Publish the app in all app stores (Starling for immigrants)


#1

Right now the Starling app is only published in the UK Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

I believe that some customers have recently become UK residents and have moved into the country bringing an App Store history with them. It wouldn’t be much of a problem if all apps were universal and app purchases moved when changing store countries, but that’s not the case. Also, some professional might have beta apps linked to their original account that must be updated regularly.

That’s my case, and it means that I will have to sign in and off to get app updates for Starling on iOS. It is even worse on Android as the App Store account is completely tied to the Google Account.

Customer support says that they “have explored this recently and do understand that it would be useful for some customers. However, as the account is currently only available to UK residents, we feel that it may cause some confusion. We’re exploring ways to make the experience easier for those who have moved recently or travel.”

This is far from ideal as new customers downloading the app can be informed front and center about the requirements and won’t be able to move forward during sign up anyway.

Could the team revisit this decision and/or offer alternatives such as downloadable APKs, enterprise distributions, beta builds in other stores, make it open source?


Starling for immigrants: Catch-22
#2

Given the emphasis they put on the lack of fees and “traveling with Starling” it’s even more important - consider a foreign traveler that’s in the UK for X months (business trip, etc) - he probably won’t bother changing his region on the App store which means he will not be able to enjoy Starling. I personally know I spent a good year after arriving in the UK before I finally gave in and changed my region, if Starling existed back then I wouldn’t have been able to try it out.


#3

I guess their argument would be that they don’t want people in other countries to think they can sign up only to find out once they’ve downloaded that they can’t. But it does make it difficult for people have moved recently or may be travelling for sure.


#4

Yeah I get that, that’s why I suggested putting that information front and centre in the app description, or any of those other suggestions that make both things possible.


#5

Could they not release a specific apk tailored to a user than can be installed/sideloaded to solve this in the short term?


#6

This would be very useful for me, I’m a UK Citizen but travel to the US a lot and my main Apple App Store/ID is in the US Store where Starlings App isn’t available, I also have a UK ID too where it is.
To update the App I have to manually sign out of the US Store then into my UK Store, before switching back to my US Store.
So can’t get Automatic Updates.

This is also annoying as a US Apple Music user as any downloaded local music gets reset and needs downloading again following Store sign out.


#7

This never used to be a problem until at some point Apple decided in their infinite wisdom only to notify of updates to apps downloaded with the currently signed in account rather than all apps installed on the device.

EDIT: didn’t realise I was responding to a stale thread.


#8

A friend of mine has recently moved to the UK. Of course I recommended her to install Starling. To my surprise, it’s only available in the UK App Store.
This is a Catch-22: in order to change the country associated with Apple account, one needs to have a card associated with that country. However, in order to get that card with Starling one needs to have Apple account in that country… I hope you see the issue here.
The solution was to apply for a Monese card, use it to change the country of Apple account and then install Starling. If Monese can do it, why can’t Starling? :slight_smile:


#9

Is it not currently just a UK bank account? If so why would it need to be in another country’s App Store?

That said they are expanding into Europe so maybe soon.


#10

I’ve explained why: if you’re moving to the UK.


#11

Yeah I understand that. Is this not an Apple issue? They force the card to be associated with the country.


#12

It’s not an issue but rather a “feature”: apps have different prices in different regions, and if you could change the country you could also cheat by purchasing them from the cheapest region. Last time I checked, Steam works in the same manner. I’m sure there are other reasons, but the point is to have some kind of verification of the country users come from.
Regardless, I don’t think there’s any chance Apple will change this, that’s why I’m reporting the problem on Starling forums.


#13

The way around this, I understand, is to use an iTunes voucher.


#14

Agreed. I still see it as an Apple issue as they force a Card even for free apps, which Starling is.


#15

I disagree: it’s up to the app developers to specify the countries it’s abailable in. It’s just a feature that doesn’t have to be used. If it is used it’s either for a reason or by accident. I presumed it’s the latter in Starling’s case.


#16

Back to what I said before. A UK bank app being in only a UK App Store isn’t a shocker for me. Not that I’ve checked but I’m sure most other bank will be similar. Even the bigger banks have UK only apps.


#17

when other banks (e.g. Monzo) did not restrict app availability by geography they had constant problems of people downloading the app and being unable to open an account, they then moaned on the community and marked them down in the store with a poor score.


#18

I think comparing Starling with other banks doesn’t do it justice. Firstly, Starling exists exactly because other banks fail at so many things. Secondly, unlike high street banks, the only way to open an account with Starling is via app. This means that immigrants are essentially barred from opening an account unless they already have another one.
Now that Monzo offers full bank account, they’ll face the same issue as Starling. I hope they’ll understand it and reverse their decision.
Good to know about the vouchers, but it’s not a user-friendly solution. How many people actually know about it?


#19

At least one more than before since I told you :wink:

I’ve given you a solution, it’s just not the solution that you wanted to hear :roll_eyes:


#20

I searched the web so that you didn’t have to.

Solution :white_check_mark: