Mettle Business Account Review

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  • Mettle is a digital business account by NatWest and designed for small businesses and sole traders. Read on to compare products, or for a full review.
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    Offer
    FreeAgent for Free *
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    Mettle by NatWest

    • Monthly Fee
      Free
    • Card Purchases
      Free
    • Bank Transfers
      Free
    • Overdraft
    • Access
      App & Online
    *To get FreeAgent for free you'll need to make at least one transaction a month from your Mettle account. A saving of £114 a year (based on FreeAgent's lowest tariff).
Information written by Connor Campbell Last updated on 23 August 2022.

Launched in 2018 as a way for NatWest Group to compete in the challenger banking space, Mettle is a fully in-app business account designed for sole traders and limited companies – and it’s completely free.

That not only means no monthly charges, but a lack of transaction fees for your everyday business activities, such as making payments or withdrawing cash.

Find out more about the pros and cons of a Mettle business account, which features it offers, and how it compares to other business accounts below.

» COMPARE: Business bank accounts with NerdWallet

Pros and cons of Mettle

There are a number of factors to consider to make sure Mettle is the right business bank account for your needs.

Pros of Mettle business account

  • Account is completely free, meaning no monthly fees or transaction charges.
  • Designed for sole traders and small businesses, whether established or just starting out.
  • Free use of FreeAgent account software, and integration with other major accounting platforms.
  • Traditional, real-person support via email, phone and in-app chat.
  • Can create and send invoices, branded with your company logo, through your smartphone.
  • Account can be set up within 72 hours of applying, excluding weekends.

Cons of Mettle business account

  • Although it is part of NatWest Group, you cannot receive in-branch support for Mettle.
  • No direct access to government-backed loans, or any other forms of credit or lending, such as overdrafts and credit cards.
  • No international transfers or cheque deposits.
  • Currently unable to add a second cardholder to your account.

What plans does Mettle offer?

There is no tiered, price-dependent gatekeeping with Mettle. It only offers one plan type – its free mobile app-based business account, with no transaction fees.

That means regardless of whether you are a sole trader or a small limited company, you will be getting the same perks and features.

What features does Mettle offer customers?

There are a range of services, features and benefits that come with a Mettle business account, all designed to help sole traders, the self-employed and small businesses manage and scale up their operations.

These features include, but are not limited to:

  • No transaction fees, meaning free UK transfers, cash deposits and ATM withdrawals.
  • A free prepaid debit card attached to your business account.
  • Ability to schedule payments wherever you are in the world through the Mettle app.
  • Ability to share your Mettle business account with your accountant, or integrate accounting software such as Xero or Quickbooks.
  • Set aside funds for taxes or emergencies with Money Pots.
  • Free access to online accounting software FreeAgent, worth at least £114 a year (T&Cs apply).
  • Ability to create and send invoices directly from your phone, including your company logo.
  • Simplified bookkeeping, including adding receipts to transactions and exporting expense data.
  • Real-person support in-app, via email and over the phone.

» MORE: 28 top small business apps

How does Mettle compare to other digital banks?

The table below compares how Mettle stacks up against business bank accounts from other digital providers.

Tide Starling Cashplus CountingUp Mettle Anna Revolut Card One Money Acorn Fair Everywhere Monzo
FCA regulated Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
FSCS protection Yes (with ClearBank) Yes Yes No No No No No No No Yes
Licensed bank No Yes Yes No No No No No No No Yes
Free UK transfers No (20p per transfer) Yes Yes (with limits) No (30p per transfer) Yes Yes (with paid plans, limits apply) Yes (with limits) No No No Yes
Cash deposits Yes (for a fee) Yes (0.7% fee, min £3) Yes (0.3% fee) Yes (for a fee) Yes (with paid plans, limits apply) Yes (1% fee may apply) No Yes (for a fee) Yes (for a fee) Yes (for a fee) Yes (£1 fee)
Free ATM withdrawals No (£1 fee) Yes No (subject to fee) No (£1 fee) Yes Yes (with paid plans, limits apply) No (2% fee) No (£1.50 fee) No (£1.50 fee) No (£1.50 fee) Yes
Integration with accounting software Yes Yes Yes Yes (built-in) Yes Yes Yes Yes No Coming soon Yes (with paid account)
International transfers No Yes Inbound only Yes (through a partner) No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Outbound only
Create and send invoices Yes (for a fee) Yes (for a fee) No Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No Yes (with paid account)

Source: NerdWallet, August 2022

» COMPARE: Free business bank accounts

How to open a Mettle business account

It is very easy to open a Mettle business account – in most cases, submitting your application should only take around 10 minutes. Your application should then be reviewed, and subsequently approved or rejected, within 72 hours (excluding weekends).

