Starling Bank International Money Transfer Review

This Starling Bank international money transfer review will look into the background of Starling Bank and their wider offering but ultimately focus on the important aspects of Starling Bank international payments. We’ll break down their exchange rates and fees, the quality of the mobile platform, and the overall level of service provided. To view dedicated international payment firms check our best money transfer companies list.

📝 Frontierpay is not a part of the best money transfer companies for October 2020, based on our editorial rankings  Starling Bank offers a better-than-average money transfer servce , but we encourage you to have a look at better alternatives here.
Logo
🏛️ EstablishedJanuary, 2014
🌎 International ClientsUK Only
💱 Currencies Offered

20 currencies to 38 countries.

BGN, CZK, DKK, EUR, PLN, HKD, HUF, MXN, NZD, NOK, QAR, RON, SAR, SGD, ZAR, SEK, CHF, THB, TRY, USD

💷 Minimum Transfer

£10 minimum payment

£10,000 maximum payment value per fay

📲 Trading via

App (Mobile only banking for privates)

App + Online Access for Business customers

🏢 Offices InUK & Ireland – Headquartered in London, with offices also in Southampton, Cardiff and Dublin
⚖️ Regulation

✓ FCA (UK)

PRA

🤯 Fees

0.4% flat spread applied on all currency corridors

30p – 90p fees for non-urgent transfers where Starling has local partners (not all currency corridors)

£5.50 flat delivery fee for payments made via SWIFT

Promotional CodeN/A
👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 Client Reviews9,366 reviews on TrustPilot, 1,273 Google reviews, 79,082 reviews on App store, 22,303 via Google Play
⭐ Client Rating4.5/5 TrustScore on Trustpilot, 4.3/5 Google, 4.9/5 App Store, 4.8/5 Google Play
Websitehttps://www.starlingbank.com/
Awards

Best British Bank (British Bank Awards)

Best Current Account 2019 (British Bank Awards)

👍 Advantages

Currency conversion at the interbank foreign exchange rate + a 0.4% Starling Bank money transfer fee (equivalent to a 0.4% FX spread)

Easy to use app to manage your bank accounts and Starling Bank money transfer

Excellent client reviews on both app store and google play

Easy registration process, card delivered to your door

Led by Anne Boden with decades of senior management experience in the UK banking industry

Transparent exchange rates

👎 Disadvantages

Not available to clients outside of UK

Must Have Starling Bank Account to Use

Longer Sign-Up than Run-of-the-mill Money Transfer Company

Maximum payment of £10,000 per day

No expert guidance to manage through the currency markets

Some more exotic currencies not offered

No access to hedging solutions for private clients

 


View Recommended Alternatives:

Below you can find 3 prominent Starling Bank competitors:

Currencies Direct
  • Min Transfer: £/€/$ 100
  • Currencies Supported: 39
  • Offices : UK, EU, USA, India, South Africa.
  • Our Rating : 97.8%
  • Most Global Offices and Reach

    No Fees from Anywhere

    96% Client Satisfaction
World First
  • Min Transfer: £/€ 1,000
  • Currencies Supported: 121
  • Offices : UK, EU, Australia, HK, Singapore. USA-based clients not accepted
  • Our Rating : 95.4%
  • Easiest Sign Up Process

    Great Online Sellers Offering

    Transparent Exchange Rates
moneycorp
  • Min Transfer: £/€/$ 50
  • Currencies Supported: 120
  • Offices : UK, EU, Australia, USA, HK, UAE, and South America.
  • Our Rating : 92.8%
  • Friendly, Professional Service

    Discounted Rates

    No Transfer FeesDiscounted rates exclusively for our readers - great offer for large transfers

If you are still unsure about your decision, don’t be upset. You should look for a better money transfer company that offers a similar service as Frontierpay. Read PaySend review, XE review, Currency Solutions review and Global Reach Partners review.


Our Rating: N/A

View Rating Breakdown


Read More:

Company Information and Credibility


Company size:  

Starling Bank was launched back in 2014 by CEO Anne Boden. Having started her career at Lloyds Bank, where she helped architect the CHAPS network in the UK, Anne held a number of senior leadership roles at UBS, RBS and COO at Allied Irish Banks. Frustrated by the existing banking systems not adapting with new technologies to improve the experience for its customers, Anne decided the only way she would be able to bring these to market would be to launch a new bank from the ground up.

Starling Bank is still privately owned with Anne Boden, employees, ex-employees and an employee benefits trust owning 24% of shares. Other investors include Harry McPike, a global private investor with a focus on technology and financial sector opportunities and Merian Global Investors, a leading public investor in the UK. Harry McPike is represented on the board by two investing directors: Lázaro Campos, a fintech investor, entrepreneur and former CEO of SWIFT, and Marcus Traill, a senior investment management professional.

The latest funding round (series C) raised £75 million and was where both Harry McPike and Merian Global Investors joined the table. Starling Bank was reported to have 460,000 personal accounts and 30,000 SME accounts as of February 2019. By October 2019, Starling Bank was reported to have nearly 800,000 clients. Anne is keeping a focus on a potential stock market float in 2022.

The firm decided on the name Starling Bank to represent the brand values. The starling bird is sociable, adaptable, friendly and supportive – everything the bank is trying to embolden.

Whilst Starling Bank’s growth may appear relatively slow compared to other digital bank challengers such as Monzo and Revolut, it means it hasn’t been party to the same growing pains. Whilst Monzo and Revolut have had numerous compliance scandals, Starling bas been able to avoid the same fate. With a focus beyond just consumers and small businesses, Starling also offers its software as a service by making its modern banking and payments infrastructure available to third parties, boasting the UK government as one of its clients.


