A well functioning payment system is an absolute cornerstone of business operations. Since cash is not a modern option, a bank account has always been a self-evident and crucial tool and also a basis for bookkeeping. In recent years, however, entrepreneurs have increasingly come across a new problem: the bank refuses to open a bank account or closes an account that has been in operation. New solution: AutoAccount is compliant with Wise.
There are several types of problem situations. For example, a startup entrepreneur goes to open an account at a bank branch or an online bank, where he gets to fill out a questionnaire including questions about political activity to difficult details about how many and what types of transactions the bank account will have. The result may be that the entrepreneur is not a welcome customer and the account is not opened. More and more common is the situation where an operating company receives a questionnaire related to the background of beneficial owners. If the form is not returned, the bank will close the account completely after a few warnings. Or despite returning the form, the bank decides to close the account.
The reason why we have drifted into this kind of environment is due to banking regulation, and a considerable share of the banks’ resources goes to various bureaucracies. The biggest reason for an individual company’s problems is probably the KYC (Know Your Customer) requirements, i.e. the bank must show how it assesses the money laundering risks related to its customers, how it identifies its customers and how it knows and monitors its customers’ account transactions. From entrepreneur’s point of view, the effect is clear in many cases: if there is even the slightest uncertainty, the account will not be opened or maintained. Having a foreign background always seems to increase the risk.
If a solution cannot be found in the traditional banking field, there are several fintech companies who’s services can replace a bank account. Among AutoAccount’s wide international client base, we have come across a particularly large number of Wise accounts (formerly Transferwise). There’s already a lot of experience of Wise accounts and basic payments work well. Payments and direct debits have worked in both domestic and international situations. There is also a free Visa debit card available, which of course conveniently connects to the company’s account statement.
Accounting professionals know that getting bank account transactions into accounting is critical. In AutoAccount, we avoid manual recording of transactions as far as possible. Currently, banks produce very functional account data in XML format (CAMT). However, this is not available from international fintechs like Wise. At AutoAccount, we have solved the issue with our subsidiary Digibalance Oy’s own software development, which makes it possible to import account data into bookkeeping. When there are large masses of customers in the care, the efficiency of the process is everything. AutoAccount bookkeeping is now compliant with Wise!
Author Mikko Ilves the Chairman of the Board of Digibalance Group.