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UK challenger promises changing Tides for small business banking

31 January 2017  |  8218 views  |  0 Eileen Burbidge, Passion Capital

Tide, a mobile-first banking app for small businesses, has launched in the UK with fintech czar and Passion Capital partner Eileen Burbidge as chairman.

Founded by former RBS/Worldpay head of innovation George Bevis, Tide launches after raising more than $2m in funding in 2016. The business - backed by VCs LocalGlobe and Passion Capital and prominent angel investors - enables 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. The firm says all UK sole traders and limited companies with UK shareholders are guaranteed to be accepted as Tide customers.

Tide's iOS and Android apps provides account holders with an automated book-keeping service, handling supplier invoices and payments and categorising transactions as they are made.

Says Bevis: “Managing financial admin is never a small business owner’s favourite task. With Tide, entrepreneurs can save time and money, enabling them to spend more time doing what they love and growing their business.”

Unlike regular business accounts, Tide is promising no hidden fees and transparent pricing, charging 20 for a payment and £1 per cash withdrawal.

“For too long, the business services offered by high street banks have failed to meet the needs of the modern small business owner," Bevis adds. "With slow sign-up processes, hidden charges and poor customer experience, business banking has been stuck in the dark ages."

Launched to coincide with the UK's deadline for self-assessment tax returns, Bevis says Tide has already agreed a partnership to provide an integrated service offering with accountancy software provider Xero, and will be announcing brand partnerships with additional fintech providers later this year.

For Passion Capital, Tide joins challenger bank Monzo in the VC's investment portfolio. Eileen Burbidge, comments: “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. The service and flexibility that Tide offers will modernise the small business banking landscape and life for business founders across the UK.”

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