Starling Bank preps for future with new features
UK challenger bank Starling has launched a “Spending Insights” tool and an online community for its users – and it is setting out its future plans.
Spending Insights is probably self-explanatory. It works in the app and the bank says it gives users ideas about where they can save money. It shows customers how much they spend month to month in different categories or at different merchants.
The Starling Community invites people to join, and follow the bank’s “progress” and roadmap, share feedback, ideas and any suggestions. It has a separate website from the official Starling Bank one.
These latest developments follow on from the launch of its real-time mobile offering, Starling Payment Services, in May. While in April, it teamed up with VocaLink’s Pay by Bank mobile payment app; and partnered with Moneybox to give its customers access to a suite of saving and investing tools. The bank got its licence last year and its current account is now live.
Looking ahead, the bank says it has “a few more features up its sleeve”. There are no specific dates in any of this, just what it hopes to do.
Sarah Gilbert, product director at Starling Bank, adds that it has a “pretty good idea of the problems we want to solve next”.
It will soon be releasing “Goals”, allowing users to put money aside. It is created and managed within the Starling app, without having to shift it into another account.
In the coming months, it will offer virtual cards – so customers don’t have to wait for the card to arrive in the post.
Coinciding with this virtual card feature, Starling will soon support digital wallets – meaning iOS users can add cards to their wallet from the Starling app.
More card security features are on their way – offering controls to lock and unlock cards for different types of card transactions. For example, if a person mislaid their physical card, they can lock it for contactless and online transactions to protect the account, while keeping it active in the digital wallet. For travellers, they will be able to restrict card usage by country.
Starling Pulse, which was revealed during its beta launch in March, also gets some updates. At present, this central feature displays account activity. The plan is to offer a daily spend history and how it fluctuates throughout the month.
It says it will be launching the Starling Marketplace at some point. This idea was first discussed back in April, when its developer portal went live. This marketplace gives customers access to a number of finance-related product providers. These can be linked with a Starling account so users can see all of these finances in one place. The bank says new partnerships in conjunction with this are on the way and it is also looking to involve products to help with lifestyle, travel, and fitness in the future.
Other plans include a joint account (Starling calls it a “connected account); and money management for the under-18s (such as a “starter account”).