Simple was founded in 2009, with a mission to make banking straightforward, by providing cheap and effective financial products, and human customer service. One of Simple’s aims is to make customers better able to manage their money, with built in budgeting tools and financial education.
Unfortunately, Simple doesn’t currently offer business bank accounts — although that may change in future. The good news is that if you like the sound of Simple’s smart but unfussy approach, there are a few good alternatives out there to help you manage your company’s money. Here’s a rundown of some of the best business friendly alternatives to Simple.
Here’s what Simple say about business bank accounts:
“Though we don’t offer small business accounts yet, we’re very interested in the possibility. We’re looking into it, and we’ll spread the word (by email, on our blog, shouting it from the rooftops … when we have news).”
Simple’s website doesn’t go into details of why they don’t offer business products at the minute. However an ex-VP of Simple is on record saying that in his view Simple has just been focused on getting their existing products right for customers so far.
Because business banking is fundamentally different to personal banking in a number of ways — including regulatory, legal, technical and customer service aspects, branching out into business banking too quickly wouldn’t be smart. Sounds pretty reasonable to us.
The best alternative product for your business will depend to an extent on what features of the Simple personal account you like. There are business checking accounts from traditional banks which come with zero monthly fees, if that’s what matters to you — but these accounts may not have the customer friendly perks that Simple do well. If what you love about Simple is the convenience, you may find that a modern alternative from an online provider suits you better.
Here are a few of our picks for the best alternatives to Simple, if you need an account for your business.
TransferWise isn’t a bank, but is regulated in the same way as traditional banks are, and uses bank-level security to make sure your money is safe. Check out the Transferwise borderless account for business if you need a smart account for your business.
Like the Simple personal account, the borderless account comes with a number of innovative and customer friendly tech solutions, such as batch payments, an open API for automating workflow, and integration with accounting software products like Xero. It’s a true borderless account, so you can also hold your money in any of over 40 different currencies, and use your own set of local bank details to receive fee free payments in major currencies like US, Australian and New Zealand dollars, British pounds, and euros. You can switch between currencies when you need to for a low fee, and all currency exchange uses the mid-market exchange rate with no markup. That makes this a great account for businesses with overseas customers, suppliers and employees.
If you’ll be using your business bank account mainly to receive customer funds electronically, you might consider a Payoneer account. Like Simple, Payoneer accounts are opened and managed online — good for businesses selling digital services for example, as well as freelancers and people getting paid for services like vacation rentals. Payoneer lets you hold your money in different currencies, and you can also get local bank details for the US, UK, Europe, Japan, Canada, Australia and China. You can make and receive payments all over the world, and you’ll get a card to allow ATM withdrawals.
It’s helpful to know that there are fees for some Payoneer services, including a 3% charge for receiving credit card payments, and a 1% fee for receiving US dollar echecks. You’ll also pay a fee to withdraw your money — either a fixed fee to pay into an account in the same currency, or a percentage fee for withdrawals using currency conversion.
Azlo caters for entrepreneurs and freelance workers with an easy, low fee online account. There’s no maintenance fee, and you can connect your account to the business solutions you already use, like Square, Stripe, PayPal, QuickBooks and TransferWise. With your account you can make and receive payments, including sending digital invoices for quick payment.
Azlo has a useful information and inspiration hub online, including Azlo Entrepreneurs, featuring business owners telling their stories, to help others follow in their footsteps.
Axos used to be known as the Bank of Internet, and like Simple, it’s a bank without branches, offering online accounts for business owners. There are no monthly fees, but you do need to deposit at least $1,000 to get your account up and running. There are up to 200 free deposits, debits or credits a month, with a small fee after that amount, and you can integrate Axos with tools you use for your business like QuickBooks.
It’s actually relatively hard to find an online business account. This is mainly due to security issues, as banks and service providers must be able to verify the business details, as well as the identity of all of the owners, to fulfil their legal obligations. This is to stop fraud and other issues such as money laundering, with much of the relevant legislation linked to the US PATRIOT act.
Although the legislation also applies to personal accounts, it’s usually easier to check an individual’s identity and personal history, while verifying a business requires a lot more time and effort. For some banks, it’s simply not worth coming up with innovative ways to deal with these checks online, and so they ask prospective customers to go along to a branch in person to open an account instead.
If you love the way Simple approach personal accounts, you may be disappointed that you can’t use a Simple account to manage your business finances too. Instead, you’ll need to pick one of the alternatives out there, such as the Transferwise borderless account for business, looking to find an account which mirrors the features you like in the Simple account as closely as possible. Use our list as a starting point to help you find an account which will work well for your business.
- Simple bank main page
- Simple FAQ
- Simple FAQ - Why hasn't Simple built a business banking solution
- Payoneer - Fees
- Payoneer Blog - Everything you need to know about conversion fees
- Azlo main page
- Axos Basic business checking
All sources checked 21 June 2019
This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from TransferWise Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
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