In this review, we’re taking a detailed look into Payrow, a British fintech company offering banking and financial management services to new entrepreneurs and startup businesses.
More specifically, we’re looking at what Payrow is, how it works, what its uses are, and who can benefit from it. In addition, we’ll give you some tips on how to get on board with the platform and provide you with a list of some of its pros and cons.
What is Payrow?
Payrow was established in 2019 with the goal of accommodating the banking needs of the rapidly growing population of new entrepreneurs in the UK. The project gained traction quickly, and the team raised almost 3 million euros during the initial investment round.
By 2022, the company had gathered a team of freelance, investment, and IT specialists, with the idea for automated Payrow services that we know today slowly crystalizing after a series of changes and platform tests.
Nonetheless, the project still remained in the “real-test stage,” to quote the company itself. That is, most of the systems were still being tested by a closed group of enterprises, all of which are limited to the United Kingdom for now.
In early 2023, G2 ranked Payrow as one of the top free digital financial platforms, and there are plans for expansion to the European Union within the next year, which will undoubtedly put the company in the spotlight again.
Recommended video: Payrow explained in under a minute
How Does Payrow Work?
Payrow seeks to aid clients by providing them with a quick and reliable financial system that caters to a wide array of businesses and workers ranging from remote freelancers to e-commerce professionals. The company, however, puts a special emphasis on specialized sectors, that is, hotels, restaurants, and cafés.
The key components of the Payrow financial system include a versatile multi-currency wallet, seamless payments and money transfers, financial tracking tools, and fund management tools.
While traditional banks and financial institutions actively involve the client in each and every step of the fund-managing process, Payrow offers an alternative set of programs built on a microservice architecture that removes the need for monolithic networks.
The microservice architecture allows payment, monitoring, calculating, and other processes to be conducted autonomously. In addition, data caches and interfaces are all self-managing, which greatly accelerates the payment system. In other words, it allows for all the data to be stored separately, so updating one part of the network does not disrupt the rest of it. As a result, the whole system is more flexible, and the user has more freedom to micromanage their business whenever the need for it arises.
Those who can benefit from the platform include:
- Retail businesses;
- General partnerships;
- E-commerce platforms;
- Freelancers and micro businesses
- Limited partnerships and limited liability partnerships;
- Business corporations;
- Limited liability companies.
Products and Services Offered by Payrow
As we’ve alluded to, Payrow offers a number of services that help automatize and thus accelerate business operations:
- Statement management;
- Expense management;
- Financial management for businesses with a complex ownership structure;
- Cards (beta).
- Mass payments (beta)
Payrow offers an invoicing software solution to help companies control incoming and outgoing payments and customize their invoices. The whole process is streamlined by using customizable pre-made templates and by the fact that Payrow allows for complete invoice management from the user’s dashboard, eliminating the need for additional transfers between different accounts.
2. Statement Management
The Payrow statement management tool lets you automatically generate, send, and download your statements. In addition, it provides you with all relevant information on a daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly basis, which you can download and save in your preferred format.
The main goal of statement automation is an increased workflow in environments where multiple departments are involved, with a large number of people required for the business to proceed. By ensuring information is transmitted at regular intervals, you can avoid deadline issues that are bound to arise in such situations.
The scheduling tool is still in the beta version. Nonetheless, it can automate a lot of menial tasks. For example, it can help you schedule upcoming and manage recurring payments, create invoices, receive transaction statements at regular intervals, monitor your financial activities, devise budgets, etc. All of that is done through a personalized Payrow account.
4. Expense Management
Automated expense management expenditure detailing can save businesses a lot of time and help them avoid mistakes resulting from oversight. The Payrow solution provides automated receipt recognition and payment analytics all within a single platform, with expense allocation tools scheduled to come soon.
5. Management of Businesses With a Complex Ownership Structure
Last year, Payrow ventured into financial services for UK-based businesses with a complex ownership structure, i.e., for companies with multiple corporate officers, shareholders, and beneficiaries.
Such intricate ownership layers are usually the result of the need for multiple divisions, and they often make it hard to identify the principal owner, which leads to a lack of transparency that results in the need for multi-stage paperwork and long waiting periods for those relying on traditional banks.
The Payrow financial model aims to accurately pinpoint through which entity each business operation is being done and create a suitable finance management plan to accommodate the needs of such a system on all levels.
The proposed model aims to ensure the inclusion of all beneficiaries, a detailed assessment of all incoming applications, and the examination of the business structure and its reorientation toward specific commercial goals. As is the case with other Payrow services, automation is the main strategy.
Payrow cards are still in development, but their use cases seem promising. According to the Payrow homepage, cards will allow users to set payment limits, limit shopping categories, real-time payment management, etc.
7. Mass payments
Payrow is working on advancing and implementing a mass payment service as well. This feature will enable companies with a high volume of payments done via multiple payment methods and in multiple currencies to streamline their transactions.
One of the challenges of starting a new business is having to rely on a small team to tackle a large number of tasks, such as managing salaries, figuring out taxes, etc. As the enterprise grows, however, these tasks become more demanding and tedious, and they start incurring additional costs. That is why startups often prioritize cost-effective solutions.
As of now, Payrow offers four pricing plans for their services, seeking to accommodate the needs of new projects regardless of size and promising no additional or hidden fees:
The Free plan is somewhat limited: it allows for account opening and minimal payment functionality. However, you can check all services for free before deciding whether you need to proceed with Payrow or not.
The Small plan will set you back £29 a month and allow you to open up to four accounts and conduct some basic allowance operations. The Medium one, going for £99 a month, provides everything the Medium plan does with unlimited scheduled and recurring payments, as well as additional local and SEPA payments.
