Starling Bank has opened up its business account to hundreds of thousands more UK small and medium-sized enterprises by inviting companies with more than one person of significant control (PSCs) to sign up.

The move was made in response to high demand and represents Starling’s bid to challenge the dominance of the Big Four lenders, which account for 85% of the market.

Starling’s new multi-PSC account comes 16 months after it launched its mobile business bank account for single-person businesses, which now has almost 60,000 customers.

It follows the award to Starling in April of a £100 million grant from the Capability and Innovation Fund (CIF), a body created to boost competition in SME banking. Starling is using the grant to build a full suite of digital banking products, intelligent forecasting tools, and digitally-enabled relationship management functions as well as lending products.

Companies will be able to apply for an account in minutes and, once approved, instantly make payments to suppliers (including international payments), receive real-time balance updates and spending insights all from their smartphones.

Anne Boden, Founder and CEO of Starling Bank said: “Opening up our business account to SMEs with more than one PSC will give hundreds of thousands more companies access to our features, meaning they can manage their finances conveniently on their smartphone without having to worry about where their nearest bank branch is and when it will be open.

“With funding from the Capability and Innovation Fund, we are reshaping the SME banking market, using technology to help businesses thrive.

“We have a fantastic entrepreneurial spirit in the UK and Starling wants to give SME business owners the best possible banking services to make their life easier and allow them to focus on what counts.”