Banking

‘The platform has been designed to cope with working in different markets’: Inside Starling Bank’s evolution as a technology platform

  • UK digital bank Starling Bank is busy evolving into a technology business. 
  • The bank wants to keep padding its bottom line but without the tediousness that comes with a traditional international expansion. Instead, the bank is busy making a B2B pivot through its subsidiary Engine by Starling.
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‘The platform has been designed to cope with working in different markets’: Inside Starling Bank’s evolution as a technology platform

UK digital bank Starling Bank is busy evolving into a technology business. 

Started by a veteran in technology and banking Ann Boden, Starling Bank was built to give consumers a better banking experience on par with that of their favorite mobile apps. “Our current account is for people who find that every other part of their life can be delivered through their mobile phone and yet their banks aren’t keeping up,” said Boden in 2016 when the bank was still relatively new. 

Since then Starling Bank has been one of the few challenger banks in the UK that has been able to turn a profit. And it wants to keep padding its bottom line but without the tediousness that comes with a traditional international expansion. Instead, the bank is busy making a B2B pivot through its subsidiary Engine by Starling, which enables banks to use the same core banking platform that has powered Starling Bank since its inception. 

“Engine is the technology platform that was built to power Starling Bank, and this technology has been fundamental to Starling’s success. It was clear from the start that to deliver the digital-first, customer experiences that would set Starling apart and disrupt the market, we needed to build our own platform,” said Victoria Newton, Chief Product Officer, Engine by Starling.

Engine by Starling is used by Salt Bank in Romania and AMP Bank in Australia, and both geographies make sense because they are in close regulatory alignment with the UK, according to Engine by Starling’s CEO, Sam Everington. “Working and scaling into different markets poses unique challenges too, but the platform has been designed to cope with this, and we have an expert team and a growing network of partners to help our client banks on the journey,” Newton added. 

Newton also hopes that some of the experience the company and its platform gain in new markets can be brought back to the mothership and help “spark ideas that will better serve our UK bank,” she said. 

Engine by Starling has also recently partnered with GFT, a digital transformation company, which will provide design, integration, and implementation services to Engine clients. GFT’s role seems to be to remove roadblocks that FIs can face when taking on a digital transformation.


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