bunq for businesses: Review
Learn more about bunq's bank accounts for SMEs, entrepreneurs and freelancers
bunq is The Netherlands' most recent unicorn and a mobile-first bank based in Amsterdam. Founded in 2012 by a tech entrepreneur Ali Niknam, bunq received a full-fledged banking license from the Dutch National Bank in 2015. The company has since grown into a leading European mobile bank available in more than 18 countries, reaching a grand total of over €1B in assets under management back in March 2021. bunq has since updated the plan structure and expanded their offering. Today, Dutch neobank offers a variety of plans for both individuals and business customers. This review will guide you through the advantages as well as drawbacks of getting a business bank account with bunq.
bunq offers online banking for both individuals as well as businesses via a simple, yet powerful mobile app available for both Android and iOS. bunq's full official banking license is granted by a regulator from The Netherlands, as such, companies registering a bank account at bunq automatically get a bank account with a Dutch IBAN (International Bank Account Number), however, businesses based in Germany, France and Spain get IBANs from these countries. A new feature introduced by bunq, "Local IBANs", allows your business to have bank accounts from multiple countries, which may come in handy for tax purposes.
bunq Business Plan Comparison
bunq offers a grand total of three options available to both individuals and companies. They have straightforward names that reinforce the concept bunq pushes through: managing company expenses should not take your time away from focusing on the core products and services your business offers, while banking can (and should) be easy. The three are: Easy Bank, Easy Money and Easy Green. Read more about the differences in bunq plans below.
Easy Bank, an entry-level plan provided by bunq, is a basic bank account you'd use for managing your expenses as a freelancer or an entrepreneur with a small business. Despite only offering one physical card included in this plan, it is as a fully-fledged European bank account at a low cost that allows you to enjoy interbank exchange rate on your travels (and making currency payments), as well as categorizing your transactions all while getting an interest rate on the funds in your current account, providing serious security and an eye-catcher of a rainbow-colored card. Just like the name suggests, it's a great choice when looking for a simple solution to your business banking needs.
Easy Money is a mid-tier subscription that’s packed with quite a few convenient budgeting and
transaction automation features. The biggest benefit of this plan is that you can immediately create up
to 25 "sub-accounts" (each of these is actually a standalone bank account, with its own IBAN and
balance) in your account and all of these are full-fledged bank accounts each with a unique IBAN, along
with up to 3 debit or credit cards for free. This plan is great for entrepreneurs who enjoy having a
clear and complete overview of their company's financial situation - it's pretty easy to do financial
administration when all of your expenses and revenues are separated into a specific account, and you can
provide your customers bank details of the specific account you want to get paid in, which makes
analysing your cash flows easier than ever. bunq also offers multiple trade names support, so you can
have your multiple trade names registered each with separate bank details and an IBAN - all of these
features are already included in your plan, and you do not need to pay any extra fees to use them.
Note! bunq also provides another subscription called "Pack". For €23,99 you and your friends can get up to 4 personal bank accounts, resulting in €5,99 subscriptions for everyone (saving €3 per month per person!). Ever better, you can have a Pack with 3 personal and 1 business Easy Money subscriptions, saving you and your friends or partner a grand total of €14 every month! Great value for freelancers and small-scale online entrepreneurs.
This is bunq's ultimate plan where you get to experience everything bunq has to offer. The main difference between Easy Green and Easy Money plans is that Easy Green users enjoy automatically planting trees for every €100 spent using your bunq card, a tree gets planted, thanks to bunq's partnership with Eden Foundation. According to bunq, enabling tree planting would make an average user CO2-neutral (as in, achieving a 100% offset of your CO2 emissions) within 2 years with no extra effort needed. Businesses can also show off their "Green" status and the amount of trees they've planted thanks to the Easy Green Widget that is easy to embed on your website - that is always a nice look on a company in an era where consumers truly care about sustainability.
Business plan comparison table can be found below. Does bunq seem interesting to you? Visit bunq's website, download the app and start your free 30-day trial with "no strings attached".
|Plan||Easy Bank||Easy Money||Easy Green|
|Accounts||1||25 IBANs included|
|Shared Accounts||(included for free)|
|Lost card||1 free per year, then €9,99|
|ATMs||€0,99||4 free per month, then €0,99|
|Interest rate on accounts|
|Current||0,09% up to €10'000|
|Savings||0,09% up to €10'000|
bunq: Unique Features
bunq has quite a few handy business banking features that you just can't find at other banks. Here is our collection of Top-5 best benefits businesses that bank at bunq can take advantage of.
Received an invoice you need to pay? Just open the bunq app, go to "Camera" and select "Pay Invoice". The OCR algorithms will then scan the invoice and pre-fill your bank transfer details (including the counterparty name, bank account details and the amounts). This feature alone can save you a significant amount of time if you find yourself frequently paying invoices and inputting the details manually.
Since you can have up to 25 unique bank accounts each with its own payment details with your bunq account, getting a great overview of your cash flows is easier than ever: you can dedicate a single sub-account solely to, say, recurring transactions to certain suppliers, or any other cost centre. This is no doubt convenient, but the feature gets even better when you add Dual Pin to the mix. bunq Dual PIN is easy to set up and use, and what it does is it makes it possible to set up two separate PINs for your bank card, each linking the card to a separate account. You could set it up so that you, for example, pay for your personal expenses using your ordinary PIN (or contactless), but if you enter an alternative PIN when prompted, the money would then be deduced from your business bank account. Extremely convenient for budgeting and keeping track of your expenses.
Multiple Trade Names
Using multiple trade names for your business? The moment it is registered, you can choose to dedicate a separate account to each of the names, and your customers would see the correct name when they send you money (or the other way around). Very convenient for freelancers who use separate trade names for varying services they provide to different customers and can help build trust and alleviate confusion when invoicing customers.
"Out-of-the-box" transaction categorisation (which you obviously can override yourself) provides your business with a convenient and real-time overview of how your funds are spent (split into categories, e.g. "Payroll", "Marketing", "Rent and Utilities", etc.), while the balance prediction graph (which, to be fair, does not work that great) lets you make more data-driven decisions when it comes to managing your business's expenses.
Auto VAT and Auto Export
Two similar features - bunq's Auto VAT makes managing your VAT a breeze by automatically setting aside the VAT amount (variable and adjustable) on both incoming and outgoing payments into a dedicated account, so the moment you need to submit a tax declaration, you already have the funds available. Auto Export is a feature that lets you set up an email address you want your bank statements to be forwarded to, and bunq will then automatically send these as soon as they become available. Very useful in case your business uses an external bookkeeper and makes accounting a breeze for you.
Bookkeeping Integrations & Zapier
Can not code, yet want to enjoy the "smart" banking experience? It is now easily achievable, thanks to bunq's integration with Zapier. Adding a row to a Google Sheets table whenever a transaction is executed? Easily set up in less than 10 minutes! Sending a Slack message when receiving a payment? Say no more! On top of that, bunq supports quite a few pieces of bookkeeping software with more being added every couple of months.
The freshest (as of Q1 2022) fintech unicorn from The Netherlands is constantly looking for ways to "wow" their users on adding more exciting features, and it is well-known that most of the features added are specifically developed because of the user demand. So if you can not find something you are specifically looking for, it is well-worth it to submit a feature request on bunq's Together forum. Who knows, maybe the next bunq Update delivers exactly the feature you have always dreamt of!
bunq: Pros & Cons
- Cash flow control - in case you opt for either Easy Money or Easy Green plans, it is very easy to set up a few sub-accounts for splitting up your expenses into very straightforward standalone bank accounts. Thanks to automatic transaction categorisation, an ability to split up funds related to different trade names while still having them all in one account within a single app and features like Payment Splitter, you will never wonder where you spent that much money last month.
