Mobile-only, banking challenger Starling Bank is planning to focus more on its brand awareness as it tries to move past its status as a startup and become one of the leading Fintech industry participants.
“We’re not a start-up anymore, certainly not. We’re definitely a scale-up.”
Starling is a fully licensed banking services provider and has been operating as a regulated entity since 2016. The bank focuses on providing consumers with a convenient app that aims to offer the peace of mind of a major financial brand. The company’s approach and strategy appear to be working well as it was rated the UK’s best bank for the past two years at the British Bank Awards, which is run by Smart Money People, a review platform.
Starling Bank is now focusing on its brand-building efforts. The company launched a TV ad a few months back as it intends to attract more customers. Starling currently has around 450,000+ users.
While speaking at the recently held MAD//Fest event in London, Pollard noted:
“For us, it’s about finding our space, defining that and learning how to articulate ourselves into the world.”
She added that consumers do not necessarily need a bank that’s only “cool and trendy.” People are looking for banking service providers that they are able to trust with their funds.
Starling Bank’s research has found that the frustration users feel due to the “tedious processes” defines or describes the client experience at large banking institutions.
Small business owners, for example, find it inconvenient to visit physical bank locations for basic tasks like making a deposit.
“We are amazed at how many small business owners and micro-businesses have to spend so much time and money in branches. It’s insane. It’s hopelessly out of date.”
Starling’s ad has a soundtrack that features Feeling Good, a version of the Nina Simone classic. The ad aims to emphasize the speed and simplicity of Starling’s product offering and is notably the first time the brand has “gone to market with something bigger and bolder that’s not purely performance channels,” Pollard said.
“This is who we are (and) we really want to own this space.”