Things move pretty quickly at Starling – and the first quarter of 2018 has been no different. Just in case you’ve missed a feature or announcement here’s what’s new and what’s coming up in the next few months.
Settle Up and Split the Bill
On a mission to make those IOUs between family and friends a simple, streamlined and speedy affair; no sort code swapping or double checking details, no awkward chasing texts; we kicked off 2018 launching Settle Up – a simple and speedy way to pay friends back easily.
Picked up the bill? You can now split it with Settle Up too. Just select the transaction and tap Split to divide the bill amongst your friends.
Our Marketplace has grown
We added new partnerships with Savings & Investments, Insurance and Mortgage providers as we welcome Pensionbee, Wealthify, Wealthsimple, Kasko and Habito to the Starling Marketplace. If you haven’t already got to know the Starling Marketplace, our Marketplace Product Manager Cecilia Highley tells you how to get started in this blog.
International Money Transfers
Need to send money abroad? We’ve made it easier (and cheaper!) to send money abroad on Android by launching International Money Transfers – just jump into the Pay section to explore our available countries and currencies!
A new menu and the ability to add a profile photo to your account
We’ve updated and organised our main and Account Management menu (and added some new icons) and importantly the ability to add a profile photo to your Starling account – making it easier for friends to find you on Settle Up, and for you to distinguish between your personal and business accounts.
Starling for Business
It’s been a busy few months – because amongst everything else we set ourselves the ambitious goal of launching Starling for Business in the first quarter of the year.
Our fast, free and straightforward business account has been built with all the smart features of our personal account, but with some great business benefits too. Apply for a business account in-app from your personal account – you can find it easily on the main menu or download the app to join Starling.
And if that wasn’t enough to keep on top of, we were awarded Best British Bank and Best Current Account at the British Bank Awards 2018. It goes without saying, without your continued support we would not be reaching these milestones – so thank you!
What to expect next?
With no sign of slowing down, our plans for the next few months are just as ambitious – so here’s an overview of what’s in store.
Adding more ways to pay with Starling
We’ve always been committed to making it as easy and accessible to pay with Starling as possible. Last year we announced support for Apple Pay, Google Pay (formerly Android Pay) and FitBit Pay. This year, we’ve added Samsung Pay (Edit – and now Garmin Pay), making it even easier to pay on the go. Even more ways to pay coming soon.
This means that more Starling customers will now be able to use their smartphone and wearable devices as a fast and secure way to pay almost anywhere that contactless payments are accepted and without ever having to get their card from their wallet.
Plus new customers on Android will be able to add their sparkling new Starling debit card to their Google Pay wallet straight from our app meaning that, like our iOS customers, you can start spending within minutes of opening your account!
If you joined Starling in the early days, it’s likely you’ve had your account for almost a year – Happy Starling-versary. It’s also likely that you’ve built up quite a history of card and payment transactions on your account, especially if you’ve made the switch to using Starling as your primary bank account. That’s why we’ll be making it easier to search your transactions so you no longer need to scroll through your feed.
Deposit cash, instantly, via the Post Office
This Spring it will be easier and more convenient to deposit cash straight to your account using your Starling Mastercard debit card at your local Post Office. No hassle, no reference codes just your debit card and your pin and your cash is available instantly.
More feature parity with International Money Transfers on iOS (Edit – now launched!)
We like to keep feature parity between our Android and iOS app, and the only thing holding us back has been the addition of international money transfers to our iOS app. We’re pleased to say we’re now not far off – iOS users will soon be able to send money abroad straight from the pay section of the app.
Starling for (more) business
Whilst our business account is (for now) designed to support owners of limited companies – entrepreneurs, freelancers or small businesses, for example – we will be working to extend our offering to sole traders and partnerships as well.
We’ll also be rolling out accounts for limited businesses with more than one person with significant control soon after, so you can more than one account holder and app user.
You and your contact preferences
As we grow we want to continue to develop our product to fit around you and your life, and make sure when we get in touch it’s helpful, relevant to you and easy to reference. That’s why we’ll be spending some time improving how we communicate with you via push notification and email, giving you the opportunity to set your preferences and optimising your experience.
We’ll be adding notification alerts in relation to your upcoming direct debits and when you dip into your overdraft (for those eligible).
Current Account Switch Service for businesses
Last year we were the first mobile only bank to fully automate the Current Account Switch Service making is easier than ever before to move your financial life from one bank to another – from start to finish, in 7 days, from our app. It’s only natural we’d want to extend that service to our new business customers making it easier to move your balance, direct debits and standing order payments from another bank to Starling, plus you’ll benefit from the Current Account Switch Service handy redirection service meaning in the switch over you won’t miss a payment.
Enhancing our app login experience (Edit – now launched!)
We’re working on making some updates to how you log in to your Starling account. Android users will now more consistently use Fingerprint to access the app and enjoy a newly branded Starling log in screen, with updates to Touch ID and Face ID on iOS coming soon too.
Helping you spread the cost
We know that when it comes to your monthly finances you sometimes need a buffer – not least when an unexpected bill hits your account, or unavoidable large expenses such as getting your car fixed. That’s why we’re working to extend our offering to help you, if you’re eligible, to spread the cost of large transactions whenever you need it. Simply select an eligible transaction and choose a repayment time period that suits you and we’ll give you a short term loan and repayment plan that’s affordable for you.
As we add new offerings like this you’ll likely see the app evolve so you understand your balances and commitments clearly.
Last year we announced our intention to launch Starling in Europe, starting with Ireland. That’s still our plan. Now that we have launched our business account, we expect to pick up our tools on this again and launch our Euro account later this year. This will initially be available to existing customers who have an enduring relationship to a European country or who travel to Europe for prolonged periods of time and later launch as a domestic Euro account in Ireland.
A little extra…
Along the way we like to squeeze in a few extra feature requests when it makes sense to do so. Top of the list we have the addition of notes and receipts to your transactions, seeing who’s on Starling and being able to send Starling-to-Starling payments without the need for account numbers and sort codes. Round-ups has also been much requested on our community so keep your eyes peeled for surprise updates too!
An update on…
We are steadily working our way through our product enhancements and new ideas, setting ourselves achievable goals for each three month period. Once we’ve achieved them, we set a new goal. Here’s an update on a few things we’ve mentioned or you’ve requested that are further down the line.
Banking with your loved ones
Or joint accounts. We fully intend to offer joint accounts. The aim is to do so later this year. You will now know we recently launched business accounts for single director companies and we are now working on making accounts available to companies with more than one person of significant control and therefore app users. Joint accounts are similar in that you have multiple account holders and app users and so we’ll be able to leverage what we do for business to make joint accounts available soon after.
The young ones
One of our youngest engineers, aged just 17 years old, has been championing a young person accounts and is working to define what it might look like. We don’t yet have a roadmap commitment to it, but with such demand from our customers we might move closer towards it.
Keep an eye on our blog for a new monthly update on what’s been released recently and what’s up next, and if you would like to receive more regularly email updates make sure you’ve added your email to your profile via the app.