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

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

UK-based mobile banking firm Tide has launched with its business account app for SMEs.

As Banking Technology reported in July 2016, Tide was gearing up for its launch and said it 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 allows users to set up a “fully functioning” business account in a “matter of minutes” using their passport or driving licence. Tide members will be given a UK sort code and account number with a business Tide Mastercard for daily expenses. All UK sole traders and limited companies with UK shareholders are “guaranteed to be accepted” as Tide customers.

George Bevis, Tide founder and CEO, says it is “designed solely to meet the needs of small business owners” and it wants to “remove the pain points” they have previously faced.

Eileen Burbidge, Tide’s chairwoman and Passion Capital partner (and the UK government’s HM Treasury special envoy for fintech), adds: “Having invested in more than 60 businesses in the past few years, my partners and I at Passion Capital know setting up and managing business banking efficiently is one of the biggest issues and source of frustration faced by SMEs today.”

Tide’s automated book keeping service categorises transactions as they are made. It also allows users to upload any supplier invoice and it will automatically prepare a payment ready to be made at the push of a button. Users can also create and send fully customisable invoices.

According to the firm, there are no monthly fees, but a 20p per bank payment and £1 per cash withdrawal charge,

It is available on iPhone, Android and web. Tide says it will be unveiling additional features such as multi-user access in the coming months. Tide has agreed a partnership to provide an integrated service offering with accountancy software provider Xero, and will be announcing brand partnerships with additional providers later this year.

Tech talk

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 Burbidge. 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.