The Enterprise plan does not have a fixed price. It is, instead, fully customizable, allowing the user to tailor it according to their financial and business needs.
How to Get Started — Making a Payrow Account
Payrow has a robust Know Your Custome (KYC) process, which might seem too complicated and excessive. However, its robustness is crucial to maintaining high levels of security and data integrity.
Right now, however, only companies based in the UK can apply for the company’s services. If your business falls into the eligible category, you can get through the KYC process and start using Payrow services in just a few steps:
Step 1 — Getting Started
The first step to getting on board with the platform is to head to the Payrow website and click on the Get Started button in the upper right corner, as shown below:
If you are on mobile, you will have to scroll down until you see the Get Started button, as shown below:
For the purposes of this guide, we are registering on a desktop device.
Step 2 — Providing Basic Information
Next, you’ll have to provide some essential personal details, including your contact information, residence, etc. Naturally, you must make sure the info you provide here matches the info on your identification document (see below):
Step 3 — Supplying an ID Document
Next, you will be asked to provide some sort of identification document. You can scan or photograph it as long as the image is clear and all the relevant information is visible. Acceptable documents include passports, driving licenses, and ID cards. Also, the document must still be valid.
Step 4 — Additional Information
Once you’ve uploaded an ID document, you must provide the company with additional personal information. That includes your full name, nationality, date of birth, and everything else that will allow the team to have a better understanding of your financial situation. Naturally, all the information provided will be confidential.
Step 5 — Proof of Address
Next, you’ll have to provide a document confirming your residence. That includes utility bills, bank statements, or official documents showing your full name and address. As with the ID document, you must make sure everything is clearly visible and matches the details you provided in the previous steps.
Step 6 — Confirming Your Residential Address
In the final step, you must enter your residential address manually. Before finalizing everything, ensure all the information is accurate and matches all the documents.
One of the main selling points of Payrow is that it focuses on overcoming obstacles faced by new participants in the market. As most new entrepreneurs soon realize, menial, routine tasks can stall early business development by detracting attention from more important things, such as first investment rounds and marketing strategy development. To bypass such problems and increase workflow, Payrow offers automated financial operations.
Last year, Payrow representatives promised further advances in their business model, teasing business cards and services such as tax automation and smart expense control. In addition, in its 2022 year-in-review blog post, the company announced that its goals for tomorrow included instant money transfers, lending services, as well as contactless and cashless payments.
Although not yet available, these services might be of good use for those looking to start a company in the near future (ETA for cards, for example, is Q4 2023), and the fact that the Payrow team delivered on their promises in regard to companies with complex ownership makes us hopeful that their other plans will come to fruition, too.
Is Payrow Safe?
Yes, Payrow is a relatively safe platform, as it is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Financial management and banking companies of this sort must abide by rather strict rules and regulations if they wish to safeguard client information and mitigate the risks of fraudulent behavior.
Payrow has expressed concerns about cybersecurity several times. The platform has a built-in graph anti-fraud system that gives the team a detailed overview of all transactions conducted on the network. As the system is based on a 3d Secure v.2 protocol, it ensures quick authentication as the first security measure.
The company has also introduced additional authentication options, such as security tokens and biometric data, which further increase security levels, especially on mobile platforms.
Payrow Pros and Cons
- There is a free plan;
- Quick GBP and EUR transfers, both within UK and internationally;
- Strong KYC system;
- A lot of emphasis on security;
- It accommodates new businesses;
- It supports businesses with complex ownership structures;
- Suitable for freelancers.
- The platform is not available to businesses and freelancers outside the UK;
- Some of the most intriguing features are still in the beta phase;
- Payrow services are not available to non-profit organizations, charities, private foundations, trusts, and the public sector;
- Business cards are still not available.
Payrow Customer Support and Community Platforms
All information regarding Payrow and its financial services is readily available on the company’s website and social media platforms, where the team posts regular updates and extracts from the press to ensure users can navigate the fintech landscape more efficiently.
You can also look forward to guides and tutorials on managing your finances, some commerce strategies, and a plethora of discussions on a number of topics, such as banking, foreign exchange operations, etc. Payrow platforms include:
Email: [email protected]
Social media channels
The fintech industry is rapidly growing, and the demand for new solutions opens a lot of new opportunities for companies to evolve and come up with fresh approaches to financial management and banking. In fact, innovation and the desire to push the boundaries further are crucial for those looking to remain competitive. Payrow, at least, does not lack vision.
Perhaps the most engaging aspect of that vision is the company’s focus on startup enterprises and businesses with complex ownership structures. If the number of new entrepreneurs and flexible workers keeps rising, Payrow — or rather the Payrow finance-management model — will likely see a surge in popularity over the next few years.
The company remains highly ambitious and confident in its platform, and its roadmap for the future promises a lot, most importantly continued transparency and further collaboration with other platforms, the ultimate goal being contactless and cashless transfers, as well as a seamless user experience.
Payrow is, however, still a young platform, and there is a lot of work to be done before it makes it into the mainstream. The idea of automated banking and financial management is unquestionably alluring, so we can only hope the team’s vision becomes a reality and makes its way outside the UK.
Frequently Asked Questions About Payrow
What is Payrow?
Payrow is a fintech company providing financial management and banking solutions to startup businesses, entrepreneurs, and flexible workers, such as freelancers.
Is Payrow safe?
Yes, Payrow is relatively safe. The company has a Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) license as an Electronic Money Directive (EMD) agent.
What makes Payrow a good choice?
Payrow services are tailored specifically for startup businesses and new entrepreneurs, which makes it a good choice for newcomers to the business market.
How much does Payrow cost?
Payrow offers several plans: a limited free plan, two premium solutions going for 29£ and 99£ respectively, and a custom plan you can adjust according to your financial needs.