'Understanding Fintech' in partnership with Starling Bank
Last week we hosted our first ‘Understanding Fintech’ meetup in partnership with cutting edge UK challenger bank, Starling Bank. If you were unable to attend on the night, you can still join our meetup group where we will post future Fintech events.
Our ‘Building a Robust Bank’ event was held at their London office and was aimed at CTO’s, Java/iOS/Android Developers, Testers Architects, Product Managers or those genuinely interested to learn more about the bank and the way the app works.
We were lucky enough to be joined by Starling’s CEO Anne Boden who welcomed everyone. Our Head of Fintech, James Hunt, then introduced talks by Product Director Sarah Guha and Head of Test Daniel Webb who presented to our meetup attendees after some networking with complimentary pizza and drinks.
Food, drinks & mingling before the presentations began
Starling Bank’s CEO Anne Boden welcome’s all our attendees
The digital challenger bank operates solely on a mobile app, meaning they have no physical branches, although you will have a debit card and they have a 24/7 customer service team.
Starling is one of a growing group of digital-only banks capturing market share from the traditional big four, alongside rivals such as Revolut, Monzo and Atom, but is the only one to offer a full current account at present.
As well as offering the current account service to customers, the London based bank also plan to offer ‘Starling for Business’, a service aimed at sole traders, entrepreneurs and small business owners.
Starling Bank CEO, Anne Boden
“It will be very easy to get up and running, taking five minutes or less" Anne said. "At the moment opening a business account can take many hours at a branch. Business owners are far too busy for that.”
Regarding Starling for Business, Anne added “What’s become apparent is that a hugely underserved group of people exist who need more than a personal current account but aren’t quite a small business”.
“This is what we are hoping to solve here by developing Starling for Business. Developing the tools and features that work for these entrepreneurially-minded and driven customers has therefore become a key goal for us in the next 12 months.”
Starling for Business will be free to set up and use with customer service available 24/7, real-time international payments, as well as linking with invoicing and accounting services.
Sarah Guha, product director at Starling Bank, said “We are focused on sole traders and small businesses because the banking industry hasn’t offered something tailored 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 navigate their finances. This is an immensely exciting project for us.”
Q&A with Sarah Guha & Daniel Webb
Starling Bank’s CEO Anne Boden aims to take them beyond the UK and into Europe with plans of raising another £40 million from investors in the first half of 2018, totalling just under £90 million raised so far.
"As Starling Bank continues to grow, and our customer base expands every day, this funding will help us consolidate our current share of the market and drive our growth both in the U.K. and internationally," Starling's CEO Anne Boden said.
Starling’s app offers money management and payment tracking which is a key focus regarding the user experience of really taking control of their savings and funds. Starling are also the first UK bank to launch with Fitbit Pay, Apple Pay and Android Pay allowing for effortless payments with the Fitbit Ionic smartwatch.
“Starling Bank was founded to empower consumers to take control of their money and better manage it on the move, so Fitbit Pay is a perfect partner for us as we continue in our mission to improve our customer’s financial wellbeing. Having successfully launched other payment platforms in September, we are delighted to be the first bank in the UK to offer Fitbit Pay as we expand our work to make secure, digital payments easier for all.”
Starling are gearing up for a European Union (EU) legislation to come into effect at the end of January 2018 called ‘open-banking’. The new law will offer fairer competition standards to new challenger banks by opening up the banks software infrastructure to third parties.
Following on from the great feedback and success of the night, we plan on partnering with Starling Bank again next year for another meetup event, delving deeper inside the app’s technology.
Written by Paul Marks.