Regulated By: 

Starling Bank, including Starling Bank international money transfers, is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Conclusion: 

Starling may not be growing at the rate as some of its competitors but it has still achieved almost 800,000 clients and we’re sure it won’t be long until the surpass the one million mark. The background of the management team is not simply FX traders, but people with a strong pedigree of senior management positions in large banks. With this in mind we think this reflects the focus Starling has on credibility and ensuring it maintains its compliance requirements. The counter to this could be that the senior management team are as rigid as the big banks, but it would appear they’re all on board as they’re spurred on by the motivation to disrupt the banking sector and bring innovative solutions to its clients.

Client Feedback


Research:

  • 9,366 reviews on TrustPilot (4.5/5)
  • 1,273 Google reviews (4.3/5)
  • 79,082 reviews on App store (4.9/5)
  • 22,303 via Google Play (4.8/5)

True as of February, 2020


Positive
  • Great app which makes it easier to budget spending
  • Instant updates and spending notifications
  • Great rates and easy to use card abroad
Negative
  • If locked out of the app can take many days to regain access
  • Can only access the fraud team via the app
  • Issues with accounts being wrongly restricted and the customer service team not resolving quickly

Conclusion:

Overall, Starling Bank reviews from across the internet are very positive. It has a significant number of Trustpilot reviews but being an app-based product it has thousands positive reviews across the app store and google play. Like a lot of its digital competitors users are frustrated when things go wrong and they don’t have anyone they can speak to in order to resolve the issue. The app is brilliant when all is working smoothly but encounter errors and it could be a while until it’s fixed.


Discover More Companies 


Exchange Rate & Fees


No Fees for opening an account.

Starling Bank international money transfers are conducted at the interbank rate but include a 0.4% transaction fee. This is much like charging a 0.4% spread and offering an exchange rate which is 0.4% off the interbank rate but keeps the terminology simple for customers. 0.4% is certainly below the industry average, particularly when you consider their payments are only up to £10,000 where spreads are likely to be 1.5%+. Depending on the currency non-urgent delivery can be between 30p-90p whilst SWIFT payments are priced at £5.50. A transfer of £10,000 can therefore cost up to £45.50.Source: https://www.starlingbank.com/send-money-abroad/

We appreciate the transparency of Starling with its easy-to-use online payment fee calculator for Starling Bank money transfers.

Withdrawing money from an ATM in a foreign country is fee-free, which is better than Revolut, who will charge a 2% fee after you’ve withdrawn £200 in any one month. As all payments through the debit card are made through Mastercard the exchange rate used is the ‘Mastercard international currency rate’ which is slightly worse than the interbank rate.

Limits:

The fact there are no ATM charges regardless of the amount you withdraw means Starling Bank has one of the best pricing structures going with regards to international currency cards. Much like major UK banks, Starling has a  £300 daily withdrawal limit whether in the UK or abroad.

Whilst the international currency card is one of the best going, Starling bank international payments which are bank-to-bank do have a rather limited scope. Starting at £10 and capped at £10,000 it means users looking to send above this amount simply can’t use Starling Bank at this moment in time.


Conclusion:

The exchange rates are some of the best in the business, and perhaps even a shade cheaper than Transferwise (known to be one of the fairest online money transfer companies around) on some currency corridors, particularly if you use the non-urgent delivery method. The flat 0.4% pricing structure works very well for smaller amounts but users sending large sums might well be able to achieve a better rate when negotiating with a dedicated FX provider. And in any case the maximum limit of £10,000 will immediately make Starling Bank international money transfers irrelevant for a number of users.

Global Reach & Service


Research:

  • Dedicated Dealer: None
  • Offices: London, Southampton, Dublin, Cardiff
  • Ways to approach: In App Chat
  • Translations: UK only
  • Accepts clients: UK 
  • Currencies Handled: 20
  • Client reviews: 4.5/5 TrustPilot

Conclusion:

Starling Bank is a UK only offering at the moment, but upon its latest funding round has laid out plans to expand into Europe. As it stands though users outside of the UK are unable to register and should look instead at our top rated money transfer providers for firms with global registration capabilities.

Additional Functionalities


No additional features specifically relating to Starling Bank international payments in which users are only able to conduct spot transfers but being a bank Starling offer a variety of other banking solutions, including:

  1. Current Account, both personal and joint.
  2. Euro Accounts, where your debit card can also deduct funds from
  3. International Currency Card
  4. Overdrafts
  5. Loans

Conclusion:

Starling Bank is a great solution for expats or travelers who are on the move and are looking to either withdraw money or make point-of-sale card payments. As well as this their core bank account offering makes opening and running a bank account simpler than ever. The only drawback are their restrictions on Starling Bank international money transfers for now.

 

If we were reviewing Starling Bank overall then we would have to say it is certainly making banking cheaper and easier for its customers. The company comes with a senior management team with extensive banking experience who want to change the way banking happens in the UK.

The issue is that we set out specifically to review Starling Banks money transfer offering for international payments. We love the transparency, simplicity and low cost pricing structure to Starling Bank international payments but its restriction to 20 currencies for now and payment limits of £10 –  £10,000 mean it is definitely more limited in its offering than virtually all of the international money transfer providers we have reviewed. We also have to consider hedging tools such as forward contracts and swaps are not possible, nor are limit orders or batch payments.

As such we are not recommending Starling Bank in our Top Recommended Money Transfer Providers List. However, users looking for an international currency card or UK bank account can receive a great offering from Starling Bank.