Starling Bank gets new permissions for its financial services app store

By Ryan Weeks on Tuesday 5 December 2017

Digital Banking

Digital banking app poised to offer a broad range of products including loans, mortgages and ISAs.

Starling Bank has been granted permission to offer a wide range of financial services products to its customers in-app. These products include loans, insurance, mortgages, ISAs and other investment products.

The challenger bank claims to have become the first mobile-only bank to have been granted its unique blend of permissions.

Though rival firm Revolut also has a marketplace which features credit, insurance and wealth solutions, it is not yet licenced as a bank. Revolut’s permissions hinge primarily on the ability to provide payment services, while Starling holds permissions that allow it, for example, to make “arrangements with a view to transactions in investments”.

The key difference, as described by Starling, is that it will offer “engineered partnerships” – as distinct from simply allowing customers to transfer money into third parties.

“I founded Starling to empower consumers to take control of their financial life, and this licence will allow us to provide customers with easy access to products offered by other financial services companies from within the Starling app,” said Anne Boden, CEO of Starling Bank. “This gives customers transparency and choice – something which the big banks have kept from them for too long – and having an open API enables us to accommodate a huge diversity of customer requirements through a selection of financial services providers.”

Starling already boasts partnerships with fintech apps Moneybox, Flux, Yolt and Yoyo Wallet. While the new permissions will allow it to offer a wider range of financial services products, the products themselves will not be delivered by Starling, but by carefully selected partners. The combination of its new permissions and the impending launch of Open Banking in the UK stands to open up new opportunities for such partnerships to be formed. 

Sign up for our newsletters

Your daily 7am download of all things alternative finance and fintech.

Fintech and alternative finance headlines with an exclusive Editor's Note each week. Delivered Monday at midday.

AltFi's new weekly US newsletter breaking down the ins and outs of America's burgeoning fintech sector. Delivered Monday 9am EST/ 6am PST.