Penta Bank Review

penta bank
penta card
  • Open a business account within 48 hours
  • German IBAN
  • Deposit insurance
  • Start from €9/m
  • Expense management
  • 30 days free trial

If you’re a freelancer or a small business owner in Germany, you’ll be interested in one of only a handful of digital banks focusing on you and your business. In this Penta review, we’ll be covering who can open a Penta account, what the benefits are, and if you should choose this company to fulfill your banking needs.

But first, here’s our short verdict:

If you’re just starting out, look no further than Penta. They offer a company incorporation service and a more than capable bank account suitable for freelancers and all sorts of companies. With a 30-day free trial, you’re welcome to try out their service before jumping the ship. 

penta infographic

About Penta

Penta is a relatively new online business bank accounts that offers fast online banking to small businesses and startups. They have a quick turnaround on sign-ups and the opportunity to fine-tune your expense management with corporate cards for your employees.

Penta is based in Berlin, Germany, where it launched in December 2017. There are plans to expand to other European countries. Penta has the backing of Solarisbank AG, a banking platform that holds a full German banking license. 

Solarisbank AG is also regulated by BaFin. It offers a €100,000 guarantee on deposits made to Penta so you can sleep easily.  

Why is Penta so special?

Penta is basically an all-encompassing business account that helps you manage your financial activities from just one platform. Expenses? Check. Loans? Check. International payments? Check. VISA debit cards for all employees? Check. 

There’s a plan for every type of freelancer or company and they start from as little as €9 per month. You can get access to two users and two cards all the way up to 15 users/cards, depending on your plan. 

There are more features that you need in your day-to-day business banking. Things like sub-accounts, withdrawals, direct debits, and transfers are all included as well as accounting software integrations such as lexoffice, Debitoor, DATEV, and others. 

More than 30k businesses are already using this unique German neobank that looks to disrupt the stale German banking market. 

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Easy to open an account
  • Sub-accounts
  • Pay in 35 currencies to 212 countries
  • Accounting tools integration
  • Deposit insurance

Cons

  • Chat support not available for all accounts
  • Some accounting tools missing
  • Sub-accounts not supported in the app

Fees

  • Monthly account fee (€9-€49/m)
  • Additional ATM withdrawals €2.50
  • 0,3%-1% FX mark-up fee
  • Extra user and extra card €2/m
  • Extra sub-account €4/m
  • POS €29

Who can open a Penta account?

It’s possible to open a Penta account in just a few minutes online by heading to the Penta website

German businesses with the following classifications can apply; UG, GmbH, AG, GbR, OHG, PartG, KG, e.K., and eG. If you are a German business in the process of incorporation (GmbH in Gründung and UG in Gründung), you can also apply.

Penta accounts

Starter (€9/m + VAT)

  • 2 users and 2 cards
  • 100 Outgoing SCTs
  • 1 subaccount
  • 2 free ATM withdrawals
  • 1% FX fee
  • Lexoffice, Debitoor, DATEV Unternehmen
  • SEPA Direct Debit
  • Penta rewards

Business plans include; the Starter plan for €9 a month, with 100 outgoing transfers per month, two Penta users, and two business Visa cards, a 1% foreign transaction fee, 2 free ATM withdrawals per month, as well as accounting integrations.

Comfort (€19/m + VAT)

  • 5 users and 5 cards
  • 300 Outgoing SCTs
  • 4 subaccount
  • 3 free ATM withdrawals
  • 0.5% FX fee
  • Lexoffice, Debitoor, DATEV Unternehmen
  • SEPA Direct Debit
  • Penta rewards
  • DATEV Belegbilderservice
  • Point-of-Sale Banking
  • Chat support

Then there’s the Comfort package at €19 per month, which includes 300 outgoing transfers per month, five Penta users, five business Visa cards, a 0.5% foreign transaction fee, 3 free ATM withdrawals per month, premium support, international payments, POS, and accounting integrations. 

Enterprise(€49/m + VAT)

  • 15 users and 15 cards
  • 600 Outgoing SCTs
  • 6 subaccount
  • 9 free ATM withdrawals
  • 0.3% FX fee
  • Lexoffice, Debitoor, DATEV Unternehmen
  • SEPA Direct Debit
  • Penta rewards
  • DATEV Belegbilderservice
  • Point-of-Sale Banking
  • Chat support

The last account type is the Enterprise package at €49 per month, which includes 600 outgoing transfers per month, 15 Penta users, 15 business Visa cards, a 0.3% foreign transaction fee, 9 free ATM withdrawals per month, premium support, international payments, POS, and accounting integrations. 

How to add funds to the Penta account?

The only way to add funds to your Penta account is by making a bank transfer. You initiate the transfer to your account using BIC and IBAN, which you can find in the ‘Account’ section.

Company formation

penta company formation

Penta Company Formation Packages

One of the Penta products is to form a UG or GmbH in Germany in as soon as seven days. 

Administrative, tax, and legal support are available in two packages, which cost €239 (one-time fee) for “Express” and €349 for the “Advisory” package. The main difference between the two is that you’ll get more legal support with the latter package. 

The Advisory package gives you premium phone support and five calls in total with a layer but also 3 months of free Advanced Penta account and 50% discount on 12 months with lexoffice. The advertised value of the Advanced package is €1,500 and that of Basic €800. 

At the moment that you sign up, you’ll be sent a legal package that includes employment contracts as well as all the answers needed about creating a company, accounting, tax, and other contracts needed to create a company.

You will then have to go to your local notary to certify documents that enable you to pay in the share capital in the new Penta account that you’ll open. After a day has passed, you’ll be able to download the bank statement to send to the notary to finish the process. 

