Starling Discussion & Feedback

Although quite what Atom bought beats me :flushed:

Really? Are we ignoring the awful card processor they used instead of doing their own? :stuck_out_tongue:

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe Monzo only built their own card processor when GPS became regularly unreliable.

In March 2017, Monzo stated:

Using a third-party processor made a lot of sense when we first started our alpha program – connecting directly to payment networks like Mastercard is a long, costly, and complex process, and at the time it didn’t seem like there would be any benefit to our customers from doing this. However, over the past year we have reassessed this decision; to ensure we have total control over the customer experience, we need to have a direct connection to payment networks.

We’ve just finished a 12-month project to connect our systems directly to Mastercard. When we launch the current account later this year, it will not use a third-party card processor and instead transactions will be processed entirely on our own technology. We see ourselves as a technology company as much as a bank, and going forward our strategy is to bring all critical systems in-house and continue to develop our own platform atop modern technology which we control.

The fact they started connecting to Mastercard directly in March 2016 with the launch of the beta programme (bold text by me) points to it being a long term goal of Monzo. The later GPS failures may have speeded up transition decisions, but by at least the time of the end of the Alpha phase, Monzo wanted to do this. I am also happy to be corrected if my evaluation is wrong.


The card processor is a minor detail though, as it can be replaced easily. The real deal is the database of transactions, the systems around Faster Payments and SWIFT, etc, and from what I’ve seen theirs is just as good as Monzo’s.


I guess it depends how you define ‘easily’ but it doesn’t sound that easy to me -

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Absolutely. Word of mouth, UX, brand recognition… It’s not about building a feature for the sake of of it but ensuring that feature makes sense for us and is delightful to use. If a feature isn’t delightful then nobody will talk about it.

One of the things that VC investors look for is “stickiness”. It’s a bit of Silicon Valley jargon that basically refers to how often a user will open up the app. Things like Instagram would be considered to be very “sticky”. And that’s not something that comes from piling in features for the sake of it. It’s to do with your overall UX. In fact in the early days of Instagram it had very few features and yet the stickiness level was off the charts!

It’s a bit of a mysterious one because it’s hard to pinpoint what makes an app so sticky. It’s less about individual things but more about the app and UX as a whole and this thread is a great example of that - the whole heart vs head thing, and that people prefer what we’re doing even if other services provide more features. The awesome folks who invested us did a lot of research and found that we are very sticky and that gave them the confidence to want to invest in us :blush:


Well I’m still using Starling for all of my payments as Monzo seem to have no interest in sorting out the basics in their app like the reference number.

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To be fair, Starling has had a very poor implementation of payments until a couple of weeks ago. Now, following an update, it is just poor.

Neither Monzo nor Starling excels with this where many legacy banks are ahead. The UX is bad on both.


You just need to show us what our friends are spending on and allow us to ‘like’ it publically :wink:


I’m starting to get slightly cold feet with Monzo now. :thinking: I keep looking at the shiny Starling account with more bells and whistles and wonder how long it will take Monzo to reach similar parity? Anyone else in a similar dilemma? :confused:

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” :wink:


There’s literally nothing stopping you moving to Starling and then switching back when Monzo is more attractive for you.


I appreciate that- just wondering if people are having similar thoughts.

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Personally, no. The monzo account has everything I want. Any other features coming soon or further away are just icing on the cake.


Yes I did. Mostly because of the android app. So far no regrets. I still have both tho :smiley: and will keep both for seeable future.

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Thats interesting @anon40728597. Are you struggling to make a choice as to which one to keep or do you have specific features you like with both Monzo and Starling?

I still have a Nationwide account and not sure if carrying 3 cards is a great idea! :wink:

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I really don’t understand why there’s this fixation in some quarters on looking for this ‘parity’ from two organisations both doing their best to offer the product/service that they want to offer. It’s just nonsensical to me.

It’s not a competition and it’s not a race. If either ‘side’ of this comparison is spending their time watching the ‘other side’ and trying to match them in features or in time then I’d argue very strongly that ‘that side’ have no ideas of their own so probably aren’t the company to use.

I very much doubt either Monzo or Starling wastes too much concern about ‘parity’ since they both seem to have pretty clear ideas of what they want to offer on their own terms.


Its parity between the same organisation. Monzo android v monzo iOS

Like a lot of people …monzo was brand loyalty. I hold it because I like alot about monzo and want to see where it goes.

But the starling app (ON Android!) Just works better for my needs currently.

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This Ian the Starling thread. That’s a different conversation.