Bonjour France! Starling Bank migrates across the channel as it launches ‘Starling-as-a-Service’ in Europe

By Aisling Finn on Wednesday 29 September 2021

Digital Banking

Starling has offered banking-as-a-service in the UK since 2018, but expanding to France, Germany, The Netherlands and Spain marks the first time the neobank is touching down abroad.

Bonjour France! Starling Bank migrates across the channel as it launches ‘Starling-as-a-Service’ in Europe
Image source: Starling Bank.

One of the last digital banks to expand internationally, Starling Bank has finally touched down abroad.

The digital bank is set to launch in France, not as a digital bank, rather it will launch a banking-as-a-service (BaaS) platform, first reported by French publication Les Echos.

From next year, Starling will enable French firms to provide financial services to their customers, such as payments, data processing and issuing cards.

Subject to regulatory approval, Starling is hoping to bring its Starling-as-a-service offering to the EU, including France, Germany, The Netherlands and Spain. 

“The thriving technology and fintech scene in European markets makes them a great fit for the culture of innovation at Starling, and therefore a natural space for us to offer and develop our solutions in Europe,” CEO and founder Anne Boden said.

Already looking to set down a solid foundation, Starling has already started to recruit staff for its French venture and looking to sign-up some prospective customers across the channel.

The move marks the first step abroad for the British digital bank—and the first time that the fintech will not use its main export, digital banking.

An embedded future

Boden further explained Starling’s “new phase”, Starling-as-a-Service, in a LinkedIn post to her future self.

“This new service offers our partners the benefit of Starling’s advanced technology, to use as their own,” Boden wrote, explaining the rebrand.

“Thanks to embedded finance, businesses as diverse as retailers to utilities, from healthcare to manufacturing, now have the opportunity to derive a significant proportion of their revenues from financial services.”

Starling launched BaaS in the UK in 2018 and already has 25 payment and banking services customers, including Raisin, CurrencyCloud, Moneybox and Vitesse.

A year of firsts for Starling, the digital bank also made its first acquisition, buying specialist buy-to-let mortgage lender Fleet Mortgages for £50m.

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