Tide is a UK-based digital financial services provider for small to medium-sized businesses. Tide does not currently hold a banking license, and they have previously stated that they do not plan to become fully licensed. They are, however, authorized as an electronic money institution by the UK Financial Conduct Authority. Tide refers to itself as an e-money account rather than a bank, and Prepay Solution provides their financial services. FSCS protection is not necessary for Tide customers as their money is never reinvested. Tide’s service is targeted at businesses, offering various tools and features to help companies grow.
Tide is a digital service, which means they do not have any physical branches. This makes opening an account much more comfortable and much quicker than with traditional financial services, and there is no paperwork involved. To open an account, you have to download the Tide app from the App Store or Google Play and tap ‘Get Started.’ You have to enter some personal information and scan your ID or passport to verify your identity. Once you pass this step, you can begin entering your company’s information, and Tide will perform sanction and KYC checks on your shareholders and directors. Within the hour, you can have your Tide account up and running.
Tide offers a choice of two monthly plans, beginning with their “pay as you go plan” that comes with no monthly fees. However, this plan is referred to as “pay as you go” because each transfer will cost 20p. This account comes with Tide’s signature blue card free with every account and access to Tide’s 24/7 in-app support and the possibility of support via phone call. Tide has recently added a premium account, “Tide Plus,” for £9.99 per month plus VAT. This account offers customers a sleek matte black card, the ability to jump the queue for in-app support, a 24/7 legal helpline, and 20 free transfers per month included in the monthly fee. Both of these monthly plans also grant customers access to the range of features and tools in the Tide app designed to help make business finances easier to manage.
The first step in getting to experience all of Tide’s tools is adding funds into your Tide account. Tide makes this as easy as possible, offering three easy and accessible methods to get started. A bank transfer is the most common method, allowing you to move money from another account into your Tide account using your sort code and account number. Tide also makes it easy for clients to pay you directly by using the ‘Invoice feature’, with simplified instructions that take you through each step of creating an invoice. Unlike many digital banks, Tide has also made it possible for customers to deposit cash into their account by taking the cash and their Tide card to their local Post Office or PayPoint. However, customers should note that there is a £1 fee on Post Office cash deposits.
The Tide app is designed to be a useful tool for finance management, catering for freelancers, or even small to medium businesses. The app makes each of its features exceptionally clear and easy to access right away, with separate pages for different services. The home screen of the app is your Accounts page. This page provides an overview of your accounts, showing balances, payments, and card details. The next page is “easy accounting,” offering a record of all transactions and filing them under separate categories to make them easier to understand. The invoice page provides a detailed look at active invoices, and it enables you to draw up a new invoice within minutes. There are also pages to make easy and quick payments, a help page, and a credit page to manage loans and credit.
Tide offers loans and credit, advertised as an added small cash injection for your business when it needs it. The loans are available up to £1,500 and can be applied for and granted in ultra-quick timing. Tide even claims they offer “the world’s fastest business loan.” Tide also offers a credit card option, allowing your business to borrow a little extra.
Tide prides itself on being a no hidden fee financial service, offering transparent charges on ATM withdrawals. This still stands when you take your Tide card overseas, meaning there are no extra charges on transactions and withdrawals when you use them abroad. ATM withdrawals cost £1, while all transfers in or out of your Tide account will cost 20p, apart from transfers between Tide accounts free.