Back in 2014, starting a new bank was thought to be almost impossible, and it was a long struggle to convince people that it was actually an achievable goal. Of course, now in 2018, there are a plenty of new banks jostling for space within the financial landscape, and other fintechs seeking to join their ranks. This new wave of competition means that I’m often asked to explain how Starling is different to these fledgling operations, as well as to our long-established peers.
One way that people differentiate brands – in banking or any other market – is by splitting them into ‘head’ or ‘heart’ categories. ‘Head’ is the choice based on logic and a cool weighing of the facts; whereas ‘heart’ is a decision based more on emotion and je ne sais quoi – coolness, if you like.
At Starling, we’ve always been happy to be thought of as the bank that’s chosen by the ‘head’. Our goal has always been to develop the best banking proposition in the world, by combining innovative technology – including AI and machine learning – with intuitive user experience design and competitive pricing. We’re confident that we’ve achieved that ambition, because we genuinely believe that Starling is the best banking app on the market today. But we’re not resting on our laurels; we’re constantly searching for ways to improve our product and pricing, and we like to think that if you’re a rational decision maker, you’ll choose Starling.
However, we also know that there’s something valuable about being regarded as a ‘heart’ brand – and we think we deserve a bit of recognition in that department, too.
Let’s be clear here. We’re not claiming to be ‘cool’ – not in the traditional sense of the word, anyway. In the spirit of full disclosure: Starling was not founded in a garage by a bunch of twenty-somethings in hoodies! We are, however, made up of a diverse team of engineers, designers and customer service professionals who are working to revolutionise banking with a zeal that would not be out of place in Silicon Valley.