12 of the most effective digital banking platforms for small enterprise

Digital banking platforms, also known as Authorized Payment Institutions (API) or e-money institutions / issuers, generally do not consider themselves banks, but make different promises from their traditional competitors.

These platforms all offer an alternative to traditional high street accounts. They can be set up and operated quickly from your smartphone, giving you access to all digital banking services.

According to Finder, one in ten people in the UK have switched to an exclusively digital bank such as Monzo, Revolut or Starling for their personal banking. However, almost half (47 pieces) of those who use them keep less than £ 1,000 in a digital bank. There is hope for these challengers – two-thirds of respondents said they plan to switch to a fully digital bank in the future.

It is interesting to note that people often use personal mobile banking for secondary functions such as spending abroad, transferring funds, and budgeting apps instead of holding onto cash.

Even if you want to keep most of your cash with one of the traditional banks, a digital account could see you well in any of these other important lines of business.

Take a look at the digital banking platforms listed below and see what you think.

Bank characteristics Pricing
ANNA Smart invoicing, automatically track pending payments Free if your monthly income is less than £ 500

£ 5 per month if your monthly income is £ 500- £ 2,000

£ 9.90 per month if your monthly income is £ 2,000-20,000

£ 19.90 per month if your monthly income is £ 20,000 to £ 500,000
£ 11 per month if your monthly income is £ 2,000- £ 100,000

£ 49 per month if your monthly income is over £ 100,000

Revolut Hold, exchange and transfer currencies with real exchange rates, issue free company cards to employees and benefit from business partners Businesses pay anywhere from £ 0 to £ 100 per month depending on their account (or they can talk to Revolut and get a tailored quote).

Freelancers pay £ 0 for the free account, £ 7 per month for the Professional account and £ 25 per month for the Ultimate account

Starling Bank No monthly fees, categorized transactions, integration with Xero, FreeAgent and Quickbooks, overdraft facility No monthly fee

Can a monthly £ 7 & # 39; Business Toolkit & # 39; add for additional features

tide No fees for card payments in the UK or abroad, Tide Mastercard, instant billing, integration with FreeAgent, Sage and Xero Free (£ 0)

Plus (£ 9.99)

Plus Cashback (£ 49.99)

Monzo Integrations with Xero, FreeAgent, and QuickBooks; Set aside a percentage of your income for taxation on every payment Lite: Free

Pro: £ 5

coconut Can link checking accounts and credit cards from 20 different banks including Barclays, Lloyds and Starling

Export your data – sole proprietorships can provide additional help with tax reporting to help them with their self-assessment

See calculations of how much taxes you owe

Tips on what expenses you can claim

Side-hustle: £ 3 per month (excluding VAT)

Professional: £ 5 per month (excluding VAT)

zeal Create and send invoices with your company logo directly from your smartphone

Manage recurring payments in the app, add receipts to transactions and export your expense data

Can be connected to Xero, Freeagent and Quickbooks

Free to use and free to join
Cash plus Add up to 20 additional business expense cards for your employees to use

Cashplus can be integrated into the accounting software

Get a Business Cash Advance to Improve Cash Flow

iDraft (see description)

Annual fee of £ 69
Add up Automated accounting, professional invoices, and automated receipt scanning are key features, as well as taxes calculated and filed for you

Add notes and attachments directly to your transactions

Receipt capture and tax assessment

The starter is free for companies with incoming funds from £ 0 to £ 500 per month

Standard is free for the first six months (thereafter £ 4.95 per month) for funds from £ 500 to £ 4,000 per month

The award is also free for the first six months (thereafter £ 9.95 per month) for companies with incoming funds over £ 4,000 per month

Fair everywhere Access to three wallets: GBP, USD, EUR

Up to 8 pieces of cashback on all card issues at over 50 major UK retailers

All types of small businesses, retailers, and partnerships can apply – and they can link as many cards to the account as they want for employees

Monthly minimum fee of £ 12.50 with a registration fee of £ 55
CardOneMoney Text notifications confirming when money has been received and to confirm invoices have been paid

Check your balance using text messages

Up to four additional prepaid corporate MasterCards linked to your business account

Export bank statements to a cloud accounting network

£ 12.50 per month plus a £ 55 registration fee

ANNA

ANNA is open to all UK residents who are directors of a private limited company and unlimited company structured as a partnership or sole proprietorship.

