Banking Business Reviews

Neat Commerce Review: A Digital Account for Entrepreneurs & Businesses

Neat Commerce offers personal & business accounts to customers in several countries around the world - Here's our full review with Pros & Cons
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When Neat was launched in 2018, the platform primarily focused on making business accounts more accessible to SMEs and startups in Hong Kong. Over the course of two years, the company has evolved into a global banking entity serving international clients with financial solutions for their business endeavours.

Today, Neat empowers customers to expand their business across borders, with efficient use of its multi-currency accounts. With the mission of enabling the entrepreneur economy, it seems like Neat has been able to create a reliable financial experience for its users.

In this Neat review, we explore the platform’s features and how well they perform in this dynamic digital banking landscape.

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Neat Services

For the convenience of users, Neat has set up two different types of accounts: Business and Personal.

Each has a different set of features that has been customized to meet the needs of entrepreneurs and their companies.

In essence, it serves as a digital bank for your business and allows you to perform transactions much easier than using a traditional financial institution.

Neat Features
Neat Features

Neat Business Account

Neat Business aims to provide a modern and virtual alternative to a corporate bank account. It offers some of the essential services one would expect from a business account, such as:

  • Provide dedicated payment instructions
  • Pay and receive money via domestic and international transitions
  • Connect your account to third-party wallets such as PayPal or Stripe

Your Neat bank account is operated completely online or via the mobile app, along with access to a commercial corporate card. However, note that Neat does not offer savings accounts, credit, or any investment solutions for your business.

How to Open a Neat Business Account

The best perk of Neat is perhaps that you do not need to visit a physical bank in order to open your business account. Instead, the entire process is streamlined through a series of online steps.

Neat allows all companies, sole proprietors and partnerships to open a business account with them. You will need to fill a signup form and provide answers to a set of questions to establish your business’s premise.

Neat is available to Customers in these countries:

  • Australia
  • The British Virgin Islands
  • Cayman Islands
  • Denmark
  • France
  • Germany
  • Hong Kong (we also accept sole proprietors registered in Hong Kong)
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Singapore
  • United Kingdom

For instance, you will have to mention the type of sector the business operates in, customer base, accepted payment methods, and such. The entire process should take no more than 15 minutes to complete.

In addition, you will also have to provide identification for shareholders of the firm, alongside your Business Registration Certificate. Other important documents – such as annual returns or the Certificate of Incorporation, will be downloaded by Neat from the Companies Registry. This makes sure that the documents are legitimate.

According to its website, the team at Neat requires a few days to verify your business, and upon which you will receive a confirmation.

Open an Account at Neat
Open an Account at Neat

Features of Neat Business

Multi-Currency Accounts

Use Neat to provide payment instructions in HKD and USD, or local payment instructions in EUR and GBP. Users can also receive wire payments from customers worldwide and perform transactions to both local and international bank accounts.

Corporate Cards

A Neat corporate card completes your bank account, along with highly competitive exchange rates. Your employees can use the card to settle company expenses anywhere in the world –  both online and offline.

Integration with Payment Gateways

Connect your Neat account to third-party payment methods such as Stripe, Paypal, and Amazon. This is ideal for accepting payments from your online customers.

Money Management

A Neat account allows you to allocate custom accounts to manage budgets for each corporate debit card you set up for employees. This will enable your business to categorize and limit spending, and verify all transactions in real-time to gain complete control of your account.

Online Company Incorporation

In its effort to offer the best business landscape for SMEs, Neat now gives you an option to incorporate your company in Hong Kong. Wherever you are located in the world, Neat will take care of the process, which can be done entirely online.

The process is similar to opening a Neat business account, with extra documents and a fee. Neat will electronically submit your details to the Companies Registry.

If approved, both your Neat Business account and the incorporation can be completed within one week. You will receive all registration documents as a digital copy.

The process being completely online is undoubtedly an appealing feature for international business owners. It grants you the benefit of running your business in Hong Kong, including low corporate tax rates.

Note: Neat holds a TCSP license, and has partnered with other TCSP-license providers to offer you company incorporation. This gets you special fees and a better rate in comparison to consulting a corporate service firm directly.

Open your Hong Kong Company
Open your Hong Kong Company

Xero Integration

For businesses already using Xero, Neat also provides seamless integration of financial transactions. Xero’s online accounting software is of huge benefit to both small and medium enterprises and serves as a cloud-based platform for business accounting.

When combined with Neat, you can view transactions right from your account dashboard.

The Xero integration is available for both Neat business accounts and business cards.

Neat Personal Account

A Neat Personal Account provides you with the ease of a digital bank account. The platform facilitates the management of your multi-currency account right from the mobile app or website.

How to Open a Neat Personal Account

A Neat Personal Account can be opened online. You simply need to provide some personal information and a valid ID.

You can submit a passport or a government-issued identification card if you are a citizen of China or Hong Kong.

You will also be required to undergo a face verification test.

Features of Neat Personal

Neat Personal Account
Neat Personal Account

Receive Payments

The highlight of having a Neat Personal Account is that you can get paid in any currency. As such, friends, family, and clients can send money to your local account via a bank transfer.

Neat MasterCard

You can apply for a Neat prepaid card, which you can use to perform online and offline transactions and ATM withdrawals. If your application is approved, the card will be delivered to your address within 1-2 weeks.

Neat Mobile App

It goes without saying that Neats works best when used hand-in-hand with its mobile app. The application gives you access to the Neat dashboard, from where you can perform all actions related to your account or card.

Neat Mobile App
Neat Mobile App

Neat Virtual Card

In February 2020, the company released its virtual card offering. Virtual Neat cards can be used exclusively for online purchases or subscriptions.

