Mobile banking – getting so whizzy, so quickly, it’s difficult to keep up.
Starling Bank, the UK’s first mobile-only bank to launch a current account, has just launched its Marketplace, bringing app customers a range of products from other fintech and lifestyle providers straight to your smartphone.
If you’re not already fluent in fintech, or don’t even know what it means, don’t worry. It’s basically a bunch of digital- or mobile-first banks shaking up the established banking industry, (hopefully) to your benefit. Check out some of our other fintech articles to find out more.
Starling has partnered with Flux, a rewards and receipt platform tracking spending at a range of retail partners such as EAT and Bel-Air, the growing ‘feel good’ fast food chain. So you can get rewarded with loyalty points for tucking into Chicken Pot Pie or Salted Date Caramel Porridge (er, hello? why have I never tried this?!) day after day.
“Starling is built on the belief that customers should have ownership over their data. This is how they can build a better relationship with their money. The Starling Marketplace is central to turning this belief into something tangible.” Megan Caywood, Starling Bank.
In the future, Flux will also allow Starling customers to get automated loyalty points with cashback for any loyalty freebies that have been collected. The customer can activate Flux from the marketplace section in their Starling app and instantly link their card.
At the moment, Starling customers can see the retailer’s name, amount spent, date and location (complete with a map). Flux completes the picture by showing each item bought, VAT and any available loyalty stamps. This is then displayed directly in the customer’s Starling app. For Starling customers, this removes the need to hold onto paper loyalty cards or receipts for the retailers using Flux.
Starling has also partnered with Moneybox, Tail, and Transferwise.
The launch comes ahead of some regulatory changes coming into effect in 2018 – the Payment Services Directive, or PSD2. This means all banks will have to open their data and infrastructure. Starling is the first bank to have fully open, PSD2 ready APIs that allow collaboration between fintech companies.
Megan Caywood, chief platform officer at Starling Bank, said: “Starling is built on the belief that customers should have ownership over their data. This is how they can build a better relationship with their money. The Starling Marketplace is central to turning this belief into something tangible, allowing third party developers, like Flux, access to our APIs to build a range of apps and integrations with the goal of helping people manage their money more efficiently.
“We think the ability to digitise your receipts, as provided by Flux, will give our customers greater insight into their spending, and a less cluttered financial life. Having Flux join us at the start of our journey to build out our Marketplace is an exciting step into the future of finance.”
Matty Cusden-Ross, CEO and founder at Flux, added: “We fundamentally believe Flux can bring the most significant innovation in retail payments since contactless. In less than five months of sales we achieved full rollout with partners who share our vision: Starling Bank, EAT and Bel-Air. We’re immensely proud to be one step closer to digitising the world’s receipt data in the simplest way possible.”
Starling recently developed an overdraft comparison tool, to show customers and those thinking of signing up for a Starling bank account how Starling compares with other banks at different levels of overdraft borrowing.
For more news on fintech and other good money developments, sign up to our weekly newsletter.