Mettle business account eligibility

Before applying for a Mettle business account, it is important to make sure your business is eligible. Firstly, you need to be:

  • Registered to trade in the UK
  • A UK resident, with a UK phone number
  • Over the age of 18

In terms of the details of your business, you need to:

  • Be a sole trader, or a limited company with at least one director and an ‘active’ state on Companies House.
  • Have a maximum account balance of either £50,000 for sole traders, or £100,000 for limited companies.

This means a Mettle business account is not available for public limited companies (PLC), unlimited companies (Unltd), limited liability partnerships (LLP), or charities, among other business types.

There are also a number of business activities Mettle does not support. This includes, but is not limited to, alcohol manufacturing, adult entertainment, gambling and cryptocurrency.

Opening your Mettle business account

Once you have made sure you are eligible, you need to download the Mettle app from the Google Play Store or App Store.

You will then be asked to submit your details, including:

  • photo ID, such as a driving licence or passport
  • a short video, recorded in-app, to confirm your photo ID
  • the name of any beneficial owners of your company, and one ‘person of significant control’

If Mettle requires more information, you may also be asked to provide:

  • proof of address, such as a utility bill, valid and in-date UK driving licence, or council tax bill
  • proof of trading, such as a utility bill in your trading name, or a copy of your VAT registration

At some point, you may also be asked to conduct an in-app chat to discuss the details of your business before a decision about your application is reached.

» MORE: How to open a business bank account online

What do Mettle customer reviews say?

Since launching in 2018, Mettle has received positive reviews on a variety of different sites:

Trustpilot: 4.6 out of 5, based on over 1,700 reviews, with 80% rating it as ‘excellent’.

Apple Store: 4.9 out of 5, based on 10,000 reviews.

Google Play: 4.8 out of 5, based on over 2,800 reviews.

This information is correct as of 3 August 2022.

Conclusion

If you are a sole trader or small limited company, a Mettle business account can offer you an easy way to manage your business finances, without it costing you any money, from your phone.

Mettle’s lack of transaction fees means you can make UK payment transfers, deposit cash and withdraw money from ATMs for free. You can also integrate your pre-existing accounting programme with your account, or use the free FreeAgent accounting software that comes with Mettle. It even allows you to create and send invoices branded with your company logo.

It is important to remember, however, that your money is not protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) with a Mettle business account. And although Mettle has real-person support in-app, via email and over the phone, if you want to carry out any of your business banking in a branch, you will be unable to do so.

» MORE: Do I need a business bank account?

Mettle Business Bank Account FAQs

What is Mettle business banking?

Mettle is an e-money business bank account launched by NatWest Group PLC in 2018, with services provided by Prepay Solutions (PPS).

It is designed for sole traders or limited companies with at least one director, but not for public limited companies (PLC) or limited liability partnerships (LLP).

Is Mettle a bank?

Although it is owned by NatWest Group, Mettle is not a licensed bank. Instead it offers an e-money business account through Prepay Solutions (PPS).

This means, among other things, you will be unable to access credit through your Mettle business account.

Is my money safe with Mettle?

While your Mettle business account is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), it is not protected by the FSCS.

This means any money you deposit into your Mettle account would not be compensated through that scheme if lost. However, FCA compliance means your money is held in a separate client account, and therefore would be protected were Mettle to go into administration.

How does a Mettle business account work?

Mettle is a completely free app-based business account that allows you to complete many of your standard business banking activities through your phone.

This includes making payments, sending and creating invoices, managing your accounts and doing your bookkeeping.

You can only open a Mettle business account if you are a sole trader, or a limited company with at least one director.

Does the Mettle business account have an app?

Yes, your entire Mettle business account will be accessed through the platform’s app. It is available on both Android and iOS.

Does Mettle offer traditional support?

You can talk to a real person about your Mettle account through its in-app chat by tapping ‘Get help’, via email or over the phone.

The platform’s support hours are 8am to 8pm on Monday to Friday, and 9am to 5pm on Saturday and Sunday.

You cannot access Mettle support, however, at NatWest branches.

How can I open a Mettle business account?

It is very easy to apply for a Mettle business account. All you need to do is download the Mettle app from either the Google Play Store or App Store, and fill in your details. It should only take a few minutes.

Your application will then be reviewed and can be accepted in 72 hours excluding weekends.

First, however, you should make sure you are eligible for a Mettle business account. You need to:

  • Have a business registered and trading in the UK.
  • Be a UK resident, over 18 years of age, with a UK phone number.
  • Be a sole trader, or a limited company with at least one director.

There are also a number of business activities Mettle doesn’t support, such as alcohol manufacturing and gambling.

About the author:

Connor is a writer and spokesperson for NerdWallet. Previously at Spreadex, his market commentary has been quoted in the likes of the BBC, The Guardian, Evening Standard, Reuters and The Independent. Read more

Services offered by this provider may change over time. Always check Ts&Cs.

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