Starling’s Engine CEO doesn’t plan to ‘follow Revolut’s way’ in Europe

Digital bank

Sam Everington, an early employee of Starling Bank, now leads the challenger’s new Engine banking-as-a-service arm.

Image source: AltFi Money Talks.

Sam Everington was not immediately won over by the idea that neobanks of applications for smartphones would be the future.

“The idea of ​​a mobile-only bank probably took me a while, I did most of my banking through the desktop browser at the time and barely used the app” said Everington, recalling the time in early 2016 when he was approached to join Starling Bank as head of engineering, just months after Starling was granted the banking license.

“The idea of ​​a lot of people switching to mobile-only banking in droves probably took a bit of getting used to. It wasn’t until I used it myself that I was totally convinced that it was the future.

Yet, from the start, Everington was convinced that banks could do better in terms of technology.

Today, the exec is leading Starling’s charge to do just that, help banks improve their technology by leveraging the same infrastructure he’s spent the last seven years building.

Engine has been around in various guises since 2017, quietly helping Raisin and the UK’s Department for Work and Pensions overhaul their payments infrastructure.

Yet it wasn’t until December that the neobank started beating the drums louder and announced that the affectionately dubbed “Starling-as-a-service” would expand internationally.

Finally, in February, Engine was registered at Companies House as a subsidiary of Starling, with Everington named CEO.

“Engine will provide the technology to UK banking,” is how Everington explained the setup, speaking exclusively on AltFi’s Money Talks webinar and podcast. “And hopefully what will become our European bank – we have been working on this process in Ireland for some time.”

Indeed, in order to truly take Engine globally, as Starling CEO Anne Boden has said, the bank must first resolve its Irish banking license hurdle, the backlogs of which continue to persist.

“So for the rest of the world, and to a reasonable extent in Europe, we want to work with other banks and financial providers, where we provide the technology and bring them the kind of information and how we work and serve customers.Through our experience with our running business processes [Starling] on a large scale for five or six years now,” Everington explained.

“To help them transform and re-platform, or set up digital brands on the side and possibly re-platform later… that’s what the Engine entity is focused on.”

“We don’t plan to follow Revolut’s path of seeking licenses in 50 different countries,” the CEO said.

“It’s very expensive, it’s very capital intensive, it takes time, and you have to build that brand, that trust and that recognition.”

Listen to the full conversation with Sam Everington, CEO of Engine by Starling Bank, Sarah Kocianski, Fintech and Insurtech Strategy Consultant, and Kunal Galav, Director of Advisory Services at Mambu on Money Talks: How Nine Years Of Neobanking Changed The World.

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