Starling Business Account: International fees in the UK

Paola Faben Oliveira

In an increasingly global world, UK businesses are expanding their operations internationally - meaning they are looking to find the best way to pay suppliers abroad and receive payments from overseas clients.

Starling Bank offers an online business account that lets you send money to bank accounts in 35 countries¹, as well as free domestic transfers.

This article will take a closer look at some of the fees involved in sending and receiving payments internationally with a Starling Bank Business account.

📝 Table of contents:

Starling business account fees

Before checking all the fees involved on the international payments your business may need, let's have a look into the price structure for the Starling Business Banking, which is divided into two types of account:

  • Business account - for limited companies
  • Sole trader account - for self-employed people
ServiceBusiness accountSole trader account
Open a GBP business accountFree²Free²
Open an EUR business account£2 per month³£2 per month³
Open an USD business account£5 per month⁴Not available⁴
Domestic transfersFree²Free²
CHAPS payments£20 per payment²£20 per payment²

Besides these two types of accounts, Starling Bank Business also has an add-on option, called The Business Toolkit, available under a monthly subscription of £7, and includes:⁶

  • Invoices and auto-matching
  • Email integrations
  • HMRC Tax estimation (sole trader only)
  • Record VAT on transactions
  • Smart tax savings
  • MTD VAT submission
  • Bookkeeping to-do list
  • Manage bills

But let's talk about international business? If you need to pay suppliers or employees overseas, Starling Bank Business allows you to send money in 18 currencies.¹

And to do so, you have a couple of different options, depending how quickly you want the payment to arrive:⁷

  • Priority Delivery with SWIFT - a direct bank-to-bank payment. It's faster than the usual 2 - 5 working days transfer time, but it also comes at an extra cost.
  • Starling low cost payment - has a lower transfer fee, but it can take longer (depending on the currency) - as the payment goes through a local partner.

Now that we already covered the price structure to open a Starling Business Account, let's have a look at the fees you may pay when processing international transactions:

Starling Business international fees

ServiceBusiness account and Sole trader account
International SWIFT payments£5.50 + 0.4%⁵
International low cost routeStarting from £0.30 (variable depending on currency) + 0.4%⁵
Withdraw outside the UKMastercard and local ATM charges (variable)¹

Starling Bank: receiving international payments

If you sell abroad, you will also need to receive international payments, commonly in different currencies than GBP, such as Euro (EUR) or American Dollars (USD).

With the Staling Bank Business Account you can receive payments from other countries. However, there are some limitations when it comes to currency. At present, you can only receive payments in either EUR or GBP.⁸

If you’re invoicing an overseas country, they’ll need to pay you in one of these two currencies - no others will be accepted into your Starling Business account.

How much it costs to receive international payments also depends on the currency. It’s free to receive payments in GBP, but a 2% currency conversion fee will apply when receiving EUR.

🌎 Need to receive payments in more currencies?
Wise Business could be the better option, since it lets you receive money in 10 different currencies, including USD, EUR, GBP, AUD, NZD and SGD, all for low and transparent fees.

Let's have a look into how Starling Bank stack up with money transfer specialists like Wise Business when it comes to fees.

We can see below how much it would cost to send £1,000 GBP to Europe (EUR) using Starling’s SWIFT payment option, and the quick and secure global transfer service from Wise Business.

Wise vs Starling

Fee typeStarling⁹Wise Business
Low cost transfer fee£5,50£7.26
Currency conversion fee0,4%0
Total GBP converted£990.50£992.74
Exchange rate1.14491.14534
Amount received€1134.07€1,137.02

Note: The exchange rate changes constantly and the amounts mentioned above can vary according to the rate at the time you make the transfer.

Besides its low and transparent cost to receive and send money abroad, Wise Business can be a better option for your company if you want smooth, seamless business transactions in over 50 currencies.

From one powerful multi-currency Wise Business account, you can receive payments for free in 10 currencies, pay invoices in 80 countries for small fees and with the real mid-market exchange rate.

You can even automate batch payments of up to 1,000 at once, and integrate your Wise Business multi-currency account with Quickbooks and Xero, to cut down the manual admin.

It’s international banking without the bank, but with the same peace of mind when it comes to security - as Wise is strictly regulated, with end-to-end encryption and sophisticated anti-fraud processes - it's simply one less thing to worry about.

With Wise Business you can even earn a return on the money you hold in multiple currencies. With Wise Interest, you can get a 4.82% variable rate on your GBP balance held in your Wise Business multi-currency account.

Capital at risk. Current rates do not guarantee future growth.

Variable rate is based on 7 day performance as of 10 Aug 2023. This fund has returned an 0.93% annual average over the last 5 years, excluding Wise and fund manager fees. See full 5 year past performance of funds

meet wise interest!

What do you need to make international payments?

If you’re ready to make your first global payment, here’s what details you need to hand:


To make an international payment, you’ll nearly always need an International Bank Account Number (IBAN) for your recipient’s bank.

What is an IBAN? In a nutshell, it’s an extra piece of information that banks in other countries can use to identify your account and direct payments there. Banks use an IBAN calculator to combine your local account details, which forms your IBAN.

Your IBAN is additional to your sort code and account number. If you’re making a SEPA transfer, you’ll almost always need to provide an IBAN.

When it comes to what bank details are needed to receive money, your IBAN will also come in handy. When you sign up with Starling, for example, you’ll receive an IBAN along with a BIC (Bank Identifier Code). You can use this on invoices to overseas clients, so you can receive payments from abroad straight into your account.

SWIFT code

The SWIFT code is another code used in international banking, particularly when sending payments through the SWIFT network of banks.

Just like the IBAN, your SWIFT code is used by overseas banks to identify your account and direct payments.

Sort code

You may also need your Starling Bank sort code and account number of your recipient’s account to set up an international payment. It depends where you’re sending to, as in some cases a sort code will be needed in addition to an IBAN or SWIFT code.

Recipient’s detail

As a general rule, you’ll need to provide the following information about your recipient:

  • Full name
  • Address
  • Business information (if relevant)
  • Bank name and address.

So, that’s all you need to know about Starling Bank international fees in one handy guide. We’ve covered how much it costs to send and receive money worldwide with Starling, plus the details you’ll need to set up a transfer. You should be all set, but just make sure to check that you’re getting the best transfer cost before you hit ‘send’.

Sources used for this article:

  1. Country fees - Starling Bank
  2. Rates, Fees and Charges Applicable to: All GBP Business Current Accounts and GBP Sole Trader Current Accounts Effective from
  3. Rates, Fees and Charges Applicable to: All Euro Business Current Accounts and Euro Sole Trader Current Accounts
  4. Rates, Fees and Charges Applicable to: All US Dollar (“USD”) Business Current Accounts Effective from
  5. How much does it cost to make an international payment? - Starling Help
  6. Small business toolkit - Starling Bank
  7. When will my international transfer arrive? - Starling Help
  8. Can I invoice my international customers? - Starling Help
  9. Send money abroad - International money transfers - Starling Bank

Sources checked on 19/12/2022.

*Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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