ANNA Business Card & Bank Account Review

A finance app with a debit card for sole traders and SMEs

ANNA - Bank Account and Card
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Freelancers and new small business owners often struggle when it comes to dealing with the financial admin that comes with running a business. It can be difficult to know how you need to approach your first tax return, what paperwork you need to submit when, and how much your company has spent over the previous year. To help manage this process, there are several app-based solutions. In another review, we covered Coconut, an account that gives you tax reporting and more with your account. Another similar provider is ANNA, and we’ve got the lowdown on what they have to offer.

Exclusive offer: Get your first 6 months of subscription to ANNA Money, for free. Account set up takes less than 10 minutes, and your debit Mastercard® will be on its way the same day. Sign-up here

Quick Look – Pros & Cons

Before we drill down into the finer details of the ANNA service, we’ve outlined some of the main advantages and disadvantages of the account and business card:

Pros:

  • A useful app-based account that helps you to manage your invoices and banking.
  • Free three-month trial of the service available.
  • Mastercard offering free transactions and ATM withdrawals in your home country.
  • Easy application process.

Cons:

  • Once the free trial is over, it costs £11 per month.
  • Fees for foreign transactions.
  • Not a complete bank account, meaning you’ll likely need another provider in addition. 
  • You can’t access credit or an overdraft using the account.

This is a fairly balanced set of pros and cons, and, as we’ll see, whether the positives outweigh the negatives depend on your situation and needs.

What is ANNA?

ANNA, an acronym for ‘Absolutely No Nonsense Admin’

ANNA, an acronym for ‘Absolutely No Nonsense Admin’, is a mobile-based business account that’s focused on the admin and tax side of managing your finances. The company isn’t a bank – they don’t provide credit, loans, or interest. Instead, they offer business accounts complete with a sort code and account number. Along with a mobile app that helps you stay on top of everything, ANNA also provide customers with a Mastercard debit card.

ANNA Money Onboarding
The ANNA app has a fun and simple onboarding process

The service uses both artificial intelligence and human insights, making paying and sending invoices easy and convenient. ANNA launched in the UK at the end of 2018, after beta testing the app via 2,000 initial customers.

How Does ANNA Work?

It’s really easy to get started with ANNA. Signing up with an account takes just 10 minutes, and your card will then be dispatched on the same day. In the meantime, you can begin using the app to manage your money. You can also create an account through the ANNA website. There are a few documents that you’ll have to provide when you’re applying for your account:

  • Identity documents, such as a driving license or passport.
  • Proof of your current address, such as a bank statement or utility bill from the last three months.
  • Details of your company, including the names and addresses of any shareholders owning more than 25% of the business.
Easily send invoice payment reminders
Easily send invoice payment reminders

It’s worth noting that you have to be the company director in order to apply for an ANNA account, whether it’s for a limited company, partnership, or as a sole trader.

It takes around five days for your new Mastercard to arrive, and from there you can use it to make payments and ATM withdrawals. You’ll also be able to transfer and receive money and create invoices using the ANNA app. As we’ll see, there are many other features the account provides.

What Features Does ANNA Have?

There are several notable elements of the ANNA system that make it a useful tool for your business:

  • A handy app. The beating heart of ANNA’s service is the app. From here, you can manage just about every aspect of your business finance. It makes it super easy to organise your money and account for your spending.
  • Notifications. The app will send you alerts to notify you when you have upcoming tax deadlines or invoices that are overdue.
  • Invoicing. ANNA creates, sends, and chases your invoices, so you don’t have to. This can save you a lot of time and help you keep on top of your cash flow.
  • 24-hour support. You can contact ANNA through the app at any time. They will get back to you within ten minutes. If not, they’ll refund your monthly subscription fee.
  • Free cash withdrawals. You can take money out of an ATM in the UK without incurring fees from ANNA.
ANNA email inbox invoice
ANNA can automatically find invoices in your email inbox

With these features, you have a fairly comprehensive way of managing your business finances. The addition of the Mastercard debit card, you can also make purchases for your company.  

