The FNB-Spotify issue (debugged)

Sharkssmart1

Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2015
Messages
18
This may or may not have been discussed, but what the heck; here goes anyway.

When Spotify became available in 2018 here in SA, I was overjoyed. I could finally say goodbye to VPNs that tricked the application into thinking I am in an eligible country. And when I used my trustee Debit Card provided by FNB, I could finally subscribe to premium. And it worked without a hassle.

*Fast forward to January 2020*

My Debit card was about to expire, and I received an SMS from them by stating that I am due for a new card. I pitched up, they gave me my new card, and life went on. I went to my other subscription sites and updated my new card with the ones they provided. Uber worked, Takealot worked, Apple App Store (why wouldn’t they), pretty much any service accepted my card, expect for... you guessed it.
Spotify apparently hates the card type I prompted. I went back to FNB on the same day and I told them that my card does not work with online shopping. They told me that the card in question works like any other card and it is not immune to online shopping. They then asked me what service I was trying to use; to which I replied Spotify. The consultants said that for some reason, no FNB card works with Spotify. If that is true, then why is it still a problem?

So then, I approached Spotify on the matter, and I was able to get into a live chat with a consultant from their end. I explained them my situation and they were also confused that it should technically work. They told me to head back to my bank and get some details regarding what makes my new card different from my old one. My old card was a 'Non-personalized Debit Card', while my new card is a 'Non-personalized Card'. The 'debit' fell out of the naming, but the card's functionality and privileges are the same according to FNB. And they are not wrong on the matter. So, the question remains... "What the f*** Spotify?"

Many days of constant annoyance went by as I argued with FNB and Spotify. Since I knew this was an error on Spotify's side, I pushed them further on the subject. If they gave me any queries, I would contact FNB and threaten force them to give me answers. I would have thought that their consultants are top-notch, but one of the consultants I was talking to directly wanted me to show her how to subscribe to Spotify in case I have missed something important... the site asks for card number, expiry date, and CVV. No tricks, it is that straight forward.

Then the biggest mind f*** to ever hit me. I was talking to relatives to hear their input on the situation and advice for attack. Both were also coincidentally banking at the same bank I was. But the difference is, FNB has given them more personalised card. Not because they asked for it, but because they get a good income on a regular basis and FNB felt it be necessary to provide them with personalised card with their names on it. Both of their cards had either Cheque or Debit card written on it. Knowing this fact, I asked them to try and register onto my account to see if it will work. And to my surprise… Spotify accepted those cards with open arms. I was lost for words. I was confused. I immediately contacted Spotify via and gave them this revelation, and they told me that they will inspect the situation. Shortly after, they responded me with…

“Our Payments team has looked into this, and we’re not able to accept that payment method at this time. We’d recommend reaching out to your bank or credit card company for more information.”

BUT IT IS A NORMAL DEBIT CARD (according to FNB)!!!!!!!! This is discrimination!

My old card was still valid for a few more days, and I tried to link that with my account again and… it worked.

My findings to the problem:
  • There must be some card type naming detection Spotify considers (unbeknownst to them) before they accept the card.
  • This issue has been going on for over a year. Many sources regarding FNB bankers are having issues with Spotify.
  • Why did FNB decided on being cheap and removed the ‘Debit’ from their cards where possible?
 

370z

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 28, 2010
Messages
488
Really strange. A short term solution is to use one of those online sites where you can buy a virtual credit card with some cash on it.
 

Nirv

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2010
Messages
621
I had exactly the same issue. My stopgap solution is to pay using Vodacom mobile payments and top up my account with the R60 airtime that they debit every month. Not ideal but at least I can use Spotify.

My fiancée is in the same situation, but isn't with Vodacom so she has no other payment options. I think I'll suggest the virtual card thing and see if that works for her.
 

InternetLuddite

Expert Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2016
Messages
1,390
Ok, but why just not use a credit card for payment? It's much safe than putting debit card details -which is your hard earned cash - online . Credit card gives you safety IMHO.
 

quovadis

Expert Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2004
Messages
4,022
Really strange. A short term solution is to use one of those online sites where you can buy a virtual credit card with some cash on it.
@Sharkssmart1 I use this from time to time - can generate your own virtual cards on demand...

Once registered you have to provide proof of residence for international usage but it works - you just top it up via EFT and generate once-off cards or multi-use cards up to the value deposited.
 

NeonNinja

Neon Resident
Joined
Nov 22, 2009
Messages
20,842
Ok, but why just not use a credit card for payment? It's much safe than putting debit card details -which is your hard earned cash - online . Credit card gives you safety IMHO.
You can do a chargeback with a debit card too.
 

Sharkssmart1

Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2015
Messages
18
The bank IS the problem. How can they provide you with a card that doesn't work everywhere online without telling you?
Why would they lie? It works with Uber (and Eats), Mr. D, and Bolt for e.g. AliExpress accepts it, Wish accepts it, and EBAY accepts it. I can still make normal Online payments with it and I believe whoever designed the card did not think bluntly on its limitation.
 
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