Guest Blogger Ankita Narayan: “Ankita is an English Literature Postgraduate whose passion for stories propelled her to start writing her blog and later, host her own podcast: (featured as one of  iTunes’ New and Noteworthy podcasts in 2017); and in three years of blogging, worked as a Google Create India Partner. Her podcast, interviews real life heroes, sharing stories of how they got to where they are today and Ankita has made appearances on BBC Asian Network, Awaz FM, Deccan Chronicle and Islam Channel. It’s her love for stories that has shaped her career so far.”


The global financial crisis of 2007-08 was one that opened our eyes to a string of other possible global outcomes as a result. However, one good thing that came out of it was the decision made by former Allied Irish Banks COO Anne Boden who noticed a digital skills gap and decided to start her own bank in January 2014.

Starling Bank is a completely digital, mobile-only bank that brings all your banking needs to your fingertips…literally. Using Starling’s mobile app which is accessible on both Android and iOS, you can carry out transactions within minutes and receive statements in real time. As you might be able to guess from the theme emerging, applying and starting your own Starling bank account also takes mere minutes (about three to be precise). All you will need is a smartphone (no need to make a visit to a local branch), access to the internet, and a valid photo ID to photograph  in real time.

To break things down, here’s how you would go about it:

Step 1 – Download the Starling app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.

Step 2 – Enter your UK mobile number followed by the verification code that will be sent to you immediately.

Step 3 – Fill in your personal details such as title, name, date of birth, email address and home address.

Step 4 – Record a real time video of yourself declaring your name, followed by snapping a real time photo of your valid photo ID.

Following this, Starling will conduct a few background credit checks and once you’re approved, you can start banking right away.


Key features of Starling’s Current Account:

  1. Instant notifications on transactions – “When everything else in your life is real time, why shouldn’t your banking be?”.
  2. All transactions are put into relevant categories like eating out, lifestyle, groceries, travel etc.
  3. Starling is the UK’s first bank to have in-app provisioning for Apple Pay. You can also connect to Google Pay, Samsung Pay, Fitbit Pay and Garmin Pay via the Starling app.
  4. You can set goals and put money aside for each goal. These can be personalised with photographs and can be assigned standing payments which will not show up in your account’s main spending money. The amount put away into goals will still earn a monthly interest.
  5. Instant set up for all other standing orders and payments too.
  6. Set your own overdraft limit if you’re eligible for overdraft. This can be done using an interactive slider feature on the app.
  7. Chat with customer service real-time via the app.
  8. The Settle Up feature helps you split bills with a friend or family member.
  9. The new Starling Joint account feature only requires you to be in physical proximity of the person you’d like to start your joint account with, later allowing you to experience all the same advantages as those of a normal current account, including the setting of joint goals to save up for.
  10. No extra fees while travelling abroad as you get the competitive MasterCard exchange rate and not a penny more!
  11. And best of all, have your account’s contactless MasterCard debit card sent right to your door!

Social Media Apps

In this day and age, Starling makes day to day banking and real-time personal finance as hassle free and accessible as using social media apps. In the four years since its inception, Starling has truly redefined banking in the UK by making personal finance management simple and accessible. No wonder they got voted Best British Bank and Best Current Account Provider at the British Bank Awards 2018.

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