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Starling Bank launches Marketplace, integrates with itemised receipt and rewards startup Flux

Starling Bank launches Marketplace, integrates with itemised receipt and rewards startup Flux
From TechCrunch - September 12, 2017

Marketplace bankingthe idea that your bank will provide you with access to various third-party money-related apps and services within its own apphas long been championed by fintech startups, whilst upcoming Open Banking/PSD2 legislation in the U.K. and EU, respectively, will make third-party app integration an inevitable reality. Thats seeing a number of challenger banks skating to where the puck is going, including London-based Starling Bank, which today is launching the Starling Marketplace.

Billed by the digital-only challenger bank as a new concept in banking, the Starling Marketplace puts products from other fintech providers (and in the future lifestyle products, because nearly every business is going to be tempted to jump onboard the Open Banking train) within an easily browsed ecosystem accessible within the Starling app.

Partnering companies integrate with Starling Bank via the challenger banks Open Banking-compliant APIs, although, as Ill explain below, are integrating more deeply than simply making use of those APIs, which any third-party developer, once vetted, can potentially do.

The first fintech company to be added to the Starling Marketplace, and an example of the deepest kind of integration we are likely to see, is Flux, the itemised receipt and rewards startup based in London. Founded by Tom Reay, Matty Cusden-Ross, and Veronique Barbosa, all former early employees at Revolut, the company has built a software platform that bridges the gap between the itemised receipt data captured by a merchants point-of-sale (POS) system and what little information typically shows up on your bank statement or mobile banking app.

The Starling integration sees Flux send real-time itemised receipts to the Starling app when a customer pays with their Starling card at any of Fluxs retail partners, which so far includes all 111 EAT stores in the U.K. and Bel-Air. As early as next week, Flux will also enable Starling users to get automated loyalty points with cash-back for Flux-supported purchases, without the need for paper coupons. Starling Bank users will need to activate Flux from the Marketplace section of the Starling app to instantly link their card.

This is our first native integration, where you can switch on Flux from in app, and our first full bank partnership, Fluxs Cusden-Ross tells TechCrunch. Starling customers should switch on Flux because well help them finally rid their wallets of paper receipts and paper loyalty cards without asking them to download or setup anything extra. We also think Starling customers are particularly interested in tracking their financial life in real-time and would agree its insane that today the only way to keep track of exactly what we buy is via little bits of paper.

The framing of Starlings Flux integration as a first full bank partnership refers to the fact that Flux originally launched with rival challenger bank Monzo, but only in a very limited pilot that restricts the number of users that can be activated as Monzo readies its own API and marketplace banking offer.

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