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Business Banking Discussion and my Switch to Monzo

Discussion in 'Business Discussions' started by alex, Aug 15, 2019.

  1. alex

    alex Active Member

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    I'm sure many on here will have a business bank account. I've been with HSBC since 2010, but fee increases and a generally outdated experience via the app and website had me looking elsewhere. My monthly bank fees were about £20, not including exchange rate losses.

    I'd been using Monzo for a couple of years and subsequently became CrowdCube investor. They launched their business accounts in February and I was one of their 100 beta testers. Since then my monthly fees have come down to £5, and that's not including the better exchange rate.

    Pros

    Aside from cost savings, pretty much everything about the user experience is easier. It took me about 5 minutes to open the account since I already have a personal account. I'm particularly happy that I can partition the account into pots to store VAT, CT, Reserves etc. Sending and receiving money is easy, but then again all my transactions are digital.

    Cons

    I'm less of a fan of their statement formats, but it has the required info and I'm told they'll be updating. Their international payment facilities could still be improved upon! Cheques have to be mailed to them (freepost) and cash deposits are tricky, I think you can use PayPoint and they're looking to incorporate the Post Office. Either way there's a fee.

    Other banks

    I've not tried any of the other challenger business bank accounts. Does anyone have any experiences they want to share? Or do you prefer traditional banking?

    Some of the challenger banks I've seen that offer business accounts include:

    - Monzo: https://monzo.com/business/
    - Tide: www.tide.co
    - Starling Bank: https://www.starlingbank.com/business-account/
    - Mettle: https://www.mettle.co.uk
    - Revolut - https://www.revolut.com/business-accounts-made-easy
    - Soldo: https://start.soldo.com/business-bank-account

    - Transferwise (for currency transfers): https://transferwise.com/gb/business/pricing-and-coverage

    Any others?

    Whilst talking to other businesses it has become apparent that people are quite reluctant to switch business bank accounts, even if the savings are good.

    Incidentally, I have an affiliate link where we'd both get £5 if you sign up for a free personal Monzo account: https://join.monzo.com/r/nbbgapw

    Feel free to post your own affiliate links too if you have them, though the purpose of this thread is to encourage discussion not a mass of link shares ;)
     
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    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019
  2. Domain Forum

    Acorn Domains Elite Member

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    articles.co.uk
     
  3. Adam H

    Adam H Well-Known Member Exclusive Member

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    Well timed, I've been looking at a setting up a couple of new accounts today, Was going to go with Barclays as that's who I've banked with for 30 years. But someone else i spoke to mentioned Revolut. Will look at Monzo too now you've mentioned it, like you all transactions are digital however I do like the idea of walking into Barclays, speaking to an account manager if requried face to face.
     
  4. ian

    ian Well-Known Member

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    I switched (personally) to Starling Bank a year or two ago and the experience has been excellent. The app is great and the notifications instant. I moved from HSBC after 25 years because they couldn't keep pace with the modern world and it is the same for many of the old guard. Haven't tried Monzo, but suspect it is much the same, just don't want any more bank accounts than I already have. Haven't tried Starling for a business account yet, because I don't want to put too much with one institution, but do use them for a joint account too which my missus bleeds dry on a regular basis!
     
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  5. Robert Smith United Kingdom

    Robert Smith Active Member Exclusive Member

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    I like Revolut. I wouldnt switch away from a proper bank yet. Still a few years off.
     
  6. ian

    ian Well-Known Member

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    I see Revolut as a throw away account, or for use when travelling. To me I wouldn't class as a bank account, and wouldn't use daily, but as a backup card for sure; I keep the card in my car with a very small amount on it in case of emergencies (with a burner phone, sounds very covert!)

    For Starling and Monzo, I had to build my confidence in them, but they have the same protection as a conventional bank, and are growing in numbers with fewer overheads and probably less corruption.
     
  7. martin-s United Kingdom

    martin-s Well-Known Member

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    For what it's worth, HSBC have just updated their app and online experience :)
     
  8. dee

    dee Well-Known Member Acorn Supporter

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    As a side note for anyone who travels a lot, I've been using a transferwise borderless account now for a couple of years. Essentially it allows you to hold multiple currencies in one account and it always uses the cheapest way of doing it. So for instance... im in States right now, I converted GBP to USD before i left and i just use my card while here. I don't get charged any of the uk bank transfer fees or 'using card abroad' fees they normally do and it cost me a couple of quid to change say 1000 GBP to USD. You then just use your card and its effectively a US account while here. You also get US bank account numbers within your main account so you can send / recieve money direct. Its brilliant ! They have loads of international currencies available and once you have an account you just add as needed.

    https://transferwise.com/u/damoni1

    It is an affiliate link, but it's a genuine recommendation. Wish i'd found it 10 years ago.
     
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  9. GradeZero

    GradeZero Member

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    I was just looking at how to get a Starling account:
    I've not seen that before.
     
  10. ian

    ian Well-Known Member

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    It is brilliant when you think about it, if you ever need to prove who you are, as part of the process, they ask you to send them a video saying "Hi Starling, I'm (name), I need a password reset", or "Hi Starling, I'm (name), I've lost all my earthly possessions, help!" and they just match it up with your original application video. Nice extra layer of security for an 'online only' provider.
     
  11. mojoco United Kingdom

    mojoco Well-Known Member

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    Another thumbs up for TransferWise here. I had a Euro transaction recently whereby the solicitor handling the transaction posted a Euro check to me that was drawn on an Irish bank account. I refused to accept the check and the solicitor reluctantly paid by bank transfer to a TransferWise account. I then converted the amount in my TransferWise Euro account to GBP and transferred to my UK bank account. The overall saving on the exchange rate and bank fees was circa £5k
     
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  12. StoneRoses United Kingdom

    StoneRoses Active Member

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    I'm a Monzo customer, I think it's a much easier way of banking, nothing pending, you're notified of money in and money out instantly with notifications ,the little charges that mainstream banks sneak in are virtually non existent with Monzo and I love the split payments and pots features, got to admit I do love the emojis that come up representing what you have just spent it on too (so millennial!)
     
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  13. Admin

    Admin Administrator Staff Member

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    Another +1 for transferwise business and personal, dont know how it didnt make your list :). Revolut is childs play and CS is dire, a bit of personal use but wouldnt touch them for business.
     
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  14. alex

    alex Active Member

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    Happy to add them (and have below the original list), but they don't advertise themselves as a bank. I know you can create virtual accounts in different currencies, they're integrated with Monzo to facilitate international currency payments.
     
  15. alex

    alex Active Member

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    Are they able to provide .pdf commercial card statements yet? The only export option from the online account was .csv and they told me that if I wanted a digital copy of the full statement to scan in my paper statements. They offered .pdf statements for my bank accounts, just not commercial card. Odd.
     
  16. alex

    alex Active Member

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    Just looking at Revolut. Looks like it could get expensive if you're a heavy user: https://www.revolut.com/our-plans There are lots of little transaction fees that may creep in. My HSBC account was priced about the same. I guess it depends on how you'll be using the account. They give the impression they'll handle international payments pretty well though.
     
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  17. martin-s United Kingdom

    martin-s Well-Known Member

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    Nope, still the same on that one.
     
  18. davedevelopment

    davedevelopment Well-Known Member

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    I've stayed away from them all for now, to be honest I don't really have that hard a time with the traditional banks. If you're familiar with the technology adoption life cycle, I'll probably be late majority on this one.