News hit the wires in the past 24 hours that the NatWest division of Royal Bank of Scotland was backing a new SME banking provider, Mettle.
Coconut’s features include a tax estimator, automatic expense management and helpful tips about what is and isn’t claimable from the taxman – always a minefield to navigate for new business owners.
Tide’s features include ‘the world’s fastest business loan’, with £15,000 in short term credit available in under 2 minutes, through a partnership with iwoca.
While Mettle’s full list of features aren’t known yet, it will follow the trend of its peers in offering in-app card control plus simple invoicing and bookkeeping features from the palm of your hand.
What’s interesting is these new banks aren’t necessarily only eating into the territory of high street retail banks – they’re also encroaching on cloud accounting software vendors like Xero, Wave and MYOB. Bringing these two worlds together is something the platforms have been a little slow to deploy, at the app level. For many freelancers and SMEs, being able to manage everything from you mobile is increasingly preferred.
The announcement of Mettle comes as RBS gets its £775 million ‘RBS Alternative Remedies Package’ in full swing. The fund was mandated part of the government’s bailout measures during the GFC.
Ironically (or maybe not so ironically!) one component of the fund is directed towards establishing an Incentivised Switching Scheme – to help RBS SME customers to switch to alternative banks or lenders. It’s not clear if Mettle would qualify as an alternative or not, given its backed by NatWest. Pretty clever if it does.
Daily Fintech Advisers provides strategic consulting to organizations with business and investment interests in Fintech. Jessica Ellerm is a thought leader specializing in Small Business and the Gig Economy and is the CEO and Co-Founder of Zuper, a new superannuation startup in Australia.