Help us understand what features you'd like to see in a Monzo business account!


(Jordan) #1

:wave: Hey Monzo Community!

This is my first post here :partying_face: ! My name is Jordan and I work on lots of different projects at Monzo, but most recently have been focused on exploring business banking.

You may have seen our recent blog post where we announced we’re looking into business current accounts. Over the past few weeks, we’ve been doing a lot of research about what it means to be a freelancer / contractor / sole trader / small business owner in the UK. We want to build on the research that Rich and Rosa worked on a few months ago, so we can design a product that meets your needs. In order to do that, we need your help!

What we want to hear from you

We know that every business is different and has different banking needs. So we want to understand what you’re looking for in a business current account. We’d love to understand a few things:

  1. What do you do? Are you a sole proprietor, contractor, limited company?
  2. What are the big pain points in managing your business finances? (think about things like invoices, expenses, payroll, taxes, etc.)
  3. What tools do you currently use to manage your business finances?
  4. What do you like / dislike about your current business bank account?
  5. If you could request one key feature for your business current account, what would it be? Are there any other features you look for in a BCA?

If you don’t feel like threading your responses here, feel free to DM them to me. Or, let us know if you’d be up for a 30 minute phone call sometime in the next month or so - we’d love to hear your thoughts in detail!

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Cheers,
Jordan


We’re planning to launch a business current account
Business Accounts. The worst!
(Simon Drayson) #2
  1. What do you do? Are you a sole proprietor, contractor, limited company?

We are an architectural practice based in London and trading as an LLP.

  1. What are the big pain points in managing your business finances? (think about things like invoices, expenses, payroll, taxes, etc.)

No instant notification of transactions like with Monzo’s personal accounts. Online banking is only semi-integrated with bookkeeping software (takes 24 hours to automatically update bank feed and invoices must be reconciled manually).

  1. What tools do you currently use to manage your business finances?

Banking through Tide, invoicing and bookkeeping through Xero.

  1. What do you like / dislike about your current business bank account?

One partner must be the primary account holder, despite the fact that we both hold equal shares in the business.

  1. If you could request one key feature for your business current account, what would it be? Are there any other features you look for in a BCA?

Business savings account paying some interest, similar to Monzo’s personal savings account. Free quick pay link on invoices similar to GoCardless.


(Joe) #3
  • What do you do? Are you a sole proprietor, contractor, limited company?

Sole Proprietor of a small Limited Company

  • What are the big pain points in managing your business finances? (think about things like invoices, expenses, payroll, taxes, etc.)

Taxes (VAT)

  • What tools do you currently use to manage your business finances?

Numbers for Mac and Starling for Business

  • What do you like / dislike about your current business bank account?

It’s free for most things and things are pretty instant. I dislike how clunky Starling is with the multiple authentication methods, the weird thing recently of just reissuing all the cards without any notices (I had to ask what had happened!).

I tried out Tide and it was just abysmal with the speed of doing transactions (Faster Payments do not take 6 hours for anyone else) and then charging for such things. But their fees could only be taken monthly with absolutely no indication of what you were going to be charged at the end of the month.

  • If you could request one key feature for your business current account, what would it be? Are there any other features you look for in a BCA?

Cost of running the account be quite low

P.S if it gets me earlier access I’m happy to :telephone_receiver: for 30 minutes or so (so long as I’m not doing my main job)


(James) #4

1. What do you do? Are you a sole proprietor, contractor, limited company?

Sole director of a limited company.

2. What are the big pain points in managing your business finances? (think about things like invoices, expenses, payroll, taxes, etc.)

Managing tax, invoicing and payroll. Xero handles all of this pretty well, so I would be happy with Monzo linking directly up with that rather than building all those features again.

3. What tools do you currently use to manage your business finances?

Currently use Starling Business and export data to Xero by hand, but I believe they are launching a direct integration soon.

4. What do you like / dislike about your current business bank account?

It’s pretty good, no fees and not too bad to use. I’ve had Barclays business accounts in the past and tried Tide but the fees and slow/bad service with those two put me off.

