Banking challenger Tide introduces accounting portal
Banking challenger Tide has introduced Account Reader, a new online portal to make it easier for accountants to assess client accounts.
UK-based mobile banking service Tide has launched Account Reader, an online dashboard that enables authorised Tide partners to view and download client transaction data directly, subjected to permission from the client.
Once granted permission, accountants can export clients transaction data in .CSV format ready to use in accounting software such as FreeAgent, Xero, QuickBooks Online or Sage One. By granting read-only access to their account information, clients can let their accountants view and download transactions and associated categories.
The Account Reader shows how Tide is attempting to disrupt the traditional banking model with fast, online services for freelancers and business owners and their accountants. Clients can access their account online via a browser or the phone app. Rather than relying on physical branches, Tide provides customer support via the in-app chat, email, phone and an online community forum where clients can ask and answer other members’ questions.
“Accountants are wasting a lot of their time waiting for their clients to open up an account, and trying to chase them to get their transaction data. The Account Reader is a tool that aims to simplify this process to help the accountants save time,” explained Max Bernier, in charge of partnerships at Tide.
“There are a lot of accountancy practices that use multiple software solutions and it’s hard for them to get their clients to sign up their bank feeds for all of these solutions because sometimes the feeds aren’t available or don’t work well. In contrast, with the Account Reader, accountants can download their client transactions in a format that is optimised for the software that they use.
“This saves accountants a lot of time of chasing their clients for data or having their client data sent to them in the wrong format and then spending time on reformatting it.”
Although the market is still misicule compared to the big high street banks, Tide is just one of several potentially disruptive business banking options, including Countingup, the “accounting bank” founded by Tim Fouracre of Clear Books fame.
“We are opening one twelth of all new business current accounts in the UK after just 10 months, which is a massive growth in a short period of time and shows how much small and medium size businesses are hungry for a new banking solution that is suitable for them,” said Bernier.
The Tide says it can let business owners open an account in five minutes by taking a photo of their ID, confirming some details about themselves and their companies and taking a selfie, which Tide uses as part of its two-step security system.
Tide’s partner PPS is certified by the FCA and partly owned by Mastercard, and funds are ring-fenced at Barclays. Tide offers instant invoicing and automatic bookkeeping alongside its business current accounts, as well as lending offerings for small businesses.
Tide customers do not pay account or card fees, but there is a £1 charge per ATM withdrawal and bank transfers are chared at 20p.
Further developments and integrations are in the pipeline, Bernier said: “Our multi-card solution feature is in preview now. Users will be able to order up to 35 cards so that they can manage their expenses better. We are also going to release our foreign exchange solution in the next two to three months, which will enable users do foreign exchange transactions at minimal fees.
“We are also working on some accounting integrations. Our bank feed integration with FreeAgent is in the final phases of testing and should be live within the next one or two weeks.”