Activate my debit card

Activating the debit card is a squeeze point in the onboarding journey. Activate it and you’re fully setup, don’t activate it and you may never use this as your spending account. Fintechs want their customers’ cards in their wallets, not in a drawer gathering dust. Funnels and analytics are key to seeing how a cohort of customers flow through (or drop out of) journeys but they only tell part of the story. Interviews and surveys can reveal why customers drop out.

In this battle, we look at the activating the card in the app. Specifically looking at UX and design concepts that encourage customers to activate their card, the ultimate goal. Countingup take on Starling for Business.

Starling for Business
May 21, 2020
Business banking
Debit card


Starling for Business


You’ve ordered your debit card and you open the app a week later. At this point Countingup throw you an interstitial screen to ask if your card has arrived in the post. It’s a very simple, direct message that focuses the mind, a lot. Have I or haven’t I*? Actually, I have. Tap the button and enter the last 4 digits of the card number. Hit done, and you’re done.

Probably one of the most focused, fastest, easiest card activation flows around. No faff.

*Adding an ’I didn’t receive it’ option here might mop up cards lost in the post.

Starling for Business

In their debit card mailer, Starling ask you to open the app to activate your card. Once in app, there isn’t an interstitial screen or a banner to remind you to activate, but tap the ’Card’ tab on the nav and you’re away. You just need to add the 3-digit CVV code and your card is activated.

It’s bit of a clunk to push a native OS notification when your card is activated. Maybe there’s a good reason for this but to me feels a bit overkill, especially when the lovely simple screen with vertical card is telling me all I need to know.

Here’s what I think
Countingup take the win

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Ready to activate? <a href="">@CountingupHQ</a> v <a href="">@StarlingForBiz</a><a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Fintech Battles™ (@fintechbattles) <a href="">May 21, 2020</a></blockquote><script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script>

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I'm a creative director working in fintech and Fintech Battles is a personal project. What you’re reading is my opinion which you may or may not agree with. I'm not paid to do this and I’m not endorsed by any company. I hope you find Fintech Battles useful and reasonably fun. I’d love to get feedback so please get in touch. My friend Dave told me I should write this disclaimer.

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