Starling Bank to expand Marketplace app offering
Written by Chris Lemmon
Starling Bank has been granted approval from the PRA and FCA to add further financial services products, including ISAs, insurances, loans, mortgages and other investment products, to its in-app ‘Marketplace’ which launched in June.
The challenger bank’s aim is to create a marketplace of products from FinTech companies, giving its digital banking customers the chance to easily access these providers by securely connecting them via an API.
Megan Caywood, chief platform officer at Starling Bank, said: “These [regulator] permissions are key for us to be able to launch the Marketplace, and are a huge differentiator for us. There are others in the market who have similar permissions, such as price comparison sites, but because we are a bank with APIs we have additional abilities to help connect customers with these products by sharing across customer data (with customer authorisation, of course) to help users connect and access these additional products from within the Starling Bank app.”
Starling also confirmed its latest Marketplace partnership, which is with mobile invoice and expense platform Albert, which simplifies and automates daily bookkeeping tasks. The news follows Starling’s recent announcement that it will be offering business accounts to entrepreneurs, small businesses and sole traders in the New Year.
Selected business users will be able to connect to Albert directly within their Starling account. The integration aims to make the slow and complicated bookkeeping experience a more efficient process, by automatically matching the transactions from Starling Bank with the invoices sent from the Albert app – ultimately saving customers time as they do not need to manually reconcile bank transactions with invoices.
Other perks of having the two apps connected will be automated expenses (pre-filled by Albert after a payment is sent) and being able to see account balances in real time directly from the app.
Anne Boden, CEO and founder of Starling Bank, said: “To follow our announcement that we will be offering business accounts to small businesses, entrepreneurs and sole traders, Albert are the perfect partner for us as we continue to challenge conventional thinking in banking.
“Small businesses need to be agile and entrepreneurs should spend their time building on their ideas, not bogged down in paperwork. Starling and Albert are firmly on the side of the entrepreneur and this partnership will make their lives – and businesses – better. “
Ivo Weevers, CEO and co-founder of Albert, added: “It’s crazy that most self-employed people still don’t feel comfortable with their daily finances. These are the basic aspects of our lives that are supposed to be easy. To solve this, one needs to leapfrog the existing status quo. Albert is super thrilled to have found a perfect partner in Starling to make this vision a reality for all the self-employed.”