All transactions of both physical and virtual cards are recorded instantly in the app. At the moment, the virtual card service is only available for businesses.

Neat Security

For any online financial service, the prime concern is security. On that front, Neat has established the following policies to ensure that your money is in safe hands.

Regulatory Licenses

If you want assurance that your money is protected, you will be glad to know that Neat is highly regulated. The company holds a Money Lenders Licence, TCSP license in Hong Kong, and a Money Service Operator License.

Additionally, Neat is registered as an FCA-approved EMD agent in the UK. Its service partners are also regulated in the respective countries.

Licensed Banks

When it comes to client funds, your money is always held at licensed banks. Depending on your currency, your funds will be held by financial institutions based in Hong Kong or the UK.  This will be in compliance with HKMA and FCA regulations, respectively.

As a result, if the worse happens and Neat runs into financial problems, your funds should be safe.

Neat Card Security

Your Neat debit card works similar to a typical bank card, insofar that transactions are processed and protected by the Mastercard network.

Additionally, you have full control over the card, with an option to lock and unlock it right from the mobile app.

Neat Pricing

Neat has an emphasis on transparency across all its features. While the majority of its services are free, financial transactions do come at a cost.

Here is a detailed comparison of what fees you will pay on both a Neat Business and Personal Account.

Neat Free Features

  • Account opening and maintenance
  • Payment instructions
  • Expense management
  • Multilingual customer support
  • Real-time updates

 Neat Card Payments

 

Type of Service

 

 

Neat Business

 

 

Neat Personal

Neat Prepaid MastercardHK$60 per card/ monthFree
Transaction RefundUS$0.5 / HK$4HK$4
Card ReplacementUS$6 / HK$50HK$50
ATM Withdrawal2%

US$3 / HK$25 Minimum Fee

2%

HK$25 Minimum Fee

Foreign Merchant Fee1.5%1.5%
Inactivity Fee

(charged after six months)

US$2 / HK$12.5/

Month

HK$12.5

Per Month

 Neat Outgoing Payments

Type of PaymentNeat BusinessNeat Personal
To Neat Personal CardFreeFree
HKD account to Hong Kong bank accountHK$30Not Applicable
USD Account to HK Bank accountUS$8Not Applicable
GBP account to accountFreeNot Applicable
Euro account to accountFreeNot Applicable
International PaymentHK$90 / US$12Not yet possible
Local bank transfersNot ApplicableNot yet possible

Neat Incoming Payments

Type of PaymentNeat BusinessNeat Personal
FPS & Standard Local Bank PaymentHK$2Free
Express Local Bank Payment (CHATS)HK$15HK$15
International PaymentHK$65 / US$13.5HK$60
SEPA Payment to EUR / GBP accountFreeNot Applicable
ATM Cash Top-UpNot ApplicableFree

As you can see, the Neat Personal Account is still limited when it comes to making transfers. International customers might also find the fee structure confusing, as everything is charged in Hong Kong Dollars.  With that said, the most notable benefit of opening a Near Personal Account is its fully-fledged MasterCard.

On the other hand, the Business Account comes with more options that could be advantageous to your company. It will ultimately depend on which markets you do your business in and how often you engage in financial transactions.

All in all, for those of you that do not want to go through the strenuous process of opening a local bank account, Neat offers a decent alternative.

Why Should You Use Neat?

At a glance, Neat looks like a reliable financial service with plenty to offer.

If you are a new entrepreneur, or a small business looking to venture into the Asian markets, Neat could be your doorway to function efficiently.

The platform can take care of your business, right from incorporation to securing your financial transactions.

Advantages of Neat

  • Heavily regulated
  • Support for multi-currency transactions
  • Reliable and swift customer support
  • Access to virtual and physical MasterCards
  • Dedicated payment instructions
  • Xero integration

Drawbacks of Neat

To begin with, Neat services are accessible only in a limited number of countries. You can check whether or not your country of residence is supported by visiting the Neat website.

Additionally, specific industries are also excluded from availing of their business services. For instance, cryptocurrency traders cannot open an account with Neat.

Neat only makes it possible to receive funds in the official currency of the receiving country, which might not align with your payment or return policies.

Furthermore, when you send funds from your Neat Business Account, it will display ‘Neat’ in front of your company name when the beneficiary receives it.

Depending on your business and preferences, this might be an issue as it doesn’t reflect your company’s name like-for-like. In some instances, this might involve extra legwork in proving the authenticity of your account.

In the case of Personal Accounts, the biggest drawback is without a doubt its outgoing payment limitations. That is to say, you are still unable to send money from Personal Accounts.

This is the case both domestically and internationally. The firm is, however, working on bringing this feature to Neat Personal Accounts in the future, albeit, no date has been set.

Neat Review – The Verdict

Neat has developed a good product – easy to open business and personal accounts combined with virtual and physical cards and a solid mobile app. There are some limitations to the personal account and also some restrictions on which countries are allowed to open an account with them.

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Neat

8.6

Ease of Use

9.0/10

Fees

8.0/10

Reputation

8.0/10

Customer Support

9.0/10

Design

9.0/10

Pros

  • Well Regulated
  • Support for multi-currency transactions
  • Access to virtual and physical MasterCards
  • Xero Integration
  • Open a Hong Kong Company

Cons

  • Not Available in Every Country Yet
  • Limitations on Personal Accounts
Kane Pepi

Kane holds a Bachelor's Degree in Accounting and Finance, a Master's Degree in Financial Investigation and he is currently engaged in a Doctorate - researching financial crime in the virtual economy. With a keen passion for research, he currently writes for a variety of publications within the Financial and Cryptocurrency industries. kane@moneycheck.com

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