Just how good is Starling’s business account?
Customers have been flocking to the mobile-only bank Starling, impressed by its slick app and fee-free spending abroad.
Now the challenger bank is also offering a business account option. Read on to find out more about Starling Business and whether it could help your company.
Business banking. But better.
What is the Starling Business Account?
Starling says its aim is to make banking straightforward, simple and quick.
Starling’s business account is no different. Launched in 2018, it takes a matter of minutes to sign up through the app, while its mobile-only approach and easy to use app might make managing your receipts and invoices easier.
Its business option is currently available if you’re an individual owner of a limited company, and the only one with significant control over the business. Or, if you’re a sole trader and you already own a personal account.
Starling CEO Anne Boden explains why Starling Bank is different
How does Starling Business work?
Like many other challenger banks Starling offers a banking experience that is pretty different to traditional banks. Here we walk you through getting started and what features you would get with a business account:
- Quick application. Download the app on your smartphone. After entering some personal details, you take a photo of an accepted I.D. and film a short video of yourself. With a business account Starling run a few quick credit checks too, but the whole process shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes.
- Your card. You’ll be issued with a contactless Mastercard debit card, which should take between 3-5 days to arrive. However, you can start using Starling straight away through Google or Apply pay.
- No fees. Starling won’t charge fees on electronic payments, domestic transfers, monthly account fees or ATM withdrawals.
- 24/7 support. You can speak with a human adviser (not a robot) at all hours of the day. Contact them through the app, over the phone or by email.
- Real-time info. There’s no waiting around for payments to show up. You even get notifications every time money enters or leaves your account.
- Spending insights. See your spending broken down into categories like utilities, travel or entertainment.
- CSV exports. Share your transactions with your accountant or accounting software like Xero.
Is a Starling Business account for your company?
As briefly mentioned already, you can only apply for a Starling business account if you are an individual owner of a limited company, and you have significant control over it. Or, as long as you’re a sole trader and you already own a personal account.
Starling is probably better for smaller or medium businesses too. It doesn’t charge fees if you have fewer than 10 employees and less than £1.7 million in annual turnover.
For now, larger businesses can get a business account for free. However, this is for a limited time.
Is Starling Business safe?
As Starling is a licensed bank you are partially covered. In the event of the bank going bust, it is covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). So you would be protected for up to £85,000.
However, the FSCS doesn’t apply to all business types so you should check with its website whether your company is eligible. It’s worth bearing in mind that the FSCS small business threshold is less than £1 million turnover in a year.
You might also be wondering about how safe the actual app is? Starling have a number of security features to ensure your money is safe from fraudsters:
- Your finances are secured behind a passcode and password and completing your registration requires video and photo-ID.
- If you ever lose your card, you can immediately deactivate it with a push of a button and customer service is there whenever it’s needed.
- A live record of your transactions and home screen notifications means you are alerted to any strange payments immediately.
Pros and cons of Starling Business Current Account
- An account up and running in about 10 minutes.
- No joining or monthly fees.
- Contactless card delivered within a week.
- Spending insights will help you manage your company’s finances. Every penny can be scrutinised.
- No spending fees abroad and Mastercard exchange rate.
- Marketplace gives you more financial control, letting you connect to platforms like Xero and FreeAgent.
- Its “Goals” savings feature available to businesses too.
- 24/7 customer service.
- Fully licensed by the FCA and PRA.
- Currently, only an individual who owns a limited company can open an account.
- That individual must be the only one with significant control over the business.
- The lack of branches might cause some communication problems.
- You still need to use a traditional bank (NatWest) to pay cash in.
Frequently asked questions
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