Starling Bank offers 'second card' for personal shoppers amid coronavirus

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The coronavirus has caused millions of people to self isolate, leading Starling Bank to offer a connected debit card for people shopping on behalf of a family member or friend.

Users connect the second debit card to their bank account, and control the card through Starling's mobile banking app. The challenger bank identified the need and opportunity as more of its customers have begun to self-isolate during the coronavirus pandemic for safety precautions.

“We know that getting in groceries and other essential items is a challenge for those who are self-isolating during the coronavirus emergency,” said Anne Boden, founder and CEO of Starling Bank in a press release.

Starling Bank noted that the card is ideally designed to be provided to friends, family or other trusted people who may be shopping for food or other essential items on behalf of the bank customer. The Connected card has a separate PIN and is contactless. It has a £200 (about $248) prepaid limit at any one time.

Other security features include a payment restriction for use in physical shops only. The Connected card will not work for online payments, telephone order payments, ATM withdrawals, digital wallets or in transactions in the gambling category code (casinos, online gaming, etc.).

Earlier this week Starling Bank introduced mobile remote deposit capture for its personal and small business account holders using its mobile banking app. The service works for all checks of up to a value of £500 (about $620). Customers will still have the option to use a free postal service to process any checks over £500 (about $620).

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