Starling Bank, the mobile-only bank, has today announced it is making its business account available to the UK’s 3.4 million sole traders. This expansion comes just two months after Starling launched the nation’s first mobile-only business bank account.
Starling customers who are sole traders can apply for an account for their business in less than 10 minutes, directly from their smartphone. There are no fees for having an account, no fees for making a payment to another bank account and no fees for withdrawing cash.
For the first time, sole traders – who make up more than 60% of businesses in the UK – will be able to manage their business account entirely from their mobile, while also being able to manage their personal finances from the same app.
Sole traders are at the forefront of business growth in the UK and accounted for 79% of the overall 197,000 increase in the number of businesses last year. They include Jane McWhirter, who is self-employed and runs her own chiropractic and naturopathic nutrition clinic in Fife.
McWhirter said: “A Starling business account will save me so much time. Being paperless and branchless is brilliant. Invoices and receipts can so easily get into the wrong order or lost but now I’ll be able to have everything in one place, in the right order, and be able to type and search for a transaction in seconds.
“Over the last year, more and more branches have closed and I am now 10 miles from my nearest bank. This means over an hour round trip when you include the drive, parking and queue.”
Starling customers will be able to make payments to suppliers from the app (including international payments), receive real-time balance updates and access insights on monthly spending. They’ll be able to set aside money for important business expenses using the Goals feature, which allows users to set savings targets for individual items or areas of expenditure.
The accounts will initially be exclusively available to existing Starling customers. Anyone who doesn’t already have a Starling personal account they can apply to create one in a matter of minutes. Once both accounts are open, customers will be able to toggle between the two in the app.