Tide.co is a UK-based fintech offering a business bank account service to UK-registered companies. It comes with many of the features we have come to expect from such services, such as a dedicated local bank account number and clever integrations, but differs from most of its competitors in that non-residents can easily open an account.
Tide.co, similarly to other fintech, is web and app-based. They serve the UK market but only offer business accounts as of 2022 (UK-registered businesses and UK-based sole traders can apply).
Signing up for an account is as simple as downloading the Tide.co app on the App Store or Google Play, scanning your piece of ID and providing basic information about your business. There is no need to be a UK resident to apply, although being a resident makes the approval process easier (and instant, in many cases).
Once your account has been approved, you will be mailed a debit card which can be used anywhere, including online. You will also be assigned a dedicated local bank account number. This is where Tide.co really shines, as their local bank account number is real and full-featured. It can thus be used with Stripe, PayPal, iZettle and any other services requiring direct debit support.
Tide.co also comes with a loan facility, a number of integrations (for example, Xero) and an invoicing feature.
Customer service can be reached via a chat feature in the app, via email and over the phone. In my experience, messages are replied to within a few hours during business hours and the agents are friendly and helpful.
There are no account opening fees, no monthly fees, no debit card fees (except for ATM withdrawals) and no forex fees. Transfers are 0.20 GBP each and cash deposits 1 GBP (at UK Post Offices).
I have a Tide.co account for one of my LLPs and am very satisfied with the service. It definitely is one of the best options for non-resident UK business owners, one I can recommend without hesitation.
While Tide.co accepts companies with non-resident owners, their verification process is definitely easier to navigate if you have a UK residential address. I recommend signing up for a mail forwarding service, one that does not add a suite number to the address, and using that address when signing up. Obviously, you should also update your Companies House correspondence address to the mail forwarding service (prior to signing up for Tide.co).