Small Business & Contractor solutions

(Caspar) #1

Hi guys,

As we know, Monzo is a personal account solution only. As someone who has run small businesses before, and is now trading as a limited company for my freelance work I needed to set up another solution. There are a few threads about other options out there but I thought it might be helpful to do something together about solutions people are actually using day to day at the moment.

I’m using Tide, which seems to work really well. It has a 20p transaction fee, but I’m dealing in low volumes typically. They’ve recently redesigned their cards with a nice portrait layout, and their app looks decent. They’ve just launched FreeAgent support too which is ideal as it’s my chosen bookkeeping and solution (and another British company to support). I like that it’s easy to set up additional accounts and you can order cards for these for free if you like. I’ve got a separate account to hold my tax payments in for example, and another for expenses so I can make sure I only spend what I know can be spared (though given the transaction fee, I’ve usually just been reclaiming what I spent on my Monzo card).

I looked at Coconut but they only support sole traders and not limited company setups sadly. I’m keeping an eye on their announcements though.

I signed up with Countingup also but despite them accepting my ID the app has been ‘Setting up my account’ for a few hours now. Apparently, they were founded by the guy behind Clearbooks which is another solution I’ve used in the past and really liked and it’s going to aim to have your bank account and accounting software all in one solution. It’s got a £20 monthly fee for limited companies if you want features beyond the basic bank account so I don’t think I’m going to use it for now, unless they suddenly offer everything that FreeAgent or Clear Books is able to do.

Thinking of transferring away from Tide business banking
Freelancers, sole traders and contractors on Monzo – we’d love to chat!
(Peter) #2

Another solution is Starling, they’re very similar to Monzo and they’ve just launched their business accounts (they were pushed into an early deadline so there are a few minor bugs that they’re rapidly ironing out but overall they’re more than decent). They’re a full UK bank with their banking licence and protection through FSCS for up to £85,000 of eligible deposits.

Their accounts are completely free for small Ltd companies with one Person of Significant Control (support for sole traders & more complex ltd’s coming soon), their app has a nice look and feel to it and, so far, they work nicely and are much better than my legacy business bank (I do have to say that I do like tide’s new branding though, but I don’t trust them enough from what I’ve read about them).

On the integrations side, Starling are currently looking to support xero and freeagent soon with support for others being looked into.

Sidenote: A new Starling card design is coming soon for business but, for the moment it’s the same as the personal current account.

(Caspar) #3

I just got a Testflight invite to Anna which I’d forgotten about -

I don’t think I’m going to love it, it has a chat interface for everything. To prove my identity it wanted a passport which is pretty standard, but every other app always makes you take photo but Anna let me upload a saved photo which I thought was handy as I had one saved, but they got back in touch to ask to see ‘Both pages’ which seems a bit redundant, but hopefully it goes through.

From their website it looks like it’s to try to automate all of your banking, so you can forward it incoming invoices and it’ll pay them by the due date for you, and set up your own client invoices and send reminders and whatnot.

(Tommy Long) #4

If I had to pick a business account to use as a contractor/freelancer I’d probably use Starling. My business will likely switch to Starling as soon as they support multiple users/cards against a single business.

My second choice would be Revolut. The only issue with Revolut is it seems the waiting list is very long and moving very slowly (and inconsistently).

My third choice would probably be Tide. I have used Tide before but didn’t move my day-to-day over to them as they didn’t support FreeAgent (back when I was contracting). My only reservations about moving to them would be 1. they seem to have a track record of randomly suspending/closing accounts with no notice and then ignoring all communication on the subject, 2. their development seems to be very piecemeal, 3. their Xero integration seems to be pretty ineffective (my new business uses Xero)

(Caspar) #5

£25 a month for Revolut’s company account with an annual contract :flushed:

Tide is working great for me at the moment, not had any problems with incoming payments being withheld. I think problems arise when they do security checks on accounts, their community forums are so quiet so it’s typically only complaints that show up. We see people posting on here too when people have issues but they’re usually knocked off the ‘Latest’ page by all the other stuff being posted, and Monzo staff will lock the thread once support is being given to help ensure no one posts any personal info.

(Tommy Long) #6

Hadn’t realised it was quite so expensive!

As for the Tide complaints, I broadly agree but when I checked the other day it seemed that people were moaning that they’d had no response from Tide support days later.

(Caspar) #7

I just got accepted to Revolut, so the 5000 member waiting list went down in one day. Or they saw my comments here :thinking: It’s free for 14 days, so I may have time to test it out but I’m not sure I will continue with it, I have fairly low transaction volumes so it doesn’t feel cost effective.