Starling becomes member of SEPA ahead of Irish launch

UK-based digital lender poised to enter Irish market during first quarter of 2018

Starling Bank chief executive Anne Boden: “This is another important step towards our goal of offering both our retail proposition and our payment solutions to clients across Europe”

Starling Bank chief executive Anne Boden: “This is another important step towards our goal of offering both our retail proposition and our payment solutions to clients across Europe”

 

Starling Bank, a UK-based digital lender launching in Ireland next year, has become a direct member of the single euro payments area (SEPA) which allows credit transfers, direct debit and card payments across the European Union.

The system will allow Starling customers to make cross-border money transfers, and builds on the company’s existing direct participation of the Target 2 payment system, providing Starling access to real-time settlement information and control features.

The bank said the system would support its payment services business for both retail and wholesale banking, and was “the next big step” towards the company’s European expansion.

Having secured its banking passport into Europe this year, the announcement goes one step further in allowing Starling to interact with other European banks, giving consumers an improved offer for cross-border payments into Europe.

Starling Bank chief executive Anne Boden said the bank was on track to enter the Irish market during the first quarter of next year.

“We are very excited about today’s announcements that will stimulate our expansion into Europe by ensuring our customers are not burdened by arcane financial arrangements that slow down cross-border payments,” she said.

“Our SEPA implementation means that we are now well positioned to deliver payments quickly and conveniently to European customers starting with the Republic of Ireland in the first quarter of the year.

“This is another important step towards our goal of offering both our retail proposition and our payment solutions to clients across Europe.”

Jurisdictions

Analyst Goodbody said the move was “an important milestone” that would provide Starling with a platform to expand across other European jurisdictions.

“Starling is targeting expansion in Ireland in the first quarter of next year where it will establish a subsidiary, with Starling proceeding to target French and German markets subsequently,” it said in a note. “The bank is also targeting raising £40 million from investors, with the process expected to end in June 2018.

“As we have previously highlighted, we believe that Starling Bank is likely to be an attractive acquisition candidate for incumbent banks who wish to buy rather than build a digital bank platform from scratch.”