What happens to customers with older phones?


Hardware and operating systems move on, but some people cannot necessarily keep up. What is Starling’s criteria for abandoning support and, potentially, its customers? Has this happened yet?

I haven’t upgraded from my launch iPhone5 and I wasn’t planning to for another year at least. The Starling app, however, is starting to show signs of instabilty (goals closes the app - I can’t access those savings till a fix is issued).

It is not a surprise that support effort diminishes for older systems. Customers are obligated to maintain upgraded versions of the App and operating systems and it wasn’t a concern when I signed up. Ironically, I have to thank Starling for being more frugal with gadget purchases.

Circumstances change, and although I really enjoy using Starling, having to be concerned with switching banks, because I can’t afford a new phone, is a new thing. Just trying to plan ahead.


We have seen with Monzo how account holders with an iPhone 4S will no longer be able to use the Monzo app due to an upgrade no longer supporting the 4S


Another reason a web portal would be awesome - this could provide access to anyone with any device anywhere, lowering the bar of entry to challenger banking.


Please accept my apologies for this.
Keeping the app crash free and performant is for us a matter of principle. Although we have generaly avoided crashes originating in Starling code (we have no control over Apple’s frameworks…), it was not the case lately. The spike in our analytical data clearly shows that.

I have spent the better part of this week exclusively focusing on two areas affecting customers with older phones:

  1. Goals instability / crash
  2. Degraded performance (especialy home screen on launch) on older phones.

Fix for the Goals instability is now in testing. Getting it delivered with the next app release is my top priority.

Degraded performance is a more complicated compounded issue.
Every time we release a major new feature, we also go through a round of UI optimizations so that the app designed for a reference iPhone6/6S/7/8 screen size looks and works equaly well on older and smaller phones. (For the technically savy, these optimizations are on top of - or - in addition to the usual benefits of “auto-layout” scalability.)
Our routine daily development is done on devices no older than 2-3 years old. We focused so much on delivering new features in the last 2-3 months we neglected to allocate enough time to keep the app performing well on old devices.
Another factor contributing to slowdown is ever increasing amounts of customer data.

I have a fix (still work in progress) which in the end will be a number of optimizations/improvements which will eliminate UI hickups on app launch (this part is basically done), and hopefully faster feed item data processing (early stages).

I’d like to get this merged as well, so we can ship both fixes with the next release.


This is a really informative and open statement and all the welcome for that. Thanks @Kris


That’s because apps are now or should be 64bit. Think that came in with iOS11.

I’ve a few apps stop working because the dev can’t be bothered to update their app


Thanks for taking the time to explain @Kris


I’m working on a project which works on most desktop platforms that can run Chrome/Firefox.

Due to limitations a 2-Factor code is needed to access accounts, this works by an extension which is paired with your account (Authy 2FA) but requires initial setup via a mobile device.

Afterwards, the basic functionality would be available by portal with features added over time.

Initial goals are mobileless authentication (excluding setup), viewing a basic statement, and sending a payment.

Hopefully, these will be ready soon. (Within a weeks time) the funding to maintain the infrastructure would be covered by a small membership plan - e.g basics are always free, but extras such as ‘Direct Debit Management’, ‘Goals/Savings’ etc would be available for £1 a month. Or £10 a year. This covers maintenance, updates, and operating fees.

Alternatively, a donation option could be used instead subject to feedback.

Will have updates soon, and any requests or devices to consider just let me know. But can’t promise to meet all of them. Sorry!


Downloaded the update a few days ago and I’m back in Goals! Great stuff guys. I hope the support and transparency continues.


I’m trying to sign up on Google Play as this seems to be a great account. However it days my Samsung Galaxy Note 2 (N7100) is not supported. I didn’t feel like I have a particularly old phone!

Please where can I get a list of supported phones?

Many thanks


Is your phone with standard operating system or is it rooted or jailbroken? If you have non-standard OS or a flashed ROM that tends to stop a lot of banking apps from downloading/installing/running.


Hi Amanda

I’ve had a look at the main Android forum and found this. Looks promising.



That’s not the issue unfortunately. The problem is that the galaxy note 2 is over 5 years old, and hasn’t been updated past Android 4.4.2. Starling don’t support phones older than Android 5.0.

Amanda, I’m afraid that unless you get a new phone, or Starling decide to support older OS versions, you’re not going to be able to open a Starling account :frowning:



Looks like it’s time for a newer phone. The good thing is that you certainly don’t need to spend a lot for a much newer model (just avoid signing up for a contract :unamused: - with you presumably already on a sim-only deal, an android device will be easy to come by and refurbished on eBay / Amazon should do the trick). Happy, wise shopping :grinning:


This is not just a Starling issue. Monzo also recently stopped supporting older models of iPhone as their operating system was getting old.


Yep, and Monzo also require Android >= 5.0. Revolut goes back to 4.3, N26 supports 4.4 and up.


Many thanks, No it’s not rooted, but yes it’s running 4.4. And yes I’m on a sim only contract.

So I need one using 5.0 or onwards? That’s the sort of practical info that I need.


Yup, 5.0 or later with Google Play and you should be good to go.


Hi Henry - Im actually devving a web portal for all to use for free.

Stay tuned - or DM me.