ANNA says it will set you free from admin. Our review of pricing and features looks at whether it delivers on this promise.
ANNA is an online business current account and digital assistant for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). We’ve examined the features and pros and cons to help you decide whether it could make your business banking smoother.
ANNA Business account
- Never make an invoice again
- Say goodbye to invoice chasing
- Say hello to brilliant 24/7 customer service
- Sign up today and try ANNA free for three months
What is ANNA?
ANNA stands for “Absolutely No Nonsense Admin”. ANNA isn’t a bank, but it offers a business debit card and an app to help you manage banking and invoices.
The concept is to make it easy for SMEs to handle their banking and payments by removing all the admin work that usually comes with business banking.
ANNA prides itself on efficient customer service that combines human and artificial intelligence (AI).
How does an ANNA business account work?
After signing up online in a few minutes and getting your card, you will get an ANNA account. This includes:
- A current account.
- A card. ANNA’s card is a Mastercard debit card. No credit card options are available.
- App. ANNA’s app includes the usual services that come with a digital banking app, plus some handy features such as personalised reports.
- Payments. All local payments and transfers are free. International payments and transfers are subject to currency exchange fees.
- Cash withdrawals. ATM cash withdrawals are free.
- Invoice service. ANNA can create invoices for you and even chase due payments (politely, it says).
- 24/7 assistance. It’s mostly AI based and quite chatty, but it helps you stay in control of your finances, for example by volunteering to email invoices to customers as soon as they’re ready.
ANNA gives you a three-month trial for free, so that you can try it out and see if it’s what you’re looking for. After that, it’s £11 a month.
How do I apply for an ANNA business account?
ANNA promises that you can set up an account in 10 minutes and that the card will be on its way the same day. For a business account, it does seem pretty fast and stress-free to sign up to, and obviously you can do it online.
Eligible businesses include limited companies (you need to be the director to sign up) and non-limited businesses that are structured as a partnership or sole trader. You must be living in the UK.
Here’s what you’re going to need:
- Proof of identity (driving licence or passport)
- Proof of address (a utility bill or a bank statement, not older than three months)
- Details of the company – name, address and date of birth for shareholders who own 25% or more of your company
Is an ANNA business account suitable for my business?
Every business – and every businessperson – has its own way of dealing with banking and invoices, so it’s probably a good idea to give ANNA a try and see how it goes. Just remember to close the account before the trial period ends if you don’t want to commit.
ANNA is more suitable for SMEs, although it does claim it has bespoke pricing for businesses that make more than £1 million a month.
If you travel or do business abroad quite a lot, keep in mind that there are business accounts that allow free transactions in other currencies, whereas this is not the case for ANNA. ANNA is therefore probably a better fit for a UK-centred business.
Finally, invoice handling is probably the most innovative of ANNA’s features, so if you already have efficient accounting software or a system in place, you may not need ANNA.
Is ANNA Business safe?
ANNA is not a bank, so it doesn’t have a banking licence nor any regulator’s deposit protection in place. It is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in that the company that issues the card, Wirecard Card Solutions, has a licence to issue electronic money.
The Mastercard debit card is protected by a PIN and you can block the card if it gets lost or stolen.
Pros and cons of ANNA Business
- Three-month free trial.
- Free transactions and ATM withdrawals.
- Quick and easy set up, especially for a business account.
- Invoice service integrated in the app.
- Chatbot assistant that can perform a variety of tasks.
- Instant updates.
- £11 a month.
- Foreign currency fees for transactions in another currency.
- You still need a traditional bank account for most of your business’ financial needs.
- Doesn’t offer the same protection as a bank.
- No credit or overdraft.
Online business banking is still somewhat new, with challengers just setting foot in the market. Any online business account that allows you to sign up quickly online and to manage the account through an app is definitely worth considering.
ANNA is innovative in that it integrates invoicing and banking. Other challengers, such as Revolut, offer integration with accounting software Xero, but ANNA brings the two together directly in-house. So it could be a smart solution for a start-up whose payment and invoice systems aren’t up to speed yet.
ANNA’s fees are, all in all, quite reasonable and make it a good choice for a young and tech-savvy business. However, keep in mind that there are better options if you do much of your business abroad.
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