Starling Bank has launched two new subscription accounts for UK business owners. One offers a “digital banking toolkit”, whilst the other allows users to hold an account in US dollars.
The Business Toolkit
The UK challenger’s first subscription account can be merged with business owners’ current free Starling accounts.
Limited companies and sole traders can pay £7 a month for the account add-on.
It allows businesses to do all their bookkeeping and accounting direct from their Starling app.
The kit includes creating, sending and tracking invoices, automating expenses, as well as recording VAT submitting VAT returns via HMRC.
Users can also upload bills and schedule payments to manage cash flow.
In beta since January, the toolkit integrates with HMRC’s ‘Making Tax Digital’ software.
And specially for sole traders, it can estimate self-employment income tax, National Insurance Contributions (NICs) and student loan repayments.
Businesses which sign up before then end of July will be able to use the toolkit for free for the first three months.
US dollar business account
Following the launch of its euro business account in October 2019, Starling has also launched its second multi-currency account.
It allows users to hold, send and receive US dollars from their banking app. Customers can spend in both pounds and US dollars using one debit card.
Users will have to have a full US bank account with an automate clearing house (ACH) routing number to unitise the feature. A flat £5 monthly fee will be charged for the privilege.
Customers can fund the account through their UK account, or through an external US account.
“The new features will ease the burden of financial admin,” says CEO, Anne Boden, in a statement. She adds that more than half of business owners say this admin “holds back growth”.
New funding on the way?
After landing £100 million last year from the Banking Competition Remedies (BCR), Starling Bank applied for another £35 million from the EU-backed competition fund last week.
It has applied for two separate grants, worth £25 million and £35 million respectively. The grants would come out of a new pool of funding offered by BCR.
If the challenger is successful, it could expect the cash sometime in September.
Boden told Yahoo Finance that the grants would be used to build new products for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
“We’ve managed to build a very successful, high-growth SME business, we now have something like 3% of market share and we’re a safe pair of hands to be honest,” she says.
To date, the start-up has raised more than £360 million in equity funding, and currently serves around 180,000 SMEs.