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3rd Mar, 2017

Turning the UK Business Banking: Tide (Part 1)


tideIn the modern digital banking landscape there are plenty of 'neo' and challenger banks clambering for a slice of the personal banking pie.

However today we look at one neo bank that has taken a different approach, and focused on the much under-serviced (and arguably under-valued) UK SME digital banking market.

Tide has set itself the goal of setting up a 'full featured' business customer current account in under three minutes via its mobile app focused digital banking service. The brainchild of CEO, George Bevis, and Chair Eileen Burbidge, Tide stands as a possible watershed moment in the SME digital banking industry.

In a 2016 Banking Technology article CEO Bevis explained some of the functionality of the service:

"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.

[caption id="attachment_8696" align="alignleft" width="169"]If the customer forgets their PIN whilst awaiting confirmation of their account, they must again use their device's camera and ID in order to verify themselves and chat with the bank. If the customer forgets their PIN whilst awaiting confirmation of their account, they must again use their device's camera and ID in order to verify themselves and chat with the bank.[/caption]

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 .

Today iSky Researchers tested the bank's three minute claim, and were quite surprised by the result.

The setup process was very simple, relying on a passport or UK driver's license, and the further input of other personal details such as a company name and address (if using a passport to verify for KYC).

The bank then checks that information against Companies House, and if there is a negative result (as occurred in our application) the customer is asked for further details, including whether they are a sole trader.

The bank provides detailed terms and conditions, and uses the camera to take an image of the user alongside their email address and phone number. The latter information is again used to receive an SMS code in order to verify the number provided.

In our case, we were advised that we had successfully created an account, however the bank needed to do some 'extra checks' in order to provide a sort code and account number (in this way, it did pass the three minute test though we couldn't actually access the account yet).

Once we have completed the on-boarding process, and received our account information, we will provide a further update - and second post - covering the customer experience and functionality contained in the bank's app.

In the meantime, please scroll down to watch a video of our application experience (no audio) using the Tide banking app on an Apple iPhone.

See more with iSky Research.