9 great benefits of mobile banking

18th April 2018

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Spotify changed the way we listen to music. Deliveroo and Just Eat transformed how we eat in. Uber simplified getting from A to B.

It’s pretty clear that the apps and brands that really win hearts and minds are those that revolutionise something we do every day. The formula, it seems, is simple: take something essential that should be easier – then use technology to make it so.

We decided banking should be easier, too, because until recently, the banking industry hadn’t really undergone the same technological transformations as many other industries, despite being held back by some seriously counterintuitive traditions and antiquated systems. So we built a new kind of bank; one that slots seamlessly into a digital life and puts your finances – quite literally – in the palm of your hand.

And now the tide is starting to turn. It’s clear that more people than ever are starting to embrace the possibilities of mobile-only banking and its potential to transform their relationship with their money. Here’s a few of the main benefits…

Your time is precious

Did you know that the average customer spends 24 hours a year in a bank branch, just to do things you can now easily do on an app? From being on hold for hours to calculating exactly where your budget went last month, traditionally most people have thought of banking as a bit of a time thief – which is partly why we built Starling in the first place.

Because sure, we’re a bank – but our intention is actually for you to spend as little time banking as possible! Simplicity means speed, which is why we’ve refined elements like our customer service – which you can connect to in app, 24/7, and talk to a real human – and built features that actively save you admin time, like Settle Up. Mobile-only banking is designed for fast-paced lives; it’s essentially replaced high street hikes with a single tap.

Woman drinking coffee using mobile phone

It’s a lot more convenient

When it comes to convenience, let us count the ways in which mobile-only banking wipes the floor with traditional branches. Say goodbye to going to the bank – a sentence which sounds so 80s, it may well be carrying a Walkman – because with mobile banking, you can do all your banking on the go, whenever suits you and whatever your plans might be.

It fits around your schedule and keeps the same hours as you do; check your balance, manage your direct debits in seconds on a train, in a queue, or in a coffee shop, or speak to customer service literally any time of the day, from anywhere in the world. And even better – you can set up Apple, Google or Fitbit Pay even before your card drops through the letterbox.

Spent it? See it instantly.

Out-of-date paper balances and nasty post-weekend surprises have had their day. A major benefit of mobile-only banking is the pioneering technology that means we can keep you updated on how much you’re spending – to the second. You’ll get instant access to your live balance and spending information 24/7, and anywhere on the planet (as long as you’re connected to WiFi or mobile data).

Whether you need to quickly check your funds so buying a round of drinks doesn’t end in disaster, or sit down and assess your spending habits with a view to making positive changes, we’ve built an app that puts your financial situation front and centre – and you fully in control. You’ll always having the clearest, most up-to-date picture of exactly how much you have left to spend – and if you’ve spent it, you won’t have to wait three days to find out just how much to worry.

Starling app Pulse homescreen on mobile phone

An overdraft that you control (not the other way around)

When it comes to overdrafts, high streets banks tend to offer a lot but deliver very little – and their fees aren’t exactly something to shout about either. With Starling, you’re in control of your overdraft – not the other way around. Our in app slider allows you to adjust your limit as you see fit, depending on what kind of month you’re having. You can always adjust it when you’re in a better financial place – or just cancel it altogether if you don’t need it anymore.

Community spirit

Mobile-only banking isn’t about a cold, behind-the-screen disconnect; rather, the convenience it fosters actually creates opportunities to connect in a far more meaningful and everyday way. It also means that our friendly (and very human) customer support team are on hand all hours of the day, too.

Now, instead of a yearly zone-out-while-your-bank-manager-tries to-sell-you-upgrades appointment, we offer a year-round community forum for feedback, which we read and respond to daily, and which is full of customers chatting about all things Starling (and beyond!). Our founder Anne and our product directors are pretty vocal in the community too, so you’ll be able to give us your feedback directly and know it’s being heard.

Lose your card with confidence

We’ve all been there. You realise that your card isn’t where you thought it was, and that you’re now going to have to sort it all out by calling your bank and going through all your security questions. You cancel it – only to find it in a pocket three days later. Nightmare.

With our contactless Mastercard debit card, you can lock your card with one tap, leaving you time to search for it, find it, and unlock it, while avoiding irritating security questions. And if it really is lost? A new one can wing its way to you in just a few taps, and it’ll be with you within 2-3 days.

Card lock security feature on Starling app

Seriously strong security

Online security: it’s important. According to studies, it’s the main worry for 70% of users – which is why Starling have made security a high priority, especially when it comes to transfers and payments (which you can send to bank accounts in 38 countries worldwide with 19 currencies, straight from your Starling app, with no hidden fees from us and a guaranteed exchange rate). We’ve got various levels of security within our app, with video identification technology and verified identity documents provided by you – and we’ve also incorporated biometric security, which means if your phone can store individual fingerprint and facial data, you can access your account using this method. According to Apple, there’s a 1 in 50,000 chance of another person being able to access your account via fingerprint, and a one in a million chance they can do it via facial recognition.

Money goals you can really see

The world’s most successful sports professionals always visualise their goals. The technique works equally well as an incentive for saving as it does for shooting hoops, which is why we offer Goals, a feature that acts as your personal digital piggy bank. Easily transfer savings back (and forth) and you can add images that help you visualise your objective – because let’s face it, there’s nothing like a picture of a perfect beach paradise in your wallet to stop you spending money on yet another cab, right?

We’ve also built Spending Insights, which puts the spotlight on habits that can hinder saving, showing you by merchant, or individual purchases, exactly where your weaknesses are. Got an expensive coffee habit? You’ll be able to see exactly how much it’s setting you back, and make changes accordingly to reach your goals.

Spending Insights feature screenshot

Split the bill (not hairs)

We all use different banks, but when it comes to splitting the bill for a big meal or holiday, you and your friends are probably all on the same page – make it simple, easy and fast. Enter Settle Up, a feature that eliminates all those awkward email chains asking for ‘bank deets, asap!’. No double checking details or awkward texts; just a few taps, a single link and you’re settled up.

Convinced? We hope so, because mobile banking isn’t just the future – it’s happening right now, and it could well be the difference between a so-so relationship with your money and one that’s truly great. Check out Starling’s other features if you’re curious or take a look at our FAQs if you’ve got questions. Or you could always get in touch – we’re always up for a chat.

Do you think mobile banking’s the future? Let us know in the comments below!

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6 ways to move from spending to saving