Every fintech providing business accounts wants to KYB (Know Your Business).
There seems to be two types of people in this world: people who set up businesses to do something they love and total losers who want to set up as many fake bank accounts as possible, launder money, and run fraudulent scams. KYB questions are the first line of defence against the latter.
In this battle, I apply for both Revolut and Starling’s business accounts, to see how many KYB hoops I have to jump through, before they take my details and fine-tooth comb my application.
Revolut Business’s KYB questions for new customers are presented like the pick ’n’ mix concession at 9-screen multiplex cinema. But unlike a pick ’n’ mix where everyone chooses to leave the coconut mushrooms, you have to pick all of Revolut’s selection eventually. In which order, is up to you.
Revolut ask for a large mixed bag of identity documents, proofs of address, shareholder structures and so on before you can proceed. It seems like lot of information to input. Perhaps a result of a business decision to reduce compliance team workload and weed out the pesky fraudsters early on?
A great feature of Revolut is the browser-based business banking on desktop. But if your route to signing up to Revolut Business is via the app, you’re pushed into a (responsive) mobile browser signup flow. It’s a big clunk. Squeezing a desktop experience onto mobile results in a very crowded UI - you get browser chrome, text fully open, floating buttons obscuring text, and tricksy scrolling issues. With the pick ’n’ mix, it’s disorientating on mobile. If you do sign up for Revolut Business, do it on a laptop, it’s far more pleasant.
Starling for Business’s KYB has fewer questions and steps. The questions are a little more open allowing a newbie to write in their own words what their business does and how their business expects to make money. Plenty of prompts here though to guide you.
There’s less uploading of documentation to prove your business’s existence whilst signing up to Starling. They might have automated checks in the back-end to decrease the customer load and improve the speed of onboarding.
The step-by-step approach through these questions, rendered in Starling’s native app, is functional but works. It certainly makes the KYB experience a lot clearer than Revolut.
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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">👊New battle: Asking KYB questions <a href="https://twitter.com/RevolutBusiness?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@RevolutBusiness</a> v <a href="https://twitter.com/StarlingForBiz?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@StarlingForBiz</a>.<a href="https://t.co/OUTL2EHaCD">https://t.co/OUTL2EHaCD</a></p>— Fintech Battles™ (@fintechbattles) <a href="https://twitter.com/fintechbattles/status/1252507985454170112?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">April 21, 2020</a></blockquote><script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>