By Oliver Smith on Wednesday 20 March 2019
The CEO of Starling Bank teases that a credit card is in the works.
On Monday Starling CEO Anne Boden confirmed her decision to launch a credit card on stage at the AltFi London Summit.
Speaking alongside Curve CEO and founder Shachar Bialick, Bankd’s Brad Goodall and Bud’s James Perry on a panel entitled Digital Banking’s next move, Boden said Starling’s credit card would be launching “soon”.
Boden first mentioned Starling’s credit card in her new year’s message back in January when she wrote that the bank would this year be “launching credit cards and we’ll be expanding our lending”.
A Starling spokesperson declined to provide any further details to AltFi on the credit card, what its rates will be, or when it will launch, only reiterating that it "will be later this year."
The news comes alongside Starling’s upcoming SME business loans and multi-director business accounts, both of which are reportedly on the roadmap for 2019 and will clear two of the biggest roadblocks for business customers.
Boden also spoke on stage about Starling’s approach to Open Banking, admitting “this story has worked out differently to what most of us expected.”
“The idea of Starling was a whole new technology stack, a new banking licence, a way of doing things different, but also building an API-enabled organisation... we would be able to pull apart propositions and put them back together, in the way that Silicon Valley has done to lots of other industries in the past... it didn't really happen.”
Why not? In Boden’s mind the blame falls at the feet of the big banks, who were put under huge pressure to deliver Open Banking on-schedule that resulted in a “very ugly” implementation.
"Open banking has not taken off yet, not because big banks are actively blocking it but due to huge organisational complexity, and ultimately the ability to transform is not there in mainstream banking." Our founder @AnneBoden at #AltFiLondon about the future of open banking. pic.twitter.com/zJZIh0Zbkj— Starling Bank (@StarlingBank) March 19, 2019
While Boden admitted all the work around Open Banking was a “damp squib”, the upside for Starling is that “it was the APIs we built for our consumer business, for Open Banking, that now allow us to support other businesses that use our bank-as-a-service platform.”
In a remarkable turnaround, Starling’s banking-as-a-service is now one of the company’s fastest-growing areas of business, already being used by Raisin, CurrencyCloud, the Department for Work and Pensions on Universal Credit, and even its ‘rivals’ RBS and NatWest.