Starling Bank, the mobile-only bank, announced on Thursday (Aug. 30) it rolled out current accounts for 16- and 17-year-olds.
In a press release, Starling Bank said the accounts will have the same functionality of a full current account, enabling young people to manage money and access payment options including Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay, Fitbit Pay and Garmin Pay. The bank noted that the teenaged account holders will not be able to get loans or access overdraft lines of credit.
“A bank account is a sign of independence, and we wanted to make it easy for 16- and 17-year-olds to enter the world of banking with a product that enables them to understand what they are spending, easily save for their next big purchase and safely send money to their friends,” said Anne Boden, chief executive of Starling Bank, in the press release.
According to Starling Bank, the account was created to meet the demand from younger people who want a full bank account. Customers don’t need their parents to apply and don’t need to go into a branch to open an account. They will be able to apply to open bank accounts in under five minutes from a smartphone.
The mobile-only bank noted that Lucas Johnston, a 17-year-old employee of Starling, was the leading member behind the new account. Johnston is also working on other products for the bank, noted the press release.
Starling also announced that it will be using Google Nearby technology, which allows customers to pay or get paid by other nearby Starling users. According to the bank, the technology takes the pain out of splitting the bill by connecting Starling customers and allowing them to make payments in seconds.
In 2017, Starling’s COO Julian Sawyer spoke with PYMNTS about the bank’s efforts to distinguish itself from other mobile financial services solutions. “We’re a digital technology company that happens to be doing banking and payments,” he said, “so we want to have technology leading the way for us. At the end of the day, we’re good at payments and we’re good at technology, and we want to combine those efforts so we can kind of lead the pack.”