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Starling milestones: Spring 2019

11th April 2019

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So far this year, we’ve secured £175 million in funding, recruited 165 new people to our London office and announced that there will be a further 150 joining Team Starling at our new Southampton office. We’ve also been named Best British Bank, Best Current Account Provider and Best Business Banking Provider at the Smart Money People Awards. At our last count, more than half a million people use Starling to manage their money, with thousands joining each week.

And that’s not all. In the last few months, we’ve launched:

✓ Euro account pilot
✓ Marketplace integration with FreeAgent
✓ 3D Secure
✓ Freepost for cheques
✓ One tap transfer of funds between Starling accounts
✓ Ability to edit Standing Orders
✓ Banking Services partnerships with a number of banks, e-money institutions and payment service providers

A screenshot showing the iOS account switcher.

Appdate

As always, we’ve been working hard to polish the app and add new features that make it even easier to manage your money. For those who have more than one Starling account, you can now move between them seamlessly through our new account switcher and transfer funds, all in one tap.

We’ve also made it easier to pay in cheques to your Starling account. Simply write ‘Freepost Starling’ on the front of the envelope, pop it in the post and we’ll take care of the rest.

Further updates we’ve made include the ability to edit Standing Orders, which are the recurring payments you’ve set up from the app, for example paying rent to your landlord. To edit a Standing Order, go to the ‘Scheduled’ section of the payments screen and click on the one you’d like to change.

The ‘Scheduled’ section of the app also shows Direct Debits, which are authorised payments that a merchant can take from your account, for example your phone bill. Direct Debits can’t be edited but you can cancel them from the app. This will mean that payments won’t be taken from your account, but you’ll still need to contact the merchant so that they can cancel your subscription or service and stop attempting to make payments.

Starling security

At Starling, we see ourselves as a tech team with a banking licence. As with all tech companies, feedback from the cybersecurity community is key - we take it all on board so that we can make the Starling app even better. That’s why we created a new page on our website outlining our Responsible Disclosure Policy. If you think you may have identified a vulnerability, please contact us so that we can look in to it. To submit a technical disclosure, head to our partners HackerOne, so that we can look at your report and thank you for your help.

Protecting against fraud

We’re in the process of rolling out 3D Secure, an authentication tool for online purchases, to all our existing customers. New customers will automatically be enrolled. To add an extra layer of security, customers will be required to use ‘one-time passwords’ sent via SMS as authentication for some online purchases.

A photo of a hand showing a 3D secure verification text.

Starling for business

One of our most exciting announcements so far this year is being chosen to receive £100 million to develop our mobile business account. The grant comes from a £775 million fund from RBS, a condition of their £45 billion bailout during the financial crisis. The independent group set up to divide the funds, known as Banking Competition Remedies, selected Starling to receive the second largest amount of money.

We’ve got big plans for our business accounts. These include:

  • Business loans
  • Multi-director accounts
  • Online web portal in addition to the Starling app

To do this, we’re pledging £95 million of our own money to add to the £100 million we received from Banking Competition Remedies. We’re also creating 400 new UK jobs, 150 of which will be at our new office in Southampton. If you want to join Team Starling, have a look at the available roles on our Careers page.

We’re involved in several upcoming recruitment events and we’re also going to be running more internal events, following the success of our International Women’s Day breakfast (see header photograph). We shared personal stories of women who inspire us, how far society has come in terms of equality and how far there is still to go.

Starling Marketplace

Our latest addition to the app is our integration with online accounting software provider FreeAgent. This enables business customers to link their account to seamlessly import their banking data into FreeAgent. The feed is updated in real-time, rather than daily, as is the case for several high street banks.

FreeAgent is the fifth partner to join our business Marketplace. Other partners include online accounting software provider Xero and gig economy insurance provider Zego. There are many more in the pipeline so stay tuned for updates.

A phone showing FreeAgent in the Marketplace with a Starling business card in front of it.

Starling Banking Services

Through our Banking Services offering, we’re opening up our payment systems and technology to the businesses that need it. As a fully licenced bank, Starling is able to be a direct member of payment schemes such as Faster Payments. For those who are not direct members, we act as a sponsor and provide them with real-time access to Faster Payments. Our most recent clients include international payments provider Currency Cloud and business to business payments provider Vitesse.

We also offer clients a second option to use our banking platform as their backend technology. The customer facing experience is designed and operated by the client and we do the behind the scenes work. Our first client for this banking service is Raisin UK, an online savings marketplace.

Our payment volumes and number of clients has been increasing month-on-month and we look forward to welcoming more clients throughout the year.

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