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Tide Bank – In Brief
Tide are a UK based financial technology company, offering banking services to customers within the UK market. Unlike their main competitors, Starling Bank, Monzo and Revolut, they are focused solely on business customers – they do not have an offering for personal accounts.
Tide Bank Pros & Cons
- Support for integration with accountancy packages is broader than their competitors.
- Tide are a business only product – they do not have a consumer account. Therefore, all of their services are dedicated solely to the requirements of businesses.
- Flexible and feature-rich business banking for businesses.
- Tide are a branchless bank, and any cash deposits have to be made via PayPoint locations or post offices. There is a cost for each deposit, so Tide may not be appropriate for business who handle a lot of cash.
- Not the best choice for businesses who send and receive a lot of international payments.
- Certain banking functions appear quite complicated compared to competitors.
What is Tide Bank?
The Tide business account is an app first digital ‘challenger’ bank, that aims to simplify the processes and reduce the costs of business banking for UK businesses. As it is recently established product, their systems are based on the most modern technology available, and as such they should be able to offer a more seamless and customer friendly user experience than the traditional high street banks.
Formed in 2015, and launched out of beta in 2017, Tide claimed to have over 400,000 business customers with accounts as of early 2020, saying that over 7% of UK SMEs are using Tide.
Tide Bank Features
|Tide Free||Tide Plus||Tide Cashback|
|Tide Business Debit Card|
|Expense cards for staff||£5 per month per card||1 card included, then £5 per month per extra card||3 cards included, then £5 per month per extra card|
|Transfers in and out||£0.20 per transfer||20 free per month, then £0.20 per transfer||150 free per month, then £0.20 per transfer|
|£1 per ATM Withdrawal|
|Read only account access for staff|
|Accounting software integration|
|Up to 5 business accounts|
|Priority in-app & phone support|
|24/7 legal support|
|Dedicated account manager|
|0.5% cashback on any payments made with Tide card|
Tide Bank Key Features
- Accounting Software Integration – integrate with accounting software packages such as Xero, QuickBooks, Sage and more
- Mobile & Desktop Access – do your banking via phone or computer
- Send and Manage Invoices – send invoices direct to your customers from the Tide app.
- Instant payment notifications – be informed of activity on your account
- Free transfers – on paid tiers
- Multiple accounts – up to 5 per company
- Company registration – free via the app when setting up an account
- Direct Debits/Scheduled payments – manage via the app
- Payment categorisation – divide your transactions into different areas within the app
- Expenses management – scan and uploads receipts via the app
- ATM Withdrawals – £1 per withdrawal across all tiers
- Mastercard debit card – with contactless functionality
Who is Tide Bank for?
Any business owner in the UK will understand the frustrations that can come with banking. Traditional high street banks can be very slow to move along with new technology. In addition, they often have old technology systems that any new system has to communicate with. This can often slow things down and negatively affect the customer experience.
Tide, along with other Fintech ‘challenger’ banks such as Starling, Monzo and Revolut, don’t have this problem. They are new start-ups, so they have built their systems from scratch in the last few years, utilising the most modern technology and creating efficient and simple systems that provide a more seamless customer experience than many of the traditional banks. Therefore, any business, whether new, or established, and looking for a more user-friendly way to manage their finances, could find a good solution with Tide.
Tide is a digital, app focused bank, and has no actual branches. Therefore, it is not possible to go into a branch and speak to someone if there is an issue with your account, you have to rely on messaging via the app or calling their customer services.
Tide is not particularly strong when it comes to international payments, especially compared to certain competitors such as Revolut. Therefore, if your business trades internationally, then Tide may not be the best choice.
Not all businesses are supported by Tide. They will not accept companies in areas they consider ‘high risk’. For more information on this, see here.
Tide Bank Costs & Fees
There are 3 account tiers for Tide business:
- Tide Free
- Tide Plus – £9.99 (plus VAT) monthly
- Tide Cashback – £49.99 (plus VAT) monthly
In addition, there are costs for certain functions within the account:
|Bank Transfers (in or out)||£0.20 per transfer|
|ATM/Cash withdrawals||£1 per withdrawal|
|Cash Deposits via the Post Office||£1 per deposit|
|Cash Deposits via PayPoint||3% of the total transaction value|
Is Tide Bank Safe?
Tide is not directly a licensed UK bank. However, in the past 2 years, they have partnered with ClearBank, who are a licensed bank. Therefore, any new customers signing up with Tide (plus any that have signed up since 2021) will have their accounts held by ClearBank, and therefore customer deposits are protected under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) up to £85,000 per business. Some older Tide customers would not be covered as they are on the old system, however Tide state that they are moving over all older accounts on to ClearBank.
Tide Bank Customer Reviews
Tide has a rating of 4.3 out of 5 on Trustpilot, from over 12,000 reviews. Many of the positive reviews highlight the ease of use and simplicity of the app, and how helpful the customer service team are. Out of the reviews, 18% are rated 1 out of 5 – bad. This is a rather higher percentage of bad reviews compared to some competitor Trustpilot ratings. Within these low rated reviews, customers are complaining about the lack of support for international payments, and some other issues that every bank usually has i.e. frozen accounts, lack of customer service etc.
Tide Bank Comparisons
Which is better – Tide Bank or Starling Bank?
|Tide Bank||Starling Bank|
|Pricing||Free | £9.99 | £49.99||Free|
|ATM Withdrawals||£1 per withdrawal||Free UK & Abroad|
|Safety/Security||Deposits covered under FSCS||Deposits protected under FSCS|
|Extras||Many business friendly extras||Business toolkit – £7.00 per month|
Which is better – Tide Bank or Monzo?
|Pricing||Free | £9.99 | £49.99||Free and £5 per month|
|ATM Withdrawals||£1 per withdrawal||3% fee above £200 per month|
|Safety/Security||Deposits covered under FSCS||Deposits protected under FSCS|
|Extras||Many business friendly extras||Many options|
Which is better – Tide Bank or Revolut?
|Pricing||Free | £9.99 | £49.99||Free, £25 and £100|
|ATM Withdrawals||£1 per withdrawal||2% fee|
|Safety/Security||Deposits covered under FSCS||Deposits NOT protected under FSCS|
|Extras||Many business friendly extras||Many extras|
Tide Bank FAQ
Who owns Tide Bank?
Tide is a relatively recently founded business, and is owned by a combination of its founders and various individuals and investment funds who have contributed money to help them grow the business.
Is Tide Bank covered by the FSCS?
Although Tide is not a licensed bank, they work with ClearBank who are, so customer deposits are covered up to £85,000 under the FSCS.
How do I get a Tide Bank account?
Firstly, you need to be either a director of a limited company, or a sole trader. You then simply download the Tide Bank app on your phone, then verify your identity.
Can you pay cash into Tide Bank account?
Yes, it is possible to pay cash into your Tide Bank account at Post Office branches and PayPoint locations. For Post Office deposits you will be charged £2.50 for amounts up to £500, and 0.5% of the amount deposited for amounts above £500. At PayPoint, the charge is 3% of the amount deposited.
How long does it take to set up a Tide Bank account?
Tide state that over 50% of applicants are able to set up their account within 10 minutes, 70% in less than an hour, and over 80% in under 48 hours.
Tide Bank Verdict
Tide Bank have made waves in the business banking market in recent years, and it is easy to see why. Their suite of features make banking for sole traders much easier and less time-consuming, and larger businesses can also make great use of what they offer.