- Business account
- Invoicing software
- Tax services
- Receipt scanner
- Transparent fees
- Free transactions
- Easy to use
In a world that is getting more complicated by the minute, ANNA Money is trying to stand out with its business account and a card that actually miaows.
It’s quickly fleshing out into a mature product with existing and upcoming features that will make life easier for every entrepreneur that gets their account. Here’s our short verdict:
ANNA is a welcome addition to the already packed UK digital banking space. Its easy to understand pricing structure and accounts that grow as your business grows are refreshing to see.
About ANNA Money
ANNA stands for Absolutely No-Nonsense Admin and is a digital business current account and assistant designed for small to medium-sized enterprises.
ANNA was founded in 2017 and launched in 2018. It’s a London-based company whose founders are Eduard Panteleev (CEO), Andrei Pachai (CTO), Boris Dyakonov, Daljit Singh, Nikita Filippov, Slava Akulov.
The challenger bank has raised a total of £36.5M in funding over 4 rounds and ANNA account comes with two or more business debit cards and is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Why is ANNA so special?
Their no-frills accounts are nearly the same across the board, the only difference is the monthly fee that depends on the size of your business. You can get a business current account in less than 10 minutes, and a debit card that miaows.
ANNA makes it possible to easily add funds to your business account via transfer using your sort code and account number. ANNA also has a handy invoicing tool that allows your clients to pay you directly into your ANNA account and they will even follow up with a payment reminder to your clients.
Expense management, tax service, and reminders as well as open banking feature and integration to accounting software make it a value for money.
Pros and cons
- Open an account in minutes
- The app is easy to navigate
- 1% cashback on purchases
- 24/7 responsive in-app customer service
- Tax services
- Open banking
- Auto-match payments to expenses
- Get from 2 to unlimited debit cards
- No loans
- Foreign currency fees
- Deposits are not FSCS protected
- Monthly account fee up to £19.99
- Free ATM withdrawals
- Free transactions
If you don’t use your account for one month, you don’t pay the monthly fee.
In which countries is ANNA available?
ANNA is only available in the UK – your business should be located within the UK, and you also need to have a UK residential address.
How to open an ANNA account?
Just like many other digital financial apps, ANNA makes it quick and easy to sign up.
Download the ANNA Money app, use your passport or driving license as prompted to verify your identity, and enter a few personal details about you and other directors or partners if you have them; like your name, address, and date of birth.
They’ll also need a few basic details about your business such as what type it is, its address, and UTR or company number.
Your ANNA application can be approved within minutes, and your new business account is up and running before you know it.
After you open the account, ANNA will get in touch with you to get some more information about your business as it’s legally required.
Four types of accounts
ANNA offers its customers the choice of four monthly plans. The entry-level plan has no monthly cost and is recommended for businesses with a monthly income under £500, and it has a maximum balance of £5,000. This account comes with two debit cards, two free local transfers, and free ATM withdrawals of up to £100 per month.
Next up is £4.90 per month plan, recommended for businesses with a monthly income between £500-£2000, which has a maximum balance of £25,000. This account comes with three debit cards, four free local transfers per month, and £300 in free ATM withdrawals.
Businesses with a monthly income from £2,000-£20,000 are recommended to use the £9.90 per month plan. This plan comes with a maximum balance of £120,000, 5 debit cards, 35 free transfers, £2,000 in free ATM withdrawals, and three users can access the account.
The last option is for businesses bringing in monthly income between £20,000-£500,000 and comes at £19.90 per month. This plan has a maximum balance of £700,000, unlimited debit cards, unlimited app users, unlimited transfers, and £10,000 in cash withdrawals per month.
Every plan grants customers access to all the finance management features ANNA offers on the app. Except, that the top account lets you send ANNA your receipts (you can even post the paper ones) and they’ll sort them out and save them to your ANNA account.
If you’re earning more than £20,000 per month, you probably have someone that does that for you anyway.
ANNA business card
The company stopped sending new customers an ANNA debit card issued by Mastercard while they migrate customers over to Railsbank.
Their cards work like any other debit card and offer similar safety solutions like real-time notifications and in-app updates, the option to freeze and unfreeze the card, set payment options and limits, etc.
Card payments with ANNA are free in the UK; however, if you use your ANNA debit card abroad or make international transactions, there will be a foreign transaction fee. This means there are not any particular perks for traveling with ANNA.
If traveling is a significant aspect of your business, you may want to consider other business account options. But, and this might persuade you, ANNA’s card actually miaows when making a payment.
That’s right. If you’re a cat person or just love to crack jokes, this just might be a killer feature for you. If you’re a dog person or a cat hater, I don’t know what to tell you.
The ANNA app aims to make business finances easier to manage, and the app is keeping the theme – clean, simple, and easy-to-navigate.
The first thing visible to customers on the app is an overview of their account. ANNA allows customers to do everything they would usually do with a current account, including direct debits.
Personalized spending reports are available to break down your business finances and make them easier to digest. ANNA’s invoice service is especially handy for small businesses and freelancers. It allows you to set up a new invoice within minutes and chase up payments when they are due.
Every ANNA debit card you have can be managed through the app, setting individual spending controls per card – great for staying on top of expenses. Another feature of the app is 24/7 in-app assistance that combines AI chatbots and actual humans to deliver the best advice and solutions for each customer.
Overall, the app has some great features, and the invoice tools and customer service are incredibly useful.
