Monzo business vs Starling business: Which is best for your business?

This guide takes a closer look at the main differences between the Monzo and Starling business bank accounts so you can decide which is most likely to suit you.

If you’re looking for a business bank account that can be managed entirely through an app, both Monzo and Starling Bank are worth considering. The accounts both let you open and manage an account entirely online and have slick apps that are full of features. But there are some key differences, which we explain below.

This guide compares the Monzo Lite business account with Starling’s business current account, which are both free. We compare these banks’ consumer accounts in our Monzo vs Starling guide.

Monzo vs Starling: Vital statistics

MonzoStarling Business Account
Finder score4.9
Customer satisfaction surveyNot yet ratedNot yet rated
Free spending abroad
Interest when you're in creditUp to 1.6% AER0%
Branch access
FSCS protected
Product imageMonzoStarling Business Account
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Neither Monzo nor Starling have branch networks, meaning both business accounts must be managed digitally. Both accounts come with a contactless Mastercard – Monzo’s card is grey, while Starling’s is black – and account holders can use their cards abroad with no foreign transaction fees. Neither account pays interest on credit balances, while the Starling account offers an overdraft, but Monzo’s does not.

In the unlikely event that either of the banks go bust, both accounts also protect eligible deposits up to £85,000 per customer under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). Monzo and Starling Bank are both fully licensed UK banks and are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA).

Round 1: Account features

MonzoStarling Business Account
Cash deposits
Cheque deposits by post
Cheque scanning in the app
Freeze/unfreeze card in the app
Extra cards for employees
Accountancy software integrations
Send money abroad
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Although Monzo has no branch network, it is possible to pay in cash deposits at a PayPoint. You’ll pay £1 per deposit, but note that you can only pay in £5 to £300 in one go, and up to a total of £1,000 every 6 months. You can also cash cheques of up to £500 using the Monzo app, or for higher amounts, send them to the bank for free. However, you cannot send money abroad.

The Monzo Lite account does not offer additional cards for employees. However, if you upgrade to the Pro account for £5 a month, you can get multi-user access for up to 2 employees, and each will get their own debit card. You must be a limited company to qualify.

The Monzo Lite account also does not support accountancy software integrations, but if you upgrade to the Pro account you can integrate your account with Xero, QuickBooks or FreeAgent.

Over at Starling, you can deposit cash into your business account at any Post Office branch. You’ll pay £3 for deposits of up to £1,000 or 0.3% for deposits above £1,000. You can also deposit cheques by post free of charge, or deposit cheques of £1,000 or less via the app. You simply take a clear photo of the cheque and Starling takes care of the rest. International payments are also possible from this account.

Payment cards are only available to each person who has access to the Starling business account, which is currently limited to company directors or sole traders themselves. This means you cannot get additional cards for employees. However, account holders can connect to accountancy software packages QuickBooks, Xero and FreeAgent from the Starling “Marketplace”. The Marketplace also offers link-ups with other Starling partners which offer services such as insurance or pensions.

Winner: Starling wins hands down here. As well as having a higher limit for paying in cheques in-app, Starling users can also make international payments and benefit from accountancy software integrations without the need to upgrade to a more expensive account.

Round 2: Account costs

MonzoStarling Business Account
Monthly account chargeFreeFree
Fee for cash deposits£1 per deposit to pay in cash at any PayPoint or Post Office branch0.7% or £3 minimum (at Post Offices)
Fee for cheque depositsFreeFree
Fee for payments in or outFreeFree
Fee for direct debitsFreeFree
Fee for sending money abroadVariableLocal network fee + 0.4% Starling fee
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There is no monthly fee for Monzo’s Lite account, and there are no fees for paying in cheques, making transfers or setting up direct debits. You will have to pay a £1 fee for cash deposits at PayPoint, however, and there’s no option for sending money abroad.

Similarly, with Starling, there is no monthly fee and there are no fees for paying in cheques, domestic transfers or setting up direct debits. Cash deposits at the Post Office cost £3 a time for deposits up to £1,000, or 0.3% for deposits over £1,000. International payments cost 0.4%, plus local fees for each currency supported.

Winner: It’s close, but we think Starling has the edge here simply because it allows international payments.

