Retaining references for payees

I just sent some manual payments to my credit cards (I’d like to say it’s because I can magically afford more, but it’s because I have slightly different amounts budgeted for them each month) and have noticed that the reference, which is the card number for credit card payments, isn’t retained on repeat payments to the same account details.

Obviously, this is not something I expect but I thought it might be a nice idea to have whatever was previously referenced show up again to then be changed if necessary?

I don’t like to carry my credit cards around as I don’t use them, and they’re so stuck in the 1400s that they don’t even have an app let alone one which shows me my card numbers.

Maybe I’ve just got lazy :grimacing:

edit: for anybody who is concerned, thank you! :slight_smile: I have a set amount going through on direct debit each month, and then I pay the differentiating amount on top of that so I’m definitely not missing any payments :smiley:


References in Payees is essential.

Virgin Money (Northern Rock) uses their account number in the payment reference and a single account number/sort code combination for all inbound payments.

HMRC use payment reference. Lots of places do. Sometimes I want to use it for my own purposes.

I’d like the ability to set up a number of separate payees with payment references maintained in them. Then make ad hoc payments when I like.

Starling doesn’t have this functionality yet, either, unfortunately.


Hopefully this will work out, I currently have two payees with the same account details and different references.

On my legacy bank, NatWest, I couldn’t have an individual ‘payee’ set up for each card because they had the same details, and if I wanted to make payments to both I would have had to change the reference each time. It was a pissing nightmare haha. Virgin themselves (the payees) have been a faff to deal with as well, the sooner I can close those accounts the better!

Christ, that sounds like a right faff with those banks.

A good starting point for any FinTech struggling with this and looking to better existing solutions is to look at how the First Direct and RBS apps do it. I’m not saying they’re perfect but they’re the best I’ve seen.

With First Direct I have three standing orders set up, each with same account and sort number but with different references. This is for my own purposes and it works well.

I also have two payments to Virgin Money, both with the same account number and sort code but each with a different reference. This is for paying into the children’s accounts.

If any bank is:

  • requiring you to an enter a reference manually each time, and/or
  • not allowing you to set up multiple payees to the same destination account

then they’ve missed.


Starling on Android saves the previous reference. You just delete the preset, ‘From -Name-’, and a drop down box appears with previous references used.

I’ve been making payments to my credit cards today after my first wage went into Monzo - it’s an annoyance!

I can’t believe how many companies make you phone up or even post in a form to change direct debits too!

  • I was like, this’ll be easy, I’ll just do them all online!.. Nope!
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Just to clarify, this is temporary functionality just to make the app more usable - hopefully exciting new things should be coming soon!


Yeah I know, and I understand that the CAs as a whole are sort of being tested at the moment, so hopefully this is something that they either have already thought of or might consider adding to future improvements :slight_smile:

It’s not a full solution for this issue (which I agree is a pain at the moment), but i keep my card numbers saved in a password manager app. For me, I use 1Password. Just means I can quickly and easily access them but they’re pretty surely locked up from anyone else getting to them. I open it up to copy and paste the card numbers if I ever need them. Something like that might help in the interim.


To be honest, if I pulled my finger out and just kept a secure document in the safe file on my phone then my problem would be halved hahaha

Starling’s payment screen and set up is like a car crash. They still haven’t fixed it. I’m amazed they even let the app go live without such basic functionality???!

Software is moving towards a minimum viable product before being launched. It’s not the finished article. The release schedule is (supposed to be) rapid and developments in the software are iterative. I believe that is the thinking, anyway.

I call it poor and half baked!

Maybe I’m just old school. I think when something is released it should work to a reasonable level. It just leaves the feeling that they’ve forgotten things and not overly professional.

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I think this is something Monzo do really well - yes they may take longer but when they put out a product you can be damm sure it’ll work! Do things right the first time :+1:

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With so much competition for my account, it’s a case of seeing who has the best at the time.

Monzo are taking longer but started on their journey later, but if they produce a decent first effort I will happily choose Monzo. I’m not one of the chosen few yet to have a Monzo current account, so can’t comment, but I’m certainly looking forward to the invite to join. Starling have rushed their account out, it’s functional but not overly professional. Updates are a bit slow and they haven’t solved the basics, but now adding Goals, which is nice, but not helping general usage.


What works for you on the FD setup is a pain in the posterior for me - my DD list has many entries all to the same person because my reference needs to include the date of the appointment.

Hi. For payees, would it be possible to remember the reference? At the moment if you do a bill payment using an existing payee, the reference is blank again. On my other banks this is remembered. Having to go search for your account number etc and enter it each time is a lot more difficult especially if you want to send cash and don’t have the details to hand.



Hi Paul,

The payment functionality at the moment is only temporary - proper support for it will be included in the final release set to come out in a few days :smiley:

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Same with Starling. It’s very annoying!

Remember them or forget them, just make sure I can change them if I need to! That’s one of the biggest annoyances with my current bank. Once you pay someone, the reference is set in stone.

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