- Local IBAN and bank details - bunq users from Germany, The Netherlands, Spain and France get to enjoy having local IBANs (for example, starting with "NL97 ..." for The Netherlands) for their sub-accounts with bunq, which is not the case for most neobanks on the market (N26 users get DE IBAN no matter where they are, same as Revolut's Lithuanian bank accounts).
- Unique features - the list provided above is definitely not exhaustive, as listing all of bunq's features would simply take too much space! From ZeroFX (interbank exchange rate when paying in currency without any additional fees) and MassInterest (getting interest on your current account) to being able to add your loyalty cards directly in the bunq app, it seems like there is nothing this app can not do.
- Freedom of Choice - bunq advocates for ethical investment practices and aims to empower its users to follow suit. You can choose where you want your deposits to be invested (you are also free to disable getting interest) right in the bunq app at any time.
- Automate the boring stuff - thanks to an array of features, including Payment Sorter (choose how to distribute your incoming payments the moment they arrive, automatically), Auto-Save, combined with an extremely powerful OpenAPI, an ability to connect to other apps using Zapier and a wide range of bookkeeping software "plug-and-bank" integrations, you can make your banking experience truly "smart".
- Too many things: bunq offers an exceptional collection of features, but the downside of this approach (given bunq's fairly limited employee headcount) is that certain features introduced over a year ago sometimes get zero maintenance and their quality and reliability eventually decreases up until bunq decides to revamp and update that functionality.
- Customer support: bunq provides support in multiple ways - via email, on bunq's Together forum (that also doubles as a knowledge base) and in the app. The in-app implementation is quite innovative: you can send text messages, voice memos, screen recording and screenshots to the support team, but the quality and speed of support responses could definitely be improved.
- Limited cash options: for example, ATM withdrawals, despite being free the first four times each month, are capped at a measly €500 a day. Depositing cash into your bunq account is also almost impossible without using third-party services in areas not serviced by Barzahlen. And, specifically for our readers in France, we can confirm: bunq does not support cheque payments.
- Unintuitive app UI: in an effort to make things as easy as possible without overwhelming the user, bunq's product team sometimes makes quite mind-boggling calls, resulting in some functionality being hidden so deep down in the app, you might not even know it is actually there. You do get used to the core features quite fast though, and you might even find the way they are arranged convenient after some time, but there is a steep learning curve before that.
- Lackluster desktop app: bunq's desktop app is so basic, it might have also not been there at all. Not a deal-breaker (and is something that is already being worked on), but it is something to keep in mind if you prefer a "keyboard and mouse" banking experience.
- Excessive marketing communications: in no way is this downside exclusive to bunq, and you can of course choose to opt out of getting that information, but it still leaves a bit of a sour aftertaste.
bunq Business: F.A.Q.
Is banking at bunq safe? Is bunq secure?
bunq B.V. holds a full banking license provided by one of Europe's most reliable and respected banking authorities, the Dutch National Bank. Essentially, this means that all the deposits at bunq (capped at €100'000 per customer) are fully insured via DNB's Deposit Guarantee Scheme and backed by the government of The Netherlands. On top of this, this license ensures that the challenger bank is subject to a high level of audits and scrutiny, constantly going through the same compliance checks by the regulatory bodies that the "traditional" banking powerhouses like ING and Rabobank do. Additionally, all the customer-bank interactions when banking at bunq are subject to the Dutch Consumer Law, which is known to always take the customer's side in case of disputes, thus there is nothing to worry about - your money is safe at bunq.
Do my bank accounts get an IBAN from The Netherlands with bunq?
Despite being a Dutch bank, users residing in Germany, France and Spain would get local IBANs, which is a unique feature as far as mobile-first banks go. Users from other countries get a Dutch IBAN (which begins with "NL97 ..."). You can also get bank accounts in multiple countries at bunq, but that (admittedly, quite niche) option incurs an additional cost. In case you are wondering, IBAN is an abbreviation that stands for "International Bank Account Number".