Bookkeeping and accounting

Penta is an all-in-one solution for your business and therefore it wouldn’t be complete without accounting tool integrations. You can synchronize your Penta account with some of the most popular bookkeeping tools in Germany:

  • DATEV Enterprise Online
  • DATEV document imaging service (only for users of the Premium Plan)
  • lexoffice
  • Debitoor
  • Paperwork
  • Billomat
  • Accounting butler
  • sevDesk
  • Candis
  • FastBill 

By connecting to an accounting tool, you’ll spend less time doing manual work and make your life easier when tax season comes. And you can do bookkeeping as you go about doing your business; taking photos of your expense receipts and attaching them to payments. 

Team management

Penta has made it easy to manage your team’s cards and expenses by tailoring their expense management especially for the needs of German companies. 

You can:

  • Give out cards with custom spending limits
  • Sync a photo or a PDF receipt to transactions
  • Get personalized push notifications
  • Authorize or decline fraudulent transactions with SmartAgent
  • See all information in real-time
  • Easily export transactions and receipts
  • Share with accountant

Sub-accounts

You can create from 1 to 6 sub-accounts and use them to set aside money for tax, investments, or to simply separate finances for projects, expenses, or different business locations without opening a new account. 

Sub-accounts act as a normal Penta account and have an IBAN, bank statements, SEPA, direct debits, and all other features. You can allow your team members or accountant to view some or all Sub-Accounts.  

Penta POS

Businesses that accept payments in person can now do so by using the Penta POS system. They can accept debit and credit cards as well as contactless payments with payouts going directly to Penta’s business bank account without waiting time to receive funds. 

Another great news is that you don’t need to sign a contract to start using the POS as their SumUp Air device costs only a one-time payment of €29. Each transaction will cost 0.9% for debit cards and 1.9% for other types of cards. 

To get a Penta POS device, you’ll have to sign up for a Penta account first.  

Lending

Penta offers a complete business account for their customers including flexible loans from €1,000 up to €250,000. There are subsidized loans, finetrading and commercial funding, factoring, and regular loans. 

Regular loans have an annual interest rate of 1.9% and a duration of 1 – 48 months. After you apply, you can get an offer as fast as 24 hours. 

Your first step is to apply and choose the loan amount and the credit period. After you receive a personalized offer from one of Penta’s partners, you’ll have to choose one and upload the required documents. 

Your business loan will then be credited to your account.

Payments

It’s easy to send and receive money or to pay your suppliers, business partners, or freelancer abroad. The world is interconnected and many sole traders and companies work with talent from abroad so it’s nice to see that Penta has accommodated this fact. 

 Smart companies and entrepreneurs are always looking for ways to cut costs and by using Penta, you can also save a significant amount in exchange rate fees and payment costs. The FX rates range from 0.3% to 1% on the Starter plan.

Non-priority payments via local routes are charged just €3.50, and priority payments via the SWIFT network are priced from €15 to €30.

Who owns Penta? 

Penta was founded in 2016 by Aleksandar Orlic, Igor Kuschnir, Jessica Holzbach, Lav Odorovic, Luka Ivicevic, Matteo Concas, and Gabriel Holbach. Its headquarters are in Berlin, Germany, with an office in Belgrade, Serbia.

The company raised more than $71 million from nine rounds of funding. The last round, in August 2021, brought in €15 million.

Penta has 12 investors, including finleap, RTP Global, HV Capital, ABN AMRO Ventures, Presight Capital, S7V, VR Ventures, and others.

This German fintech company was acquired by another German fintech called finleap. finleap is Europe’s leading fintech ecosystem and is also headquartered in Berlin. Since it was founded in 2014, it has built and scaled 18 companies and added more to its ecosystem through acquisitions.

How is Penta regulated? 

Penta isn’t a bank but a fintech company that has partnered with Solarisbank AG a reputable bank from Germany that is regulated by the financial authorities. Through this bank, Penta is able to provide banking services and some of the tech infrastructure. 

Is my money safe with Penta?

Absolutely. Although Penta isn’t a bank, their partner Solarisbank is a fully-fledged bank and therefore, your deposits are insured up to €100,000 with the European Security Fund. 

The company also uses the latest security features such as the 3D Secure technology, real-time notifications, card freezing, two-factor authentication, and many other. 

Customer reviews

Penta has a 4.3-star rating out of 5 on Trustpilot from 600+ reviews, with 77% of reviewers giving it an excellent mark and 15% a bad one. With a score of 4.3 stars, Penta is worse than Anytime (4.6) and Revolut (4.4), and better than Holvi (4.2), N26 (3.9), and bunq (3.1), for example.

Customer service 

You can get answers to many questions on the FAQ section of the website, or you can contact them via email at help@getpenta.com or by phone at +49 30 255 585 803. The customer service team is available from 9 am to 6 pm on weekdays. 

Penta alternatives 

Holvi

holvi

Holvi is a solid alternative to Penta as it also targets freelancers and small business owners across not only Germany but also other major countries in the EU. It offers budgeting, reporting, expensing, and bookkeeping tools to help you run your business more easily. 

Revolut

revolut

We can’t talk about digital banks in Europe without mentioning Revolut. They already have more than 500,000 businesses in their portfolio and offer a range of personal and business accounts suitable for every pocket.

N26

n26 bank

N26 offers personal and business accounts in Germany and across Europe and the US. They have plenty of features that will come in handy for freelancers and small business owners. 

Wise

wise

Wise is another well-known fintech that offers accounts across the EU and the world. They offer multi-currency personal and business accounts and have some of the cheapest money transfers available. 

The bottom line

Should you open a Penta account? Definitely. Penta is growing at a steady pace and is improving its services as fast as it can. There are plenty of alternatives on the EU market that offer their services in Germany as well but Penta has tailored its accounts specifically for German entrepreneurs and companies.