Mettle app review

We take a look at NatWest's digital banking app for small businesses.

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Mettle is a free digital banking app for small and medium-sized businesses, which is operated by high street bank NatWest.

Following a pilot phase, Mettle saw its full launch in November 2019, and looks to rival the mobile app-based business accounts already offered by challenger banks like Starling and Tide.

We’ve highlighted the features that Mettle offers, to help you decide whether this digital banking platform could be the right fit for your business.

What is Mettle?

Mettle is the first standalone business banking app to be offered by one of the high street banks, NatWest, which is itself part of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group.

NatWest’s new digital business account can be seen as a response to challenger banks like Starling and Revolut, which have changed the face of banking in the last few years – reeling in customers by letting them open and manage bank accounts through their mobile phones, as well as offering great exchange rates for people who travel frequently.

Mettle lets business customers apply for an account in minutes, forecast business performance and create invoices. All of this is possible in its mobile app, which is designed to be easy to use, as well as free to use.

How does Mettle work?

Mettle offers its users a number of features, including:

  • Fast application. Mettle will let customers open a business account in a matter of minutes.
  • Invoicing. You can create and send customised invoices on the go. The app will let you know when you’ve been paid or if you need to chase.
  • Reporting. You’re able to categorise business transactions to reduce admin and minimise errors. You can then export your data and share it with your accountant.
  • Accounting. Mettle can connect to accounting packages like FreeAgent and Xero.
  • Payments. You can schedule payments on the go and manage recurring payments directly from the app.
  • Manage your cards. You can lock your card in the app if you think you’ve lost it, then just unlock it if the card shows up.

How to open a Mettle account?

These are the steps to open a Mettle account:

  1. Download the Mettle app from the App Store or Play Store.
  2. Complete the application – Mettle will ask questions about you and your business.
  3. Verify your ID and provide a business document.
  4. Once approved, you’ll get an account number and sort code to get started.
Mettle
Mettle
Account feeFree
FSCS protected
UK ATM chargeFree
Account software integration
Accounts software integration platformsFree agent and Xero
Requires credit checkSoft search with no impact on credit score
Credit check
Credit check detailsSoft search with no impact on credit score
Overdraft
Freeze card from app or online banking
Interest rate0%
Current account switch guarantee

Doing business overseas with Mettle

Mettle
Mettle
Overseas transaction chargeUnable to make international payments
Overseas ATM chargeN/A
International transfer chargeUse exchange rates set by Mastercard

Mettle fees, limits and pricing

  • Mettle is free to join – you won’t be charged to download the app or to open an account.
  • Mettle is free to use – there are no charges for transactions or for using any of the account’s features.
  • There is a maximum account balance of £100,000 for limited companies and £50,000 for sole traders.
  • There is a maximum payment out of the account limit of £10,000 per day.

Is Mettle safe?

Mettle is separate from NatWest and is not a bank, so it isn’t currently covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). The FSCS protects money you’ve deposited in a bank up to £85,000 if it goes bust – this does not apply to Mettle.

In terms of the app, it has security processes in place to ensure the safety of your money. You can also freeze your card instantly in the app should you lose it.

Pros and cons of Mettle

Pros

  • Instant and easy application process.
  • No fees to join or manage your account.
  • App lets you invoice and manage your money.
  • User-friendly app with control over accounts and cards.
  • Freeze your card in the app if you lose it.

Cons

  • Currently not FSCS-protected, so your deposits of up to £85,000 aren’t covered.
  • Maxiumum daily payment out limit of £10,000.

Our verdict

Mettle is an interesting digital play by parent company NatWest. But as it’s separate from the high street bank itself, unfortunately you can’t visit a NatWest branch to discuss your Mettle account. However, a digital-only business account with Mettle is free to open and use, and it has strong mobile banking features. It also comes with a useful invoicing system and the ability to integrate with accounting software like Xero. Time will tell if it’s successful enough to take on similar business account offerings from the likes of challenger rivals Starling and Monzo.

Compare Mettle against its competitors

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Account fee Bank transfers Accounting integrations Non-Sterling transactions Overdraft Account management Key benefits
Starling Business Account
Free
Free
Xero, FreeAgent
Free

Min. 18 months trading to apply
App, Online
Add the new Business Toolkit onto your free Starling account, and get the first month free of charge (RRP £7pcm)
Tide
Free
£0.20
Free if both accounts are with Tide
Xero, QuickBooks, FreeAgent, ReckonOne, Kashflow and Sage
Free
App
Free spending abroad and at home in any currency, instant payment alerts, automatic categorisation
Amaiz
£9.99 per month
Free in first month
Free Starter plan available
£0.20
FreeAgent, Xero, Sage, Reckon One, Kashflow, QuickBooks
1%
0.5% in Europe, 1% elsewhere
App, Online
ANNA
Free
Free up to a max. balance of £5,000 (or up to £500 paid in per month)
Free
2 free transfers per month and unlimited free transfers to Anna accounts
Coming soon
Free
App
Earn 1% cashback for paying with your ANNA card in selected categories. Enjoy premium benefits free for the first 6 months.
Cashplus business
£69
First year's annual fee refunded.
£0.99
Free transfers in first 3 months
FreeAgent, Xero
2.99%

On invitation
App, Online
First year's annual fee refunded.
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