Starling Bank’s Head of Marketplace Platform Megan Caywood, fresh from the Silicon Valley, speaks about Starling’s strategy for developing a Marketplace Platform.
It’s been almost five years since we first heard that “software is eating the world” and it’s no surprise that London has grown to become the fintech capital of Europe. The massive uptick in venture investment in private fintech companies has led to an explosion of SaaS applications, notably fintech products in spaces like payments, wealth management, loans, stock trading, remittance and insurance. Along with this has come a rising wave of APIs that provide critical connective tissue and increasingly important functionality that is fundamentally changing the dynamics of how software is created and brought to market.
We have an audacious goal here at Starling to transform banking, and in the process to create a Marketplace Platform that enables us to partner with a range of providers to offer a wide set of products and services. Rather than seeing fintech startups as competitors, we’re taking an API-based approach that’s embedded into everything we do, enabling us to work with them and therefore offer our users a broad set of complementary features and services. As a result, we’re able to focus on building the best current account in the world whilst offering our customers access to the best products and services from across the market.
To more formally introduce myself, I’m Megan and I’ve come to Starling from San Francisco and am heading up Starling’s API strategy and Marketplace Platform. My passion and experience is in financial technology; specifically, my experience is in leading software development at Intuit and Xero, two of the world’s biggest financial software companies. Most recently, I led the design and development of the Xero UK Payroll offering from the ground up, launching in February 2015 at Xerocon in London. I’m now excited to bring that same experience and passion to Starling.
Fintech is an incredible environment, and I’m excited to be part of the team transforming banking. I was drawn to Starling Bank because of its audacious goal to build a ‘full stack’ bank and create the world’s best current account. FinTech has been pushing the boundaries of innovation for years but banking hasn’t changed in decades and decades, so the opportunity in front of us now is huge. We have the opportunity to go further than just replicating a full set of retail banking products, and focus on delivering an exceptional, mobile-first experience for the core customer need of money management, by building a single, best in class, current account, and yet simultaneously take a platform-based approach that enables us to intelligently build bridges with cutting edge technology products throughout the ecosystem to offer users a broad set of services.