Starling's Marketplace

I expect there will be some discussion about this so it needs a dedicated topic, rather than a post in the Competitor Updates topic.

Starling have just provided a Sneak Peak of their marketplace, in a post that’s the equivalent of Monzo’s marketplace banking blog -

except it explains how the functionality will be work at a more detailed level. Most of this seems pretty common sense so it probably gives us a good idea of how Monzo’s marketplace is likely to work too.

They’re clearly ahead of Monzo in this area, in terms of readiness to launch because they decided not to worry about the upcoming regulation & launch their public API now, whereas Monzo’s will launch next year. The marketplace is an integral part of both bank’s business models.

Since there’s so many interesting details in this post, here it is in full.

Hey everyone, happy Monday! To kick off the week, we’re giving you a sneak peek into what our Starling Marketplace is going to look like.

As many of you have heard, the next stage in Starling’s strategy of developing a market leading current account is the introduction of the Marketplace that will enable you to search and access other innovative financial apps and services, all from within Starling.

Take a look:

You may have already experienced the Marketplace when you connected Moneybox or Tail to your Starling account, but we are now focussing on the next phase of the Marketplace, where we enable you to access other products and services from within the Starling app. As you can see, the Marketplace enables you to browse various categories of services and then browse providers within each of these.

When you select an app or service you want to use or connect with Starling, then you’ll be taken out of the Starling app and into the other application, and you’ll be asked if you’re willing to share your data to allow the connection between the two. Upon authorisation, Starling will connect with the other app you’ve selected.

Starling can share data to streamline setup of the other app (so you don’t have to enter in duplicate information to setup an account with that app that Starling can share across for you), but then you’ll go about setting up and using that app as you normally would. After you’ve setup that app - say an ISA in Wealthify - then when you return to the Starling app you’ll have a dashboard to show you some high level details about that connected product. The dashboard for Wealthify under “Savings and Investments”, for example, will show information such as Total Value of the ISA, Total Growth, Risk Level, and amount of the Standing Order, and will let you do basic actions like “Add Money” to the ISA.

Each category in the Marketplace will have a unique dashboard that relates to it, to show you some high level data about the products you have connected to Starling.

In some cases, the apps available in the Marketplace won’t require the opening of another app, and the flow will happen entirely within Starling, but generally this won’t be the case. There are a few reasons for this model, a main one being that we want to enable partners to be able to join the Marketplace quickly and easily. In this model, since we have a standardised dashboard for each category, we can enable partners to easily integrate our API and to also identify the API requirements to plug into the Marketplace dashboard. This is a big part of our goal to enable transparency and choice for our customers.

This is just the beginning though. The Marketplace is fundamental to our mindset here at Starling that we want customers to live healthier financial lives, and key to doing that is helping them to make better financial decisions. In that spirit, we recognise that we aim to offer the world’s best current account, but we also can’t offer the world’s best mortgage and insurance and wealth management tools and so on. There are many other companies out there that are focused on solving those specific problems uniquely well, so rather than attempting to reinvent the wheel and build the same functionality that they have, we’re instead going to focus on what we do really well - the current account - and allow you to access those other amazing apps and services from within Starling.

The long term vision of the Marketplace is to make it increasingly smart. We’re building a platform that enables any number of providers to plug into it, and in the future we’ll look to additionally use data and machine learning to increasingly help customers find and choose the best products for them. For example, if someone is using Starling as their primary account and we have insight into their spending, then we will automatically be able to complete an affordability assessment to pre-approve them for lines of credit. Then, when they go to access a loan in the Marketplace, they won’t have to fill in any forms and we’ll be able to automatically scour the market for the best deal on their behalf. Those providers plugged into the marketplace will be able to bid in real-time to service each customer requirement, helping to ensure the customer gets the best offer possible.