If you’re anything like me, you hate the invoicing and expensing part of freelancing. It’s just tedious and detracts from what we want to do, in my case, write articles and reviews. Yet there’s no going around it, as it’s an integral part of being your own boss.
Luckily ANNA helps in this regard as well as it’s easy to send professional-looking invoices, replicate past ones, or set recurring ones. It also does automated invoice matching that checks what’s been paid into the account to match it with sent invoices.
If you’re not good at chasing down people to pay you, ANNA can do that for you in form of an automatic and polite email to the offender.
If you don’t know how to create an invoice, send the invoice details to its AI-powered chatbot and it will create one from scratch for you. It can even replicate old ones by scanning them after you upload one.
ANNA tax services
Ugh, taxes. If I wanted to do taxes, I’d be an accountant. That’s exactly the thought process behind ANNA’s tax services. ANNA’s in-app calculator estimates how much income tax you owe as you earn, helping you avoid unexpectedly high tax bills.
For those among us that do self-assessment, there’s a self-assessment assistance service that calculates and submits your tax return with assistance from a certified accountant, without the costly fees.
The company is also working on making ANNA fully compliant with HMRC’s Making Tax Digital requirements. What does that mean to us? Well, we’ll soon be able to submit tax returns directly from ANNA to HMRC.
ANNA payments and transfers
Outbound payments are sent as Faster Payments (FPS) and are processed every hour from 5 am to 11 pm. After that, there are two more payment runs; at 1 am and 3 am.
ANNA can accept inbound FPS and BACS payments that are processed every half an hour. It can take up to 15 minutes to get the payment, and in some circumstances up to 45 minutes when they’re experiencing delays.
ANNA is working with Payoneer to send and receive payments. You can make international transfers in Euros, US Dollars, and GBP and receive payments into your ANNA account in US Dollars and Euros. To get started, you’ll need to open a Payoneer account and link it to your ANNA account.
International transfers are supported by Currencycloud and use fair and real-time exchange rates with no additional fees. To set up an international transfer, just type ‘international transfers’ into the ANNA app chat.
ANNA account only supports electronic direct debits and not paper ones. It’s free to set up Direct Debits using your ANNA Money business account details. To set up a Direct Debit, you’ll need to give your ANNA business account number and sort code.
When you first set up a Direct Debit, it will take up to 5 working days to confirm. Remember this so you don’t get caught with your pants down.
The Direct Debit Guarantee Scheme protects your payments in the case if ANNA, you, or whoever you want to pay makes a mistake with your Direct Debit. In that case, you’re entitled to a full refund, straightaway.
E-commerce businesses will be happy to know that ANNA works with many merchant and payment services so it’s easy to get payouts from them. Here’s the list:
- PayaTrader/PayaCard, Elavon, Stripe, WorldPay, SquareUp, SumUp, iZettle, Evo Payments, Payzone, PayPal, Amazon Payments, Amazon Business Seller, Barclaycard PDQ, GoCardless, and Shopify.
How is ANNA regulated?
ANNA is not a bank but rather an e-money institution and is regulated as such by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This means that your deposits aren’t insured by the FSCS insurance scheme that protects funds up to £85,000. Does that mean your money isn’t safe? Read on…
Is my money safe with ANNA?
Because ANNA is an e-money institution and a mobile business account, it plays by different rules and safeguards your money by holding all of it in a separate account in the Bank of England. It has no access to it unless you want to pay a bill for example or withdraw it. It’s a so-called ring-fenced approach to making your money safe.
It also doesn’t speculate with your money and doesn’t loan it to others like a regular bank would do. If ANNA were to go bust, you’d get your money back automatically straight from the Bank of England.
ANNA customer reviews
ANNA has a 4.7-star rating on Trustpilot with 83% of reviewers saying that the service is excellent and 9% that it’s bad. People commend the simplicity and ease of use of the app.
Then there’s a certain percentage of customers that either had their accounts blocked or their money transfers delayed. This is unfortunately nothing new when it comes to digital banks and nearly every neobank has its share of these issues.
In our opinion, the customer support staff hiring doesn’t follow the rapid expansion of these companies that also need to comply with government anti-money laundering rules. This all leads to grief in some users that get their money and/or accounts blocked.
ANNA’s Competitors and alternatives
One of the best alternatives to ANNA is Starling with their free personal and business accounts. More than 300,000 UK companies and sole traders have a Starling business account. With them, you’ll get a fully regulated UK bank account that gets your deposit FSCS-insured up to £85,000. You can also avail of Starling’s Business Account Switch Service that will help you move all your banking over to them.
Monzo Business account offers a wide range of features that makes it an appealing offer to many business owners. With a fully licensed and insured UK account with online services that are user-friendly and sign-up that is a breeze, Monzo is an up-and-comer in the business banking world and entrepreneurs can do a lot with its business account.
Revolut Business was launched in 2017 in a bid to slash banking expenses for companies, sole traders, and freelancers. Revolut Business accounts can be set up online in minutes with an option of a free account, as well as three paid membership plans with extra features and fewer fees.
The bottom line
The highlight of ANNA’s service is the slick app and all of the helpful features integrated into it that make business banking much more comfortable. Managing expenses and chasing up invoices is made so much easier when you use this app, and the option for multiple debit cards, even with the free plan, is undoubtedly a plus.
There are cheaper alternatives for business accounts on the market. Yet, ANNA’s unique service and features make it a service we’d recommend looking into further if you are growing your own business.