Starling Bank becomes the latest challenger to launch a professional account
Starling Bank launched its Starling for Business service, aimed at entrepreneurs, independent traders and small business owners 15 months after obtaining its banking license.
Founded by Anne Boden, who is also CEO, Starling Bank is part of a group of challenger brands, also including Monzo, Atom Bank and Revolut, taking over the legacy banks with a digital offering.
Its consumer offering was launched to the public in May 2017 and claimed to be the first mobile-only checking account. Although exact figures could not be provided, Starling Bank said it has “tens of thousands of consumer customers”. Starling for Business will first open to a closed group of testers towards the end of 2017, before a scheduled live date in early 2018.
Speaking to Real Business earlier in 2017, Boden said the idea for Starling Bank came after spending 30 years in banking and tech with companies such as Lloyds Bank, UBS and ABN AMRO. Believing that the bank was “broken” after the 2007 financial crisis, she approached the issue from a “technologist” point of view.
Wanting to differentiate Starling Bank’s offering from other perceived rivals, Boden said she and her team did not aim to deliver all products to all segments across all channels. We focus on everyday banking transactions. We do it through one channel, on mobile, and do it on a whole new technology that offers all the new features that customers want now.
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Regarding Starling for Business, she added: “What has become evident is that there is a group of extremely underserved people who need more than a personal checking account but who are not entirely up to date. made a small business.
“This is what we hope to solve here by developing Starling for Business. Developing the tools and features that work for these entrepreneurial and motivated customers has therefore become a key focus for us over the next 12 months.
Starling for Business would be free to settle down and start using it. Customer service will be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in conjunction with billing and accounting services.
Sarah Guha, Product Manager at Starling Bank, said: “We are focusing on independent traders and small businesses because the banking industry has not come up with something tailor-made for them.
“We want to have conversations with our customers and find out what they have, what they need and what will help them grow their business and manage their finances. This is an extremely exciting project for us.
After starting life in 2014, Boden has described the trip so far as a “long one”. Building a bank is not for the faint of heart, ”she added. Speaking in April before the launch of Starling for Business, when Boden said there were no plans to tackle this market yet, she said: “If I were a businessman using a banking, the things that really matter to me are understanding cash flow. and how much clear balance there is at any given time. SMEs need innovation and creativity in this space.