Every element of the Starling app has been designed to help you feel calmer and in control of your bank account. To make sure you know about all the useful money management features we’ve created, we occasionally send an explanation in the app. But with so many features to showcase, we thought it would also be helpful to put together a series of three blog posts outlining how to get the most from our banking app. We’re starting here with ways the app can help you organise your finances.
No more nasty surprises: Notifications for direct debits
Have you ever looked at your bank balance, come away thinking that you’ll have just about enough to last you until payday and then been hit by a direct debit you’d forgotten about? Sometimes your phone bill can push you unexpectedly into the red. And that could lead to unarranged overdraft fees of £6 a day, depending on your bank.
With Starling, you don’t have to worry about remembering the dates on all your bills: we send you a notification the day before a direct debit is due. And if you don’t have enough in your Starling account to cover it, we’ll tell you so that you can top it up.
If you do go into an unarranged overdraft with Starling, we’ll charge you our standard interest rate of 15% EAR (This is the actual rate you’ll pay. We may update rates from time to time, though we’ll always let you know beforehand). The maximum we’ll charge you for the month is £2 and we’ll waive the charge if it only amounts to a few pennies.
If you’re eligible for an arranged overdraft with us, this will be approved when you first set up your account and the charge will be 15% EAR. For example, if you go £100 into your overdraft for 7 days, it will cost you 27p.
Easy organisation: Multiple accounts for one payee
You can set up new payees straight from your Starling app - no bank branch visits or verification through card readers required. All you need is your fingerprint or 4-digit passcode to open your Starling app and your second password to set up the new payee.
If your payee has multiple bank accounts, you can collect these under their name and swipe between their different accounts to choose which one you want to pay. For me, it reduces the likelihood that I accidentally click on my brother’s business account rather than his current account as I scroll through payees - all of his accounts are kept together so choosing the right one is easy.
Investing on auto-pilot: Marketplace partners
The Starling Marketplace is where you can set up phone insurance or sync your business account to online accounting software such as Xero or FreeAgent. Our open APIs mean third-party financial products and services can be fully integrated into the Starling app. This gives you instant access and control over multiple aspects of your financial life.
So far, I’ve connected my Starling account to loyalty provider Tail, digital receipts provider Flux and online investment platform WealthSimple.
I set up WealthSimple after reading an article about the gender investment gap in the UK. A study from market research firm Kantar TNS found that men hold double the amount of investments held by women, equating to a gap of £15 billion.
It explored some of the reasons women are more hesitant to invest, such as a lack of confidence in their financial knowledge. As someone who believes passionately that talking about money can help improve financial confidence, I thought it was time for action. I headed to the Marketplace in my Starling app and in minutes I’d set up a WealthSimple account and arranged a monthly £5 direct debit. I can manage this investment and see how much I’ve invested so far, all from the Starling app.
You can invest with WealthSimple or Wealthify for as little as £1. You can also integrate your Starling account with the MoneyBox app which rounds up your spending into an Individual Savings Account (ISA). So if you spend £2.50 on a coffee, 50p will be invested through MoneyBox. Starting to invest can seem daunting, but automating it makes it much simpler and you only have to invest what you feel comfortable with in line with your attitude to risk.
Instant access: Apple Pay and Google Pay
Don’t wait to start organising your finances, you can get going from day one. You can apply for a Starling account straight from the app, no bank branch visits needed. It only takes a few minutes to apply and once you’ve been verified, you’ll only need a few more seconds to activate your card in your digital wallet to start using your account. You don’t have to wait for your card to arrive.
Instant activation of your digital card works for Apple Pay and Google Pay. For Samsung Pay, FitBit Pay and Garmin Pay, you’ll need your physical card, which will be sent out automatically after your account has been verified. The card should arrive within 3-5 days.
Stay tuned for part two of this series when we’ll be looking at how the Starling app can help you budget and part three when we’ll explore how Starling can save you money when sending international payments or using your card abroad.