5. If you could request one key feature for your business current account, what would it be? Are there any other features you look for in a BCA?

Low/no fees, international payments, xero connection


(Andrew Clark) #5

My needs from a business account:

1: I need to be able to make v large payments for Corp tax and VAT but would love reassurance in the process cause it’s always scary when you press go on those payments in case you get it wrong. I.e. prompt for ref number and check the ref is formatted correctly.

2: I have two directors but even that stops Starling business account being suitable for me - only support one significant person currently.

3: multiple card holders where central person can allocate limits?

4: VAT pot

5: Corp tax pot

6: cash flow is the big issue (paid two months in arrears). Anything you can do about that would be good.

7: different options for types of expenses aligned to business needs I.e. subscriptions, VAT, stationery

Just some thoughts.


(Gary McAdam) #6

Currently using a business bank from Barclays and my accountants (Crunch) currently have an integration via BankBolt.

This would be something that I would be looking for before I am able to move business banks, otherwise I’d be manually importing transactions to accountants.

Best of luck, can’t wait to go Monzo for business!


(Stephen Early) #7

I’m one of the directors of a small pub company. We’re a limited company with three directors.

Our biggest pain at the moment is paying our staff: on payday we need to make about 70 separate faster payments through our bank’s web interface, because they don’t support uploading a batch payments file.

Xero for accounts, quicktill for point-of-sale, a mash up of The Payroll Site and Xero for payroll (because Xero haven’t released their UK payroll API yet).

Likes: we get an automatic feed of transactions into Xero for reconciliation. The web interface and mobile app are reasonable (apart from the missing batch payments feature).
Dislikes: we can’t get the bank to issue debit cards to our pub managers that spend from the current account but have sensible limits. We had to get separate current accounts per pub, with a different pub manager on the mandate for each along with the directors. Getting all this set up was an absolute pain; it works reasonably well now but we’d still prefer to have a single account and debit cards with payment limits.

(Barclays told us that we could add the pub managers to the mandate for the main account, but then spending limits would apply to everyone on the mandate, including directors. This won’t work because then we wouldn’t be able to do payroll, VAT payments, etc. because they would be over the limit.)

Key feature: support for uploading batch payment files from Xero (or some other way of integrating with Xero to make paying lots of bills in one go easier).

Other features: multiple debit cards with different limits would be great.

Paying in cash used to be a key feature, but we’re taking a lot less cash these days — we only pay in about £8,000 cash per week now, the rest comes in through cards.

We currently pay quite a lot for our business banking: a flat fee per current account, a flat fee to have an overdraft facility (in addition to any overdraft interest), a percentage of the cash paid in, and a flat fee per outgoing electronic payment. We don’t expect to get it for free, but I’m sure there’s scope for reduction!


#8

Can I ask business folk here whether the concept of an app only bank works for you? Is there a need for a more sophisticated web interface? Or would you be happy with an API integration and basically do everything from your accountancy package?


(Andre Borie) #9
  1. What do you do? Are you a sole proprietor, contractor, limited company?

Software development agency so limited company. Most of the time it’s just me but could be hiring employees in the future.

  1. What are the big pain points in managing your business finances? (think about things like invoices, expenses, payroll, taxes, etc.)

The lack of payment origination through the API of my current bank account (Starling Bank) which means I have to manually do payments for payroll, dividends, etc.

  1. What tools do you currently use to manage your business finances?

Starling Bank + FreeAgent with custom code to connect the two.

  1. What do you like / dislike about your current business bank account?

What I like is that it’s a modern account with a nice-looking app and an API. What I dislike is the mandatory Touch ID/passcode on the app, their relatively bad customer service, the lack of a payment origination API and finally the lack of Hot Coral.

  1. If you could request one key feature for your business current account, what would it be? Are there any other features you look for in a BCA?

Real-time integration with FreeAgent, and payment origination via the API so stuff like payroll can be automated. No mandatory Touch ID/passcode.

This is for a current account but honestly I wouldn’t mind if Monzo did more and included accounting in the account itself, so I could do away with FreeAgent completely. I’ve invested in Coconut for this exact reason.

