Review of Pay with fire for business

We have investigated the Irish paywithfire offer.

Paywithfire.com is an online bank (also called NeoBank). It looks like they provide an IBAN for euro accounts or sort code account number for sterling accounts.

No credit card:

Pay with fire does not provide a credit card. Consequently, Pay with fire users should go for a virtual credit card like a virtual Entropay credit card for businesses. They may also go for a plastic business card like worldcore.eu. The major issue related to opening an independent account for the business card is that you have to provide documents once again for the business card.

No bank statements:

As per December 2016, it is not possible to download a bank statement. In other words, it is a pain for doing bookkeeping reconciliation between payments and invoices. Additionally, I wonder how it will work when a tax audit from the Irish revenue or HMRC will audit a company using Paywithfire.com since there is no bank statement.

Shady policy around limits :

As per December 2016, Pay with fire does not publish limits. The said bank has transaction limits and accumulated amounts. Every account comes with limits. Pay with fire team can dynamically change the limits. We think it is a really bad thing. Imagine you are a youtuber and one of your video is covered by CNN. From one day to another, you get 1 million views. You get a huge commission from Youtube advertisements. Since there are limits on the Pay With Fire account, you are likely to get your inbound transfer rejected.

Then, from what we understood, they can dynamically change the limits.

It is quite funny to see that coinbase.com and bitpay.com (bitcoins wallet and bitcoin payments) publish their limits on their website. It was expected that bitcoin companies were shadier than financial institutions.

Pay with fire wants you to share your business secrets:

Several customers from Pay with fire told us that someone from “Pay with fire” asked them to describe their marketing strategy, their customer target, a detailed description of their product… We never heard such a due diligence at a high street bank to open a business current account without overdraft and a business debit card.

You have very naïve if you think that people can’t steal your ideas. Even if Paywitefire.com is an online business there are real people behind. How can you be sure that your information will not end in the wrong hands & be plagiarized in 1 year, 2 years or more?

Good for:

  • Consultants: According to what we have observed, the business bank account of paywithfire.com would be perfect for IT consultants. Once they get a new contract, they get the same amount of money and they can predict this amount of money. Since the consultant receives money from few sources, it is easy to change the Iban/sort code if something goes wrong.
  • Freelancers: Since the income of freelancers is linked to their own work time, there is not that much surprise from one month to another. Usually, they get the money from one source so that there is no risk the pay with fire support team suspends or block the account for unusual activities.

Bad for:

  • Startups: The paywithfire.com for business is not tailored at all for startups. Startups have to test several ideas. They will have to set up several incoming payment gateways. At some point, big amount of money can be cashed in and then nothing may happen for months or years. This may raise the attention of “pay with fire” and the account can be blocked.
  • Companies with many activities:  According to the information we got, the due diligence of pay with fire shows that this bank is extremely conservative & could interfere in everyday’s life of a company by pinpointing income that would be higher than usual.
  • Fast-growing companies: For sure, paywithfire.com is not tailored for fast-growing companies. It is more made for small businesses that remain small (consultancy, freelancing).

Wodobiz score: 4.5 / 10

The policies of paywithfire.com is closer to those of a website (a forum or a social network) than a high street bank (Bank of Ireland, AIB, Ulster bank for Ireland and Lloyds, Santander, RBS, HSBC, Barclays for UK) meaning that customers could see their account be suspended or terminated without notice. We know paywithfire.com would transfer the money to another bank account in this case.

A bank account is not automatically granted:

Prior to opening an account at pay with fire, the company may ask you to answer questions. Even if you apply for an application, it does not mean, the business bank account is going to be automatically created within 24 hours.

Conclusion:

The review of pay with fire brought interesting reflections about banking. Can we trust a website to act as a bank? Then, can we trust a website to act as a corporate bank? High street banks have powerful websites but the websites were only an alternative to their bank office. Then, even if a company an official financial license, is it enough to trust it? I don’t think so.

4 Comments

  1. I agree with this assessment. I opened a business account with Fire and they closed it after several months without explanation or giving me the chance to appeal. You are better off with AIB or the Bank of Ireland.

  2. Hi,

    Colm here from the product team at Fire. Thanks for writing the review and I hope you don’t mind if I provide a quick update.

    Our business account is a beta product. We launched a basic version of the account and we make regular updates, adding new features and improvements as we go. I hope that some of the changes we have made over the last few months will address the areas you noted. We communicate this to our business clients during the on-boarding process, so customers are aware of the features we have and the features that we do not support at this time. At present the account remains a beta product.

    Debit Card – we now provide our business customers with debit cards, linked to their Fire account. We offer businesses based in the UK and Ireland the option of opening multiple accounts in sterling and euro – in addition to having a debit card(s) for online, in-store and cash withdrawals. We have become a principal (direct) member of MasterCard ® in order to develop this new feature.

    Statements – As a customer may have more than one account with Fire, you may download a statement when viewing the details of an account – it is available as a PDF or a CSV file.

    Limits – yes we do have limits in place – these are available to customers within the application and we will consider adding these to the public web site as well. The limits are there to alert us to unusual activity.

    Information about Businesses – we do seek information from our business customers. We need to know about the business, and its owners and the directors. I do appreciate that this may appear as unnecessary due diligence but we never look for secrets or commercially sensitive information. We are regulated as a Payments Institution and obliged to know our customers.

    We hope this helps to address some of the issues raised and we are always interested in feedback on the product. You may also have noticed that we are now http://www.fire.com. If you or any of your readers have ideas for future features, please let us know at any time – feedback@fire.com

    Thanks Colm.

  3. Pay with fire is a no easy businees account system! Every account comes with limits and the fire team can dynamically change the limits without information or without your possibility to say 2 words!.We think it is a real bad thing. Since there are limits on the Pay With Fire account, you are likely to get your inbound transfer rejected. It’s an european system no irish or british!
    Several customers from Pay with fire told us that someone from “Pay with fire” asked them to ask too information. No privacy!

    I agree: you cannot sure that your information will not end in the wrong hands & be plagiarized in 1 year, 2 years or more.

  4. This Financial Service Paywithfire is a typical conservative and intrusive system and is a continue interference everyday in Companies Activities, asking continue explanations to the customers about in and outgoings! It’s a bad representation of old tax agencies, now existing just in closed mind mentality. Very negative feedback!

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