So i’m fairly new to this community, but i’ve been reading posts as an anonymous user for some time. I finally took the dive yesterday and signed up to Starling bank to have a play over the next few weeks. But i’m still torn about the benefits it will offer me, and was wondering if you (the community) could help me out with some “sticky points” which i’ll go in to more depth below (I will be playing devils advocate ).
When reading below don’t think i’m trying to bash Starling or that i’m single minded in my thinking. I’m seriously trying to weigh up the more in-depth pros/cons which would really make me switch, so i’m open minded to all feedback received.
Thanks in advance!
Why should I make the full switch to a “smarter” challenger bank when there are apps utilising data scraping (and some using the new Open Banking APIs - I’m sure this will get even better over time) to make my traditional banks that much smarter?
Start of post…
So first things first, I love the ability of getting instant notifications when you make a purchase with your card. But if the future of payment is going contactless (i.e. Google Pay, Apple Pay etc.) then i’ll get a notification from this regardless? Also, you may argue I won’t get notifications if I use an actual card payment with traditional banks but couldn’t I just sign up and use curve?
Next, It’s great to have the ability to search through statements and purchases, and to get summaries/categories on the types of things I spend month to month. I may not be able to do this with traditional banking apps, but using Yolt/Emma, this is easily achievable. And with the next phase of open banking APIs Yolt has started rolling this into their app making it more secure.
One great feature of Starling I like is the fact that you can ring fence your money for savings using goals. But this can be done using savings accounts, or apps like Chip or even get Yolt/Emma to budget for you.
When abroad, I get that you have some of the best exchange rates for spending and free cash withdrawals. But I have a Halifax Clarity card which pretty much does the same, but I can also use this for holds when using car rentals abroad (when they ring fence €1000 and return it back to the card when the car is returned in good nick)…I don’t think Starling can do this without touching my personal money?.. And I also have the extra assurance of the credit card protection (Section 75).
Finally, the added benefit of a bigger traditional bank is they offer much better interest rates on your savings then the challenger banks.
So why should I make the full switch to a “smarter” challenger bank when there are apps utilising data scraping (and some using the new Open Banking APIs - I’m sure this will get even better over time) to make my traditional banks that much smarter?