This guide will examine our top three neo banks for small business bank accounts. It will look at the features these accounts can offer, their security capabilities, and their pros and cons.
Why do you need a business bank account?
Having an official business bank account is essential whether you’re just starting or have been operating for years. Every professional venture or company, no matter the size needs one.
An official business bank account is central to your firm’s financial operations, as it allows you to conduct your everyday business transactions, such as paying employees, buying raw materials, or paying for services. In addition, it can also be necessary for book-keeping, tax reporting, and various legal reasons.
If you are a business owner, a business bank account keeps your company’s finances separate from your private bank account transactions and usually comes with different features and services.
The best account for you will depend on the type of business you’re running and the type of transactions you need to make frequently. You’ll need to find a secure and convenient provider that also offers low fees for the transactions you most often make.
Why choose a neobank?
In addition, these fintech companies are often more transparent to customers about pricing features and functionality and excel at streamlining your online experience.
Neobanks are not banks but e-money institutions. However, they still have to comply with all regulatory frameworks required to provide financial services.
PROS of opening a business account with a neobank:
- Low fees;
- Easy to set-up;
- Wide range of features;
- Top-grade customer support;
- Extremely flexible finance management within an app;
- New features are being added constantly.
- Requires comfort with technology;
- No physical bank branches;
- Often no option for loans or overdrafts.
Best Small Business Bank Account – TOP 3 picks
#1 Revolut Business
Revolut is a neo banking platform that offers financial services through a mobile application and a Revolut card. Founded in 2015 by Nikolay Storonsky and Vlad Yatsenko, the platform has become one of Britain’s most valued private fintech companies with over 15 million personal account users and more than 700,000 business account users.
The platform aims to simplify all aspects of banking into one app without a physical bank branch. Designed for clients and businesses always on the move, this approach can improve the banking process by creating a cohesive, speedy, and user-friendly online-only experience.
As of 2022, their business services are available for residents of the EEA, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
- Revolut always shows you fees before you send;
- Revolut uses the interbank exchange rate for foreign exchange (FX) and most currencies and doesn’t add any markup outside of a small markup on the weekends;
- A flat 0.8% for all future exchanges for UK customers on company plans;
- Customers can set their fixed future FX rates online, 24/7;
- 10 free international transfers every month (US customers).
- The Revolut for Business account enables you to receive, hold and exchange money in 30+ currencies worldwide;
- You can set up as many sub-accounts in each currency as you need to run your business;
- Track the status of your transfers in real-time, available across both our mobile and web apps
- You can stay in control with easy payment approvals, limits, and real-time notifications;
- Revolut Business cards are widely accepted around the world.
Revolut allows you to export and sync your transactions and expenses with accounting software like Xero, QuickBooks, and Sage. Additionally, customers can optimize their processes with easy app integrations, including Zapier and Slack.
This function is designed for businesses with many employees and clients. It allows you to make multi-currency payments to different countries in one batch, add payments manually, or create up to 1000 payments using the .csv template.
Revolut offers unsecured business loans ranging between £1,000 and £25,000 to manage cash flow and grow your business. Interest rates for loans vary from 12.5% to 25%, depending on your credit history and financial performance.
A paid business plan allows users to access additional perks with some of the companies, namely Apple, Zipcar, Expensify, Google Ads, Slack, and Deliveroo.
- Payroll (for UK businesses): sync your employees details with your payment info. Revolut will calculate taxes, NI, and pension contributions for you. Any changes to employee tax codes, student loans, and more are synced with HMRC daily and updated for you automatically. You can set up automated payments schedules, customize pay for anyone in your business, award bonuses, pay freelancers, adjust deductions and easily make one-off changes to employee salaries;
- Assigning team roles: invite your whole team and tailor every aspect of their card access;
- Automated expenses: set spending limits, block and freeze cards, and determine how team members can spend;
- Automated invoices: Customize your expenses for export. You can download all the info as CSV or PDF once you’re finished to avoid having multiple files;
- Automatic receipt matching: Revolut will automatically match any uploaded documents to the appropriate expense;
- API integrations: automate your own business banking processes, view accounts, add counterparties, make payments or automate currency exchanges.
Fees & Plans – Revolut Business account and card
- Revolut for Business offers different plans for both corporate and freelance accounts. You can choose from a free basic plan and three subscription plans;
- You can connect your Revolut business card to both Apple and Google Pay;
- Business account holders on all plans can get up to 200 virtual cards for each team member.
Revolut’s Free plan is good for small businesses and new customers, as there is no monthly fee. You will access local GBP and EUR account details and payments, hold and exchange 30+ currencies, international IBAN, mobile and web app, Revolut connect, Open API, corporate cards, and unlimited transfers to other Revolut users.
