Welcome back everyone to another Battle of Challengers!

And happy Autumn to everyone from our team!

The previous Battle was decided by a poll we had over at our LinkedIn and Twitter and you decided on the topic. But one of the suggestions we added, came very close to the first place, and that was the Block/Unblock Debit Card feature.

So, back by popular demand, let’s block/unblock some Debit Cards!


I hope none of you have been through the very upsetting situation of realising you have lost your Debit Card because maybe you misplaced it somewhere.

Unfortunately many people that I know, including myself, have been through this unfortunate happening. 

Before this feature was brought to the digital banking world, let me remind you what our options were. Well, there was only one, to call directly to the bank, wait – usually – an absurd amount of time in order to be authenticated and finalize the blocking process. This also involved canceling your Debit Card as well, which means there was no Unblocking of said card, more of a reordering and reactivating. 

Now scenario got even worse if it happened during the weekend, but not in all cases. For some Banks you had to wait until a working day to reach a Bank representative in order to resolve the issue.

This is the worst case scenario of course, one in which the customer is urgent to solve this problem. There are many reasons though for which you might want to block your Debit Card and it is unfair to have to wait to do so. It is also unfair to lose an existing debit card by cancelling it.

Bottom line is, it has been apparent for years now that this issue should be solved easily and with speed. Since Challengers are renowned for doing exactly this when it comes to digital banking services, let’s see what they have come up with.


As you know all the data we get, and share with you, are taken from FinTech Insights, which involves plenty of data and User Journeys and you can get a taste here

It is important to remind you of the method we use to evaluate and score the User Journeys. You may find this methodology in detail in our Intro post, as well as our Rooster of Challengers we include in these battles.

Since all our contestants are Challenger Banks, we will focus on their iOS channel. It makes sense since most of them are Mobile first. 

Now let’s get started.

Monese executes this feature in a very user friendly and ‘clean’  way in only 12 steps.

Here is the Block Debit Card flow 

The Unblock flow is exactly the same, which is a great approach to follow in order to not confuse the user on how to do these processes.

Monzo, because of the order of the UI elements they have decided to use, manages to do this even faster, in only 9 steps.

The Unblock flow is exactly the same just like in the case of Monese.

Bunq has always surprised us with great UX overall, and once again they manage to execute this user journey efficiently

The Unblock flow is exactly the same here as well.

A user of N26 needs approximately 11 steps to temporarily lock their Debit Card.

The same process can be done by the user in order to unlock their Debit Card

A user of Revolut Metal needs only 7 steps to freeze their card. 

A user of Revolut also needs only 7 steps to unfreeze it since it is done in the same manner.

Starling Bank also offers this functionality, in only 6 steps.

In the same way one can unfreeze their card.

Note: Monzo, Monese and bunq includes a very nifty animation once your Card is Blocked/Unblocked which is a great mini feature for the overall user experience. Apart from making the Card inaccessible, adding small animations like such add to the overall feel and experience of the bank.


As we saw, every Challenger except offers this feature, and for good reason. It has ended up being one of the most important features in digital banking. 

As you know, we calculate and evaluate the User Experience based on a very specific methodology that gives each User Journey a score out of a 1000 points. 

In this case we saw exceptional approaches, so all of the scores are very high! The differences are found in small details which mostly have to do with the ordering of the UI elements.

This is especially apparent when, for example, the button for the Cards menu is found on the bottom of the screen and the user has to Omit information from top to bottom to tap it.

Here is the final ranking (Click to Expand):

…based off of which Monzo & Starling is our WINNER! Congratulations to both!

*We are thinking of providing virtual trophies to our winners from now on, so that their wins become even better *

On the opposite side, the one that came last, or in this case did not score that high enough by 40 points is bunq.

Monzo (Click to expand)

Starling (Click to expand)

As you can see the differences in some User Journeys lie in the smallest of details. All of these major Challenger Banks scored exceptionally high for this User Journey, since they implemented a nice, simple flow with minimum friction for the user.

Paying attention to detail is vastly important. As recent studies have shown, and the Netflix original documentary The Social Dilemma greatly explains, the order of your UI elements plays a huge role and has an immense impact on how users react. What if having a specific button higher on the screen is better received from the average user than it being placed on the very bottom.

Also animation and the overall feel of the UI is important, for many physiological factors, to the user. Even small details as the colors and pop ups.

Findings us such, plus many more, are our driving forces behind FinTech Insights. And we would love to share more with you.

Book you Demo and find out!