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Starling introduces virtual cards for joint current accounts

Source: Starling Bank

Starling Bank is introducing virtual cards for Joint Current Account customers, after a successful roll-out to Personal Current Accounts in December 2022. Joint Current Account holders can now use virtual cards to double down on their budgeting skills, keep track of joint subscriptions and spend with even more security.

The roll-out of virtual cards for joint accounts comes as research from Starling reveals that money is the top cause of arguments for couples in the UK. The research, which questioned 4,000 over 16s, found that couples who share finances have fewer disagreements about money than those who don’t (27% vs 32%).

Starling’s suite of money management tools for Joint Current Accounts is designed to simplify joint spending and budgeting, and includes a Spending Insights tool, saving Spaces, Bills Manager and now virtual cards.

About virtual cards
A virtual card works just like a normal debit card for payments, but it’s linked to a saving Space in the Starling app, instead of the main account balance. Like physical cards, virtual cards have a unique card number, expiry date and CVV.

Joint Current Account customers can have up to five virtual cards at any one time (a total of 10 for the Joint Current Account), free of charge, and can choose a different colour for each one. To help customers differentiate the cards, each colour also has a unique shape, such as a circle or triangle, in the top-right corner of the card.

Five new colours and shapes have been introduced to help customers distinguish between virtual cards on their Personal and Joint accounts.

Better budgeting
Each virtual card is assigned to a dedicated Space in the Starling app that can be personalised to give customers more control over their budget. Money in each Space is ringfenced from the main account balance and from other Spaces. Payments can be made directly from a Space, such as cinema tickets from an ‘Entertainment’ Space or flights from a ‘Honeymoon’ Space, rather than coming out from the customer’s main account balance.

When the budget is used up, the virtual card will decline instead of dipping into the customer’s main balance. Spaces can be topped up any time through one-off, daily, weekly or monthly transfers.

Supercharged subscriptions management
While Starling’s Bills Manager feature allows customers to pay their regular Direct Debits and standing orders from a particular Space, virtual cards can make it easier for them to manage subscriptions straight from a Space.

By setting up a ‘Subscriptions’ Space and virtual card, customers will be able to see all their payments for streaming platforms, magazines, apps and organisations in one place. This can make it easier to review or cancel.

Secure spending
Customers can use virtual cards for added security when shopping online, or making a payment over the phone. Once the payment has been made, a virtual card can be deleted or locked to ensure no more payments are taken from it.

Helen Bierton, Chief Banking Officer at Starling Bank said: “Virtual cards have been a big hit for our Personal Current Account holders, so we’ve added them to our suite of money management tools for Joint Accounts. Money doesn’t have to be the biggest source of arguments for couples; our Joint Accounts are designed to take the stress out of budgeting, saving and spending together.”

To set up a Joint virtual card:

Head to Spaces in the app, and either create a new Space or choose an existing one.
Tap ‘Manage Space’, and then ‘Create a virtual card’.
Follow the on-screen instructions to set up a virtual card. 

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