Posted on January 25, 2019 by staff

Starling Bank founder targets tens of millions of customers


The founder of app-based challenger bank Starling is targeting tens of millions of new customers.

Anne Boden MBE recently revealed plans to expand the business into Ireland then the French and German markets, which she believes will allow it to expand even more rapidly than it did in 2018.

Last year the London-based challenger grew its personal customer base from 50,000 to more than 400,000, with 25,000 SME business accounts now on its books. Boden expects to surpass a million customers this year.

Speaking to BusinessCloud, the Swansea-born entrepreneur said: “We are working on euro accounts and a European launch. [Long-term] we intend to have tens of millions of customers across Europe. I think we will grow all over the world.”

The bank can already carry out direct debit and card payments and transfers across the EU thanks to its single euro payments area licence.

Boden enjoyed a distinguished career working in senior leadership at a number of global banks, latterly as COO of Allied Irish Banks Plc, before setting up Starling Bank in 2014.

The bank, which refers to its app-based approach as ‘banking-as-a-service’ and offers a full suite of financial products, has received a total of $96.8 million in funding.

“Thousands of people today are moving to banks like Starling,” continued Boden, who claims its oldest user is in their 90s. “It’s not just the younger demographic.

“People find app banking very easy; we don’t force people to use the app, they chose us.”

Starling expects to be profitable by 2020 and claims that six people switch to its platform for every person leaving.

“It’s going to be an interesting world going forward. Technology is a huge enabler and we are using it to make things better and stir up the whole industry,” explained Boden.

“The barriers to changing your account a few years ago, where you had to go into a branch to open an account and they asked lots of questions, are now gone.”

Starling Bank recently welcomed household bills management service Onedox to its in-app marketplace and has partnerships with other FinTechs including pension provider PensionBee, digital investing services Wealthsimple and Wealthify, mortgage broker Habito, travel insurance provider Kasko, life insurance provider Anorak, and receipts and loyalty partner Flux.