Tide's key execs: Eileen Burbidge, chairwoman, and George Bevis, CEO

Tide’s key execs: Eileen Burbidge, chairwoman, and George Bevis, CEO

UK-based Tide will offer a “nimble small business current account”, with a swift set-up and no monthly fees. It claims to be among the “world’s first” mobile-first banking services for SMEs.

Tide’s CEO George Bevis says the company will open its virtual doors for business in autumn this year. Tide is currently in the “private alpha testing” stage, he tells Banking Technology.

Tide promises a fully featured current account and business MasterCard “in just three minutes”.

There will be no monthly frees, but Tide will charge 20p for Faster Payments transactions.

Other perks include access to a broad range of finance apps and sending/receiving messages with Tide’s community.

Tide also promises to make accounting easy, with auto-categorisation of transactions, attachment of invoices and receipts, and export to accounting software.

Deposits will be segregated, staff with have access permissions and two-factor authentication. There will be controls on staff spend, with mobile authentication on all bank payments, Tide says.

Funds are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority’s e-money licence (not part of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme).

“Barclays is our clearing bank,” Bevis tells Banking Technology, “while payments are performed by our banking services partner, Prepay Solutions”.

Insurance against fraud and hacking is provided by Hiscox.

In terms of tech, “all technology is proprietary”, Bevis says. “Server-side tech is mainly written in Java; mobile clients are native iOS and Android.”

Tide is backed by a host of entrepreneurs, including high-profile names such as Eileen Burbidge, partner at tech venture capital firm Passion Capital, chair for Tech City UK and tech envoy/ambassador across a number of governmental advisory groups. Burbidge is Tide’s chairwoman.

Also on-board is Alex Chesterman, founder of property search site Zoopla and Lovefilm (now owned by Amazon), a DVD-by-mail and streaming video-on-demand service.

Bevis has experience of working at major financial services entities such as Zopa, Barclaycard and RBS.

SMEs get the love
Berlin-based digital bank Penta Bank is gearing up for launch to cater for the needs of German and French SMEs. The bank is working towards a spring 2017 launch.

Finnish fintech start-up Holvi is rolling out its SME banking services across Europe. Its new debit card offering, Holvi Business MasterCard, is now available to customers in Germany, Austria and Finland.