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Top 10 Digital Banking Platforms For Small Business In The UK

Digital banking has revolutionized the banking sector and has played a major role in the success of small businesses and firms. As it provides a way to bank conveniently from your electronic device. If you are looking forward to soaking into the world of digital banking, refer to the following guide.

Digital banking vs. Traditional banking

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‘Digital’ disruption is no longer just a shift in the way of life, but it is an advancement. It is no longer possible to maintain traditional ways of banking unless it upgrades its offerings and adapts to the demands of the rapidly digitized customer profiles. Newmarket models that have made the banking industry more up to date than ever and are now complemented by the latest technologies.

Digital Banking

Digital banking is part of a much bigger framework in which banking services are offered on the internet. There was a steady move from conventional banking to modern banking and the digitalization of banking services continues. It includes high degrees of process automation and web-based services. It includes APIs that allow inter-institutional service systems to supply and manage banking products.

Traditional Banking

The greatest distinction between traditional and digital banking is a physical presence. There are branches for a traditional bank, as well as regional headquarters, and branches spread throughout the countries in which it functions. Most of these banks run ATMs on their own. To run a large number to share costs, smaller traditional banks may come together. Traditional banks were selected initially for their accessibility, as well as their face-to-face customer service, which was offered through their local branches.

Differences between Traditional Banking and Digital Banking

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A large range of possibilities have been generated by the new era of technology. In its adaptation to the new digital world, banking is a particular mechanism that has recently started to grow. The banks themselves are going digital now. It is clear that banking has experienced many changes over time, but now, companies are at a significant moment where the opportunities are presented by digital banking for both business and for customers.

Generally, it would involve visiting an individual bank branch or office to open a bank account or interact in any of the facilities that an ATM does not offer. This has been a massive obstacle for many, especially due to the consequences of Covid-19. Essentially, in areas where lockdowns cause banks to close indefinitely, digital banking became the only resort.

Conversely, digital banks usually only have online apps, which means that interested consumers do not have to arrange a physical office appointment, but can file an application right from the comfort of their own homes. From a business point of view, not having an office often significantly lowers expenses, and is an even bigger benefit for emerging and smaller fintech businesses, even reducing the obstacle to the entry into the financial industry.

Traditional banks are trustworthy and reliable. At every given time, anyone can step into a branch and work out an issue or set up an account. Digital banks, because of their reliance on certain networks, are more vulnerable to technical problems.

Customers who use the services of digital banks may sometimes notice that the website is down, or may not be able to use any functionality due to a device malfunction. This could potentially lead to some significant problems, especially if, for example, fintech firms waiting to pay for an invoice.

Digital banks tend to rely on a centralized system – cloud banking. If this is breached, although it is a very challenging quest- since it is difficult to circumvent modern-day cryptography, then probably a large number of consumers will not be able to enter the system or could even lose any of their deposited funds. Although these threats are unlikely to exist, they can still do significant damage. Because of this, many prospective customers are reluctant, and therefore, stick to traditional banking.

Benefits of using Digital Banking for Small Businesses

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A best small business bank always takes care of your needs. There is no doubt that for banks and clients alike, digital banking is beneficial. Digital banks may deliver competitive interest rates on deposits and loans that their typical counterparts might fail to meet with massively reduced infrastructure expenses. Down below are the major advantages that digital banking offers.

  • Quick and secure application

For opening a bank account for a business, traditional banks appear to have relatively long and complicated procedures. The digital banks take a very different approach to give both business and retail clients a swift, frictionless account opening process. Of course, while regulatory and identity authentication considerations are involved, digital banks are making every effort to reduce the work needed to please the regulator by leveraging emerging technology entirely.

  • Complete banking at your fingertips

Digital banking represents the functionality that traditional banks provide online, for example in monitoring transfers, transfer money between accounts and many more. Since their systems are modern and agile, though, they can incorporate and expand features in a fraction of the time that a traditional bank would take.

This is demonstrated by some of the consumer-centered capabilities that are now found in many digital products, such as bill splitting, transactional review and uploading, the ability to adjust PIN codes via the app, and the option to freeze and unfreeze cards in the event of failure, fraud, or simply for budgetary management purposes.

It is absolutely fair to expect that this element will broaden, as digital banks aim to distinguish their goods and retain business customers.

  • The option to plan bill payments

As a result of digital banking, bill transfers can now be streamlined by scheduling them automatically to be processed on a day you select. You will never have to think about late payments again with the options of setting up recurring monthly payments that you may adjust by clicking a button. For people with a busy lifestyle and career, this level of automation may be crucial.

