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Starling Bank First Digital Challenger to Join Faster Payments

speed_iconsU.K.-based Starling Bank has become the “first of the digital-only challengers” to join Faster Payments this week, reports Paybefore sister publication Banking Technology. The 13th direct participant of the Faster Payments Scheme, Starling says its customers will be able to see where their money is flowing and when in real-time, 24/7.

“Given our users are all people who happily manage their lives on their phone, this partnership is a huge step in helping them to better manage their finances through our app,” says Julian Sawyer, chief operating officer at Starling Bank, who joins the board of Faster Payments.

Starling says traditionally new bank entrants have connected to the platform via another bank, or a sponsor bank.

However, having previously discussed their intention to join, Starling has tested and integrated Faster Payments into its newly built banking platform and customers now are making payments using the technology to all the major banks.

The bank is getting ready for its 2017 launch.

“There is no strategic advantage as doing the same as the big banks. We are a small organization—very well-funded—and all our energy is put into our products that can be transformed the most by technology,” says Anne Boden, Starling’s CEO. “The current account is the only product that is crying out for revolution—for something different.”

The bank has received its U.K. banking license, got its first batch of debit cards and continues to build its infrastructure.

It has also secured $70 million in funding from Harald McPike, who runs QuantRes, a Bahamas-based private investment firm. Two of Starling’s six board members are QuantRes directors.

For its payments system, the bank uses Bottomline Technologies. The system will include anti-money laundering (AML), know your customer (KYC) and credit checks.

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