Tide Business Account Review

Tide Business Account Review

When you’re first starting out with your business or start-up, it’s often tempting to use your own personal bank account for your finances.

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Matt Crabtree
Senior Editor
Matt Crabtree
Matt Crabtree is a senior editor at CompareBanks. He has over 10 years experience in writing about all aspects of finance and is passionate about helping consumers make informed decisions about their money.
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Overview

First Glance

When you’re first starting out with your business or start-up, it’s often tempting to use your own personal bank account for your finances.

Features

Contact Info

Bank Website

When you’re first starting out with your business or start-up, it’s often tempting to use your own personal bank account for your finances.

It’s easy, doesn’t cost any extra fees, and means you can have instant access to your cash. However, in the long run, you’ll always need to have a separate account, whether it’s for legal, tax, or clarity reasons.

When it comes to choosing a business bank account, there’s a lot on offer, catering to different sizes and types of companies.

However, the rise of online challenger banks means it’s easier than ever to get set up with your account.

One such newcomer is Tide and in this guide we've covered everything you need to know about what they have to offer.

Related: How to Open a Tide Business Account

BankTide
Founded2015
Bank TypeDigital / App
EligibilityUK businesses
Account ready timeMinutes to days, depending on checks
OverdraftNo, but other finance available
Monthly feeNo
Transfer feesYes (Free Tide to Tide)
Debit cardYes

Pros and cons of Tide

As with every provider, there are positive and negative aspects of Tide’s service. Before I take a deep-dive, here are some of the notable pros and cons:

Pros

✔️ Simple to use app that allows you to manage your money

✔️ Reasonable charges and fees compared to competitors

✔️ Create business invoices and share details with your accountant with the app

✔️ Safe and secure to use, and covered by the FCA and PRA

Cons

❌ No direct customer service, only mobile contacts

❌ International money transfers can’t be made

❌ Doesn’t have all of the features of a traditional bank account

❌ You can’t pay in cheques and cash

What is Tide?

Tide is a company offering alternative business accounts that you can open within minutes. Their product is aimed at smaller companies and freelancers who are in need of separating their business and personal finances.

The company first formed in 2015 as a fintech and has since grown from strength to strength. At the start of 2019, they secured £60 million of funding to expand their offering when they partnered with ClearBank.

The main focus of Tide is on app and card-based banking. You can set up an account, manage your finances, and order a MasterCard using the Tide app. The entire experience uses their smartphone software, giving a streamlined way of banking.

How does a Tide account work?

The basics of the Tide account are simple. Like many other challenger banking apps, all you need to do is sign up for an account and follow the on-screen prompts. The whole process takes just a few minutes, and it’s free to sign up. You’ll only need to provide some basic information about you and your business, as well as verify a couple of forms of ID.

Tide Blue Card Holder

Once your account is set up, they’ll send you a free Tide MasterCard, which takes around three days to arrive. However, once the sign-up process is complete, you’ll immediately be able to start using your new business account provided there are no additional security checks.

You can make transfers and payments using the app, although direct debits may take longer to set up.

It’s as simple as that. Once you have the app installed, you can manage all of your money and finances, as well as your physical MasterCard from the smartphone interface.

What features does Tide have?

Despite being a relatively simple business account, there’s a lot you can do with the app:

Tide Blue Mastercard
  • See an overview of your account balance, transactions you’ve made, and upcoming payments
  • Create categories and tag expenditure to give you a simple breakdown of your spending
  • Connect multiple accounts to keep track of your business activity
  • Freeze and unfreeze your card, check your PIN number, and reorder a lost card
  • Easily create and pay invoices, either through the app or on a desktop
  • Integrate your transactions with a variety of accounting software and easily download and export statements and transaction information
  • Access live chat and speak to dedicated members of the support team at any time
  • Easily set up direct debits and standing orders 

Those are just some of the features you can expect from Tide, and you get all that with a quick sign-up, no credit checks, and no need to go into a bank.

What are the fees for using Tide?

Business banking can sometimes get expensive, yet Tide has low fees. Because the company has so few overheads and no physical locations, they can afford to offer their business accounts without charging a monthly fee. So, you can access all the great features mentioned above without paying much at all.

Tide Card - Big ideas have small beginnings.

There are some attached transaction fees, however:

  • Transfers between bank accounts cost 20p a time
  • ATM cash withdrawals are £1 a go
  • Cash deposits through the Post Office are £1, and through PayPoint are 3%

I was impressed with the fees, when compared to some of Tide's competitors, and if you’re overseas, you’ll get the MasterCard exchange rate and don’t have to pay foreign transaction fees. However, you can’t currently make transfers to overseas accounts. 

Your initial MasterCard is free, and if you lose it, you’ll also be eligible for a free replacement. Additionally, if you’re transferring between Tide accounts, you won’t be charged anything.

Who is a Tide account for?