  • Exceptional customer service

Digital banks do not pay an outrageous amount to their staff, and that enables them to leverage additional financial tools to maximize customer service income, consumer engagement and financial efficiency.

Customer service is merely a phone call, video chat, or e-mail away when you consider a digital bank. Since most banks are providing customer service tickets that document the contact with customers, you can watch how they handle issues and maintain records. In exchange, this transparency increases the efficiency of the bank’s customer service. In comparison to a traditional bank, customer support workers are often available beyond regular business hours. This is useful for busy individuals and business professionals who are unable to visit a specific location after working hours.

10 best Digital Banking Platforms for Small Business in the UK

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Digital banking provides a secure, fast, responsive operation, access to and control of the account at any time of the day. Digital bank account services have smaller expenses than other banks because they have no branches to manage. So, in this case, the charges may be low and interest rates may be higher than other traditional banks.

Every digital bank claims rapid opening of accounts and ease of use, but other specifics vary. See some of the best options available for small business banking options.

ANNA

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ANNA is approved by the FCA and acts as an alternative to conventional banks, where it is quite complex for most small businesses to open a bank account. The reason behind ANNA was to provide a separate account to small business owners, sole traders and freelancers, soon after they come into the business.

The ANNA application allows all transactions to be transferred or received faster and it offers 24/7 access to the account. You can connect other accounts to ANNA applications, which ultimately helps you to handle multiple business accounts from one location.

The ANNA application helps you build and deliver professional-looking invoices from inside the app settings to your customers. It makes it easier to give your customers payment notifications and lets you avoid unpaid invoices through email reminders. Tax calculation is determined systematically on the basis of revenue and cost that occurs over a year and reminds you when the date is due. Accounting, tax calculation and support programs that save time and resources can also be used by ANNA business account holders.

ANNA gives you the freedom to open an account dedicated to business online. The system would need you to download the application after you sign up. Once you log in to the application, you will be asked a series of simple questions just to verify your identity. To complete the process of verification, you will be requested to verify your ID and address.

If the monthly earnings are below £500, ANNA is free; £5 a month if it’s £500-£2,000; £9.90 a month if it’s £2,000-£20,000 and £19.90 a month if it’s £20,000-£500,000.

Starling Bank

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Being the first mobile-only bank to extend UK current accounts, Starling Bank is transforming the style of British banking. Starling Bank has built a bank from scratch, allowing it to bind clients to the new technology that adapts to their fast-paced lifestyles and helps them. To apply for a Starling Bank business account, an 18-month trading period is required for you to be eligible for the account.

The current account holders of Starling can handle their money entirely on their smartphone via the Starling banking app. The features of this application include mobile alerts for incomes and outgoing transactions, as well as for other spending.

There’s no monthly fee on the account and an overdraft comes with it. You can register for an overdraft of up to £150,000 if you’re operating a limited company. You can add a toolkit for £7 a month to improve the functionality of your business.

CardOneMoney         

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CardOneMoney (formerly referred to as CardOneBanking) is an online business account. It provides a business account in the ‘jam jar’ format, from which you can spend money, allow direct debits, and use a prepaid card. It’s a pretty straightforward business banking strategy, without many of the requirements and conditions provided by other banks.

The business account of CardOneMoney is mostly app-based, so you can run your whole business from your mobile. However, there are also solutions for online and phone monitoring of your account. You can also use other bank branches and post offices to make deposits to your account, including cash and checks.

The account can be opened in merely a few hours as stated on the website. The first item you need to complete is a 10-minute application form, which includes questions about you and the nature of your business. For the subscription process, they will visit the area from where you operate your business, according to your application.

It is with the charges that CardOneMoney becomes a much less desirable option. Making an application, setting up an account and getting the first card costs £55. This is, however, refunded if the application is not accepted. Additionally, there are additional charges to use this account, as well as its features.

Countingup

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In the mobile banking sector, Countingup is a fairly young player. The business offering includes automated bookkeeping, professional invoices and electronic processing of receipts as core functions, along with calculating and filing taxes. However, you are required to apply reminders and attachments to the receipts to seek sales tax relief.

This is better if the company is headquartered in the UK because, with this account, you cannot make or accept overseas payments. In the future, Countingup hopes to incorporate this feature. In all the accounts, all accounting characteristics appear; these include receipt capture and tax estimation.

For businesses with incoming funds of £0-£500 a month, the Starter package is free. For funds of £500-£ 4,000 a month, the Standard is free for the first six months (£4.95 a month afterwards). For businesses with incoming funds worth over £4,000 a month, Premium is also eligible for the first six months (£9.95 a month after that). There is a free three-month trial available.

