starling out there

In 2015 we published our first which made clear design’s economic impact and value when it is considered as a discipline that cuts across the whole UK economy. Last year we published our , expanding on this previous research to show how the rest of the UK business population interacts with design, and what the demand for design is considering the growing value of design skills in the UK.

Starling Bank is a digital, mobile only bank based in the UK with a team of technologists, artists, money experts, designers and marketers. They are a brilliant example of how design is being used in new and innovative ways in order to grow the business and add value to the company.

As advanced economies across the world transition from being capital-intensive to knowledge-intensive, the importance of intangible assets such as design are growing. How have intangible assets impacted the growth of Starling Bank?

As a branchless, mobile-only bank Starling Bank could be described as an intangible ‘invisible’ business. One of its few physical assets is their headquarters in the City of London, where all 250 members of the team work. Together, the team has built all the technology from scratch; Starling is among first UK banks to be based entirely in the cloud, through Amazon Web Services.

Starling’s primary product is its mobile-only current account, which can be opened in minutes by downloading the app. AirBnB is a hospitality company that doesn’t own any beds; Uber is a transport company that doesn’t own any vehicles; Starling is a bank that doesn’t own any branches or smartphones – it simply offers a service through a banking app that gives customers an intuitive, fast and completely digital banking experience.

The growth of Starling since it was founded in 2014 has been founded on innovative technology, beautiful design within the app and the determination of the team to make banking better for customers. These intangible assets will continue to be of great importance for Starling as it continues to grow.

In the Design Economy three forms of design (physical products, visual and systems/process design) have been identified, how important are these to Starling Bank’s competitiveness and sales turnover?