Business banking is being revolutionised. Many fintech startups and challenger banks now offer easy-to-use business accounts that are simple to sign up for. Sole traders, freelancers, and SME owners now have a wide range of products and services to choose from. Not to be outdone, high-street banks are now joining the fray. One such account comes from NatWest, who are piloting their Mettle app. We take a look at everything we know so far.
What is Mettle?
Mettle is NatWest’s ‘forward-looking business account’, as they term it. It’s an app-based service that comes with a business Mastercard. Although the service is part of the Royal Bank of Scotland group, it’s very much a standalone unit, backed by NatWest. The service is currently in early access, allowing users to sign up and apply to test out the app for free.
The app-based account is the first that we’ve seen from the UK’s major banking brands. With the success of services from Starling and Revolut, as well as an upcoming Monzo business account, it’s clear why they’ve ventured into this territory. Customers, both business and personal, are increasingly using their smartphones to bank.
What Features Does Mettle Have?
On first impressions, Mettle offers some fairly attractive features. Importantly, it allows customers the chance to open a business current account in minutes. Traditionally, companies have had to jump through hoops to open accounts, particularly without online applications. There are some other notable features too:
Tasks and reminders. Mettle creates a daily list of tasks that you need to tackle in regards to your finances. This includes things like paying bills, overdue invoices, and receipts to capture.
Invoicing. Through Mettle, you can create and send invoices effortlessly. Once you receive a payment, you can then match it to the relevant invoice.
Expenses. You can add copies of receipts from your expenses to transactions. This makes your bookkeeping far easier at the end of the year.
Exporting. Mettle allows you to easily export your expenses in an accounting-friendly format. This feature could be hugely beneficial for doing your taxes.
Is Mettle the Future?
It’s good to see brands like RBS show that they’re capable of releasing modern products. Challenger banks have really shaken up the market, so having such a huge name enter the space is encouraging. It shows there’s still a lot to come in terms of growth and innovation, which can only be good for business owners.
It’s good to see brands like RBS show that they’re capable of releasing modern products.
There are a few downsides to Mettle, of course. It currently doesn’t hold a banking license. It’s operating under an e-money licence held by PrePay Solutions (PPS). So, although PPS is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, deposits made into Mettle accounts are not FSCS protected.
Ultimately, we’re intrigued and excited by what Mettle has to offer. Watch this space for our full review when the current account becomes available to businesses.