While many FinTech startups are only interested in securing business from large companies and corporations, U.K. startup Tide is setting itself apart from the pack by focusing on small business banking and offering an array of features to make its customers’ lives easier.
After announcing its $2 million seed round last summer, Tide officially launched this week. And its aim — to allow customers to open a business account in a matter of minutes — could turn the U.K. banking world on its head.
Customers that try to set up a business account on High Street might have to wait weeks to finalize all of their paperwork. According to TechCrunch, a Tide customer simply needs to scan a passport or driver’s license via a laptop or smartphone (it works on iPhone and Android) in order to open an account and get down to business.
The site also has an automated bookkeeping service, saving clients money on accounting fees, and offers the ability to upload any supplier invoice and prepare a payment. It can also enable customers to create and send their own invoices. While there are no monthly fees, there is a small per bank payment fee and a £1 per cash withdrawal charge.
“Business services offered by High Street banks have failed to meet the needs of the modern small business owner,” said George Bevis, Tide founder and CEO. “With slow sign-up processes, hidden charges and poor customer experience, business banking has been stuck in the dark ages.”
While a customer would use Tide just as they would a regular business banking account, it’s important to note that Tide is not a bank. Member deposits are kept in a ring-fenced account at Barclays under an FCA-regulated eMoney license by PrePay Solutions (PPS). Funds being held under an eMoney license, means deposits cannot be invested by PPS.