Challenger banks threaten High Street names reports that in recent years, High Street banking has been changing. Familiar banks like Lloyds, Halifax, Santander and Barclays have been trying to keep up with financial technology company’s challenger banks.

A good example of this is Barclays’ app Pingit. Pingit makes it possible to transfer money by linking the customer’s mobile phone number to their bank.

Well-known, well-established banks are having to offer better customer service, better products and innovations to keep up with challenger banks.

What are challenger banks and how are they different?

Challenger banks are new versions of banks that are built completely on modern technology, rather than relying on outdated banking technology like traditional legacy banks.

Because they utilise the best new technology, challenger banks can offer better interest rates, less and lower fees and better service. Most of these banks don’t even have branches.

In the UK, these banks are growing in popularity as people lose faith in legacy banks. Here at, we understand that problems like the 2008 crash and the mis-selling of PPI insurance have shaken people’s confidence in legacy banks, leading them to search for alternatives.

Fledgling Starling Bank looking for investment

UK bank Starling is planning to raise £40 million from investors to drive its expansion further into Europe. The bank doesn’t have a single branch and customers completely manage their account through the company’s app.

Starling offers lots of advantages for customers. They boast of zero fees, even when using a card abroad. Another great feature of their service is that whenever a customer uses their card, it is displayed on their app instantly and a notification is sent to their phone. This is a vast improvement on slow mobile banking apps offered by legacy banks like NatWest.

Android and Apple Pay is also supported by Starling Bank, making paying for thing much simpler, without even needing a card.

Starling Bank was given banking passport rights in Ireland in June, marking its first expansion into a European Union country. The bank’s initial funding round started in January 2016 and raised £48 million.

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