Would Business account be better served by a second current account?

So after eagerly awaiting the launch of business banking from Monzo, I finally got an invitation in-app today, which is great!

However, going through the sign-up process, it occurred to me that, as a sole-trader with a very simple company structure, the vast majority of 'business banking features – such as accounting software integration, managing payroll and all sorts of other interesting stuff like that – don’t really apply to me. And paying £5 per month for features I’m not going to use all feels a bit legacy-banking to me.

What I’m really after is a dedicated spot to manage all my business-related expenses, receive income and set aside money for taxes. All of the extra business features, while interesting and potentially of use in the future, aren’t really relevant to me at this stage.

All this to say, really, that a number of potential ‘business account’ users might really just be after something much more akin to a second Current Account, rather than a bells-and-whistles ‘business account’.

There seems like there would be room for a separate (cheaper or free) tier of Business Account with a reduced functionality that’s more in line with the Current Account offering. I’d suggest this would help users like myself – who do not currently have a specialist ‘Business Account’ elsewhere – make the move into business banking.

I know it’s still early days for Monzo’s business offering, and it’s still in a testing stage – but what I can see on offer at the moment feels a bit 1-size-fits-all for Monzo :man_shrugging:

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In a similar boat.

Basically I’m weighing up if having scheduled payments to pots to cover the big three of TAX, PAYE, & VAT is worth £5 a month. Can’t do that with my legacy bank…

Also my accountants need access and I’m not sure how that would work.

I am, personally, keen to get software integration, purely for my own visibility but beyond that, like you, this is nothing a second account couldn’t offer me…

Totally agree. Lots of other banks & accountantcy apps offer sole trading & LTD Co price levels, where the sole trading just gives you the basics & the LTD Co option gives you all the bells & whistles.

Monzo require this info when signing up anyway so it would be easy offer a similar service with the option for sole traders to upgrade to the extra features for a price if required.

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Business and Business Plus (a la Monzo and Monzo Plus). Could use the same mechanisms… some refactoring/extra coding needed but that is a reasonable path.

What exactly would the difference be? Why would you want a 2nd current account for £5/month instead of a business account for £5/month?

I wouldn’t want a second current account for £5, I’d want a second free account.

See the other posts, more along the lines of the current model, could have Business and Business Plus accounts, one paid, one not. For Sole Traders, we don’t need much other than a place to put and take money from.

I’m currently using Monzo for personal and Starling for business (personal account) for this exact reason. Some of the potential features that Monzo will offer will make this worth the £5 fee but currently not really worth it as a sole trader.

I’ve signed up anyway to see how things work

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Why would anyone choose Monzo over Starling for business. :crazy_face:

No monthly fees :heavy_check_mark:
Xero and FreeAgent Integration :heavy_check_mark:
Much nicer card :heavy_check_mark: :joy:

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-1 for card comment (I don’t care!) :wink:

But now wondering if it’s an option to just use another generic current account… already have a business account but that was setup when I started contracting and largely because my accountant knew they could access the system as well.

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Because a big aspect of fintech-based banking appeal is the simplicity of managing everything from a single, focused portal? If I’m a Monzo user for personal and joint current accounts – I’d rather be able to manage my business spending in the same ecosystem. :man_shrugging:

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I’d say the nice clear separation of use is a positive. And no annoying flicking back and forth within the same app when you want to switch profiles.

Starling business
Monzo personal

The best of both worlds.

I just don’t understand the obsession of having it under one roof. Its the same with Monzo ISAs or switching energy through the app where people are sacrificing % or £ just to keep loyal to the Monzo brand or have it accessed through one app. Its hardly a deal breaker having to login to say Marcus for the couple times a year you might want to see the few quid you’ve gained.

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Because time is money. If £5/month makes a difference to where you put your business account then it’s not a particularly serious business. (Monzo now also have Xero/FreeAgent integration, so it seems the fee is the only real factor)

I can see that some people would like their personal and business accounts separated (and presumably want another 5-15 apps to manage aspects of their finance) but a lot of us want to save time and increase visibility of our finances.

I guess there’s an intangible value to simplicity of use and time spent on alternatives.

Interest rates are at pretty historic lows at the moment so it’s less important – but if I’d been invoicing the time I’ve spent in the past searching out the best interest rates for my savings and moving accounts around, the extra interest/savings earned wouldn’t have come close to paying for my time

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But we are comparing paying £5 for Xero/FreeAgent integration or paying £0 for Xero/FreeAgent integration.

If Monzo had offered the business account for free and then said for £5 add-on you can have Xero/FreeAgent, that would allow those who prefer the Monzo way but have no use for the integration (or no use atm) to at least get onboard.

How is it saving time or increasing visibility? It actually saves time by having one app for business and one app for personal. Its otherwise opening the Monzo app and then switching to business, or finding you were looking at business and now need to swap back to personal, and now need to look at business so its switching profile again, again, again…
Visibility is exactly the same. :man_shrugging:

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I’ve posted similar thoughts elsewhere. While it’s great they’re adding features, I’d love a basic account to just get started, given all I do is issue invoices from FreeAgent, get paid into my account, and transfer money to my Monzo account to spend.

I imagine they want to add extras in order to justify the £5 spend, so there isn’t the same backlash as Plus got when it launched, but I’d happily pay for a business account even with no features. I don’t intend on using the built in features that have been discussed yet as FreeAgent is set up to do everything I need for now.

Something along these lines (or a Business Basic/Business Plus split as others have mentioned) seems to be a sensible solution to me. I’m sure there would be plenty of demand for a bare-bones account for occasional sole-trader businesses or other simple companies.

There would, however, need to be the appetite from Monzo, as this would essentially sacrifice whatever % of £5/m fees people in my position would otherwise be paying if we wanted to business bank with Monzo.

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Indeed

Monzo (free) > Monzo Plus
Monzo Business (free) > Monzo Business Plus

I think this is being considered. But early days so might not become reality

Monzo don’t want to offer business accounts for free though?

Maybe you’ve not seen the new Monzo app design but there’s no real “swapping profiles” anymore? You just swipe left and right on the home-screen between accounts?

The benefits around being #FullMonzo for business will come with time as integration is built between the two. For instance, expenses will be better as you will presumably be able to raise a claim to your business account directly from your personal.

Also, I imagine eventually you’ll be able to issue and manage virtual expense cards for your employees which would be better in Monzo than Starling since 6 of our 11 employees currently use Monzo for their personal accounts (and none use Starling).

I don’t think there’s any real problem with using two different apps but you were making the same point about savings, ISAs, loans, etc. I’d rather have a single financial centre that I trust than a large number of different apps

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Thats why I used if they had, they didn’t :cry:. I would have said it was a mistake imo in not doing the give it a way for free and then either increase to paid once hooked, or offer paid add-ons. I can only assume they went down the pay from the start to avoid the “what you expect to pay for something I was getting for free” thing.

I don’t have the new app layout, I’ve dropped out of tracking the ‘We’re working on a new look for the Monzo app’. I had assumed the swiping was to access Loans and Credit cards are you also swipping to access Joint account and Business account? Are the Loans and Credit cards of the Business account in the same carousel? Are ISA / Saving Pots showing in the carousel too?

If Monzo offer additonal cards on the business account that employees who have a Monzo account can see how much they used it that would be very interesting.