Just as the big accounting software suppliers do, the digital banking community sees accountants as a channel to reach prospective business customers.
Introducing its Revolut partner programme last month, the fintech explained: “We offer priority on-boarding for your clients, a dedicated account manager and the opportunity to test out products before we release them. You and your clients will also receive free access to features normally reserved for our paid plans, including: payment approval, user permissions, bulk payments and perks.”
As an FCA-authorised electronic money institution, Revolut has built an international payments platform with application programming interfaces (APIs) to commonly used accounting tools such as QuickBooks Online, Xero, FreeAgent, Slack and Zapier. Revolut for Business accounts can support multiple logins and facilities such as end-to-end expense management within its app.
Where most of the UK digital banks have focused on recruiting consumer and sole trader/small business account customers, Revolut started life as a travel and foreign exchange product and has a broader international footprint. Now claiming 200,000 customers, the company is positioning itself as an option for businesses of any size, and the accountants who work with those clients.
Competition is fierce in the UK, where banks, software platforms and digital startups have pushed further into fintech that most other territories. For example, where Revolut is offering priority on-boarding and access to certain software functionality, the RBS/NatWest group is giving away free licences for its FreeAgent accounting program.
Xero and QuickBooks, meanwhile, offer access to integrations with other digital banks and fintechs through their partner programmes.
Revolut’s answer is to continue enhancing its package with new ingredients. Since the launch announcement, it has added the capability to manage direct debit payments in pounds and euros and data integration with Smart Pensions.
Direct debit facility
Through a link to Modulr’s direct debits mandate, Revolut customers and partners with UK accounts can locally set up sterling direct debits to pay for things like their memberships, subscriptions, regular bills and payments
Vaidas Adomauskas, head of business product at Revolut explained: “Direct Debits are one of the most requested features from Revolut for Business customers. It’s always our goal to help businesses save time and money, and this feature will make a huge difference on that front.”
A week after that addition, Revolut announced a partnership with Smart Pensions that would enable companies across Europe to set up workplace pensions for UK employees from within their business accounts.
“Our new partnership with Smart Pension makes it easy for our business customers to meet auto enrolment requirements for eligible members of their companies. Not only can account holders take advantage of this preferential rate from Smart Pension, but they can set up both a business account and get pensions up and running in minutes. This partnership is a game-changer for our customers,” said Adomauskas.
AccountingWEB’s Head of Insight has been with the site since 1999 and likes to spend his time studying accountants’ technology habits. When not nerding out, you can find him exploring obscure indie music and searching for the perfect organic sourdough loaf from his base in Brighton, UK.