We’re open for business

3rd April 2018

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When we launched Starling Bank and the personal current account back in May 2017, our goal from the outset had been to help our customers achieve long-term financial health regardless of their financial knowledge or current wealth.

We’ve had some great feedback from customers about what we’re doing with our personal account and app. Features like real time notifications, Goals and Spending Insights, as well as the 24/7 UK customer service have gone a long way in helping customers to build a positive relationship with their bank again. If we can help you build your vision, we’ll continue to build ours too, and our recent scoop of Best Bank and Best Current Account at the British Bank Awards is a nice example of just that.

Over the last four months, we’ve realised there are sectors beyond personal banking in which customers could benefit from a better relationship with their bank, the most significant of all being small business.

We’ve heard stories from customers on our community – many of whom are entrepreneurs or small business owners trying to take their business to the next level – that they are a bit fed up with or feel unsupported by their bank. They feel their bank is expensive and slow to respond, plus they sometimes makes the simplest of things difficult and ultimately don’t view them as unique. These situations aren’t the foundations for a positive relationship between a business and its bank, so we’re proud to announce that today we’re launching Starling for Business!

We're doing things differently

No fees for small businesses. If your small business has fewer than 10 employees and less than £1.7m turnover per year we won’t charge you any monthly account fees or any fees for electronic payments. Larger businesses will also enjoy the same fee free banking for a limited time.

Opening an account in minutes not days. You’ll be able to open a business account in minutes, 100% on your smartphone, through the Starling Bank app. No trips to the branch required, eligible deposits are backed by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (take a look at the FSCS website for full details) and offered by the only Fintech business current account provider to have a full UK banking licence.

In testing, our record account opening time was nine minutes for new customers, from starting the process to having a digital version of your Starling card active on your phone. For existing customers that nine minutes dropped to three! Whilst this isn’t about being the fastest, it is about recognising that opening a business account shouldn’t be about jumping through unnecessary hoops.

A banking app that helps you stay in control. Managing cash-flow and costs are two important elements to managing the finances of a business. The Starling Bank app will send you real time notifications every time a payment enters or leaves your account, so you know in real time when an invoice has been paid. The app also gives accurate insights on your spending by both merchant and category, so you can always see where your business is spending and manage your business costs accordingly.

Best in class international payments. We know that business is increasingly global, and we’ve heard complaints from businesses about how much their bank charges them to be a part of it. As is the case for our personal customers, we won’t charge you any fees for using your Mastercard abroad and we’ll use the same exchanges rate that Mastercard gives us without adding any markup.

Accounting software integrations and the Starling for Business Marketplace. Customers have been vocal with us about wanting the flexibility to securely connect their account to a host of accounting software, business finance and mobile invoicing providers. We think this is really important for small business, so from day one you’ll be able to export a CSV of your transactions to platforms like Xero and FreeAgent, which will allow you to reconcile your Starling transactions. Over the coming months we want to take this even further, so we’ll build a strong and curated Marketplace of business providers that offer products and services to meet your business needs.

Manage your Starling Bank personal and business account from the same place. It might seem like a small change but the ability for customers to have a personal account and business account linked to the same mobile number and app is a pretty huge development. We’re now offering customers the convenience of managing multiple accounts on the go. Today this includes their personal and business accounts – but in the future it might be much, much more.

All of our other great features available at launch. Goals, Apple Pay, Google Pay, lock your card capability and 24/7 UK customer service – all the features that have made our personal account so successful will be available for business customers today, at launch. Debit card funding and the business account switching service are coming soon and we’ll let customers know when they’re available.

business account homescreen

A marathon, not a sprint

We’re committed to building the best business current account; one that supports all UK small businesses, but we also know that this will take a little more time. To open a business account with us today, you’ll need to own a limited company and be the only person with significant control over it.

In the future we’ll support sole traders and businesses with multiple people of significant control, partnerships and multiple debit Mastercards linked to a single business account. We move fast, so if your business isn’t supported today, we’d encourage you to keep an eye on our website and our social channels, then when there are any developments, you’ll be the first to know.

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How we built Settle Up