Starling Bank vs Barclays for business banking

Updated on 7 August 2023

As the banking industry continues to evolve, the number of banking solutions available to businesses continues to grow. In the UK, two leading contenders are Barclays vs Starling Bank.

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Both banks offer unique advantages and features that appeal to different types of businesses. This article will conduct a detailed comparison between the two banks, considering their key features, pros and cons, fees and charges, and unique features to help you determine which bank is more suitable for your business.

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Starling Bank vs Barclays

FeaturesStarling BankBarclays
UK-based Customer SupportYesYes
Business Current AccountYesYes
Business Savings AccountYesYes
Business LoansYesYes
Online BankingYesYes
Mobile AppYesYes
Overdraft FacilitiesYesYes
Business Credit CardNoYes
Real-time NotificationsYesNo
Currency ExchangeYesYes
Direct Debits and Standing OrdersYesYes
International PaymentsYesYes
CHAPS PaymentsYesYes
Integration with Accounting SoftwareYesYes
24/7 Account AccessYesYes
FSCS ProtectionYesYes
Cash Deposits via Post OfficeNoYes
Cheque ImagingYesNo
Multiple Director AccessYesYes
Invoicing ToolsYesNo
Personal and Business Account LinkageYesNo
Starling vs Barclays

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✓ Business Bank Account
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✓ Business Current Account
✓ Dedicated mobile app experience
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Virgin Money
✓ Business M Account
✓ In-Store, Online & App Banking
✓ Insights & Forecasting Platform
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Starling Bank

Starling Bank is a digital, mobile-only challenger bank launched in 2014. Designed from the ground up to cater to the needs of the 21st-century entrepreneur, Starling Bank’s business banking services are streamlined, intuitive, and packed with features that can truly enhance your banking experience.

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Pros and cons


  1. Innovation and Flexibility: Starling Bank is renowned for its innovative approach to banking, with a seamless mobile app and features tailored for the modern business owner.
  2. Real-time Notifications: You get immediate alerts for all transactions, giving you better control over your finances.
  3. Free Business Banking: There are no monthly fees for their business account.
  4. 24/7 Customer Support: They offer round-the-clock customer service, which is beneficial for businesses operating in various time zones.
  5. Integration with Accounting Software: Starling Bank seamlessly integrates with popular accounting software like Xero and QuickBooks.


  1. Lack of Physical Branches: As a digital bank, Starling does not have physical branches. This can be a disadvantage for businesses that prefer face-to-face interactions.
  2. Limited Services: Unlike traditional banks, Starling Bank does not offer a full suite of banking products such as business credit cards and cash deposit services.
  3. Mobile-only Banking: While this is a strength for tech-savvy businesses, others might find the lack of a desktop banking option limiting.

Fees and charges

ServiceStarling Bank
Account MaintenanceFree
Cash Withdrawals in the UKFree
Electronic Payments (in and out)Free
International Payments£5.50
Failed PaymentsFree
Starling Bank fees and charges

Unique and standout features

Starling Bank has a variety of unique features that make it stand out.

These include an innovative mobile app with real-time notifications for all transactions and seamless integration with popular accounting software.

The bank also offers a unique marketplace that allows you to access third-party financial services directly from the Starling app.

Additionally, the “Spaces” feature allows you to set aside money for specific goals or taxes, helping with financial planning and organisation.


Barclays is a multinational banking and financial services company with a long history dating back to 1690. It provides a comprehensive range of banking services and has a substantial physical presence, offering a more traditional banking experience.

Pros and cons


  1. Extensive Service Offering: Barclays provides a wide range of banking services, including business credit cards, loans, and insurance.
  2. Physical Branches: With a large network of branches, Barclays offers face-to-face service for businesses who prefer this approach.
  3. Access to Experts: Barclays provides access to a range of experts across various business areas.
  4. Mobile and Online Banking: Barclays offers both mobile and online banking platforms, providing flexibility and ease of access to your business account.


  1. Fees for Basic Services: Unlike Starling, Barclays charges monthly maintenance fees for its business accounts.
  2. Customer Service: Barclays has faced criticism over its customer service and support.
  3. Lack of Real-time Notifications: Unlike Starling, Barclays does not provide real-time notifications for transactions.

Fees and charges

Account MaintenanceFrom £6 per month
Cash Withdrawals in the UKFree
Electronic Payments (in and out)Free
International PaymentsFrom £15
Failed PaymentsFrom £5
Barclays fees and charges

Unique and standout features

Barclays’ standout features include its Barclays Business Direct team, which provides businesses with dedicated business management advice. Their comprehensive suite of business products, including insurance, loans, and credit cards, can meet a wide range of business needs.

Barclays also offers ‘SmartBusiness’, a suite of tools providing businesses with insights to drive growth and efficiency.

Additionally, Barclays’ vast network of branches and ATMs across the UK offers convenience for businesses.

Conclusion – Starling Bank vs Barclays

When choosing between Starling Bank and Barclays for business banking, your decision will likely hinge on your business needs, preferences, and the way you want to bank.

If you prefer digital banking and appreciate innovative features, Starling Bank may be the ideal choice.

If your business requires a more traditional banking model with a wider range of services and physical branches, Barclays may be the better option.

It’s important to evaluate both banks based on their fees, customer service, digital platforms, and overall fit with your business requirements.

Both banks have significant strengths, so the final choice will depend on the specific needs and preferences of your business.


Do Starling Bank and Barclays offer business loans?

Yes, both banks offer business loans subject to eligibility.

Do both banks offer 24/7 customer service?

Yes, Starling Bank offers 24/7 customer service while Barclays offers 24/7 service for online and mobile banking customers.

Can I deposit cash at Starling Bank?

Starling Bank does not currently support cash deposits.

Does Barclays offer real-time transaction notifications?

As of this writing, Barclays does not offer real-time transaction notifications.

What type of businesses can open accounts with Starling and Barclays?

Both banks cater to a wide range of businesses, from sole traders to large corporations. Check with each bank for specific eligibility requirements.

Do both banks offer FSCS protection?

Yes, both Starling Bank and Barclays are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

Reviewed by , Managing Director

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