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Tide Review: A Business Bank for Everyone? Pros and Cons
Tide Review: A Business Bank for Everyone? Pros and Cons
Tide Review: A Business Bank for Everyone? A Comprehensive Review of the Tide Banking App
Tide is a UK-based mobile banking platform designed specifically for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs). It was launched in 2017 with the primary goal of making it easier for business owners to manage their finances without the need for a traditional brick and mortar bank. Tide focuses on providing fast and straightforward banking services, enabling users to set up a business account in minutes and efficiently manage their business expenses. This article provides a comprehensive review of the Tide Banking App by examining its features, fees, pros and cons.
1. Business Account
The Tide Business Account comes with a sort code, account number, and a contactless Mastercard debit card. It enables users to send and receive payments, direct debits, and set up recurring payments. Businesses also have access to detailed financial analytics, providing insights into spending patterns and helping business owners make informed financial decisions.
2. Instant Invoice
Tide's Instant Invoice feature allows users to create, send, and track invoices directly from the app, making invoicing easy and fast. Users can customise and add their logo to the invoice to reinforce brand identity. The app also sends payment reminders, reducing the likelihood of late payments.
3. Expense Management
With the Tide app, users can take pictures of receipts and upload them onto the platform to help track and reconcile expenses. Each transaction can be categorised, and reports can be generated through the app or exported to accounting software, such as Xero and QuickBooks.
4. Team Access
Tide users can invite team members and provide them with access to the company's account. Each team member will have a unique login and password, as well as individual spending limits and permissions, offering greater security and efficiency for the business.
5. FS Technology
Tide uses financial services (FS) technology, which automates low-value or repetitive tasks. This allows the platform to provide faster, more affordable services than traditional banks, using programming and open APIs, machine learning, and cloud technology.
The Tide Banking App seamlessly integrates with various accounting software, such as Xero, QuickBooks, and FreeAgent. This integration makes it simple for users to manage their financial information and automate tasks, including reconciliations and expense categorisation.
Pricing and Fees
Tide offers a selection of pricing plans to suit the various needs of small businesses:
With the Free Plan, Tide users can set up a business account and receive a contactless Mastercard debit card. This plan includes 20 free bank transfers per month, with a fee of 20p per transfer after the initial 20. Users can also access all other features of the Tide Banking App, such as invoicing and expense management.
Tide Plus (£9.99/month):
Tide Plus offers additional benefits, including priority support, a dedicated phone helpline, and a sleek, branded Mastercard debit card. This plan includes 40 free bank transfers per month, with the same 20p fee for any transfers beyond the free allowance.
Tide Cashback (£49.99/month):
Targeted at businesses with higher expenditure, Tide Cashback offers 1% cashback on all purchases made with the Tide Mastercard (up to £100,000 spending). Additionally, this plan includes unlimited free bank transfers per month.
Pros of the Tide Banking App
The Tide Banking App is well-designed and easy to navigate. It has an intuitive interface that makes it simple for users to manage their business finances without the need for extensive financial knowledge or experience.
Fast Account Opening:
The account opening process only takes a few minutes and can be completed using a smartphone. This significantly reduces the hassle and wait-time often associated with opening a traditional business bank account.
No Monthly Account Fees:
Unlike many traditional business bank accounts, Tide's Free Plan does not charge monthly account fees. This may be attractive to small businesses that are looking for cost-effective financial management solutions.
Integrated Invoicing and Expense Management:
The integrated invoicing and expense management features make it easy for businesses to manage their finances and reduce the administrative burden associated with tracking expenses and chasing payments.
Tide seamlessly integrates with popular accounting software, making it easier for users to stay on top of their financial data and automate tasks.
Cons of the Tide Banking App
Currently, the Tide Banking App is only available to UK-based businesses. This may be limiting for non-UK users or businesses with overseas operations.
No Physical Branches:
As Tide is a mobile banking platform, it lacks the physical branches that some businesses might prefer or require for face-to-face support.
Limited Lending Options:
While Tide does have partnerships with Funding Circle and iwoca for selected loan offerings, the platform cannot fully provide diverse lending services that may be more readily available from traditional financial institutions.
Not Suitable for Large Businesses:
Tide's features and pricing plans are designed with small and medium-sized businesses in mind. Larger businesses may find the service offering inadequate for their needs.
The Tide Banking App offers a compelling solution for small and medium-sized businesses looking to simplify and organise their finances. With a user-friendly interface, integrated invoicing and expense management, and a range of pricing plans, the platform has much to offer SMEs. However, its limitations, such as the lack of physical branches and its UK-only focus, mean that it is not suitable for everyone. Overall, it is worth considering for businesses that value convenience, speed, and ease-of-use in their banking services, while keeping in mind the platform's potential drawbacks.
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