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Specialist Support team: When you may need extra help



Laptop showing the customer support page

There may be times in your life when you need more support with your money management. For example, if there has been a sudden change in your life, such as a bereavement or redundancy. Those with a mental health condition or physical disability may also find managing their finances more challenging.

That’s why our Specialist Support team is on hand to help. “When a customer who needs a bit more help gets in touch, we do everything we can to help them and we always show them understanding,” says Lauren, a Customer Support Specialist.

Specialist support at Starling

There are lots of different reasons a customer might want to reach out to our Specialist Support team. For example, if you’re living with a disability or health condition or experiencing panic or anxiety over paying rent, mortgage or essential bills. Further reasons to contact Specialist Support include:

  • Job loss or redundancy

  • Bereavement

  • Debt

  • Addiction, such as gambling or shopping

  • Domestic violence or abuse

When a customer needs to talk to us about their banking needs or a particular adjustment that would benefit them, our Specialist Support team can chat through all the options available to help them to find the right outcome.

“We’re all about the customer and doing the right thing by them. This starts with listening to their needs and working with them on finding the right solutions to remove some of the barriers they may be facing,” says Customer Support Specialist Kieran.

Lauren adds: “A lot of the time, we also signpost them to specialist organisations. For example, if someone has lost a loved one or family member, we let them know about places that can help.”

Organisations we recommend to customers include Cruse Bereavement Care if a customer has lost a loved one, StepChange and MoneyHelper (Money Advice Service) if a customer is in debt, and Mind and Samaritans if a customer is struggling with their mental health.

Here to help

The Specialist Support team looks for solutions on a case by case basis. “Every single person is genuinely invested in every single case and looks to do the best they can,” says Fran, team leader of the Specialist Support team.

In many cases, Customer Support Specialists can suggest features of the Starling app that could help. For example, if someone does your grocery shopping on your behalf, you could set up a Connected card from your Starling account. The Connected card is an additional debit card for trusted friends, family members, neighbours or caregivers, capped at £200 and secured by a separate unique PIN.

“You can hear the relief in their voice when you’ve walked them through something that can help,” says Lauren.

You can apply for a Starling personal account simply by downloading the app - no need to visit a bank branch. All you need is a smartphone, a valid government-issued photo ID and a UK address for us to send your debit card to.

Once verified, you can start using your account straight away with your digital wallet - you don’t even need to wait for your card to arrive in the post.

Starling customers also benefit from a number of smart money management features. These include:

  • Notifications for income, outgoings and upcoming bills

  • One simple screen to see Direct Debits and standing orders

  • Ability to lock your debit card or block card payments to registered gambling merchants

  • Tool to set savings aside from your main balance in Saving Spaces

  • Ability to pay Direct Debits and standing orders, for example an energy bill, directly from a particular Saving Space

You can contact our 24/7 Customer Service team through in-app live chat and you’ll get through to a human, UK-based. You can also phone or email. Our team is staffed by humans, not bots.

Once connected, you can ask to speak to the Specialist Support team, who will start a new conversation with you by phoning you back or sending you a message. “Everyone wants to help,” says Fran. “We’re proactive, non-judgemental and caring.”

Article updated: 13th October 2022