Are there hidden fees at bunq?
Most of the "day-to-day" banking features cost nothing - these are already included in your bunq plan. In essence, this means a complete lack of fees (on Easy Money or Easy Green plans) for things like having up to 3 "physical" and 5 virtual bank cards active, bank transfers within the SEPA zone, having up to 25 sub-accounts or withdrawing cash from an ATM up to 4 times a month. However, there are still some exceptions: for example, executing SWIFT transactions, holding huge (more than €100'000) amounts on your accounts or ordering a replacement for your lost card (more than once a year, as the first one is also free) are examples of that. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the pricing document available on bunq's website so as not to have any unpleasant surprises when the monthly invoice comes.
How does bunq Pack work with businesses?
bunq Pack allows you to have up to four Easy Money personal (or 3 personal and 1 business) subscriptions for a reduced price of €23,99 (€5,99 per account). Which takes "The more, the merrier" to next level, saving you a total of €14 per month if you are a part of a full bunq Pack.
Does bunq offer a credit card?
The answer is not straightforward. While bunq does offer a Mastercard Credit card, there is no option to open a credit line or enable overdraft. Why? It is still convenient as certain vendors (most commonly, car rental companies, hotels and any other business that "freezes" an amount on your card prior to the actual payment) often require you to pay with a credit card specifically, and you would still have that option available to you. As an added bonus, credit cards from Mastercard have the best worldwide acceptance.
What about the bunq Travel Card?
bunq Travel Card is a deprecated product that used to be a standalone subscription. The card itself is now called simply "bunq Credit Card". This should not discourage you as all he benefits of the Travel Card (like ZeroFX, the "no exchange rate, save up to 3% on currency payments" offering) are readily available to all bunq users. The card itself also looks exactly the same.
How do I contact bunq?
bunq support can be contacted 24/7 via the in-app chat, in any of the six languages bunq supports. As an alternative, it is possible to email bunq with any questions you might have at email@example.com. bunq's address is 1043 BS Amsterdam, Naritaweg 131-133, The Netherlands. You can report bunq scam and fraud by bunq users on bunq's website.
Verdict: Is bunq worth the price tag?
bunq surely does not lack the features nor does it struggle to justify the price tag (which is more or less similar to what's offered by bunq's competitors). An abundance of "smart banking" features, all the "bread and butter" day-to-day functionality you would expect from your bank in a digital age and a commitment to ethical investment practices along with a focus on sustainability - what more could a business user want? However, the downsides (namely, overall cash-"unfriendliness" and a lack of a proper desktop app) might be off-putting enough to become deal-breakers for some business owners, especially when combined with some of the less significant drawbacks (e.g. confusing app UI or lack of Garmin Pay or Fitbit Pay). The company is also constantly innovating, and you can feel that nothing is truly "set in stone" at bunq in terms of UX/UI with the neobank always trying to improve the end users' experience, which can be a bit overwhelming at times.
However, greenwashing (bunq does like mentioning tree planting and going CO2-neutral... a lot) and the "social" banking experiments aside, bunq remains a really solid and high-tech neobank with a full-fledged banking license provided by a trustworthy regulatory authority in one of the most reliable countries in terms of the justice system and the strength of the economy. Often dismissed by businesses due to its flashy and "young" presentation and visual style, in its core, bunq is a very powerful bank that gets better the more you "settle in" and acquaint yourself with a wide range of possibilities to choose from.
Nowadays, bunq offers a 30 days "no strings attached' trial of any of the plans available for both businesses as well as individuals, absolutely free (and FintechCompass editors confirm: it does send you multiple prompts and notifications right before your trial expires, so you will not get billed "out of nowhere"). This is a great opportunity to try bunq out yourself and see if it satisfies your business banking needs at no cost. Thus, the best advice we can conclude this review with would be to experience the challenger bank's products hands-on - after all, it does take just a few minutes to sign up, and you can always close your account if banking at bunq leaves you dissatisfied.