Feel free to DM me if you want to set up a call to discuss this in more details.


(Andre Borie) #10

Personally I never look at my Starling app; all my accounting is automated most of the time and if I do need to look at it then I open FreeAgent.

As long as there’s an API everything’s fine for me!


(Dan) #11
  1. Have two companies I’d like to move over. One with me as sole director. And a second with three other directors (four total including me), would like each director to be able to use the Monzo app, card each etc.
  2. Website only, reimbursing expenses, taxes (have an accountant, but would love estimations of taxes), and separation of money into pots (VAT pot, with a VAT direct debit to HMRC for example).
  3. AccountsNet web portal. Have previous tried FreeAgent, and Crunch, was too complex.
  4. Not much to like, just holds my money. Dislike the excessive codes, and pin machines for entry to my money/payments.
  5. Pots to separate my VAT and Corporation tax. Allow direct debits from HMRC to take money out of these pots, automatically move the VAT from transactions into the pots, and a set amount for corporation tax from each income (if it matches an invoice).

I’d switch to Monzo immediately if you offered business accounts that were competitive on costs, allowed me to have multiple businesses with you. And optionally supported multiple directors on each of those businesses (each with their own monzo app, and card).

My ultimate dream bank business account would automatically calculate my tax, handle expenses, and submit my tax returns for me. Giving me tax estimates, along with pots to save/separate my VAT or corporation tax. I’m not looking for optimal tax here, just convenient quite life, and I’d happily pay a lot for it. Every accountant requires too much time and effort for me.


(Stephen Early) #12

Mostly we do everything from Xero apart from making payments. If there was a way to make payments from Xero as well, we’d do that! (I don’t believe Xero supports this level of integration at the moment, whatever the bank does. Batch payments work by Xero creating a batch payment file for you to download and then upload to the bank.)


(Andre Borie) #13

My ultimate dream bank business account would automatically calculate my tax, handle expenses, and submit my tax returns for me.

Same for me. I’m waiting for Coconut to offer limited company support.


(MARCUS) #14
  1. Sole proprietor, designer and branding consultant.
  2. Invoices linked to book keeping, self assessment, reports and overviews of expenses
  3. Long term Freeagent user, switched to Coconut after lack of updates and sale to RBS.
  4. Love Coconut’s app, customer service, and ease of book keeping — auto categorisation is great.
  5. I think that Coconut proves it’s no longer about creating a standalone account: I’ve ditched Freeagent for this reason, and already Coconut is just about managing all of my day to day needs. I’m looking at invoicing options, possibly Harvest, but that’s coming to Coconut too. Current making do with Invoicely as a temp solution.

(Tom) #15

I was just looking at Coconut (and Mettle). I don’t personally need/want any invoicing/accounting type features, I have FreeAgent etc to handle all that. Just a basic account, Monzo-ified


(MARCUS) #16

App only works for me day to day, but long term plan would be to make something like Coconut my only solution. So exports or web view for reports, spending overviews etc would be vital.


(MARCUS) #17

That was my stance, but after talking to Coconut, and having experience of Monzo personally, I’ve ended up thinking that their way of thinking and aims for features and growth could far surpass the older software suppliers.

I LOVED Freeagent for years, but it was looking old and lacking in updates, and I decided to jump ship before RBS ruined it.


(Andre Borie) #18

FreeAgent looks like something from the early 2000’s, but not surprising considering it’s owned by RBS.


(Tom) #19

Interesting, maybe I’ll give them another look. I don’t think they’re FSCS protected yet though, which would put me off slightly.

I didn’t know RBS owned FreeAgent! :open_mouth: All I really use it for is pulling in my bank feed and letting my accountant do his thing. I’m a single person Ltd Co, and my agent handles my invoicing.


(Jordan) #20

:wave: hey all! I’m loving all this awesome feedback… thank you so much for taking the time to help us understand what you’re looking for. :hot_coral_heart:

I’m American :us:, so I’m back home with the family today and tomorrow for Thanksgiving :turkey:… but I’ll be sure to reply to all of you when I’m back.

Keep the good ideas coming!