer everytime:

Thank you for getting in touch with us,

We have thoroughly reviewed your account and your recent Google Pay provisioning attempts, and whilst we have advised of the decline reasons previously due to the updated security rules, I would be happy to explain this in a little more detail for you.

Please note that we do reserve the right to prevent the use of digital wallets, including, but not limited to, Google Pay. As per the earlier message, this is based on our security rules which we’re unable to elaborate on.

I understand that you may wish to gather a deeper understanding of why this feature has suddenly become unavailable to you, but this is not information that we’d be able to provide.Whilst I, nor anyone else at Starling can elaborate on or overturn our internal security rules and procedures, feel free to take a look at our T&Cs regarding mobile wallets, specifically:

Can Starling stop you using Google Pay?

I do apologise that this is not the answer you were hoping for, but at this moment in time, you will not be able to use Google Pay with your Starling account.
This may change in the future, but we wouldn’t be able to provide any guarantees or timeframe for this.If there’s anything else we can help you with, feel free to get back in touch.

I have also spoken to google support who have advised it’s a token issue on Starling’s end. Google’s response has been “your card issuer needs to generate new tokens for the existing card”. I have asked Starling for a response to this statement but I’ve had nothing yet.

My girlfriend has recently also purchased a new android phone with zero issues setting Starling up again on GooglePay. Has anyone else had a similiar experience to me? Is there any alternatives or workarounds anybody has found?


Instead of setting up in Google Pay, have you tried from the app on the Card tab where it passed the details through?

The only thing you need is the same address entered to confirm

Yes I’ve tried via app and still the same message unforuntately.

That’s ridiculous, they’ve clearly cocked something up at their end. I would put in a formal complaint.


Not the least bit helpful, and a response which seems illogical and rather un-Starling-like. A bit “computer says…”

Agree with @danmullen.

Out of interest, does your old phone still work with GooglePay or has the account transfer process removed it?

@danmullen Agreed! I need to look into how to make a formal compaint!

@Graham In an effort to resolve this I completely removed everything Starling/GooglePay from my old phone! It was working perfectly before the switch.

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Wish I could agree.

It’s not the first time this kind of situation has been reported here, nor is it the first time this has been the response.

Bet it mysteriously starts working in a week or so. That’s what happened last time.

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I had a similar experience with the iOS wallet and my Starling business account. The personal account added fine but the business account said I would have to get in touch with Starling.

I did, they didn’t seem to know what the issue was and I felt like nobody understood so I just left it as it wasn’t urgent. Some time later (at least days, maybe longer) I got a notification on my phone saying the card was now added to the wallet.

I never did find out what caused the problem and Starling never got back to me to explain. It’s pretty much my only negative experience of Starling so it surprised me.

Have you removed your old phone, in the manage devices section of the starling app?
Perhaps you’ve got the maximum amount of devices.
I’ve never had a problem moving between phones, everything just works

@Liam I’m hoping it will start working again soon, it’s been since the 2nd Nov :frowning:

@supersam I have indeed removed my old device! So frustrating!

Fingers crossed for you.

This is, I think, the third time I’ve heard of a similar situation.

The second was when my wife changed her phone. Luckily in her case, customer service was helpful. That part, unfortunately, seems to be a 50:50 situation.

There’s that familiar tone and language again.

Anything can be a security risk when you really just want somebody to go away, just like anything can be a health and safety matter when you want somebody to stop doing something.

Reluctantly, I reckon my assessment was more about nostalgia than reality…:flushed:

I had a very similar experience with Curve some time ago. When they added G Pay support, I couldn’t add my card. Well, it added it to my account but wouldn’t allow it to be used for contactless. I was backwards and forwards with Curve support but they couldn’t figure it out. Sent me replacement cards but it didn’t help. Eventually, I contacted them again and a different support agent managed to sort it. No idea what he did but it was something at their end. He did it while I was on the phone.

Few questions:

Are you able to add another card from another bank?
Have you tried a different phone?
Is the phone rooted or not rooted?
Have you ever been able to added starling card to google pay?
Do you have a VPN enabled on the phone?

Just keep in mind that Google Pay does multiple checks include the ID of the phone, so may be a google issue not a Starling issue. IF other starling customers are not having problems, then it will be a safe bet it may be an issue on the phone/google side.


While none of us can say, in this specific case, that it’s definitely Starling that is/isn’t to blame, it’s certainly not isolated.

Other users do have problems and this does keep popping up here from time to time (and seems to affect both GPay and Apple Pay users). Starling’s response to this issue popping up does also seem to be variable in terms of its quality.


  • My other card is Barclays so I can’t really test that!
  • No other phone!
  • Not rooted
  • Yes, previously working totally fine until the switch
  • No VPN

Google have told me it’s a token issue where starling still has my old device on record. When I’m trying to add the new card to gpay, it sends a new token request back to Starling.

I had asked Starling to provide me with an answer to google’s statement:

"“your card issuer needs to generate new tokens for the existing card

Starling responded last night, same old response. I just don’t understand why that can’t explain what’s happening from a technical standpoint?

"Hi David,

Thank you for getting in touch regarding your mobile wallet provisioning. I understand you would like us to look into Token Generation.

However, recently we have updated our security rules to correlate with industry wide standards. This amendment will impact the ability for some mobile wallets to connect with Starling cards.

As we could not connect your device automatically, these new rules may be applicable to you. Unfortunately we are unable to amend this.

We are really sorry for any inconvenience this may cause. There are of course, alternative methods of payment that you may like to use instead.

I have tried all avenues at this point, I’m not even sure a formal complaint will do anything and I would expect the same response probably. Frustrating :frowning:

These rule may be applicable? You’d think they’d know what rules they are applying - even if they can’t don’t want to tell you what they are.

It really does seem to matter who picks up your ticket when you talk to Starling these days. Though in fairness to them, they are far from being alone in that respect.

I suppose that expansion has brought in a lot of new hires. Personally, I wonder whether a) the new hires are as personally invested in the project and b) whether their training is up to snuff.

I had an interaction with Starling a couple of months back where one of their CS supervisors had to call me. I was quite surprised when he introduced himself as ‘[name] from your bank’, I actually had to ask him what bank he worked for and he almost seemed aggrieved that I was questioning who the hell he was.

It would be a complaint for me, but that’s your choice.

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New phone arrived today. Huawei P30 Pro.

Video sent to Starling and access to account within 30 minutes.

Other apps had instant access, however, I don’t mind a short wait for security.

Have you set up GooglePay as well?