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Online & Mobile Banking

Starling Bank rolls out the Starling Marketplace

Tuesday 12 September 2017 | 12:11 PM CET

Starling Bank has announced the launch of the Starling Marketplace providing customers with access to various third-party money-related apps and services within its own app.

Billed by the digital-only challenger bank as a new concept in banking, the Starling Marketplace puts products from other fintech providers accessible within the Starling app.

Partnering companies integrate with Starling Bank via the challenger bank’s Open Banking-compliant APIs, although, as TechCrunch report, are integrating more deeply than simply making use of those APIs

The first fintech company to be added to the Starling Marketplace is Flux, the itemised receipt and rewards startup based in London. The company has built a software platform that bridges the gap between the itemised receipt data captured by a merchant’s point-of-sale (POS) system and what little information typically shows up on your bank statement or mobile banking app.

The Starling integration sees Flux send real-time itemised receipts to the Starling app when a customer pays with their Starling card at any of Flux’s retail partners, which so far includes all 111 EAT stores in the UK and Bel-Air. Flux will also enable Starling users to get automated loyalty points with cash-back for Flux-supported purchases, without the need for paper coupons. Starling Bank users will need to activate Flux from the Marketplace section of the Starling app to instantly link their card.

According to the announcement, if Starling users choose to activate the functionality, enables a greater detail of spending data to be displayed within the Starling app for purchases made at merchants that support Flux. By default, Starling users can see the retailer’s name, amount spent, date and location, but Flux goes further by displaying the item bought, VAT and any available loyalty stamps.

Starling third-party integrations fall into three categories. Flux and the bank’s upcoming partnership with TransferWise are examples of the deepest type of Starling app integration but isn’t typical.

Instead, whilst they’ll be discoverable and can be authorised via something akin to an app store within the Starling app, most Marketplace apps will only send back and display a limited amount of data in the form of a dashboard or ‘widget’ (my words, not Caywood’s). If I understand correctly, in certain instances this trade-off reduces the regulatory burden on Starling and, crucially, is a good compromise to stop the Starling app from becoming bloated.

A third category of integration are apps that simply make use of Starling’s API. Right now, these include Tail or roundups app Moneybox, which use the API to authenticate, access and build on top of various levels of your Starling bank account data and functionality.

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