Starling Bank Offers New Tool to Improve Google Pay Mobile Payments

June 6, 2018         By: Steven Anderson

We’ve heard a lot out of Starling Bank lately, and with good reason; a digital-only “challenger” bank that brings a whole new level of meaning to mobile banking and mobile payments is tough not to pay attention to. Now, Starling has taken a noteworthy additional step forward by combining its efforts with Google, and bringing Google Pay to the Starling app itself.

This is said to be a first-of-its-kind event in the UK, calling on a process known as “push provisioning” to come through. Essentially, with push provisioning, customers who have only just started using Starling can add a Starling Debit Card to the Google Pay digital wallet and start spending even without having a physical debit card on hand. Similar provision is made for current customers, but as they already have their debit cards, the complete slate of advantages is not in play here. Current customers can activate Google Pay in the Starling app with just one tap.

Starling Bank’s chief operating officer Julian Sawyer noted “Being the first UK bank to allow users to set up Google Pay within the bank’s own app demonstrates Starling’s continuing promise to deliver great customer experience and fast, easy, secure ways to pay. Our Android customers can now benefit from being able to instantly use their account even before their card arrives.”

It does make the process easier, certainly enough, and being able to so closely incorporate Google Pay with Starling Bank should be a welcome development. Google Pay will need some quick wins in the early days, as it’s a good ways behind many of its entrenched competitors. Worse, some of those competitors are cannibalizing the Google Pay market; Samsung devices, for example, are Android-powered but use Samsung Pay. That’s one of the biggest potential markets gone right there, and there are several others like it.

Google Pay needs partnerships, but also a clear reason to use the software. It needs incentives to get people out of their current provider and into Google itself. That’s a tall order, but Google certainly has the resources to draw on if it’s willing to commit them to make Google Pay more than an also-ran in the mobile payments stakes.