Serving Rural Customers


#1

I live about 5 miles from a major town in the North West. I could be a few miles outside the M25 and face the same problem.

I am retired but could easily still be working based at my home and not needing to commute to a town each day. Many other employees find themselves moved to out of town business parks as companies economise.

Barclays are now shutting the nearest physical bank in May.

Our local SPAR has now become the Post Office, however like the majority of this type of branch, it is not a Link based.

As I don’t run a cash based business, I don’t need to pay in cash to my Starling Account. For some small businesses eg window cleaner this could be an issue.

The key things are Paying in the odd cheque and withdrawing cash.

I bank with several banks and with the notable exception of Starling all the others provide FREE paying in of cheques at all Post Offices, with the clearing processing taking an additional day.

The also use the Visa Debit system, this allows withdrawals at any Post Office.

I appreciate envelope paying in is on the horizon.

As the bank appears to punish departing good customers with a 12 month embargo on reopening an account.

I will be keeping the account open with £1 and mothball it until withdrawals at any Post Office without charge becomes available.


#2

Having a Visa Debit card does NOT allow withdrawals at any Post Office.

Banks individually sign up to an arrangement with the Post Office (paying money to use their service each time they are used) so it is because your bank are paying money to the Post Office and not because of the card scheme (i.e. Visa or Mastercard).


#3

They’ve already announced they’re working on paying in cash at the Post Office. They were originally hoping to launch by end of April - but now it’s been slightly delayed to ‘Q2’ so should be here by end of June.

I would expect the Post Office agreement to cover both cash and cheques.

However, for cheque payments, a better solution, and something that people have discussed on here but it’s not something that I’ve seen any official ‘we’re working on it’ statement from Starling is in-app Cheque imaging. So, no need to physically take the cheque to the Post Office, or post it to Starling - just take a photo with your phone directly in the app and it’ll get processed. From what I understand, there’s an onboarding process with the central cheque clearing organisation which might be why it’s not something Starling have had a chance to work on yet?


#4

Hi there,

Thanks for sharing your experience @Denis_Teulon - it’s really useful for to understand how well we serve our rural customers. I’m sorry your experience until now hasn’t met your needs, hopefully we’ll improve that over time.

As @Stephen_Clifford has highlight we hope to have a partnership with Post Office in place later this year which will facilitate cash deposits into your account, as well as balance enquiries and cash withdrawals. As long as your local Spar is a registered post office this should help you.

When we have this service at the Post Office available it won’t unfortunately allow you to pay in cheques to your Starling account. Cheques will still need to be sent to us directly via our PO Box address for processing for the time being. Being completely transparent we have not yet pursued an arrangement with the Post Office to process our cheques for us because the volume we receive is low and so economically the service from the PO is not something that makes sense for us at this time. It might in future…

We are of course monitoring those volumes and alternative processes will be established when we have an increased need for them - that could be over the counter cheque paying in service or something app based. We’ll inform our customers in advance of any processes and/or services changing.

Sarah


#5

Hi Sarah,

Our Spar is a registered Post Office however unlike some Crown Offices they
do not have a Link based ATM outside.

This type of Post Office will be the majority of the 11,000 branch network
forming the overall Post Office Network as they
are slimming down there direct presence on the High St in favour of
effectively franchising the work out to local shops. In theory these are
better placed
geographicaly and open for much longers hours in some cases 7 days a week.

With the advent of Amazon and Ebay et al plus the demise of Bank Branches,
the Post Office outlets appear to have recovered there place in the
community again.

Please can you double check that when cash withdrawls go live it will at all
Post Offices, it will be without charge and an approximate date for go live
as in year and quarter.

Regards

Denis Teulon.


#6

Hi Denis,

Just to point out though - Starling Bank is not actually part of Link so any ATM you use need to specifically accept Mastercard. The vast majority of them do - there’s only one in my local area that I’ve come across which is purely a Link/Visa only ATM and don’t accept Mastercard.

The Post Office service they’re setting up would allow you to pay money into your account, and cash withdrawals over the counter - not specifically via an ATM.


#7

And on this issue - this post covers this from yesterday


#8

Thanks @Stephen_Clifford! You’re correct our partnership will be to provide over the counter services as opposed to ATM services. This will include cash withdrawals over the counter. At the moment we are targeting Q2.

In terms of whether all Post Office branches will offer the service, yes we expect so although the maximum deposit and withdrawal amount will vary between different Post Office outlet types. Some smaller branches may have deposit/withdrawal limits. We’ll provide more information on service availability and limits when the service is made available.

Sarah


#9

Thank you for the addtional info, will wait for more details.

DT