Tide vs Monese: comparing business bank accounts

Deciding to work for yourself is just the first of many big decisions on the road to setting up your own business. Deciding whether to open a business bank account is another, and it’s one that can impact money matters further down the line.

If you do decide to open a business bank account, the question is: who should you open an account with? If you’re trying to choose between Tide and Monese for your business bank account, you’ve come to the right place.

Let’s compare these two leading challenger banks.

Table of contents

Tide vs Monese: the similarities

Although both Tide and Monese provide business bank accounts, Tide caters to owners of limited companies and sole traders whereas the Monese business account is open to limited companies only.

Tide Monese
Cash deposits ✔️ ✔️
Freeze/unfreeze card in the app ✔️ ✔️
Extra expense cards for employees ✔️
(£5 per month on Free account
or 1 free expense card per month
with £9.99 + VAT/per month Tide Plus)
Accountancy software integration ✔️
FSCS protected ✔️
Information correct as of November 2022

FSCS protection

Tide and Monese both use third parties to provide their core banking services, but Tide offers a bank account via ClearBank – while Monese offers an e-money account through PrePay Technologies.

This difference doesn’t have a huge impact on how the cards and accounts work, but it does make a difference to how your money is  protected. 

Tide’s ClearBank-provided bank accounts are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), which protects your deposits up to £85,000.

As an e-money payment service, Monese is covered by the Financial Conduct Authority but not by the FCSC. So, in the event of a banking failure, you would receive a proportion of your funds once other creditors had been paid.

Accounting features

Monese gives you the ability to easily create and send invoices in app, from anywhere. You can add VAT to your invoices, but Monese won’t calculate or prepare your VAT returns. You do have the option to create pots of money so that you can save for different purposes.

Tide’s app and online portal are rich in accounting and tax features. You can use Tide to:

  • create invoices
  • record payments
  • prepare your VAT returns, and
  • monitor your financial performance.

Accounting integrations

Monese does not integrate with any external accounting packages, but you can download your statements as Excel spreadsheets and then import them into your accounting software.

Tide offers direct connections to a wide range of accounting packages, and will push your latest transactions to your accounts software every 24 hours. Tide integrates with Xero, Sage, Quickbooks, Crunch, ClearBooks, KashFlow and Reckon.

Tide vs Monese: how much do accounts cost?

Tide offers a free business bank account, provided by ClearBank, that comes loaded with accounting and tax features. You can upgrade to a paid plan for additional benefits, or you can stay on the free plan for as long as you like.

Monese offers a single plan for business users, which costs £9.95 per month.

Tide Monese
Monthly account charge Free Free
Fee for cash deposits £2.50 for deposits up to £500
or 0.5% of cash amount for deposits over £500
(at Post Offices)
3% (at PayPoints)
£1 at Post Office
2.5% at PayPoints
Fee for payments in or out 20p each Free
Fee for Direct Debits 20p each Free
Information correct as of November 2022

Tide vs Monese: add-ons and paid plans

Monese packages

Monese does not offer any additional services or paid plans. However, for £9.95 per month, the standard account comes with invoicing, Direct Debits, and up to 10 pots so you can save for a variety of purposes.

Tide paid account plans

If your business is scaling up and you’re outgrowing the free Tide account, you can upgrade to Tide Plus for £9.99 per month + VAT. With Tide Plus, you’ll get:

  • 20 free transfers per month
  • access to a legal helpline and telephone support, and
  • a free Company Expense card – ideal if you are building a team and want to simplify the management of your expenses. 

The Tide Cashback plan (£49.99 per month + VAT) gives you 0.5% cashback on all card purchases (including any made with an Expense Card), as well as:

  • a dedicated team of account managers
  • 150 free transfers per month, and
  • 3 free company Expense Cards.

Tide Invoice Assistant bundle

For £10 + VAT per month you can use the Invoice Assistant to simplify your invoicing and credit control processes. Automatic payment matching and automatic late-payment reminders mean you can spend less time managing your money and more time building your business.

This bundle also includes 2 free Direct Debits per month, so you can get paid automatically on an agreed date.

Company registration service

If you want to run your business as a limited company rather than a sole trader, Tide allows you to register your company and open a bank account at the same time. By registering your company through Tide, you’ll pay £14.99 instead of £50, and we’ll take care of the rest.

The Tide company name checker makes it easy to compare the best available company names – and they’ll even let you see which related web domains are available.

Tide vs Monese: how easy is it to pay in cash or cheques?

Both Tide and Monese allow you to pay in cash at Post Offices and PayPoints.

Tide charges £2.50 for deposits up to £500 or 0.5% of the cash amount for deposits over £500 at Post Offices, and 3% at PayPoints.

Monese charges £1 for each Post Office deposit, and 2.5% (minimum £1) at PayPoints.

Neither Tide nor Monese accept cheques.

Tide vs Monese: how easy is it to open a business bank account?

Tide Monese
Apply through the app ✔️ ✔️
Quick application ✔️ ✔️
Credit check
Card delivery timescale 2 – 5 working days 2 – 5 working days
Replacement card fee Free Free
Information correct as of November 2022

Tide account sign-up

You can create your Tide account through the app, or at the Tide website. You will need a form of identification such as a passport, European National ID card, or a driving license. And you may be asked to show evidence that your business is up and running, such as a letter from HMRC or a signed contract.

You won’t be subjected to a hard credit check and your accompanying bank card will be supplied for free. If you lose your card, there’s no fee to order a replacement.

Monese account sign-up

You can sign up for a Monese account online, or through their website. When you sign up for a Monese Business account, you automatically also get a Monese personal account.

Tide vs Monese: using your card abroad

Tide Monese
Foreign transactions Free 0.5% fee
Foreign ATM withdrawals £1 each 0.5% fee
Information correct as of November 2022

Both Tide and Monese cards can be used overseas. Tide does not charge for foreign transactions, and charges a flat £1 fee if you withdraw cash from an ATM. Monese charges a 0.5% fee for all foreign transactions and cash withdrawals.

Tide vs Monese: the all-important customer support

Tide Monese
Customer service via the app ✔️ ✔️
Customer service via telephone ✔️
Information correct as of November 2022

If you have a free Tide account, you can contact Member Support through the app, or you can request a call back by email. There is also a dedicated line for reporting lost or stolen cards. Tide Plus, Tide Pro and Tide Cashback members can access direct telephone support, as well as legal advice through a 24/7 helpline.

Members, on any plan, can call the Fraud Rapid Response team by calling 159. Use +44 20 4587 0366 if you’re calling from abroad. Lines are open 24/7.

Monese offers support by email, or you can chat instantly through their app.

Tide vs Monese: similar, yet different

While Monese has expanded into the business market after starting out in the personal banking space, they have yet to offer the same degree of business features that Tide has.

Accounting integrations, advanced invoicing features, FSCS protection, and tax calculations – these features set Tide apart for small businesses.

Having said that, Monese might be a suitable option for you if your accounting needs are minimal and you plan to make frequent overseas transactions.

Sources used for this article

  1. Monese website

Caroline Wire

Caroline Wire

Senior Small Business Copywriter

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