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Starling milestones: Summer 2019

22nd August 2019

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It’s been 27 months and 17,052 Friday breakfast butties since Starling launched in app stores. We’ve now opened 800,000 accounts and have 630 employees and three offices (London, Southampton and Dublin), with a new one (in Cardiff) to come soon. That’s at least double for all of those numbers since last year.

We’re in hyper-growth mode and we have big plans for the rest of this year. Our first TV campaign will launch in October, following our current advertising campaigns for trains, buses and airport links in London, Edinburgh and Glasgow. Recruitment is as strong as ever both in London and Southampton and we plan to open an office in Cardiff and grow our Dublin office. After that, we’ll be spreading our wings across Europe, starting with the Netherlands, France and Germany.

Since our last update in April, we’ve launched:

✓ Multi-owner business accounts for limited companies
✓ Euro accounts
✓ Marketplace integrations with Churchill Insurance, CreditLadder and Growth Street
✓ Banking Services partnership with SumUp
✓ A new blog design with easy search bar and categories
✓ Card control for magstripe payments
✓ The ability to order a new card instantly from the card screen
✓ Improvements to the Pay Someone New screen
✓ Increased communication on overdraft eligibility
✓ The Authorised Push Payment fraud code - we signed up to it

Multi-owner business accounts

Even more types of businesses can now bank with Starling following our launch of multi-owner accounts. If you’re a freelancer, contractor, sole trader, one-person company or a business with multiple people of significant control, you can apply for your business account in minutes. Once verified, you’ll be able to manage your money on the go through the Starling app, packed with smart features to make business admin easier.

A welcome screen showing a Starling business customer.
Business accounts are available for limited companies with multiple persons of significant control.

More card control

This summer, we added another option for card control. Starling customers can now lock their cards for magstripe payments. The magstripe is the line on the back of your card that can be read by swiping it through a reader. This is in addition to the security features already in place, including the ability to lock or unlock your card for:

  • contactless and chip and pin;
  • online payments;
  • the mobile wallet;
  • ATM withdrawals;
  • gambling payments

Magstripe fraud has impacted many people over the years and we wanted to take a proactive step in preventing this by giving you this digital tool. If magstripe payments are switched off and someone has stolen your card, they will only be able to use contactless up to £30, unless they also know your PIN. Remember that for all payments, you’ll receive a notification so if you get one that doesn’t seem right, you can go into the app and lock your card to block all payments. If your card is stolen or lost, you can cancel it and order a new one directly from the app, or if you’re worried and want to talk about it, our customer service team are on hand 24/7 to help.

If you’ve mislaid your card, lock your card until you find it. It will be with you within 3-5 working days and in the meantime you can activate your new one in your digital wallet. That way you can keep using your account through Apple Pay or Google Pay.

Keeping our customers safe

In May, Starling made a commitment to adhere to a new voluntary industry code designed to better protect and educate our customers, increase vigilance and combat financial crime. The Code, which forms part of something called the Contingent Reimbursement Model (CRM) focuses on detecting, deterring and protecting victims of Authorised Push Payment (APP) scams. It sets out the circumstances in which the victims of APP scams can get their money back, and which bank, or Payment Service Provider (PSP) - either the receiving or sending PSP - might be responsible for this.

Fintech football league

The fintech industry as a whole has had a mega year - funding rounds, customer numbers and, of course, the first fintech Football League. In July, Starling picked up four awards at the league’s inaugural awards ceremony: Best Fans, Best Goalscorer for Ryan New, Best Female Player for Kaley Ross and another for Millie Scott, recognised as one of the top players of the season.

The league and ceremony were organised by the team at 11:FS, a fintech consultancy and host of the fintech Insiders podcast. The judges were the captains of the eight teams involved. The next season will kick off in September and Starling, which fields a mixed line-up, will be one of sixteen teams to battle it out on the football pitch in a series of 7-aside matches.

Awards and recognition

Also in our awards cabinet are trophies for Best Open Banking Strategy from the Retail Banker Awards, picked up in April, and Banker of the Year from Women in Finance for Anne Boden, Starling’s CEO and founder, awarded in June.

In March Starling joined the 2019 cohort of Tech Nation’s prestigious Future Fifty programme, which supports British tech businesses as they scale up their operations nationally and internationally.

Anne has also become an author in the last few months. Her book, The Money Revolution, covers the best apps and advice for all aspects of your financial life and is available to buy online or in bookshops.

We’re gearing up for a really busy autumn with new products and partnerships coming up. Stay tuned.

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