goodluz - Fotolia

Starling Bank opens API with hackathon

Challenger bank Starling opens its API up to developers in hackathon at Google’s London Campus

Starling Bank has built an app that allows third-party developers with the right permissions to access its customer data to allow them to create products and services to complement its banking platform.

Developers will gain access at a hackathon in April being held at Google’s campus in London on 7-9 April 2017.

These products will range from services that can help customers manage their money to apps that help customers get their enquiries dealt with.

“Whether you want to create a chatbot or help make sense of spending analysis, our API [application programming interface] is open to ideas, so grab your laptop and get involved,” said the bank.

“Not only will you be part of the very first UK banking hack, you’ll do it at the Google Campus alongside other talented and passionate people.”

Starling is one of a growing group of challenger banks in the UK, and offers current accounts via customers’ smartphones. It uses the latest mobile and data technologies to support digital lifestyles. 

The bank is launching its Developer Platform in March and Hackathon participants will be given exclusive access to use the bank’s API.

At the hackathon, teams will present ideas to a panel which includes Starling CEO Anne Boden, who is an IT professional who got into banking. When the bank gained its licence in July 2016, Boden outlined its strategy to make banking accessible through smartphones.

“By 2020, the number of UK mobile banking users will double from 17.8 million to 32.6 million. Our aim is to empower these people to better manage their finances with an incredible app, purpose-built for those who happily manage their lives on their phone,” said Boden.

From the outset, the bank planned to use best-of-breed components to make up its banking system, all in a private cloud.

Starling Bank is accepting applications to the hackathon until Sunday 19 March 21017, with chosen applicants due to be announced on Wednesday 22 March.

Read more on IT for financial services