Important Banking Update

Simon Woodhead

Simon Woodhead

18th January 2022

By Simon Woodhead

TLDR: We’ve changed bank details. Please update your records immediately as payments sent to old accounts may not reach us. You can find new details in our knowledgebase (you will need to log in). 

We seem to change payment accounts a lot and it is pretty unsatisfactory doing so and having to do so. It is no secret that I don’t like banks and cannot wait for a time when they’re completely obsolesced by an open decentralised crypto world but, alas, we’re stuck with them for now and I’ll save that rant for another day. Suffice to say, they are critical for keeping money flowing.

Whilst our corporate bankers haven’t changed in years (in more ways than just our patronage), for customer payments we’ve always wanted to make payment in multiple currencies from any part of the world as frictionless and quick as possible, not to mention fairly priced. So we’ve always been on the bleeding edge of financial providers looking for the holy grail of an institution that can add up, give us (and only us) access to our money and let us interact via an API so we can code around it. All three have proved a challenge but the last one most so, despite all the BS around Open Banking.

Starling was a breath of fresh air being a new bank built on new technology and actually having an API. We leapt on them and it enabled us to introduce automated top-ups, so you could send money any time of day or night and we’d process it. It doesn’t sound a big ask, and it shouldn’t be, but they stood relatively alone in offering it. This also meant that going into COVID one of the things we could do to help customers was to remove any minimum prepayment levels if, and only if, you could send money to the right account without putting War and Peace in the reference. We uphold that still and know it has helped many of you out.

Sadly, after a year or more of trying to migrate the whole Group to Starling, and hitting road-blocks – from a daily payment limit that would restrict any business, to refusing to open accounts for companies with a corporate parent – we’ve given up. The second one (daring to have corporate structure!) has also prompted them to give notice on our main account, which they had opened and we’d operated without incident since, effective February 1st. It is frankly pathetic narcissistic muppetry that serves no useful purpose and moreover sees us needing to ask you to change bank details again.

Thankfully, we have migrated to an institution that enables us to sustain the automated top-up by virtue of them having an API, and go further down the road we wanted to due to (so far) an absence of stupid rules and an advanced international network. It dramatically improves things for international customers who can now send funds in all currencies much faster and probably more cost effectively from pretty much anywhere. Starling were very lame in this regard and customers in some parts of the world were unable to send to them at all. 

Whilst our GBP account with Starling closes on February 1st, we’re trying to switch it such that payments do not get lost, but you should assume that they will if you do not use the new and correct details immediately. Further, Starling has another quaint rule that they cannot accept 7 days notice of a switch of the GBP account until all currency accounts are already closed; so we’ll be closing USD and EUR accounts immediately rather than February 1st.

Lastly, whilst our top-up process is automated (if you get the right reference and send to the right account!), we need to remind customers that, especially in the UK, ‘Faster Payments’ is not ‘Nanosecond Payments’. Payments are often very very quick but this should not be relied upon to always be the case. We often see payments delayed at one end or another for ‘fraud checks’ or human processing, or the process taking longer during busy times. Our systems will process payments immediately we’re notified of receipt but a lot of people are involved in keeping the 1960s mainframes running in between and they’re getting a bit tired!

You can find new details in our knowledgebase (you will need to log in).

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