Starling Bank has deepened its support for British entrepreneurs with a new digital banking toolkit and a US dollar account that allows them to spend directly in pounds and dollars with a single debit card.
The Business Toolkit can be added to Starling’s free business account for limited companies and sole traders for £7 a month. It enhances the bank’s support for business with new tools that will help small and medium-sized enterprises get back on track as the nation begins to emerge from the coronavirus lockdown. It allows them to do their bookkeeping and accounting direct from their Starling online bank account, including:
● Creating, sending and tracking invoices
● Automating expenses
● Recording VAT and connecting to HMRC to submit VAT returns
● Uploading bills and scheduling payments to manage cash flow
The Toolkit, which has been in beta since January, enables customers to calculate and submit their VAT returns using HMRC Making Tax Digital software direct from their bank account. For sole traders, it will estimate the money that needs to be set aside for self-employment income tax, National Insurance Contributions and student loan repayments.
Starling’s new US dollar business account will enable customers who regularly carry out international transactions to hold, send and receive in USD from the Starling app. They will be able to spend directly in pounds and US dollars with a single debit card. This will be the bank’s second foreign currency account following the launch of the euro business account, in October 2019.
Customers will have a full US bank account, which will include a US account number and sort code equivalent, known as an ACH routing number. The account will be available to Starling’s business customers for a £5 flat monthly fee. Customers will be able to transfer money from their GBP account to their USD account* with a few taps in the app. Alternatively, they can fund their account from an external USD account.
Anne Boden, Chief Executive of Starling stated: “Small business owners are under a huge amount of strain at the moment and at Starling we’re continually looking for ways to help them get back on their feet and remain open for business. The new features that we’ve built for the Business Toolkit will help entrepreneurs save time and money, while at the same time allowing them to cut down on paperwork and spend more time serving their customers.”
Expert Analysis: As Britain’s businesses emerge from the lockdown and begin to resume normality again, this support from the financial sector could be crucial in enabling SMEs to survive and restore growth following the pandemic.