We want to loop you into this journey early and hear your feedback - let us know what you think! And if there are any partners in particular that you’d like to see, let us know!


what are you thoughts on this @alexs


That might need a long post so I’m going to take some time to digest this. I will let you know later though :smile:


I wonder whether these are just interface mockups or whether they’ve actually built this already? Regardless, it looks interesting. I imagine you wouldn’t launch with categories though - rather you’d just launch with a small amount of partnerships and add more over time to ensure you can scale it properly.


you could do, and then as the marketplace grows, you populate the relevant categories with the relevant business. I do agree it is interesting.

however, i would have thought it would have been better to nail the current account 1st before launching the marketplace


Especially considering their card issues due to their third-party card processor being crap. How good is a marketplace if you can’t even use your debit card?


This looks good, I think starling are more advanced in their development and rollout of the marketplace concept. Monzo really needs to prioritise the development of their marketplace to have a sustainable competitive advantage.

Monzo has stood out with their zero fees abroad, real time push notifications, rich transaction data, pulse graph, slick UI etc but many of the bigger players are reacting and catching up. Banks are introducing real time push notifications, they are rebuilding their data-stores to capture rich transaction data, they are redesigning their UI etc.


Ok here goes :smiley:

As we know, a big part of the challenger’s appeal is better user experience & I’m a big fan of functionality like this, which removes friction from the signup process.
At the July open office Tom mentioned that the Monzo marketplace might include a rating for providers, based on how easy they make it to sign up to their products. Obviously that’ll motivate them to accommodate that sort of functionality as much as possible, which is brilliant :bulb:

We know that this sort of functionality is on the way for Monzo users too, as it was included in Hugo’s Pots sneak peak. I believe that frictionless access to & management of these services, from a single place (the current account), is going to become more & more important as users start adopting more & more products from different providers.

I’ll be interested to see how this works out. In theory it’s useful but it could be difficult to aggregate the data from multiple providers & still provide meaningful insights to users.

This is key, in my opinion because it enables providers to quickly integrate with the marketplace which means that users will have a wider selection of products / services to choose from. I’ve been making the case for that here too.

We know that this is on the way from Monzo too :smile:

This is where it gets really interesting though, I’m really excited to see just how much the challengers can leverage user’s data, for their benefit.

My only concern is quite how far Monzo takes the recommendation engine. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m keen to have a choice of every integrated service, from every provider, rather than having to choose from Monzo’s selections. It sounds like Starling are taking the former approach :+1:

Last comment - obviously the UI is pretty basic but it looks like it’ll do the job for now.

Overall, I’m impressed :slight_smile: it’ll be interesting to see which has the bigger draw - a better app, with a fewer integrations initially (Monzo) or Starling’s app & more integrations via the marketplace. I’m also wondering how quickly Monzo can catch up, once the API is ready..time will tell.


They seem to have got the general concepts and architecture down (at least, as I would like them), but I have to say I’m underwhelmed by the interface. I’d like to see something that makes it easier to select amongst different products in the same category. The screenshots above look like it will eventually be a long list of (for example) savings accounts with three bullet points each, so I’ll have to tap into each one to find out the details. Tedious.

I hope Monzo (and Starling, because competition is good :wink:) can figure out a way to make it easier to filter, sort, and narrow down the options before I have to dig into the details of a handful of likely choices.


Starling launch Marketplace:

I love how an article about Starling basically turns into an article about Monzo half-way through…


does this mean Starling is out of beta mode?

I wouldn’t consider them out of beta until they sort out the clusterfuck that is their Touch ID implementation. There’s a Touch ID toggle and it’s off, so WHY am I still asked for Touch ID?




Wow, that’s decent to get AXA, least it’s better than the mystery insurance company (White Horse) from Revolut :laughing:

I think that the challenge for Starling or anyone’s marketplace is building confidence that the consumer is getting a good deal. I appreciate that people might not be getting the best possible deal but it needs to be good enough so that I, or whoever, doesn’t feel ripped off for using it.