If you’re a new small or medium-sized business owner or freelancer, a Tide account could well be suitable for you. The fact that it’s so easy to get started and set up the app means you can start making and taking transactions with minimal effort. If you deal with a lot of UK companies, send a lot of invoices, and want to integrate your bank with your accountant or accounting software, Tide is a good option.

Tide Bank App Invoicing System
Tide has many features including its own easy invoicing system.

Those who need to make a lot of cash withdrawals and payments may not find this account suitable. The fees can get a little pricey when doing so. Similarly, if you need to make transfers to overseas clients, you’ll have to do so elsewhere.

If you deal with a lot of UK companies, send a lot of invoices, and want to integrate your bank with your accountant or accounting software, Tide is a great choice.

Some business owners will want the reassurance of a face-to-face person to help them set up and manage their account. Although Tide’s customer service is good, it’s limited to a text chat on the app.

What are the drawbacks of a Tide account?

Tide Big Ideas Have Small Beginnings

As with every account, there are some drawbacks to using Tide:

  • You can’t deposit cheques, and cash deposits can be expensive
  • If you lose your phone, you lose access to your Tide account
  • It requires a constant internet or data connection
  • You can’t make or accept international transactions
  • You don’t get any face-to-face contact or customer service

Some of these may not affect you, and others will be bearable. Ultimately, you must decide what your business banking needs are and whether Tide can meet them.

How safe is Tide?

Tide's parent company is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority under the Electronic Money Regulations. Tide doesn’t invest or loan out money, so it’s not at risk. Even if Tide were to file for insolvency, your money is safe.

tide bank app screens alt

In terms of the app, your account is password protected, and you have to authorise any payments made on your card. Every time you sign into a new device using the Tide app, you’ll have to provide a selfie to verify it’s you. If you do lose your smartphone, you can email Tide to freeze your account and card.

Tide Business Account: our verdict

Tide offers a service that will be ideal for many SMEs and freelancers. It’s incredibly simple to get started with, and using the app to manage your finances is straightforward. The fees are reasonable for most activities, and you can rest assured that your money is safe.

If you’re a cash-based business or make a lot of foreign transfers, this is perhaps not the account for you. Similarly, if you need the reassurance of a physical branch, you won’t find that here.

Tide Bank Contact Details

Address:

144a Clerkenwell Road
London
UK

Telephone: 0333 121 0266

Email: hello@tide.co

Have a question about Tide Business Account Review?

Find answers in Q&As and ask your question

never open account with TIDE, because if you open and use his account and have some money on account, sudenly can`t use your account. they want some irelevant information and finaly stolen your money. account is closed and you lost login details, account and money, they are not communication. it your big risk. TIDE STOLEN CCA 462 GBP and NO COMMUNICATION WHY? SO MANY PROBLEMS? — igor balaz

Unpause our account. I need someone to call me back ASAP please — Gabriel Vancica

When I try to purchase on amazon it wants approval from the tide app Nothing happens in the app and transactions time out and ate canc How do I setup online purchases for approval please Regards Paul — Paul Hodges

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Tide Business Account Review Reviews

Dunya Ghalees
March 26, 2024

“Stay away from this bank. They have a severe lack of security your funds are not safe with them”

Stay away from this bank. They have a severe lack of security your funds are not safe with them. There is no communication or customer care. They repeat scripts. I lost all hard earned funds because of an online scam. They did absolutely nothing to help or support and made me wait 2 weeks just to let me know is nothing they can do. They offered no explanation why and cut off communication when I asked about insurance for fraud. They could have issued a refund or retracted the money. Stay away from this low grade place.

Graeme Carter
March 26, 2024

“I wish I had read the reviews and the horrific stories”

I wish I had read the reviews and the horrific stories. The financials aren't good as well. It’s difficult to describe the operation other than shocking. I hope everyone gets money back, and avoid at all costs.

Sid Reddy
March 26, 2024

“If it works, that is fine. But, if there is any issue, then it is an absolute harassment - extremely slow response and poor customer service”

If it works, that is fine. But, if there is any issue, then it is an absolute harassment – extremely slow response and poor customer service. They shockingly locked our account without any call or email to us. Now, they say that they can resolve it in 30 working days. Lessons learnt is that one shouldn't have Tide or any of these challenger bank accounts as the only option. All the small businesses should have another account as back up or as primary one. As such, they charge for every incoming and outgoing transaction, and not sure how can they afford such poor response times.

Takunda Rukanda
March 26, 2024

“The customer service is poor. Am the founder of a startup and was a victim of fraud in May and the service I have received from Tide has been nothing short of disappointing”

The customer service is poor.

Am the founder of a startup and was a victim of fraud in May and the service I have received from Tide has been nothing short of disappointing. After, investigating through a third party “partner”, Tide was set on closing the case after the partner provided bogus and fabricated copies of a contract without signature, access to a portal with my IP address etc…

Tide didn’t even bother to verify if the results from the bogus evidence had my signature, the IP trail was genuine etc. Now that I’ve asked for updates on the information I haven’t gotten anywhere.

To all startups I would say stay away!

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