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Tide Bank Review

Tide is a UK-based fintech company that provides financial services mainly to the UK market. Unlike their main competitors—Starling Bank, Monzo, and Revolut – Tide focuses solely on providing a business bank account to customers and does not offer personal account services.

Established in 2015 and officially launched out of beta in 2017, Tide has reported having over 400,000 business accounts by the end of 2022. Our Tide bank review gives you all of the details.

Tide Business Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Support for integration with accountancy packages is comprehensive
  • Tide are a business only focused product, so all of their services are dedicated solely to the requirements of businesses.
  • Have multiple accounts and other money management functions
  • Ability to send invoices from the app

Cons:

  • Tide are a branchless bank. Any cash deposits have to be made via PayPoint or post offices, and incur a cost.
  • Not the best choice for businesses who send and receive a lot of international payments.
  • Certain banking functions appear quite complicated compared to competitors.
  • There is a fee for all account transfers and payments

What is Tide Business?

The Tide business account represents a digitally-driven ‘challenger’ bank, prioritizing an app-centric approach to streamline and cost-effective business banking for UK enterprises. Leveraging cutting-edge technology, their systems promise a smoother, more customer-friendly experience compared to conventional high street banks, reflecting their recent establishment and commitment to innovation.

Tide Business Features

  • Current free account – with business debit card
  • Accounting Software Integration – integrate your Tide account packages such as Xero, QuickBooks, FreeAgent and more.
  • Mobile & Desktop Access – access your account on any device
  • Send and Manage Invoices – direct from the app

The Tide business account is available in 3 tiers – the more the monthly cost, the more features you receive:

Tide Free:

  • Tide Business Debit Card
  • Expense cards for staff – £5 per month per card
  • Transfers in and out – £0.20 per transfer
  • ATM Withdrawals – £1 per transfer
  • Read only account access for staff
  • Accounting software integration
  • Up to 5 business accounts

Tide Plus:

  • Tide Business Debit Card
  • Expense cards for staff – 1 cards included, then £5 per month per extra card
  • Transfers in and out – 20 free per month, then £0.20 per transfer
  • ATM Withdrawals – £1 per transfer
  • Read only account access for staff
  • Accounting software integration
  • Up to 5 business accounts
  • Priority in-app & phone support
  • 24/7 legal support

Tide Cashback:

  • Tide Business Debit Card
  • Expense cards for staff – 3 card included, then £5 per month per extra card
  • Transfers in and out – 150 free per month, then £0.20 per transfer
  • ATM Withdrawals – £1 per transfer
  • 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

Who is Tide Business for?

Business owners across the UK often encounter frustrations when dealing with traditional banking practices. Established high street banks, entrenched in legacy systems, tend to lag behind in adopting new technology, resulting in sluggish processes and a subpar customer experience.

However, fintech ‘challenger’ banks like Tide, alongside counterparts such as Starling, Monzo, and Revolut, sidestep these issues. As startups, they’ve engineered their systems from the ground up, leveraging modern technology to create efficient, user-friendly platforms. This contrast with the cumbersome infrastructure of traditional banks makes them an appealing choice for businesses seeking smoother financial management. Whilst Tide do not have a dedicated sole trader account, the standard bank account will work well for sole traders.

Tide, a digital bank with a strong emphasis on its app, operates without physical branches. While this fosters convenience, it also means that issue resolution relies solely on in-app messaging or customer service calls.

One area where Tide falls short, particularly compared to competitors like Revolut, is in international payments. Businesses engaged in cross-border trade may find Tide lacking in this aspect and might seek alternatives better suited to their needs.

Tide Business Costs & Fees

There are 3 account tiers for Tide business:

  • Free
  • Plus – £9.99 (plus VAT) monthly
  • 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 Business Safe?

Tide is not licensed as a UK bank, which means that older customers might have accounts categorized as e-money accounts with Tide. These accounts do not fall under the protection of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), which safeguards customer deposits up to £85,000 in the event of Tide’s insolvency.

However, Tide has partnered with Clearbank, a licensed UK bank. Consequently, most existing Tide customers and all new customers will have their accounts held with Clearbank. This ensures that these accounts are now covered by the FSCS.

How to apply for the Tide App

The application process for setting up Tide accounts is very simple. You will need a valid UK phone number and a UK residential address. Then simply download the Tide app from any app store. Limited companies will need some details from UK Companies House, and most applications are approved within hours.

Signup with Tide

Tide Business Alternatives

Starling Bank

Wise

Monzo

Tide Business FAQ

IS TIDE A LEGITIMATE BANK?

Tide are not a licensed UK bank, but rather an e-money provider. They are still regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, and customer deposits are held by their partner Clearbank, so deposits are protected under the FSCS.

HOW DOES TIDE MAKE MONEY?

Tide have monthly fees for their Plus and Cashback tiers. They also make money in the same way as other business banking providers, with charges for payments, currency transfers etc, and they will make a small percentage any time the debit card is used.

DOES TIDE CHARGE FOR PAYMENTS?

Yes, Tide charge businesses 20p per transfer in or out of the account. All transfers on the Free tier are charged at this rate. On the Plus tier, they give 20 transfers free as part of the package, and on the Cashback tier, they give 150 payments as part of the package.

Tide Business Verdict

Tide stands among a wide range of app-based digital startup banks in the UK, catering specifically to businesses. Unlike its counterparts, Tide exclusively concentrates on business banking. This specialized focus potentially positions Tide to offer a more tailored product. However, the features offered by Tide are strikingly similar to those of its competitors, raising questions about its distinctiveness. Nevertheless, when researching financial providers for your business, Tide should certainly be considered.

Signup with Tide

*Please note: This article may include affiliate links. If you purchase through these links, we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. This helps support our work and allows us to continue providing content like this.

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