The app gives you intelligent invoicing that allows you to generate sales and purchase invoices in less than ten minutes. It politely tracks any outstanding payments owed to you and informs you of the VAT, corporate tax and self-assessment deadlines. Payroll services will be offered in the future.

ANNA is free if your monthly income is less than £ 500. £ 5 per month when it is £ 500 to £ 2,000; £ 9.90 per month for £ 2,000-20,000 and £ 19.90 per month for £ 20,000 to 500,000.

Compare ANNA Business Banking with NerdWallet

Revolut

Revolut builds a solid reputation for companies traveling and trading overseas. Customers can hold, swap and transfer in over 28 currencies at the real exchange rate.

You can issue physical and virtual cards and track your employees' spending in real time.

Revolut offers advantages and benefits from partners such as Apple, Google Ads, Deliveroo and Samsung.

In terms of accounts, you have:

  • Free (£ 0 per month)
  • Grow (£ 25 per month)
  • Libra (£ 100 per month)
  • Company (bespoke – talk to Revolut)

Freelancers can choose from the Free Account (£ 0 per month), Professional (£ 7 per month) and Ultimate (£ 25 per month).

Compare Revolut Business Banking with NerdWallet

Starling Bank

The Starling Bank business account is open to you if you are self-employed or the owner of a limited liability company or are part of a multi-owner limited company. You must have been trading for at least 18 months to apply. Note that sole proprietorships must have a Starling Bank personal account in order to open a retail account.

There is no monthly fee on the account and it comes with an overdraft. If you run a limited liability company you can apply for an overdraft of up to £ 150,000. To improve the functionality of your business, you can add a toolkit for £ 7 a month. Additional tools include invoices and auto-matching, email integration, and sales tax for transactions.

If you'd like to deposit up to £ 20,000 in cash, you can do so at post offices across the country. You get € 3 back per deposit.

In addition, you can integrate it with Xero, FreeAgent, and Quickbooks.

tide

With Tide, there are no fees for card payments in the UK or abroad and you get free transfers between Tide accounts. Cash withdrawals from ATMs cost £ 1.

Order up to 35 team cards and keep track of who is spending what. Set up sub-accounts to save money on spending.

You also have invoicing and the ability to set up scheduled payments. The package is rounded off by in-app support and the integration of Xero and QuickBooks.

Three accounts are available through Tide: Free (£ 0), Plus (£ 9.99) and Plus Cashback (£ 49.99).

Compare Tide Business Banking with NerdWallet

Monzo

Monzo is the latest digital banking platform to introduce business banking. Open an account if you are an individual entrepreneur or director of a registered limited company of Shares (Ltd). Multi-user access is available for limited companies. Note, however, that you must have a personal account with Monzo before you can apply for a business account.

Accounts are not available for some company types. However, this can be checked in the future.

To limit financial crime, you can pay £ 5 to £ 300 in cash at one time and up to £ 1,000 in cash every six months. If you are 16 or 17 years old, this limit is lower so you can deposit up to £ 500 every six months.

Monzo can be integrated with Xero, FreeAgent and QuickBooks. With Monzo Business Pro, new Xero users can use the cloud accounting platform for the Business Pro account for six months free of charge. It also has a Tax Pots feature that allows you to set aside a percentage of your income for taxation on every payment. In addition, you can be notified every time you get paid.

The pricing is on two levels: Lite provides the basics, but for additional features like built-in bookkeeping and tax pots, you'll need to buy Pro for £ 5 per month.

Monese

Monese says it's not a bank, but specializes in multi-currency accounts. It gives you unlimited transactions, fast bank transfers and the ability to withdraw money from ATMs around the world.

Open an account from your smartphone. Monese ensures that you have full access within a few hours.

The app is supported in 14 languages ​​and you can set up accounts in GBP and Euros for international banking. To make running your business easier, you can also do unlimited transactions.

Currency conversion at competitive rates in multiple currencies including US dollars, Australian dollars, Euros and Danish kroner.

To keep your money safe, the app uses biometric unlocking and backend encryption.

The Monese business account costs £ 9.95 per month.

coconut

For sole proprietorships and limited companies (with up to two directors), Coconut offers banking, accounting, invoicing, and tax functionality.

You can link checking accounts and credit cards from 20 different banks, including Barclays, Lloyds, and Starling. Notifications inform you that a payment has been made or received and automatically categorize it.