The plan also includes five local GBP or EUR transfers per month. If you want to make international transfers beyond GBP or EUR or exchange money, Revolut will charge a flat 0.40% fee on any FX and charge £3 per transfer. Two team members are allowed to be included in the plan — yourself and one other.
Grow (£25 monthly)
This plan is appropriate for small businesses. You are allowed to add ten team members to your account with 100 free local transfers. You also get ten free international transfers, while FX’s allowance at the actual rate is £10k. This plan includes everything in the free plan plus priority 24/7 assistance, one free metal card (£49 for each additional card outside of the free allowance or equivalent amount in your chosen currency), user permissions, payment approval, perks, and expenditure management.
Scale (£100 monthly)
This amount will give you access to all features under the Growth plan. Additionally, Scale customers can add 30 team members for free and claim two free metal cards (£49 per extra card outside of the free allowance or an equivalent amount in your chosen currency). You will also get 1,000 free local transfers and 50 international transfers. Lastly, you will have an allowance of FX at the actual rate of £50,000.
This is the most advanced plan with individually agreed prices and features. The top-tier plan is called Enterprise and comes with unlimited free transfers and exchange allowances, including custom metal cards. Still, you’ll have to contact Revolut to get a price for your business.
Is Revolut Business safe?
Revolut is an electronic money institution, not a bank. So instead of protecting your money in a financial protection scheme (like FSCS), they safeguard your cash instead.
How is your money kept safe?
Revolut is required to safeguard any money they receive from customers. Your funds are either placed in a separate client money bank account or invested in low-risk liquid assets with a large global financial institution.
Safeguarding helps protect you. In the case of insolvency, you get your money first. As a result, customers’ claims would be paid out from Revolut’s dedicated client money bank and asset accounts before anyone else’s claims.
You can withdraw your permission by closing your account, which will end the agreement between you and Revolut. However, some information may be kept for particular legal reasons.
Pros and Cons of Revolut Business
- Straightforward sign-up process;
- Different pricing options according to how you want to use your business account;
- Advanced mobile app with a range of features;
- Competitive exchange rates on multiple international currencies and competitive prices on international money transfers;
- Receive, hold and exchange funds in over 30+ currencies;
- Possibility to fix future foreign exchange rates for a set time online;
- Ability to integrate with business software;
- Business loan option;
- 24/7 customer support.
- The free account has limited features and doesn’t include many free transactions;
- No cash deposits;
- 2% ATM withdrawal fee;
- No overdraft;
- Plan costs can be high.
#2 Wise Business
Wise (formerly TransferWise) is a London-based fintech company launched in January 2011 by two Estonian co-founders, Kristo Käärmann and Taavet Hinrikus.
Taavet, the first employee at Skype, lived in London but got paid in euros. Kristo worked for Deloitte, lived in London as well, and got paid in pounds, but had a mortgage in euros back in Estonia. So they both moved their money with their banks, which had expensive fees and bad exchange rates.
Incidentally, they both needed what the other had; hence they decided to swap the funds at actual market rates to solve their problem. Taavet would deposit the calculated EUR amount into Kristo’s Estonia bank account, and Kristo would send his GBP funds to Taavet’s UK account.
That was the seed that grew into TransferWise. And as it grew, they realized that people needed more than just money transfers, so they added a multi-currency account, a debit card, and a business account and changed their name to Wise.
Wise offers its financial services through a mobile app, which extends its web interface allowing users to interact with their accounts on the go. You can find the Android app on the Google Play Store and the iOS version on Apple’s App Store.
With the Wise mobile app, you can send and receive money, convert between currencies, access your financial statements, and check your receipt and payment status. Additionally, you can access the customer support and help center and manage your debit card.
Wise Business Fees – Account and card
The first card on your Wise Business account is included in your one-time setup fee of £16. After that, you can get cards for your team members at £3 each. Wise does not charge any subscription fees.
Wise Expense cards allow you to spend on business expenses, from travel, subscriptions, and other card purchases. Using expense cards lets you keep your transactions separate from other transactions (for example, personal ones). For example, you can order multiple cards for your employees so they can spend on your behalf with controls like spending limits that you set.
Wise expense cards are like regular debit cards, but the business admin can set controls like spending limits. As the business admin, you can see all employee spending and receipts from your account. Additionally, you can connect Wise to your accounting software to moderate that spending.
The debit card (accordingly to where you are registered) also allows for Apple, Samsung, and Google Pay, along with Garmin and Fitbit Pay.
In addition, customers have access to virtual cards. Since virtual cards are not physical, they cannot be re-used or stolen, adding an extra layer of security. The Wise virtual card is free for all business account holders (except for customers in US and Japan).
