B2B Payments

Starling To Open Business Account Services Beyond Sole Traders

U.K. challenger bank Starling Bank emerged on the market with a focus on consumers and sole traders, but the company is now planning an expansion of those services, reports in Specialist Banking said Wednesday (October 10).

Speaking at the MoneyLive Lending 2018 event held in London, Starling Chief Platform Officer Megan Caywood revealed the next expansion plan for the company, targeting small firms with multiple directors.

"We started with a retail current account and then we launched business accounts, first for limited companies with a single director and now for sole traders as well, and soon for multi-director limited companies," she said. "Very much focusing on the [SMB] space of one to 10 employees."

In addition to the plans to introduce corporate account services to more types of businesses, Caywood also revealed that Starling will continue to focus on integrating with "a number of different partners," as well as building out its product offering with a particular focus on different financing products, including invoice financing and credit facilities.

As it expands, Starling will turn to both FinTech collaboration and in-house product development to remain competitive. In terms of global expansion, Caywood said, the bank will focus on the European Union, and particularly in markets with large U.K. expat communities.

"We obviously want to be in the U.S. as well," she added, also noting that Asia is on the company's radar. "We want to be a global bank and we want to eventually expand [in Asia], but not currently. We're first looking at EU and the U.S."

Starling Bank first announced its plans to step into the business banking space last year, only four months after it launched its app-only current account services for individual consumers. More recently, the challenger bank rolled out account services for 17- and 18-year olds. The services, announced in August, target young consumer money management, and will not link these customers to certain products including loans and overdraft lines of credit.



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