For professionals, it's important to distinguish traditional banks from online finance solutions like Qonto. From a legal standpoint, Qonto is a payment institution, whereas a traditional bank is a credit institution. Unlike a payment institution, a traditional bank can propose financial tools such as loans and credit or manage securities or real estate portfolios.
In any case, any establishment offering payment services is regulated by the same monetary and financial body: the French Prudential Supervision and Resolution Authority (ACPR). As such, Qonto is a checking account regulated by the French central bank, the Banque de France. This means all deposits are placed in a holding account and the payment institution is unable use the funds.
Payment institutions build their offer around a sector of the market that's been neglected by traditional banks. This is the case for business banking: online banks, which are often owned by the established, traditional banks, pay it little attention, with some exceptions such as Boursorama pro and monabanq, whose offers cater for freelancers and individual enterprises.
Payment institutions can fill the gap. Qonto's checking account is available for freelancers, SAS, SARL, SCI, SASU and EURL, as well as NGOs and the liberal and medical professions. Our mission is simple: free up your time so you can focus on what really matters, which is growing the best possible business.
For SMEs and VSEs, the playing field is narrowing; there are fewer options. Online payment institutions are well-placed to satisfy the need but not all offer the same rewards and advantages. Most only address 'solopreneurs' (freelancers, SASU, EURL), whereas Qonto caters to all legal forms. Another point of comparison is the possibility of depositing your capital. Again, not all payment institutions and online banks propose this option. Depending on your business and it's size, a whole host of criteria come into play, and they are just as variable as the prices and fees of the different business banking accounts.
Last but not least, payment institutions are accessible for all professionals, even those who are forbidden from holding bank accounts. With no risk of accumulating more debt or credit, Qonto's services are open for anyone to apply.