- Wise Business offers international transfers which use the mid-market (interbank) exchange rate and have no duplicitous hidden fees;
- You pay a no-frills, transparent charge per transaction, often cheaper than your traditional bank;
- According to research done by Wise, international baking with Wise is 6x cheaper than traditional banks and 19x cheaper than Paypal;
- The all banking features plan costs a £16 one-off fee. With this plan, you can get local bank account details in ten currencies to give your customers an easy, free way to get paid. In addition, 50% of payments are instant or arrive in an hour;
- Excellent for paying foreign currency invoices from suppliers and freelancers or when you’re being paid in different currencies.
- The free account lets you hold and manage money in 50+ currencies, allowing you to avoid exchange rate movements;
- You can use your multi-currency account to send money to 80+ countries;
- There is no necessity to open a bank account for your offices and subsidiaries in other countries. Instead, hold and convert money in seconds and make payments right from Wise Business;
- You can use your Wise debit card to spend in any currency and pay expenses online or in-store without foreign transaction fees;
- Sell in any currency on online sales platforms like Shopify or Stripe. Use your account details like a bank account to withdraw profit in any currency.
The best business bank accounts help make your professional life more manageable, delivering seamless services and uncomplicated integrations, allowing you to focus on the things that matter to your business. For example, Wise Business integrates seamlessly with accounting platforms like Xero, QuickBooks, and FreeAgent.
Wise regularly adds fresh account features, so the benefits are not solely about international payments.
Assigning team roles
Multi User Access (MUA) lets your employees have different access levels to your Wise business account. For example, you can assign the following roles to team members on your Wise business account, maintaining complete control over all users: viewer, employee, preparer, payer, and admin.
An API (application programming interface) lets different platforms and tools communicate with one another. Some of the possibilities include:
- Automating invoice payments, recurring transfers, standing orders, or payroll;
- Generating payments from invoicing software;
- Real-time notifications on platforms like Slack;
- You can add Wise as a disbursement option to your website;
- Simplifying expense reporting;
- Tracking exchange rates and automating conversions.
The Wise batch payments tool allows you to make multiple international transfers with just one payment. Additionally, you can automate all payments using API. For example, automate invoice payments, recurring transfers, standing orders, or global payroll. Features include a delivery estimator, pay-to-email, and real-time tracking.
Is Wise safe?
Wise isn’t a bank but an e-money institution. Unlike conventional banks, Wise doesn’t lend out money deposited by their customers. So instead of protecting your money in a financial protection scheme (like FSCS), they safeguard your money.
How is your money kept safe?
Safeguarding means that, by law, Wise has to keep all customer money in accounts that are entirely separate from the ones they use to run the business. So your money is backed by assets that we hold in different accounts. These funds are called ‘safeguarded funds.’
Wise keeps your money in established financial institutions and invests them in government-backed liquid assets, primarily government bonds. Where your funds are, depends on which country your Wise Business account address is in.
Safeguarded funds are inaccessible to Wise’s creditors, banks, or third parties. The protections afforded by safeguarding are available even in the event of insolvency.
How is Wise regulated?
Wise is registered and headquartered in the United Kingdom as an Electronic Money Institution (EMI). It is regulated under the EMI laws as specified by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
In all other markets that it operates, it adheres to local regulations. For example, in the United States, it’s regulated by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and the Office of the Comptroller of Currency; and in Belgium and the EEA by the National Bank of Belgium (NBB).
Note: Regulations for each country can be found here.
Wise complies with the EU-specific data protection and privacy regulations generally referred to as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). These regulations define how institutions collect and process customers’ personally identifiable information (PII).
Pros and Cons of Wise Business
- Straightforward sign-up process;
- Low-cost international transfers with transparent fees and interbank exchange rates;
- The flexibility of storing many currencies to avoid currency conversion fees;
- Only a £16 one-off fee for access to all Business account features, no subscription fee;
- Extremely competitive transfer times compared to traditional channels such as using banks, sending cheques, and Western Union;
- The possibility to link with certain online platforms like Amazon, Stripe, and Shopify for receiving payments;
- Wise API lets you integrate your business with various accounting tools making day-to-day management a lot smoother;
- Wise uses two approaches to safeguard your funds. First, they deposit your money at established banking institutions. Additionally, Wise follows a strict set of rules set by regulatory agencies in every country they operate in, like the FCA in the UK;
- 24/7 customer support.
- There are no overdraft and loan options;
- No cash deposits;
- Not ideal for sending large sums as it uses a percentage model to calculate fees, and this can get expensive the higher the amount to be processed.
#3 TransferGo Business
TransferGo is an international money transfer company offering affordable payment services without excessive bank fees. The fast-growing fintech business currently serves 22 currencies across 47 countries, with offices across Europe, including London, Vilnius, Berlin, Istanbul, and Warsaw.
