If you’re considering opening a joint bank account, you may be overwhelmed with what bank to choose. Over the past few years new banks have opened, like Starling Bank, which are challengers to the traditional brick-and-mortar branches on the high street. These challenger banks aren’t for everyone, but for some, they can be a brilliant solution for personal money management. Despite being deemed a challenger bank, Starling has been around for almost a decade now, offering current accounts for the past six.
So, if Starling has piqued your interest in a new joint account, read our list of benefits first to see whether it fits your needs.
What is Starling Bank?
Starling Bank is a digital-only bank based in the UK that provides online and mobile banking services to individuals and businesses. It was founded in 2014 and received its banking license from the Bank of England in 2016. The bank offers various services, including current accounts, joint accounts , overdrafts, and business accounts. Starling Bank also has a marketplace where customers can access third-party financial products such as insurance and investments.
Features of a Starling joint account
A joint account at Starling Bank offers several features:
- Shared access: Joint account holders have equal access to the account. Both account holders can then view transactions as well as make deposits or withdrawals. It means each individual can manage the account without the other holder present.
- Individual logins: Each account holder has their own login credentials for the Starling Bank app. They also have their own card and their own card number.
- Instant notifications: Joint account holders receive instant notifications. They help users stay up to date about the account's activity - even if it's for payments the other person makes.
- Payment services: Any joint account holder can initiate transfers. They can also set up Direct Debits and standing orders or make regular payments using the joint account, such as mortgage payments. Sharing expenses and bill payments makes money management easier and more effective.
- Spending insights and budgeting: The Starling app offers spending insights and budgeting tools. Joint account holders can therefore track expenses, set budgets, and gain insights into their joint spending patterns.
- Bills manager: With a joint account, account holders can let the Bills Manager feature pay bills directly. They can do so using Direct Debits or standing orders from a Space. A Space is a separate pot that you move money into.
- Virtual cards: You can also spend directly from a Space with a virtual card. They’re linked to the pots you’ve created - so you can only ever spend what you have allotted to that pot. Each joint account holder can have up to 5 virtual cards active at the same time.
- Split the bill: With a joint account, you can also use the Split the Bill feature. It helps you pay for what you owe, specifically on a bill or transaction. It can be really helpful when you are out and about with friends or family.
- Customer support: Starling Bank provides 24/7 all-human customer support services. They can assist joint account holders with any account-related queries, concerns, or issues they may have.
These features may be subject to updates or changes by Starling Bank.
How does the joint account work?
A joint account at Starling Bank functions as a shared bank account between two individuals. To open one, both individuals need to have a personal account first.
Here's how it works:
Once the joint account is opened, both account holders will have equal access to the account. Each individual will access the account via the Starling Bank app through their own login credentials. This allows account holders to view transactions, make withdrawals, and manage the account collectively.
As with the Starling personal account, if you physically want to deposit money, you’ll need to go to your local Post Office branch. Personal and joint customers can deposit £1,000 each calendar year free of charge at the Post Office. Above this amount, a charge of 0.7% will incur. You can withdraw money using your debit card at ATMs too.
One thing to note, though, is that you cannot deposit cheques with Starling at a Post Office (it can be done through the app for up to £1,000 with a photo or by sending Starling the cheque in the post using Freepost - though to use the post, higher value cheques only are accepted).
Joint account holders share equal responsibility for the account. This includes managing funds, making payments, and monitoring transactions. All account holders have the ability to initiate transfers, set up Direct Debits, and make payments using the joint account.
Liability and disputes
It's important to remember that joint account holders are jointly and severally liable for any debts or liabilities associated with the account. In case of disputes or issues, all account holders are responsible for resolving them collectively.
A joint account at Starling Bank allows individuals to manage their finances together, providing a convenient way to share expenses, monitor transactions, and collaborate on financial management.
Who could benefit from a Starling joint bank account?
Starling Bank allows various types of individuals to open a joint bank account. While it always has to be between two people, there are two categories of people who can open a joint account:
- Couples: Spouses, partners, or individuals in a relationship who want to share their finances can open a joint account.
- Family members: Relatives such as siblings or other family members who want to manage their finances together can open a joint account.
Eligibility criteria for joint account holders
Joint accounts are subject to eligibility criteria, and the option to apply for a joint account in the Starling app will only be visible for customers that match the criteria.
Applicants must have a personal current account with Starling, be at least 18 years old and be a resident of the UK.
- Identification: Both applicants must have valid identification documents. This typically includes a valid passport or national ID card.
- Verification: New customers must pass Starling Bank's verification process, which may involve providing additional documents or information to confirm their identity and address.
- Credit check: Starling will perform a soft credit check to look at your credit history from credit reference agencies.
Bear in mind that these criteria are based on current guidelines. Specific eligibility requirements may change. It’s a good idea to check the latest information on Starling Bank's website for the most up-to-date details.
What are the advantages of a joint current account with Starling?
A joint current account with Starling Bank offers several advantages for account holders.
Here are some key benefits of note:
- Shared expense management: A joint account allows holders to manage shared expenses easily. It simplifies splitting bills, rent, groceries, and other common shared expenses. All account holders can contribute and track payments from a single account.
- Transparent financial management: Having equal access to the account means that both joint account holders can monitor transactions and account activity in real-time. It’s a transparent way of managing shared finances and helps communication between holders, sharing responsibility for financial decisions.
- Convenient joint banking: Joint account holders can collaborate on financial tasks more easily - and efficiently. It streamlines financial management as they can make payments, set up Direct Debits, and transfer funds jointly. Consequently, there’s a big reduction in the need for individual transactions or transfers.
- Instant notifications and insights: As Starling Bank provides instant notifications and spending insights for joint accounts, both account holders always stay updated on transactions - it never falls to just one person. Both account holders can monitor expenses and gain valuable insights into their collective spending patterns.
- Accessibility and convenience: The Starling Bank app offers a user-friendly interface accessible to both joint account holders. Through the app, both holders can manage their account and access banking services anytime, anywhere.
- Flexibility and control: Joint account holders can customise their account settings and features. Doing so means they can both find the best way for themselves individually to maintain control over their finances while benefiting from that shared access and convenience.
- Excellent customer support: As with any Starling product, the bank provides 24/7 responsive customer support to assist both joint account holders with any account-related queries or concerns.
Remember, though, joint accounts also come with shared liabilities and responsibilities. Clear communication and trust among account holders are crucial to maximise the advantages of a joint current account at Starling Bank.
How to open a joint account with Starling
To open a joint account with Starling Bank, follow these steps:
- Click on “Apply for a Starling Bank Account” below
- Sign up for an individual account.
- Verify your identity.
- Request to open a joint account.
- Verification and approval.
Once the joint account is approved, each account holder will receive notifications or instructions to activate it within their Starling Bank app.
Other types of accounts with Starling
In addition to joint accounts, Starling Bank offers several other types of accounts to cater to different financial needs. Here are some of the account types you can open with Starling Bank:
- Personal current account: Starling Bank's personal current account is designed for individual customers. It also provides features such as real-time notifications, spending insights, budgeting tools, and the ability to make payments and transfers.
- Business current accounts: Starling Bank offers business current accounts tailored for freelancers, sole traders, and limited companies. These accounts come with business-specific features, including invoicing, tax calculations, and integrations with accounting software.
- Euro account: If you have a personal current account, you can also open Starling Bank's euro account. Having one allows customers to hold and manage funds in euros. It is good for transactions and transfers in euros, making it convenient for those who frequently deal with European currencies.
- Business euro account: Similar to the personal euro account, Starling Bank also provides a euro account specifically designed for businesses. You’ll still need a personal current account, but a business euro account will facilitate euro transactions, international payments and offers business-specific features.
- Joint euro account: Starling Bank allows customers with a personal current account to open a joint account denominated in euros. As a result, it is useful for couples or individuals sharing expenses in euro currency.
- Savings: If appropriate for a person’s needs, Starling also offers a savings option with their 5.36% AER 1-year Fixed Saver.
The specific eligibility criteria and documentation requirements may vary depending on the type of account you wish to open and change. Before deciding which account to open, it’s a good idea to read their website.
Why opening a Starling joint bank account may be good for you
Joint accounts are particularly beneficial for couples. They simplify bill payments, rent, and other shared expenses. Opening a joint Starling Bank account is a good option as it offers several advantages, such as allowing for shared financial management and transparency between account holders. The benefits make tracking expenses and savings easier.
Plus, in the unfortunate event of the death of one account holder, a joint account can provide continued access to funds for the surviving account holder without the need for probate.