Alongside Monzo, Starling Bank and Revolut are the biggest players in the UK’s challenger bank space. Yet they have a very different approach to their products, with Starling Bank focusing on simplicity, and Revolut on choice and extras. They both have an offering aimed at businesses, so let’s break down what they have to offer.
Starling Bank vs Revolut Business – Plans, Costs & Fees:
Starling Bank Business:
The basic business account with Starling is free. However, certain key extra features are only available for a fee, such as the Business Toolkit. These features and costs are:
|Business Toolkit||£7 monthly|
|EUR Account||£2 monthly|
|USD Account||£5 monthly|
They have the following additional costs for certain processes:
|To transfer via CHAPS within the UK||£20 per transfer|
|International Payments||currency transfers cost 0.4% of the payment amount & a £5.50 fee for payments by SWIFT|
|Deposit cash in the Post Office||If under £1000 – a cost of £3. For amounts over £1000 – 0.3% of the total amount.|
Revolut have 4 business account tiers:
|Revolut Business Grow||£25 monthly|
|Revolut Business Scale||£100 monthly|
|Revolut Business Enterprise||costs depend on which features added|
The Revolut paid tiers give set amounts of key account functions, for example, transfers and ATM withdrawals, as part of the package rather than charging for each individual action.
All bank transfers into or out of the account are charged at £0.20 per transfer. The tiers include a certain amount of payments: 5 per month on the Free tier, 100 with the Grow tier and 1000 on the Scale tier.
International payments, whether in or out, will be charged at £3 per payment,
Across all account tiers, ATM withdrawals are charged at 2% of the amount withdrawn.
/ Verdict /
A very different approach, with Starling Bank providing free banking with monthly costs for their business toolkit, whilst Revolut have fees for each and every payment in or out of the account, with a certain amount free with the different paid tiers. As Starling Bank do this free, that wins them this round.
Revolut Business vs Starling Bank Business – Features:
Business Toolkit – Even though the basic Starling Bank business account is free, the most useful features are within their Business Toolkit:
Accounting Software Integration
You can connect your Starling Bank account directly to your accounting software.
Use the Starling Bank app to send invoices directly to your customers.
The app automatically analyses your account activity and estimates the taxes due.
Categorise expenses with the automatic filters.
Record & Submit VAT
A running total of the VAT due is calculated by the app.
Easily schedule payments by uploading upcoming bills into the app.
To Do List
Track important events, such as VAT or tax deadlines.
Customers can currently only use the Business Toolkit via a computer, not via the smartphone app.
Revolut give every business customer a GBP and EUR account as standard. Customers can also operate in over 28 currencies, and transfer between them at interbank rate.
Accounting Software Integration
Use the Revolut business API to connect to accounting software i.e. Xero, Quickbooks and Clearbooks, plus business apps such as Slack.
Debit Cards for staff
Physical and virtual debit cards, fully controlled by the account owner
Customers cannot pay cash into their Revolut account.
The Revolut business account is accessible via both your computer and your smartphone.
/ Verdict /
Each bank does have a relatively similar feature set. Revolut offers more with international payments, but overall, Starling Bank gives a more fully rounded offering, so we give this round to them.
Starling Bank Business vs Revolut Business – Safety/Security:
As they are a licensed UK bank, Starling customer deposits are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) up to a maximum of £85,000.
As of 2021, Starling Bank announced that they had become profitable. Their business model appears stable, with multiple millions of customers, across both consumer and business. The average monthly deposit amount per customer is much higher than many of their competitors – demonstrating that customers have a lot of faith in their stability and safety.
Starling Bank achieved the highest score of any UK bank in a study of UK banking security conducted in 2021.
Revolut are currently not a fully licensed UK bank. However, in 2021, they applied for a license. As they do not currently have a license, customer deposits are not protected under the FSCS. However, Revolut state:
“As an electronic money institution, we are required to “safeguard” clients’ funds. Safeguarding” means separating clients funds from our own funds and holding them in a separate account with a credit institution. The funds in this segregated account are held by us on your behalf. As an authorised institution, Revolut safeguards your funds as per regulatory requirements.”
/ Verdict /
Starling Bank edge this round, as they are a licensed UK bank. Revolut have applied to get a UK banking license however, so once they have that in place, then it would be all equal in regard to safety.
Revolut Business vs Starling Bank Business – International Business/Other Currencies:
- Alongside the GBP account as standard, customers can pay £2 per month to get a EUR account and £5 per month to get a USD account.
- International payments are free to receive into your Starling Bank business account.
- Make international currency transfers at the interbank rate, with a flat fee of 0.4% of the amount transferred.
- SWIFT transfers are charged at £5.50 per transfer. Transfers without SWIFT are also possible, which is cheaper, but these are not possible to recall, and are sent without a reference.
- Revolut business customers automatically get a GBP and EUR account with IBANs.
- Receive, pay and hold over 28 currencies in your Revolut business account. All currency transfers are made at interbank rate.
/ Verdict /
Starling Bank have a solid offering when it comes to international business and foreign currencies. However, Revolut are an international business, with a presence in dozens of countries around the world, whilst Starling Bank offer services solely within the UK. Therefore, Revolut are able to offering a definitively superior service for businesses that deal with a lot of cross-currency and cross-border business. Therefore this round goes to Revolut.
Starling Bank Business vs Revolut Business – Verdict:
In general, we find that Starling Bank offer an extremely solid and feature-rich business account, that would work very well for a UK focused business who wanted to modernise their business banking. Revolut also offer a very good product, but maybe lacks in certain features compared to Starling. Therefore, we would say that Starling Bank wins this head to head. For some businesses however, Revolut may suit them better – especially if the business involves different currencies, travel and cross border business.