Round 3: Spending in the UK

MonzoStarling Business Account
Free card transactions
Contactless card limit£100£100
Free ATM withdrawals
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Both Monzo and Starling offer free card transactions and fee-free ATM cash withdrawals in the UK.

Winner: A draw. Neither account will charge you for using your card in the UK.

Round 4: Using the card abroad

MonzoStarling Business Account
Free foreign transactionsUnlimitedUnlimited
Free foreign ATM withdrawalsUnlimited (within EEA)Unlimited
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You can use the Monzo card to spend at retailers and restaurants abroad with no foreign exchange fee. You’ll get the Mastercard exchange rate with no additional mark-up or fees. There’s also no charge for cash withdrawals in the EEA, providing you don’t go over the £400 daily limit. Cash withdrawals outside the EEA have a much stricter limit, you can only withdraw up to £200 for free every 30 days. Anything over this will be charged at 3%.

Meanwhile, Starling Bank does not charge you for spending on your card abroad, and again, you’ll get the Mastercard exchange rate with no extra fees. Withdrawing cash from a foreign ATM is also free of charge.

Winner: Starling. Monzo imposes limits on cash withdrawals, while Starling doesn’t.

Round 5: Signing up

MonzoStarling Business Account
Apply through the app
Quick application
Credit check
Card delivery feeFreeFree
Card delivery timescale2-5 working days5-7 working days
Replacement card fee2 free replacement Monzo cards per account per year for any reason then charged £51 free, then £5 each
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To open a Monzo business account, you will need to download the app. If you’re new to Monzo, you’ll also need to open a personal account first and provide proof of ID. You’ll then need to answer a few questions to see if your business is eligible. You can apply if you are a sole trader or the director of a registered limited company by shares and you’re based in the UK. You will need to provide details about your business, including what industry you’re in and your business address, plus the size of your business and how you expect to make and receive payments. Monzo doesn’t conduct a hard credit check and it’s free to receive your accompanying bank card. Replacements cost £5, unless you’ve been a victim of fraud.

Setting up the Starling business account must also be done via the app. You will need to provide at least one of the following documents to verify your identity: a passport, EU/EEA ID card, UK residence card or a UK photo driving licence. You will also be asked to confirm the nature of your business and may be asked to provide invoices, bank statements, account letters, signed contracts, qualifications or payslips. Starling doesn’t conduct a hard credit check and your accompanying bank card will be sent to you free of charge. Replacements cost £5.

Winner: Again, it’s close but Starling just clinches it due to not needing to open a personal account first.

These two digital rivals have plenty of similarities but when looking at the finer details, Starling’s business account seems to offers a sweeter deal. ”

Katherine Denham, award-winning personal finance expert

Round 6: Customer support and account switching

MonzoStarling Business Account
Customer service via the app
Customer service via a telephone line
CASS switch guarantee
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Both Monzo and Starling offer 24/7 customer support via the app, as well as a customer service telephone line. You can also email if you prefer. If you already have a business account with another bank, you can use the Current Account Switch Service (CASS) to move to either Monzo or Starling.

Winner: A draw. Both Monzo and Starling offer similar customer support and both are signed up to the CASS scheme.

Overall winner: Is Monzo better than Starling?

Monzo and Starling have many similarities and both banks have a lot to offer businesses. However, when it comes to picking a winner, Starling Bank takes the top spot due to winning a higher number of rounds than Monzo. It offers international payments, so if you do any business abroad then Starling is likely to be the better option. Plus, it integrates with accountancy software, offers an overdraft, and doesn’t charge fees to withdraw cash abroad.

We show offers we can track - that's not every product on the market...yet. Unless we've said otherwise, products are in no particular order. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations of these) aren't ratings, though we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it. This is subject to our terms of use. When you make major financial decisions, consider getting independent financial advice. Always consider your own circumstances when you compare products so you get what's right for you. Most of the data in Finder's comparison tables has the source: Moneyfacts Group PLC. In other cases, Finder has sourced data directly from providers.
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To make sure you get accurate and helpful information, this guide has been reviewed by Katherine Denham, a member of Finder's Editorial Review Board.
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Rachel Wait is a freelance journalist and has been writing about personal finance for more than a decade, covering everything from insurance to mortgages. She has written for a range of personal finance websites and national newspapers, including The Observer, The Mail on Sunday, The Sun and the Evening Standard. Rachel is a keen baker in her spare time. See full bio

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