TransferGo was founded in 2012 by four Lithuanian professionals (Arnas Lukosevicius, Daumantas Dvilinskas, Edvinas Sersniovas, Justinas Lasevicius) starting an import and export business abroad. From paying their bills in Lithuania to transferring money to suppliers, the seed for the idea was sown as they fought excessive costs and delayed service.
TransferGo was created out of a desire for change in the global money transfer sector.
TransferGo‘s fees are based on competitive currency rates (but not the interbank exchange rate) and how fast you want the money you send to reach its destination. The currency rate is fixed, so the amount you decide to send is what will arrive. In addition, all fees are included in the amount you see when you create your money transfer, so there are no concealed fees.
As of 2022, TransferGo offers money transfers to 161 countries.
You can select the desired arrival time based on your needs. General delivery time to TransferGo’s primary destination countries:
- Standard delivery time is the next business day from when they receive your deposit;
- Cheap delivery time will take up to 3 business days from when they receive your deposit;
- Fast delivery options: your money can be delivered in less than 30 minutes, depending on where your deposit originates.
TransferGo’s service is limited in some destination countries, meaning that delivery time takes up to 1 business day longer. Restricted service countries are the USA, Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Hong Kong, Israel, Mexico, and South Africa.
Tracking your transfer
Within your TransferGo business account, customers can track any transfers they’ve made and even share a link with the receiver, letting them know when the money will arrive.
TransferGo’s batch payments feature enables customers to make payments to multiple recipients quickly and easily. For example, you can pay up to 50 suppliers or salaries all at once and reach various countries with a single local payment.
Transfers API that allows you to initiate and manage international transfers. Use the TransferGo API to transfer funds at scale to employees, customers, or suppliers. Integration is simple, and TransferGo provides help with implementation.
Is TransferGo safe?
TransferGo is not a bank, so it doesn’t lend out money deposited by its clients. This means they don’t need to use financial protection schemes to insure your money, as banks do. Instead, they protect your funds through safeguarding.
How is your money kept safe?
TransferGo is required to safeguard any money they receive from customers. Safeguarding is a way of making sure your money is safe, even if TransferGo declares insolvency. Safeguarding legally obliges TransferGo to segregate their money from their clients.
The customers’ money is kept in separate accounts from the ones TransferGo uses to run their business. These segregated accounts are with a range of established financial institutions that meet TransferGo’s regulator requirements.
How is TransferGo regulated?
The FSCS protects customers who hold their money in UK banks, building societies, and credit unions. If this type of company goes bust, the FSCS protects up to £85,000 of your money. The money you send with TransferGo isn’t covered by the FSCS, because they’re a digital payment service, not a bank.
However, TransferGo is fully licensed and follows strict rules set by regulators whose goal is to protect you and keep your money safe. These include the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK, the Bank of Lithuania, EU regulations, and authorities in every country worldwide where TransferGo operates.
TransferGo Ltd is a authorised payment service provider. They are supervised by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) under Money Laundering Regulations, and regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Your information is never shared with third parties, and only TransferGo employees with special clearance are able to access user documents. TransferGo uses SSL technology to keep your information safe.
They are registered with the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office), the UK’s independent authority set up to uphold information rights in the public interest. In addition, all transactions are protected by industry-standard HTTPS encryption.
TransferGo is obliged to store your private data for five years based on our regulators’ requirements.
Pros and Cons of TrasnferGo Business
- Transparent international payment fees;
- Available on the web and through a mobile app;
- Straightforward sign-up process;
- Multilingual website, customers can use the TransferGo website in various languages;
- Clients can pay via local bank transfer. TransferGo accepts debit and credit card payments in GBP, EUR, PLN, NOK, SEK, and DKK;
- Possibility to carry out a 30-minute transfer (depending on the destination), though at an additional fee;
- Top-tier customer-service: TransferGo offers support in 9 languages by email, phone, or online chat, with an average response time of 20 seconds by phone.
- TransferGo doesn’t offer debit cards;
- No accounting software integration;
- It doesn’t provide multi-currency accounts;
- There are no overdraft and loan options;
- No cash deposits.
Can I open a business bank account online?
Often, you can open a business bank account online. To open a business account, you will typically need to provide your name, address, ID photo, selfie for an identity check, business name, address, and incorporation details.
How do neobanks safeguard your money?
Though not a bank, money deposited in a neo-banking account is as secure as in a regular bank account. Neobanks are regulated, and customer protection laws protect their clients. If a bank fails, customers’ money is secured up to the legal limit in their country. This may vary from fully licensed neobanks and those operating under an “e-money” or “payment institution” license.
What are some of the benefits of opening a business account with a neobank?
- Transparent international fees, which use the mid-market exchange rate and have no duplicitous hidden fees;
- Multi-currency accounts that let you hold and manage money in several currencies;
- Straightforward application process entirely online;
- Easy integrations with accounting software.