When you’re operating (or opening) a small business, deciding where to bank is one of your biggest decisions. You want something easy and convenient, preferably with low to no fees, but there are so many choices!
It’s tough to run a comparison, but we did some of the heavy lifting for you. Check out our Tide business account review for more on the ups, downs, ins, and outs of opening an account with them.
- 1 About Tide
- 2 The Upside of Using a Tide Business Account
- 3 The Downside of Tide Business Banking
- 4 How to Open a Tide Business Account
- 5 Final Thoughts on Tide Business Banking
This UK financial tech company roared onto the scene in 2015 as one of the first finance platforms to only provide digital services. The brainchild of George Bevis, Tide Platform Limited, received permission from the Financial Conduct Authority to operate in February of the following year.
Eileen Burbridge, the founder of Passion Capital, joined Bevis to serve as Chairman. She also helped infuse the startup with cash flow midway through 2016.
The beta version of Tide’s mobile app officially launched in January 2017, followed by a pop-up store in March. By July, Tide secured more investments from specialist fintech funds and announced a partnership with iwoca, a European online lender.
Tide expanded in 2018 with a new logo and several product features geared toward customer satisfaction. Though the company grew, Bevis stepped down from his role as CEO, replaced by Oliver Prill. The move proved beneficial for the company who secured more funding and investors.
Today, Tide offers a series of financial services and tools for small business owners. Everything works digitally through iPhones, Androids, and desktop devices.
The Upside of Using a Tide Business Account
Tide prides itself on being a modern banking experience. They cater to small business owners and serve more than 150,000 customers.
Three Different Levels of Business Accounts
Unlike some other financing options, Tide business banking established three different levels. They understand that not every small business is the same size with identical needs and developed a tiered system to support that idea.
- Free costs nothing monthly but provides scheduled payments, software integration, sub-accounts, and other member perks.
- Plus costs £9.99 per month and includes everything from the free level plus additional perks, phone support, and a 24/7 legal helpline.
- Premium costs £49.99 per month and includes everything from the other two tiers plus several perks, including a dedicated account manager and £1000 flexible balance.
The ability to choose a level that fits with your company goals is beneficial, especially for startups. As you grow, it’s easy to upgrade to the next tier.
Tide does things a little differently from traditional banks because they can afford to be unique. They don’t charge monthly or annual fees on their accounts. However, customers do have other banking fees to consider.
- Transfers in and out of accounts cost £0.20, though it’s free to transfer between Tide accounts.
- ATM cash withdrawals cost £1 (plus any fees charged by the ATM).
- Cash deposits cost £1 at Post Office locations or 3% through PayPoint.
If you ever used an app that left you feeling frustrated, you know the importance of a functional app. Tide’s app includes up to date status on accounts, including transactions and payments.
You can schedule payments, review statements, and manage limits. The app allows integration with your banking software, like Quickbooks, and automatically categorizes spending.
No contact is more important than ever, but it can be a problem when you need access to money to keep your business afloat. Tide’s contactless Mastercard allows you to spend in the UK and overseas without fees or commission (unless using it at an ATM).
It’s easy to manage your card via the app, including freezing, unfreezing, canceling, or re-ordering one. You can even establish multiple team cards to track each members’ spending.
One of the niftiest things about Tide is the selection of Member Perks. The company partnered with several others to help small businesses succeed. From discounts on freelancing platforms (find the social media marketer you desperately need!) to pension plans, to music subscriptions, there is something for every business.
Hint: don’t forget to check out the Small Business Tips page! They cover everything from pricing strategies to payroll.
The Downside of Tide Business Banking
No banking business is all sunshine and roses, so Tide is no different. They have a great rating on Trustpilot and a solid customer base. However, there are a few things to consider before jumping in.
- You can’t deposit checks, only cash.
- They charge for ATM withdrawals.
- It is not a regulated bank account; it’s an e-money account from PrePay Solutions (PPS).
- You don’t get Financial Services Compensation Scheme protection (FSCS). If the company goes under, PPS says they can cover it, but you don’t have a guarantee.
How to Open a Tide Business Account
Opening an account is not difficult (Tide notes it takes as little as five minutes), but you have to qualify for one first. To qualify, you need to be registered with Companies House as the director. Some businesses don’t qualify for accounts based on the industry or what they deal with.
- Cryptocurrency traders
- Trading of precious metals or stones
- Money services, like foreign exchange, loan providers, and gambling houses
- Businesses selling unlicensed pharmaceuticals (like cannabidiol) or weapons
Sole traders and freelancers who are UK-based may also qualify. Further, you need to be 18 or older with a registered smartphone and have a valid UK phone number and address.
Provided you qualify, download the app, and start the process. You need to explain the nature of the business and verify your identity by scanning your ID along with a selfie. Once approved, Tide sends you a full UK sort code, account number, and business Mastercard.
Final Thoughts on Tide Business Banking
Tide provides room for your business to grow and accommodate a wider range of business needs than many other service providers. Their three-tier approach and fee structure work well for small businesses of all types.