Lloyds needs to link its databases to avoid a bad customer experience

I’ve just had one of those experiences that sadly fails to surprise. I have a Lloyds Bank credit card, and in attempting to do an online transaction with it, was presented with the Click Safe authentication screen. This told me that I would be sent an SMS message with a code that I should enter on the next screen.

Lloyds credit card

The problem was that the code was going to be sent to my old mobile number. Several months ago when I changed my mobile number I had logged in to my card account and updated it. Maybe it had regressed? I’ve checked but my online account was up to date. Clearly Lloyds have separate databases holding customer information, and they don’t always talk to each other. It’s the sort of incredibly annoying thing that still happens.

My penalty for being in this situation was that I had to phone the euphemistically named Customer Services, never something I’ve looked forward to with Lloyds.

I had to speak to three people, which included a gap in between the second and third where I was told I would have to wait at least ten minutes, and I could phone back another time. I don’t think there’s ever been a time when I’ve called when they haven’t been ‘extremely busy’.

Of course, I had to explain the issue three times. All of the staff tried to be helpful and polite. The last chap had to take me through some laborious authentication questions, and then told me that he’d updated the system to authorise the transaction I was trying to make, and he’d updated my phone number. I should wait five minutes, then try the transaction again.

I waited more than five minutes, and tried again.

Transaction error message

I was told that the authorisation had been declined by the bank.

I waited, and tried again. Same result.

I phoned again, and although this time I check to use a number specifically for credit cards, I still had to be put through to ‘credit cards’ after explaining the problem.

The chap on the phone then explained to me that the problem was with the expiry date of the card. I guess that the error message couldn’t have told me that, as it would help someone who was trying to make a fraudulent transaction. I was using a password protection tool to auto-fill my card details, and although the information in the database is correct, it was appearing incorrectly on the payment form, and I hadn’t noticed. I still don’t know why that happens. I tried again with the correct information, and this time it worked.

There are a couple of take-outs.

Firstly, there’s no excuse for the lack of a joined-up view of the customer by Lloyds. When I updated my account online with my new phone number, it should automatically feed into whatever Click Safe uses.

Then there’s the inevitable transferring of calls, and the need to explain the problem multiple times. There has to be a better way.

It’s not all down to the business though. I did submit incorrect information when I tried again. I didn’t check, and if anyone had asked me, I would have insisted that I had entered the correct information. I know from experience on both sides of the fence that people will often swear blind that they did or didn’t do something online, only for the system logs to prove differently. People can look very sheepish when presented with the evidence, but that’s how people are. It’s not acting in bad faith. We’re fallible creatures who don’t always understand our own motives, and who don’t notice what actions we take. As far as possible, it’s the job of UX (and CX offline) to mitigate the impacts.

8 thoughts on “Lloyds needs to link its databases to avoid a bad customer experience”

  1. 2020-04-06 Hi Nick. I have just read this post whilst searching for an answer to the same problem. I am trying to use my new Lloyds Visa Debit card online, and I am getting a message from ClickSafe saying that it will send me an SMS to verify my card – but they have the wrong number, not an old number, but a number that I have never owned…. and I cannot see how to change it.
    My details are up to date on the Lloyds website and there is no way to email them. The last time I had a problem with Lloyds Bank I was on the phone for over an hour and it cost me 50 euros (I live in Spain). I never visit the U.K. and right now we are in lock-down anyway, because of the corona virus. So what am I to do? How on earth do I get them to update the number on their ClickBank system. I am stuck with now way to use my card. When we get out of this problem, I am seriously thinking of changing banks.

  2. I’m in Thailand with the same problem. My Thai number is on my account at Lloyds but the send the sms to my old UK number.

  3. This has been happening to me for OVER A YEAR!!!

    Every time I complain they disable the security check without changing my old number, so EVERY time I try to make an online payment I MUST call in and wait ages.

    Honestly I have complained more than 10 times over the phone.

    I’m starting to think that no one can fix this problem at Lloyd’s so is easier for them to pretend they know nothing about it.

    I’ll have to find a new bank because I’m shopping more online now.

  4. Same here, click safe has my old number, from like 7 years ago. All up to date in lloyds online banking settings. What a failure! I was ok to pay big sum for a car purchase with my card but I can’t pay 200gbp for car insurance because click safe stuff. It’s too safe for my liking:P

  5. I have same problem with Clicksafe. I work abroad and therefore have a foreign number. I am told by LLoyds that it can only send One Time Code to UK number. So I cant purchase anything with my cards online until I have a UK mobile number!!

    Can I withdraw from Clicksafe as it is a free service? Anyone know?

  6. I am having the same problem,it is sending the code to a phone number that is not registered to me I have updated the phone number but still cannot use my debit card on line!!!

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