Teens to pay with FitBit on new Starling account

Written by Hannah McGrath

Teenagers will be able to make payments through wearable health tech devices as part of a new current account offering from Starling Bank.

The digital-only bank has launched a current account for 16 and 17 year-olds offering a range of tech-driven payment options including FitBit Pay and Garmin Pay, in addition to the contactless payments through Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google Pay.

The move comes as HealthTech players are mounting a challenge to mobile-based payment platforms, building on the growing popularity amongst Millennials and Generation Z consumers of wearable devices that measure metrics including heartbeat, step count and sleep cycles.

Starling’s account for younger consumers will also make use of Google Nearby, a side-by-side payment technology allowing users to instantly make payments and split bills with another person standing beside them through wireless technology.

Starling is also emphasising speed as a key demand amongst 16 and 17 year-olds, with new users able to open a bank account within five minutes directly from a smartphone and start spending with a digital debit card as soon as a deposit is made.

The bank says its developer team, including a 17 year-old who joined the bank from school, was able to build the quick set-up functionality over the course of a week after it emerged as one of the most requested features in a user survey.

Anne Boden, chief executive of Starling Bank, said she wanted to make it easy for this age group to enter the world of banking with a product that enables them to understand what they are spending and safely send money to their friends.

“It is never too early for people to learn about effective money management, so by offering our award winning current account to 16 and 17 year-olds we are looking to develop a new financially fit generation”, she commented.