It’s been a while since we last reviewed the Cashplus Business Account. A lot has changed since then.
The account has always been one of our top picks for those with a poor credit history because it doesn’t require a credit check to open. And it still is, but now that is has been granted a banking licence, and developed into a solid business bank in its own right, we felt it was only prudent to take another look at what the Cashplus business account has to offer.
What is Cashplus?
Cashplus is a current business bank account, aimed at small to medium sized businesses, startups, freelancers, contractors, or anyone conducting day to business banking activities. The account is managed via the Cashplus Bank App and is fully regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Whilst the bank does offer some limited credit facilities there are no credit checks when applying for the account.
What can I do with the account?
- Receive and make (electronic) payments in your business’ name
- Setup standing orders and direct debits
- Pay-in cash (via a Post Office)
- Withdraw money
- Access online banking
- Receive international payments
What can’t I do?
- Pay in or write cheques
- Visit a branch (there are none but customers can use the Post Office)
A little history
Cashplus (APS Limited) is one of the UK’s oldest fintech companies. Founded in 2005 it is the market leader in prepay cards, with clients ranging from government departments, councils, small businesses, and sole traders. The company has issued well over a million Cashplus Mastercards, processed over £8bn worth of payments, and holds over £200m of deposits.
In 2021 it was granted a banking licence allowing it to position itself as more sustainable competitor to a number of recent banking start-ups, whilst providing lending and current accounts to small and growing business who are traditionally underserved on the high street.
What are the features and benefits of the Cashplus business bank account?
One of the key features of the account is just how quickly it can be opened. Cashplus claims a new account can be setup in about 4 minutes. That combined with the fact that there are no credit checks has seen Cashplus become a favourite amongst those with poor credit histories, or who just need to open an account quickly.
It is also one of the few business bank accounts to offer cashback on business expenditure. Currently it offers 1% cashback on spending up to £1000 per month, and integration with Aldemore for access to an easy-access business savings account paying 0.50% interest AER. Whilst the rate itself is limited by low Bank of England rates, it beats rates by all four of the main high street banks.
Other features include:
- 1% cashback on spending worth up to £1,000 a month
- Mastercard for spending at home and abroad
- Send and receive international payments
- Integration with Sage, QuickBooks, Xero, FreeAgent
- UK based customer services team
- Instant notifications for payments and transfers
- Easy-access savings account via Aldemore
A note on international payments
The account comes with a UK sort code and account number, however as we understand it the international payments service is provided by Natwest. As such, international payments would go to Cashplus’ Natwest account, and Cashplus would then use the payment reference to transfer the money to your Cashplus account. Only payments from EEA and other select countries such as US are accepted.
It’s a bit complicated at present and may change in the near future, but the service is there is you need to use it, which isn’t the case with many of the new digital challengers.
Unfortunately this service does come at a price. There is £15 flat fee for international transfer. As such we’d recommend using a dedicated transfer service.
Unlike most other challenger banks, Cashplus can offer support to its business customers in terms of loans, cash advances and overdrafts up to £2000 if required. These are set against business earnings and paid back through deposits on the account.
Business expense cards
Up to 20 additional cards can be added to your business account. These are useful for employee expenditure whether in day-to-day activities, or when on road such as exhibitions etc… The expense cards are manged within the app/online banking and can be turned on or off as needed.
Foreign currency cards
Whilst customers can use their regular Cashplus Mastercard for spending abroad is does come with some hefty fees when used outside the UK. To combat that Cashplus offers free foreign currency travel cards in euros and dollars.
The foreign currency cards offer fee free withdrawals and purchases abroad, and linked to your main Cashplus account. Any left over currency can be transferred back to your GBP account via the app or online banking.
How much does it cost?
Cashplus revamped its fee structure in 2021. It now offers a tiered service similar to that of other banks in this space.
The traditional Cashplus Business Account still exists with an annual fee of £69, but this gets you 1% cashback on all business expenditure, making it ideal for businesses with a large cost base.
Cashplus Go is a new ‘free’ tier aimed at business startups and sole traders. There’s no sign up fee, and no monthly or annual costs. Instead, you pay a one off £9.99 fee for the Mastercard debit card, and then 30p for each transaction. Even then you get three transactions for free, and direct debits are always free anyway. This a low cost low barrier entry to business banking, that rivals the likes of Tide.
Finally there’s Cashplus Extra. It costs £9 a month (but there’s no card ordering fee), and comes with 10 free transactions a month. It also have higher account limits, and has a credit builder facility available to help improve your credit rating. This compares well against high street options. For example the Santander 123 Business Account is £12.50 (£150 a year), or Barclay’s cheapest business account at £8 a month, which works out to £96 a year.
For all accounts, direct debits and UK purchases and incoming bank transfers are always free. There is a £2 charge for withdrawing cash from and ATMs (£1 for Extra) and a 0.3% fee for paying in cash via the Post Office.
All of these fees are of course allowable business expenses and be deducted when calculating your taxable profit.
What is app like?
App based banking is where digital accounts such as Cashplus excel. Afterall the app is a replacement of the traditional branch and your main interaction with the bank.
The Cashplus bank app features a clean modern interface, and has all of the features you’d expect from a digital banking app. Payment management and scheduling, direct debit reminders, card management and restrictions, and record keeping.
It also includes instant payment notifications (something traditional banks still don’t offer), spending insights and tracking,
Security and protection
Cashplus became a fully registered bank in 2021. As such any funds deposited in your Cashplus account benefit form full FSCS protection up to £85,000. Additionally, the account has 24-hour fraud monitoring and centralised system for managing and monitoring additional employee and business expense cards.
Who can apply?
The good news is that this account doesn’t require a credit check, meaning it’s suitable for those with little or no credit history, or those with previous defaults, county court judgements, or IVAs. All you need to do is be able to prove your identity and address.
For business applications, we’ll need to verify that your business is based in the UK. Limited companies will also be required to confirm the date of birth and home address of any Persons of Significant Control (PSCs).
The decision is instant, so all being well, you could have a new account set up in your business name, with account number and sort code in a few minutes after applying, and your Mastercard in your hand within three business days. Compare that with 14-21 days for TSB, and you can see why it’s our top recommendation for those needing an account in a hurry.
Digital banks are growing in popularly, especially with freelancers, contractors, tradesmen, hairdressers etc.. setting themselves up as limited companies.
The Cashplus business account is can be cost effective depending on how you use it. Businesses receiving online payment, and paying bills via direct debit or Mastercard, will avoid most of the charges. For those that need to handle cash, or often send and receive international payments thing start to get expensive.
The features of the account are up there with the top accounts and it’s far quicker to set-up than a traditional account. Its track record and history also gives it an advantage over many newer start-ups.