What Are the Fees for Using ANNA?

Unlike other similar services, such as Coconut, ANNA isn’t a free account. There is a monthly fee of £11. However, you do get an initial three-month free trial. This gives you the chance to try out the service and see whether it’s the right fit for you.

There are other fees associated with the account. For example, if you make a purchase or ATM withdrawal in a currency other than GBP, you will incur a charge. For those who travel a lot on business, this is far from ideal. Plenty of other ‘challenger banks’ are free of these restrictions, so it’s a shame to see this one charging.

Who is ANNA For?

Anyone who is a director of a limited company, as well as those in partnerships and sole traders, can apply for an ANNA account. This is very much the target demographic, although it’s maybe hard to see how those in medium-sized enterprises would utilise these tools above others.

Those who are trying to reduce the amount of admin-related company work they have to do will find plenty of the features useful.

ANNA Money alerts include one for your Corporation Tax bill
ANNA Money alerts include one for your Corporation Tax bill

For new freelancers and small business owners, there is a lot that is appealing. Having reminders to pay taxes and chase invoices is especially useful, as it can take some time to get into the habit of doing these things. The AI chatbot assistant is also helpful, allowing you to have a hands-free way of working. If you have multiple accounts, you can connect them all to the app and keep a better eye on your funds.

Those who are trying to reduce the amount of admin-related company work they have to do will find plenty of the features useful.

What are the Drawbacks of Using ANNA?

ANNA is by no means a perfect service, but then again very few are. Here are several drawbacks that count against ANNA accounts, as we’ve outlined below:

  • Foreign currency transaction fees. If you travel a lot for business, the withdrawal and purchase fees that you’ll be charged can seem prohibitive. This is particularly true when you compare ANNA to other companies such as Monzo and Revolut.
  • Monthly fee. After the free trial, you’ll have to start paying a monthly fee of £11. For some, it may be hard to justify the spend, particularly if the features aren’t saving you that much each month. Competitor service Coconut is free.
  • Not a comprehensive service. ANNA isn’t a bank. They can’t loan you money, give you an overdraft, or provide a credit card. As such, it’s highly likely you’ll need another bank account to get comprehensive financial coverage.

Of course, these drawbacks could be only minor annoyances depending on your situation and what you’re planning on using the service for.

How Safe is ANNA?

ANNA isn’t a bank and therefore doesn’t need a banking license or any regulator’s deposit protection in place. However, it is regulated by the FCA, giving customers some peace of mind when it comes to using the ANNA account. The Mastercard is issued by Wirecard Card Solutions, and they have a licence to issue electronic money.

ANNA isn’t a bank and therefore doesn’t need a banking license or any regulator’s deposit protection in place.

The ANNA app is also secured with a PIN, and if your card is lost or stolen, you can deactivate it using your mobile. Overall, ANNA seems like a safe service for consumers.

ANNA Verdict

Ultimately, there are plenty of features that make ANNA an intriguing prospect, especially for freelancers and those who’ve just started their business. The admin tasks of managing finances can sometimes be a little annoying, and ANNA does well to minimise the hassle of these simple tasks. The invoicing and reminder features allow you to keep on top of your money, and the app is simple to use.

The £11 monthly fee seems a little steep, particularly if the features aren’t saving you that much each month. Thankfully, the three-month free trial gives you the opportunity to test out the features and see if they’re beneficial.

If you travel a lot with business, the fees for transactions abroad can soon mount up. Other services may provide a better experience here, and it’s likely you’ll need one. ANNA is by no means a comprehensive banking solution.

Overall, there are many positives, and for certain people, this tool could be a lifesaver.

Exclusive offer: Get your first 6 months of subscription to ANNA Money, for free. Account set up takes less than 10 minutes, and your debit Mastercard® will be on its way the same day. Sign-up here

ANNA Money Review
Pros
Helps you to manage your invoices and banking
Free three-month trial
Easy application process
Cons
Relatively high cost of £11 p/m after free trial
Fees for foreign transactions
Not a complete bank account
4.3