Sole proprietorships can provide additional help with tax reports to help them with their self-assessment. Of course, there is Making Tax Digital-compliant software available.

See how much tax calculations you owe and tips on what expenses to claim to maximize your tax savings.

The Side Hustle Plan costs £ 3 per month (excluding VAT). It comes with a free UK checking account, ten free bank transfers per month, a sole proprietorship tax estimate, three invoices per month and 3 pieces of foreign currency.

The Professional plan costs £ 5 per month (excluding VAT) and includes everything in the Side Hustle package plus unlimited bills, 50 free bank transfers per month and free replacement cards.

zeal

Mettle is part of NatWest but is an independent arm. This means you can't call NatWest and expect them to back up your Mettle account.

You are eligible if you are a sole trader or a limited company with up to two owners. However, you must have an account balance of less than £ 100,000 (or £ 50,000 for sole proprietorships) to apply.

One of the most important highlights is that you can create and send invoices with your company logo directly from your smartphone. As with Coconut, notifications will let you know when you've been paid. However, you have to adjust the payment yourself to the outstanding invoice.

Again, it's halfway to tracking overdue bills. You will be reminded that an invoice is overdue but you need to send the customer a follow up yourself.

With regard to transactions, you can manage recurring payments in the app, add receipts to transactions and export your expense data.

Otherwise, you can sync your account with FreeAgent, Xero or QuickBooks, but you can also export to CSV, which is compatible with other accounting software.

One important consideration to make is that the app is not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). However, the account is subject to FCA security requirements and regulations. The purpose of protection is to protect customer funds and return them if the business goes down.

Mettle is free to use and free to join.

Cash plus

According to Cashplus, the application takes only four minutes and the opening of an account only takes seconds.

It is a good account if you already have some employees on your payroll. Add up to 20 additional business expense cards for your employees to use.

Get a Business Cash Advance to improve cash flow and integrate it with online accounting software.

Cashplus offers you a specialized iDraft facility. iDraft is a low cost credit limit that is attached to your account in case you run out of money. Usage is covered by your annual fee, but a flat daily usage fee is also charged.

The annual fee for the account is £ 69.

Add up

Countingup is a relatively new player in the mobile banking market.

The business offering includes automated bookkeeping, professional invoices and automated receipt scanning as main features, as well as a tax calculated and filed for you.

Add notes and attachments directly to your transactions, or remind yourself to apply for tax breaks when purchasing.

This is best if your business is based in the UK as you cannot use this account to make or receive international payments. Countingup hopes to include this feature in the future.

All accounting functions are displayed in all accounts. This includes the capture of receipts and the tax estimate.

The Starter Pack is free for businesses with incoming funds from £ 0 to £ 500 per month.

Standard is free for the first six months (thereafter £ 4.95 per month) for funds from £ 500 to £ 4,000 per month.

The award is also free for the first six months (thereafter £ 9.95 per month) for companies with incoming funds over £ 4,000 per month. A three month free trial is available.

Compare Countingup with NerdWallet

Fair everywhere

With FairFX and Fair Everywhere you can send and receive payments all over the world.

Get access to three wallets: GBP, USD, EUR with a currency conversion fee of 2.5 pieces.

It's a good account if you're a major donor. Up to 8 pieces of cashback on all card issues at over 50 major UK retailers (discounts available in store only).

All types of small businesses, retailers, and partnerships can apply – and they can link as many cards to the account as you want for employees.

However, there is no doubt that this is an expensive account. They have a minimum monthly fee of £ 12.50 with a registration fee of £ 55.

CardOneMoney

CardOneMoney (formerly CardOneBanking) is more of an old school. It uses text notifications to confirm when there is money in your account and to confirm that bills have been paid. Use text messages to check your balance as well.

The account is aimed at sole proprietorships, limited companies or partnerships with a turnover of up to £ 2 million.

Add up to four additional prepaid MasterCards for companies that will be linked to your business account. You can also export bank statements to a cloud accounting network.

Please note, however, that this is also not covered by the remuneration system for financial services.

It costs £ 12.50 per month with a registration fee of £ 55.

Compare CardOneMoney with NerdWallet

Of course, the right bank account depends on the needs of your small business. Take into account how many employees you have, how much turnover you have and which functions you support in the day-to-day work of the company. Whether you choose an account as your primary or secondary account, digital banking platforms provide a quick and convenient alternative to competing with your high street bank.

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