Here’s what Starling has to offer
Who can provide a better netbanking experience than the challenger bank fully concentrated on its online solutions?
The winner of the 2021 British Bank Awards by Smart Money People – Starling bank – offers the best business banking accounts and current accounts, supplemented with an award-winning banking app.
Starling’s current account offers zero-fees on electronic payments, receiving payments, domestic transfers, cash deposits and ATM withdrawals. The neobank also rewards those trusting it with storing their money. Starling pays interest of 0.05% AER on balances up to £85,000. The unique feature of this bank account is mobile cheque deposits. Users can take a photo of the cheque up to £500 via the app, and then receive the funds within two working days.
The bank has also taken good care of savings options, P2P transactions, budgeting features, and overdrafts. Travellers will enjoy using their Starling debit card abroad without additional costs. The currency exchange will happen using standard MasterCard terms.
Debit cards can be topped up at the post office which is an alternative to physical bank branches. Customers can also withdraw cash from their Starling account there. This may appear a crucial option for those non-UK residents who receive their salaries in cash as gig workers, or exchange money received in foreign currencies. People receiving cash remittances would also appreciate more chances to top up their current accounts, considering that many remittance companies have their branches at post offices too.
Business customers can open a business account for LLCs and other registered companies, a sole-trader account for those self-employed, or a multi-currency account combining US and EUR assets.
Besides, regulated Payment Service Providers can unlock real-time payments through Starling’s APIs. These business customers are able to open unlimited numbers of virtual accounts at no extra cost from their own addressable UK sort code. The overall balance is held at an account level but gives you the freedom to create as many virtual addresses as you need, with FPS and BACS addressable sort code and account numbers.
As for the Starling app, it’s an all-in-one banking hub. It has the following functions:
- Bills Manager can be used to pay direct debits and standing orders straight from a separate Saving Space. Use an automatic transfer to set money aside on your payday.
- Card Controls allow you to to disable contactless, chip and PIN or online payments, as well as block all gambling transactions. You can log in to the Starling app using fingerprint or facial recognition for enhanced security.
- Cheque deposits – you can take a clear picture of a cheque of £500 or less and deposit it on the go.
- Starling Connected card is an additional debit card you can give to anyone you trust. The money comes out of a designated Space you’ll set in the app (rather than your main account) and it’s capped at £200, so you’re always in control.
- Marketplace brings together a world of financial products to help you manage your money better. From mortgage and insurance providers to investments, boosting credit score, and smart pension tools, there’s a fine selection of third-party products that work with your Starling app.
- Nearby Payments feature allows you to send money to other nearby Starling customers by locating them over Bluetooth.
Spending Insights is a personalised sneak peek into the inner workings of your financial life that will help you master your budgeting skills.
- Round Up your day-to-day spending to the nearest pound and transfer the difference to your Saving Space separate from your main balance.
- Settle Up makes IOUs between family and friends simple, streamlined and speedy. If a friend owes you money, tap in the app to send them your link and it’ll be settled in two taps. They won’t need a Starling account to make a payment, or even your account details.
- With Split the Bill, you can easily track who owes what and send out IOUs in just a few taps.
For business customers, additional services may come in handy.
- Business Toolkit lets you upload bills as soon as you receive them and schedule payments to help you manage your cash flow.
- The Bookkeeping feature makes recording all your business transactions easier, quicker and more transparent. There are two main tabs in Bookkeeping. The first is ‘Incoming’ – for your revenue, refunds, loans, rebates and so on. Then there’s ‘Outgoing’, which includes things like expenses and tax payments. Both tabs will reveal information about VAT, a business category or evidence of a transaction, and provide you with helpful tips.
- Invoicing – create and send invoices directly from your desktop, and connect your online banking to your email. Match your invoices in a single click.
- VAT Management – record VAT on your transactions, which means less administrative work for you. Connect to HMRC and submit your returns through Making Tax Digital.
- Tax Estimation Tool helps you to see an up-to-date estimate of the money you need to save aside for the self-employment part of your tax return.