What are Tide's business goals?


#1

I’ve been using Tide a year and am pretty happy - thanks to the team for making it what it is (particularly @Valentine_at_Tide who has a lot of patience :slight_smile: )

A big positive signal for Tide is that it charges money for its service. I’m unsure trusting my business banking to a fee-free bank that hasn’t quite worked out its business model (e.g. the bird bank).

But I do find myself working round things that Tide can’t do - e.g. I can’t spend on Amazon & Uber because they don’t accept prepaid Mastercards. I can’t receive payments via IBAN. I had to change from Quickbooks to Xero because Tide doesn’t support QB. Faster Payments are sometimes … an hour or two slower than every other bank I use.

There are some product “paper cuts” that have been there a while. e.g. the account reader login system endlessly confused my bookkeeper, and I couldn’t work out how to give him access again. Somehow there’s no search, or ability to reorganise transaction categories. These things seem really unfinished.

I’ve had contradictory, long-winded advice e.g. on the Uber issue, and it feels like some of these problems aren’t well-known to the team - or at least not everyone on it.

I don’t want to change banks if I can see a roadmap to these problems being fixed, because the important stuff works! But some of these loose ends have been dangling for the year I’ve been using it, and that’s becoming more of a concern.

So I’d love to hear from @Oliver.Prill on what Tide’s business goals are, how they relate to its more conservative ownership, and how the scaling is going :slight_smile: Is there ambition for a full banking licence? Is that important? etc. The team have been great at responding on the forum, but are necessarily vague on these big questions.

Thanks again!


#2

Hey @matthewbloch ,

Glad to hear you’re using your Tide account and things are generally going well for you. I’ll pass on your thanks to @Valentine_at_Tide (she’s on sabbatical leave at the moment but still checks in with us :slight_smile:)

To address the things you’ve had difficulty with, I’m glad to say we’re already working on or have fixes for most of those issues!

Amazon payments - We are aware of this issue and have been in contact with the team at Amazon to get it resolved. Unfortunately it’s not something we have much control over, as it needs to be fixed at their end, so we can’t give an ETA, however we can safely say that they are now aware of the issue and are going to work with us on fixing it.

Uber payments - You actually can use your Tide card with Uber. Two things to check, firstly - has your Uber app been installed on the UK app store? Usually issues occur when Uber has been installed from a non-UK app store. If in doubt, you can delete your Uber app from your phone, make sure you’re switched on to the UK app store, and re-install. Secondly, your Tide card will only work in the Uber app in locations where Uber can provide an up-front fare estimate (like in the UK), because the Tide card is a prepaid card and not a credit card. Uber will not work with Tide cards when used in locations where Uber does not provide a precise fare estimate up-front. There is however a workaround, which is to link your Tide card to a PayPal account, and then use PayPal as your payment method in the Uber app - it is a little extra step to have to take, but you wont be charged any extra from Uber, PayPal or Tide to do this - this means you can pay for Ubers with your Tide card anywhere in the world.

Account reader - I’d agree that getting read access can be a little confusing - this is partly down to the fact that sharing your financial data with a third party (in this case your accountant) is quite a complex exercise to do in a way that’s very secure and we need to be certain access is given intentionally and to the right people, but there’s definitely always room for improvement on our end. We have recently tweaked the account reader to provide some extra functionality - namely showing account balances, which were not there before, and we do have a long term plan to integrate the account reader as part of our main web app - which would make access easier and deliver more functionality. Unfortunately that enhancement won’t be for some time, as our priority (in terms of web) is delivering more functionality to the main web app our members use - but we are aware of it and it is on our radar.

Quickbooks - You mentioned you already switched to Xero which does have a great integration with Tide and we recommend it, but you may be interested to know that we will actually have Quickbooks integration soon. You may have heard of Open Banking or PSD2 which is a new way for financial institutions to communicate. We’ve been building out our Open Banking implementation which will allow us to support integration with Quickbooks. We expect the Quickbooks integration will be ready for our members to use in the first two weeks of November.

IBAN - We do in fact offer an International Currency Account, with different currency pots available complete with IBAN for payments in Euro. We’re still trialling this with enthusiastic members so we haven’t advertised this yet. This is currently only available to limited companies (not sole traders). If you’re a limited company and you’d like to give it a try, please send the support team a message in the Tide app, letting them know you’d like to get an “International Currency Account”. There is an application process, but they will be able to assist.

Faster Faster Payments - This is also on it’s way right now! We can’t confirm exact timeframes yet but we expect you should start to see instant faster payments late this year. We’ll send out some more information about that as it becomes available, but we’re definitely working on it and it’s not too far away.

Hopefully I’ve been the bearer of some good news and that gives you some idea of what we’re working on and will be delivering soon.

Obviously you’ve also got those bigger picture questions around banking licences, Tide’s business goals, ownership and scaling. They’re more in depth than what I can reasonably answer, but I’ll pass those comments on and see if it’s possible to get further clarity. What I can say is that our core objectives are, as always, to save our members time and money and to encourage entrepreneurship in the UK. All of those big picture decisions are made with those objectives in mind.


#3

Thanks for the great reply Sam.

To clarify the Uber issue, it was about registering my card with Uber For Business so staff/contractors could use it. I wasn’t trying to use Uber outside the UK, or used a non-UK Play Store. The support responses were very confusing and a bit finger-pointy (from Uber as well).

I used to run a hosting company & know what it’s like trying to integrate with much larger “partners”. Customers are always going to lay blame on the smaller company unfortunately, so good luck in fixing it :slight_smile:

I only run a partnership through Tide (not a Ltd. company). So I’m going to use the bird bank to take those IBAN transfers away from my personal account. It’d be a lot neater if I could put them straight into Tide though.

Thanks again.


#4

Ah ok, interesting about the Uber issue - I wasn’t aware of the Uber Business platform, was just thinking about the regular Uber app. It might be worth still seeing if you can set PayPal as the payment method in Uber Business and creating a paypal account with your Tide card as the source of funds. If so it could be an easy way to get the job done.

You’re right in that it can be hard to get the attention of big companies to resolve integration problems, but thankfully we’re big enough now to get the attention of Amazon and our team has had some good indications so far in meeting with them :smiley:

I’m afraid we’re only onboarding limited companies on to International Currency Accounts at this stage, but we’re very aware that all members would benefit from access to international payments and we’re actively looking into it. I can’t give any timeframes, but do keep an eye out for future developments.