A Challenger Bank is a smaller, recently launched bank that aims to challenge the dominance of the long-established banking giants. They must abide by the same rules and regulations as any UK authorised bank. There are a number of Challenger Banks that are operating in the UK (see below) offering banking services to SMEs.

The pros of the Challenger Banks are that usually offer:

  • Lower bank fees.
  • Integrated business services.
  • Slicker online interfaces.
  • Better online support.

The cons can be characterised as:

  • Limited range of financial services.
  • No (or very limited) physical branch network.

You'll see below that there is a wide choice of Challenger Banks in the UK. However, we have been particularly impressed with the range of services offered by ANNA Money - As you will see, ANNA stands for Absolutely No Nonsense Admin.

Opening an ANNA account takes as little as 3 minutes - and you get your ANNA Mastercard ® within 5 working days, but your virtual card is ready right after signup, so you can start making payments with it even before your ANNA Money business debit card arrives in the mail).

ANNA provides the following services with 24/7 chat support:

  • Get paid online: Put your personal payment link on your business’s Instagram profile or anywhere else you want or send it to someone directly.
  • Pay in cash: You can pay cash into your account at thousands of PayPoints across the country.
  • Use Apple Pay and Google Pay: You can now use ANNA Money with Apple Pay & Google PayFree.
  • Business Account Cashback: Earn 1% cashback when you use your ANNA debit card to pay for a range of business expenses.
  • Small Business Loans: Flexible credit options for your business.
  • No Employee Reimbursements: Give co-workers their own ANNA debit card, set a spending limit, and the ANNA app automatically sorts their expenses.
  • Scheduled & recurring payments: Set up scheduled payments. ANNA notifies you in advance so you can make changes if necessary.
  • Open Banking: You can connect your other business and personal accounts to ANNA to keep a closer eye on your money.

Even better ...... ANNA Business Tools app and website that lets you:

  • Create, send and track professional-looking invoices.
  • Safely store business documents so your information is always at your fingertips.
  • Calculate and pay your taxes, and file your VAT Returns to HMRC.
  • Connect your bank accounts so all your information is in one place.
  • Check your key business deadlines with your personalised calendar.
  • Safely manage company documents - all your business documents in one place.

For details on pricing options, see which account and business tools best suit your needs.

Before deciding which is the right challenger bank for you, you should list the services that you require and then see if these are covered by the bank you are considering.

UK Challenger Banks offering Business Accounts:

Anna Money