In the past, changing your business account to a new provider has been a disruptive process. The time required to visit a branch, prepare the right paperwork and go through security checks can be off-putting for entrepreneurs. Especially when you want to focus on building your empire.
Thankfully, switching to a new provider no longer has to be a painful experience. In this short article, we’ll outline exactly how to get prepared for the switch, as well as the most important things to look for in a new account.
Why switch to another business account provider
Today, changing your business account is easier than ever. If you’re on the fence about whether or not to make the switch, take these benefits into account:
- A new provider may understand your needs better than your current one
- They may have lower, or no monthly or annual fees
- You may get a better level of customer service with a new provider
- There may be some introductory offers you can take advantage of
- You may get some additional tools to help you run your business
While there are several clear benefits, your business model, level of security or internal processes will define how simple switching is. For example, if you’ve been using the same provider for many years, this can be beneficial when applying for a loan or line of credit. Make sure you’ve taken these factors into account before making a decision.
Things to look for in a new business account
Finding a better deal is usually one of the most attractive aspects of opening a new business account. For example, many popular high street banks not only charge you a transaction fee, but a monthly account fee on top of that.
Look for a provider that not only offers an attractive pricing model, but is easy to get set up with. As a business owner, you don’t want to spend precious time having to sit in a branch and wait for approval. Thankfully, technology has made this approval process faster and much easier for business owners.
Also consider how much paperwork is involved, and whether an interview is required. Again, while some providers are required to interview new applicants, it’s usually much easier to open an account.
Finally, be aware of any introductory offers. While these are always a welcome benefit, some offers are exclusive to those opening an account in their first year of business.
In short, switching to a new business account provider should be free of headaches.
How to prepare for the switch
Once you’ve found the best business account provider for your needs, it’s time to get ready to make the switch.
To make things easy for yourself, make sure you have all your paperwork in order and ready to share with your new provider. Much of this paperwork may not be required depending on their security processes, but it’s worth being prepared.
Some providers may ask you for the following information when opening an account:
- Your business name
- Your business address
- Companies House registration number
- HMRC certificate
- Director’s driving licence, passport or bank statement
- Any funding requirements
Sole traders and limited companies may be asked to present further information. For more information on this, visit this guide by UK Finance.
With this information at hand, it’s time to contact your new provider and get your account opened. Depending on who you choose, this process will come in one of two forms. The first will require you to contact them directly and checking if you’re eligible to become a customer. This may involve an interview, as well as several security checks. The alternative is to find a provider that allows you to open an account in minutes, like on a digital banking platform.
You should still be able to continue using the services provided by your current provider without issue during the transfer process, so you won’t need to worry about missing out on any new business!
Think about the tools you need over and above banking
Depending on your requirements, you may want to find a provider that has great tools to help you run your business, as well as a current account.
Digital banking providers are moving away from thinking of banking as separate from invoicing, expense management, payroll and other processes that are crucial to running a business. They’re incorporating these services into their products.
So, it’s worth thinking about how much time and money you are spending on your banking and admin. Could this be reduced by switching to a provider that helps you to do everything in one place?
Often you can access tools for processes such as expense management and invoicing for free with your current account, but there will be additional charges for access to credit, payroll and so on. In this case, it’s a good idea to look at whether a paid-for plan might be a better option for you. Identify how much you would be paying for these services and whether they could be bundled together to bring down the cost.
Additionally, as a small business owner you will probably be paying for administration software. Digital banking providers will provide you with advanced integrations with this kind of software, meaning you can save a huge amount of time manually inputting data and more time growing your business!
As you can see, switching to a new business account may seem daunting. But by finding the right provider for your needs, and having all the right documentation prepared, you’ll be set up with a new account quickly and easily.
Oliver Prill is the CEO of Tide.