It is easy to open a business account on your mobile in less than a few minutes. You only need a legitimate United Kingdom phone number for a link and the Countingup mobile application.

Fair Everywhere

The Fair Everywhere business bank can be handled on the desktop and smartphone by an online current account’s holder. Fair Everywhere, founded in 2017, is a new start-up. Customers from anywhere in the world can send and take payments in several currencies. Users can monitor both their spending and incoming cash on the app, plan their transfers and pay bills everywhere, like many other existing online accounts.

Mettle

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Mettle is the first independent corporate banking app offered by NatWest Group, one of the high street banks giants. The new digital business account of NatWest can be seen as an answer to other challenger banks who have transformed the landscape of banking in recent years. This digital platform has pulled in clients by enabling them to create and maintain bank accounts as app-based business banking from their smartphones, as well as providing better exchange rates for business owners who travel regularly.

Mettle allows business owners to apply for an account in minutes. With this, you can monitor business results and generate invoices. In its mobile application, which is built to be easy-to-use as well as free-to-use, all of this is possible. You can use it for free and will not be charged for joining.

The main factor you need to remember is that the application is not regulated by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). However, under the FCA safeguarding provisions and the corresponding rules, the account is safe. The aim of safeguarding is to protect and refund money from consumers if the business fails.

Coconut

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Coconut can manage accounting, bookkeeping, invoicing, and tax for sole traders and limited businesses (with up to two directors). The current accounts and credit cards of 20 separate banks, including Barclays, Lloyds and Starling can be linked. You will get notifications about any activity of your payments.

To assist them with their self-assessment, sole traders are provided with additional assistance with tax returns. Coconut includes software compatible with rendering tax digital. You can see calculations on how much tax you may owe and take advantage of tips maximizing your tax benefits or what costs you can claim.

The plan for side-hustle is £3 a month (excluding VAT). The Professional plan is £5 a month (excluding VAT), which has limitless invoices, 50 free bank transfers per month and free replacement cards, and everything that is included is a side-hustle package.

Monzo

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Monzo is the newest digital banking platform for business banking. For small businesses, multi-user access is available. Note that before you can apply for a business account, a personal account in Monzo is essential.

You can pay £5-£300 in cash in one go, plus up to £1,000 every six months to prevent financial crime. The limit is smaller if you’re aged 16 or 17. In such cases, you can pay up to £500 every six months.

As for services, Xero, FreeAgent and QuickBooks are linked with Monzo. With Monzo Business Pro, new Xero customers will get a free business pro account for six months from the cloud accounting platform. An additional feature, Tax Pots, helps you to set a percentage of your earnings aside that you want to give into tax. You can put on notifications whenever your account comes into activity.

The price is at two levels: Lite delivers the basics, but you would need to go Pro at £ 5 a month for extra services, such as integrated accounting and tax pots.

Tide

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With Tide, in the UK or overseas, there are no penalties on card payments and you get free transfers from Tide accounts. Their charges are £1 for ATM cash withdrawals. You can order up to 35 team cards and the spending of each card can be monitored. Invoicing and the option to set up scheduled payments are also available. Tide is available with 3 accounts: Free (£0), Plus (£ 9.99) and Plus Cashback (€ 49.99) The bundle has in-app support, along with the integration of Xero and QuickBooks.

Tide does not lend or transfer money around, which ensures it is always accessible. Not only must you authenticate your account with a password, but all transfers must also be approved through your cell phone. Tide also needs a selfie to authenticate your account, if you are logging in from a different device.

Revolut

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Established in July 2015, Revolut is a Fintech firm. With more than 6 million clients globally, they are also one of the leading startups in the market. They provide banking and foreign currency services, all using the Revolut application. The company has brought creativity to the finance world, offering a business or private account with fast and convenient ways to get started.

As several challenger banks, in addition to a Mastercard, Revolut uses a phone or tablet app to have a strong banking interface. From freelancers to businesses, independent startups or large firms, there are options for everyone.

The registration process is normally relatively easy. You need an email address; your business information and you can fill up the application in minutes. The option for cancelling the contract is open for you at any time you want.

The accounts are of three types, Free (£0 per month), Grow (£25 per month), Scale (£100 per month). For freelancers, the options are free account (£0 per month), Professional (£7 per month) and Ultimate (£25 per month).

Conclusion

With a few technical improvements, the digital banking industry will continue to expand in the coming years. Many banks now use artificial intelligence to satisfy consumers’ financial needs and demands. Currently, digital banking is expected to rise to an even higher degree with other technological advancements.

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