It’s the 25th of the month so, of course, rent is due.
With the direct debit set to come out of my account at 3 o’clock, but only my share of the rent in there, things aren’t looking too great.
For all of my housemates’ qualities, being organised isn’t among them. Especially when it comes to money.
If you think we might have learnt to send the payments a week or so in advance in order to avoid the ensuing monthly madness, you’re sadly wrong.
Every month we’re in the same situation:
“I sent you the money ages ago!” he says.
“Well why can’t I see it then??” I reply.
Not to mention the raised eyebrows of our land lord (with whom we’re not exactly the most popular tenants…).
But can you really blame us?
We have enough money. It just isn’t in either of our accounts. Our rent gets stuck somewhere in the ether, with no ability to track its whereabouts.
It seems very odd that I can pay for a coffee without even taking my card out of my wallet, but it still feels like my payments are being sent by owl (actually, even that might be quicker).
So imagine my curiosity when I heard that Starling has officially joined the Faster Payments scheme as a direct partner. The office was buzzing down in operations. And whilst the name may not sound exactly thrilling, I soon figured out why people were getting excited.
Julian Sawyer, Chief Operating Officer at Starling, explained the Faster Payments scheme as an essential means of providing the best banking experience to Starling customers because of the benefits it brings with it.
He says, “Not only have our app users expressed huge interest in the real-time insights that we can give them as a result of Faster Payments, but it means being able send money to friends or set up regular payments knowing it will be an instantaneous and simple process. Given our users are all people who happily manage their lives on their phone, this partnership is a huge step in helping them to better manage their money through our app.”
Here's what that means
Faster Payments are just what they say they are: fast. Payments to other banks within the scheme are sent in minutes not days. Flatmates can be friends again! Landlords can be paid on time! (though they may still not like you).
Plus, it’s much less hassle. Once you’ve sent a payment to a recipient you needn’t worry about pestering them for their details again. No more texts on Sunday morning saying “Oh what are your account details again?” because your friend promised to pay you back for that last round but can’t be bothered to scroll up.
So all in all, you have to do less thinking.
With money coming in and out of your account in real time, you don’t need to do any more mental accounting to work out how much money you really have or are owed or might want to put aside. Your balance will always be up to date.
So whilst the amount it shows is still (sadly) up to you, combine it with a few other Starling features and not only do you see a more realistic view of your money and where it’s going, but you can handle all those payments from wherever you want, whenever you want.
Mobile banking feels pretty exciting.