How will other banks respond to Starling?


Well. I work for a competitor and saw this big sheet of paper asking for people to write what the future of digital banking was. Someone :wink: wrote this on the paper…


I would imagine there are a lot meeting going down in the big banks about the likes of Starling, Monzo etc.


I have a family member who works for one of the big banks and they are waiting to upgrade their work PCs from Windows XP to Window 7… AND they STILL have banking systems in operation that were designed in the 1980’s…
Behind the times is a MASIVE understatement!
I went “paper free” as soon as I could on Halifax and STILL get letters all the time… Then my statements are just PDF copies of the letters I use to get… Right down to the mesage telling me I should go paper free… These guys like the Car industry before Tesla and the Phone industry before Apple are so stagnant and haven’t evolved or put ANY money into bettering them selves or their industry (bar making more money from their client without any extra services…) in 10-20 years… :frowning: SO glad it’s turning around now that companies like Revolut to some extent (that’s what made me aware of newer banks and then I searched for something better as Revolute didn’t cut it which led me to Starling!) and obviously Starling Bank are FINALLY pushing it all forward. :smiley:


To be fair, in 20/30/50 years time there will be a certain amount of decades old code and systems in the new banks. I doubt faster payments for instance will change all that much, and if it works why re-engineer it. The older systems need to be maintained yes, but simply being old doesn’t make them bad (or good)


As I am in your age brackets I won’t take issue with the general principle that old can be good.
But for banking systems the problem is flexibility and speed of change.
It takes a long time to change these old systems and lots of compromises are needed as you work around how they were designed.
Plus the culture slows things down even more.


Well when you start encountering such things, they become good reasons to refactor/redesign.

One of the modern design principles which is important is that’s services should be small, specific things which do 1 job and do it well. You wouldn’t for instance time your card processing in with faster payments systems.

You should be able to replace the small parts more easily. If your not doing this the code can be 1 week old or a decade old, problem will be there

Starling will have the advantage, that code designed, understood and owned by themselves is easier to change, a brought in system not so

So to be clear I’m not saying being old isn’t ever a problem, more that you don’t replace a system (talking code not hardware) just because it’s old


:purple_heart: this. It’s just a no brainer, why wouldn’t we use technology and good design to make things more convenient and better for customers. We have the luxury of not having legacy code right now, but to be honest it is our mind set and a culture that is committed to focus on the customer’s experience that will ensure banking continues to be innovative and improving how we manage our money. And… customer feedback that is listened to of course.


The company I work for has an amazing code base. We aren’t 30 years old but are now almost 12 and old code is refactored/updated as and when it’s needed to keep everything fresh and easy to use. When we have a requirement for something new but there is code/systems that are causing issues in doing what we want (maybe even just newer OS or hardware) the code is updated/replaced. It might slow down development of the new feature but then when the next feature come to be developed it doesn’t take as long as you don’t need to work around the old systems. :smile:


But its not replaced just because of age, its replaced because its an impediment, you don’t say ‘this code is 5 years old lets rewrite it’, but ‘this is getting in the way of this new project, lets refactor it so its not in the way’


Exactly @mwarby . I didn’t say we replace code due to age I said we relace code due to holding back or slowing down new feature development. :slightly_smiling_face:
You can’t replace all your code every few years but you can update what is needed as you go along. “a stitch in time saves nine” and all. :wink:


I did some work for Natwest about a decade ago…in COBOL.
Same code is still running now because it works.
The majority of ATMs still run embedded XP, and my Opticians may be running Windows 7 but the software they’re using is the same terminal emulated DOS application they were using in 1995.


Just had an email from Barclays regarding the 5x16-hour long outages they are scheduling between now and Christmas for all banking services except using your card. Wow.


Said email about Barclays’ downtime for anyone interested; I have a Pingit account with them which will also be down too: