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Starling is turning banking on its… side?

The digital bank has changed its spots, dropping the colour purple in favour of teal.

a bird with a long beak


Nothing gets digital banks going like new card designs.

In June, German app-bank N26 unveiled its new metal card for premium users. From the announcement, you might have imagined it was launching a new kind of sports car.

Today, Starling has come up with something quite unique. The bank has introduced a new debit card which, rather than being laid out in the normal horizontal style, groundbreakingly sports a vertical design.  

Starling says this is meant to reflect the way people use cards today – slotting them into ATMs and card machines or tapping for contactless payments.

Card ‘orientation’, as Starling terms it, is a new area of interest in digital banking. Colour, on the other hand, has long been a matter of crucial import.

Monzo is a proud ‘hot coral’. Starling, until now, has worn a chic purple. But no longer.

Starling’s vertically designed cards come in two new shades. Its personal account cards are now teal – ‘an understated and cool hue inspired by the blue-green tones of the plumage of the starling bird’ (pictured). Teal is also one of the 16 original ‘web colours’ formulated in 1987 to display web-pages, according to Starling.

As for Starling’s business cards, which have been in circulation since March of this year, they will now be coloured dark navy. Both cards have a ‘pearlised finish’, giving them a ‘smooth, premium feel’.

All customer details will be displayed on the back of the new cards, while the fronts will bear only the Starling Bank name. Starling says this has been done to improve security, making it more difficulty to copy personal information.

Mark Day, Starling’s art director, said in a statement: “Great design is about more than just making things look good; it’s about finding a better way of doing things, being responsive to cultural and technological shifts and adapting the outdated to meet emerging needs.”

Starling CEO Anne Boden also weighed in: “At Starling we are committed to disrupting the market by challenging old ways of doing things and reorienting banking so it works for our customers. Our new card design does exactly that.”

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