Chris Skinner's blog

Shaping the future of finance

I got a new credit card. Woo-hoo! Uh-oh …

Chris Skinner Author Avatar

I tried to make a payment … but it doesn’t work. Oh no ☹

So I called the bank.

I waited … I waited … I waited … I waited … I waited … I waited … I waited … I waited … I waited … I waited … I waited … I waited … I waited … I waited … I waited … I waited … I waited … I waited … I waited … I waited …

It took 30 minutes to get hold of someone.

“Hi”, the Customer Support Representative (CSR) said. “My name is Gavin, how can I help?”

“Hi”, I said. “I have a new credit card and it’s not working online. Can you clear it?”

Gavin said he would have a look. Tap, tap, tap, click, click, click.

“I can see there’s a fraud alert on your account”, Gavin said.

“Well, there’s no fraud”, says me. “It is me trying to make a payment.”

Tap, tap, tap, click, click, click.

“OK, I need to transfer you to our fraud team”, says Gavin.

Tap, tap, tap, click, click, click.

“Hello, this is Yazmin with the fraud team”, says Yazmin.

I go through everything again, explaining that my card is unable to make a payment.

“Well, we just need to go through a few bits of security”, says Yazmin. “Where were you born, what’s your mother’s maiden name and can you give me your DNA sequence?”

I follow the process and she says: “OK, you’re good to go”.

That afternoon, I try to make the payment again and it fails. Declined! I call the bank again. This time, I take note that they tell me to try their online chat service, so I go there instead.

Here’s the conversation:

I end up calling the bank again. Thirty minute wait. Human.

“Hi. My name is Kevin. How can I help you?”

I explain the issue again, having done this four times in the last two days and waited on the phone for three hours.

“Ah, I need to transfer you to our fraud team”, say Kevin. They did that yesterday and I wasn’t impressed, but hang on the phone anyway as I want this card working.

Finally, someone picks up.

“Hi, I’m Jane. Can you verify your DNA sequence, blood type and inside leg measurement?” I follow her request accordingly, and finally she can view my account.

“OK, I can see the transaction you’re trying to make is marked as suspect. Is it you trying to make this payment?”, says Jane.

“It is. That’s why I’ve called you ten times in the last 24 hours and waited ages to get hold of you”, say I.

“OK. Well I need to send an email to our fraud team to clear this”, says Jane.

“What?” says I.

“I need to send an email”, she replies.

“You can’t clear it? I thought you were the fraud team?”, I respond.

“I am the fraud team, but I need to email our back office team to tell them to clear this account block”, she tells me.

It’s not reassuring, but I comply and wait.

Next day. Payment doesn’t work and card is still blocked. I call the bank again. Another 30 minute wait, with annoying music. Why do banks do this? They know their call centres are busy, so why do they have this message:

We are receiving an unexpectedly high number of calls today … please wait or use our online services to sort this out

When the message is actually:

We decided to cut costs to services customers, so there’s no one around right now to talk to you … try again when you get to heaven

I finally get hold of someone and explain the issue for the nth time. When I get through to the person who can solve the issue:

“Oh, I will contact the back office team to sort this out”, he says.

“What? That’s what the last person said”, says I.

“Well, I cannot clear this on my system. The back office team has to do it”, say he. “I’m sure it will be all fine tomorrow”.

The next day, I wake up and try to make the payment (again). This time it goes through.

All this left me deflated and disappointed and losing trust in my bank. All of this over a credit card that was issued but is unusable.

Three days, hours of calls and a card that should have worked on day one finally works. Happy Bunny? Yes, now. But why do banks not understand that when customer processes don’t work they should have an army to deliver exceptional experiences one-to-one? Oh, it’s not banks? It’s all businesses who believe they can replace all staff with technology? Oh …

Chris Skinner Author Avatar

Chris M Skinner

Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog,, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal's Financial News. To learn more click here...

Intelligent Money: Our Future Is Where We Do Not Think About Money, As Our Money Thinks For Us

What is the future?

Learn more

Learn more about Chris

About Chris Skinner

The Past, Present And Future Of Banking, Finance And Technology

Fintech expert Chris Skinner: countries need digital transformation to remain competitive

Join me on Linkedin

Follow Me on X!

Hire Chris Skinner for dinners, workshops and more

Learn directly from from one of the most influential people in technology, gain insights from the world's most innovative companies, and build a global network.

Chris’s latest book

Order now

Chris Skinner’s ‘Digital For Good’ Book Launch Event – CFTE

Top 50 Global Thought Leaders and Influencers on FinTech 2023

Chris Skinner
Commentator, CEO of The Finanser and best-selling author at The Finanser

Thinkers360 Thought Leader

Contact Me

Global Awards

Lifetime Achievement Award

Global 100 - 2024 Winner

Chris Skinner - Financial Markets Advisor of the Year - The Finanser - UK 2023

Best Financial Markets Advisor of the Year 2023

30 Best Regtech Blogs and Websites 2023

Kids creating the future bank | TEDxAthens

Captain Cake and the Candy Crew

Captain Cake Winner of a Golden Mom’s Choice Award


Alex at the Financial Services

Gaping Void's Hugh MacLeod worked with the Finanser