Digital banking services are on the rise
Business-focused digital banking services have exploded in the last few years as challengers strive to improve on the services offered by the high street banks. Some are traditional Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) bank accounts; many are built around virtual wallets and prepaid cards, but they all seek to address a pain point or improve an element of the service.
There are many types to choose from
The range of offerings is broad. It includes neobanks like Starling, which provide full-service, regulated bank accounts. Others, such as Coconut, offer app-only services which address specific sectors, such as accounting for sole traders. The services are always delivered online via a web browser or mobile app (or both).
Check whether they can support international transactions
Not all businesses trade internationally, but those that do are likely to have needs that may be surprisingly difficult to fulfil. When we reviewed the range of digital banking services in the market, including new services offered by bricks-and-mortar banks, such as Kinetic from HSBC, we made a surprising observation. Very few of the new services are suitable for international businesses. The majority do not provide cross-border or cross-currency payments, or the ability to receive payments from customers in a range of currencies. Furthermore, even if your overseas customers can pay you in GBP, these services may not be capable of receiving payments from non-UK accounts.
Don’t be afraid to add a specialist service if they can’t
If your swanky new banking app doesn’t quite do everything you thought it would, there is a solution! You can think of it as getting the best of both worlds. Sign up with your preferred digital banking provider, and then supplement it with a specialist international payments platform that fills in the gaps.