Tide Review – Smart Business Banking

Our in-depth review of Tide business bank and app

Tide Bank Account Review
Last updated:
4.8
Excellent
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When you’re first starting out with your own business or start-up, it’s often tempting to just 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.

Choosing the right business bank account can sometimes be difficult. There’s a lot on offer, catering to different sizes and types of companies. However, the rise of challenger banks means that it’s easier than ever to get set up with your account. One such newcomer to the market that’s worth considering is Tide. We’ve covered everything you need to know about their business banking offering here in our Tide review.

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

Quick look – pros & cons

As with every provider, there are positive and negative aspects of Tide’s service. Before we 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 with your Tide and other accounts.
  • Reasonable charges and fees compared to competitors.
  • Create business invoices and share details with your accountant simply by using 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 using the account.
  • Doesn’t have all of the features of a traditional bank account, making it unsuitable for some businesses and startups.
  • You can’t pay in cheques and cash.

What is Tide?

Tide – the current account for businesses

Tide is a company that offers 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
venture and has since grown from strength to strength.

The main focus of Tide is on app-based 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.

The company first formed in 2015 as a fintech venture 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.

How does a Tide account work?

The basics of the Tide account are really quite 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 get 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 way of creating a 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 transaction feed 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 some surprisingly low fees for using its service. 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.

Business banking can sometimes get expensive, yet Tide has some surprisingly low fees for using its service.

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%.

That’s a pretty impressive offering and means that you can make card payments in the UK and abroad without getting charged. 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 great choice.

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 become tiresome and expensive.
  • If you lose your phone, you lose access to your Tide account.
  • It requires a constant internet or data connection, which is troublesome if you’re in remote areas.
  • You can’t make or accept international transactions, which can limit your expansion. 
  • 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?

One thing that you can rest assured about is that your money is safe with Tide. Their parent company is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority under the Electronic Money Regulations. This means that the money in Tide accounts is protected by Safeguarding accounts – Tide doesn’t invest or loan out your money, and so it’s not at risk. Even if Tide were to file for insolvency, your money is safe.

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 – 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.

Ultimately, we’re very impressed with most of what Tide does.

Tide Business Bank Account Review
What we think
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.
Pros
Simple to use app
Reasonable charges and fees
Create business invoices easily
Cons
No phone customer service
No in-app international money transfers
You can’t pay in cheques and cash
4.8
Excellent
Try the App
  1. 5
    Decent business bank

    We use Tide for our day to day banking with the business and find them really good. They also gave us a credit line when we first opened the account that we use to help with cash flow.

    1
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  2. Tide are a nightmare, the worst bank I have ever banked with.
    There is no inbound customer service phone number, you are forced to message people via an app on a mobile pone an d wait until it suits them to reply. When they do reply they fob you off with feeble excuses and when you ask them to have a manager phone you they try to avoid this and continue chatting to no avail by way of any satisfactory resolution. The conversation is like talking with a robot which says the same thing over and over and you are into a revolving door conversation getting nowhere fast.
    You email them and no reply at all sometimes. Then more robotic dialogue occurs and you get nowhere there.
    I tried to make a payment to a mortgage company via the phone app and it asked me to log into my account on the app to approve the payment, which on this occasion I did at 11.30 am on 31st October 2019, it was a nightmare trying to find out how you approved the payment and as if that wasn’t challenging enough for a non-tech person like me nearing pension age, I received a message at 3.15 pm the same afternoon asking me to log into the phone app to approve the same payment, it was the last day I could have paid the mortgage so not wanting to incur late payment charges from the mortgage company, I logged in in a panic fearing that the payment would be too late in the day and approved the payment again, To my horror my account had been debited twice for £880 to the mortgage company leaving me unable to pay the phone and internet bill to keep my phone on which I need to run my business. I tried messaging Tide and emailing them I was getting no reply so tried to look for a phone number for them – none was to be found.
    Finally this foreign man sounding like a robot, saying that he could not help to claw back the money as it had already left my account twice and he advised I contact the mortgage company which I had to do against medical advice since abuse from them in the past caused me a heart attack last year. They told me that that it was too late in the day to send a payment back and that it would be done the next day (Friday 1st November 2019).
    I got up to find that the money had not come back to my Tide account so spend all day trying to sort this out with the mortgage company who assured me that it had been sent back. Then it transpired that the account number they had sent it back to was not mine. I asked for the account number and sort code of the account it was sent back to and then went back to more useless dialogue with Tide via the app on my phone until finally at 5 pm someone calling himself a manager called me from Tide and confirmed that the account number that the money had been paid back to was their holding account and he refused to pay me back the 2nd payment of £880 refunded by my mortgage company until I had proof from the mortgage company that they sent it, so I was left with no way to stay in business threats of my phone being disconnected over the weekend and my power being cut off, as I am just out of hospital after Cancer and against medical advice back at work trying to earn enough money to keep the power and phone on and pay bills and my mortgage, I told Tide this and that I had no money for food without that money being given back to me immediately, but the arrogant man I spoke to calling himself Stefan was not budging and like a parrot kept repeating his insistence that unless I prove that my mortgage company sent the payment he will to pay me back what is mine.
    My advice is steer clear of this tacky despicable lot of con men, who have no respect for their customers, and are downright rude and arrogant and bank elsewhere, you cannot trust Tide and I will never bank with them again they are diabolical and not fit for purpose. The fault was in their app and they refused to resolve this satisfactorily so I am writing this to warn people not to bank with Tide unless you want to risk the same abuse and disrespect.
    I heard that they are part of Mastercard and Barclays bank and Barclays are a disgrace and also cannot be trusted, they ripped me off for thousands of pounds some years ago and had I known that Tide was part of them I would never have banked with them.
    Tide’s web site at the time of writing this review states that they have partnered with Irwin Mitchel Solicitors to offer a legal help line but no phone number for this line is on their site and so I phoned Irwin Mitchel and they were disgusted and going to raise this concern with them. Tide will drag Irwin Mitchell down with them.
    Tide is the worst bank to bank with. Don’t fall into the trap I did please.

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