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Published 02 December 2022
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Acorn Business Account Review

Read on to find out more about Acorn business account's features, fees and eligibility criteria.

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The Acorn Business Account offers small businesses (companies with an annual turnover of £2 million or less) a current account that can be opened online in 24 hours without the need to undergo a credit check if they can successfully pass identity and business checks. This could be a significant draw for your business if you have previously struggled to access essential banking tools, or just want to open an account quickly.

Your business could be able to access basic banking features such as 24/7 online banking and use of a prepaid Mastercard for payments. You can also use Barclays branches to pay in cheques and cash.

Here, we explore the features offered with an Acorn Business Account so that you can see if it might suit your business needs.

Pros and cons of Acorn

There are several factors to consider before deciding whether the Acorn Business Account is the right option for you and your business.

Pros of Acorn business account

  • Open an account in 24 hours on weekdays
  • No credit check subject to passing identity and business checks
  • SMS, telephone and online banking
  • Deposit cheques and cash at Barclays branches
  • Access to an account manager
  • Up to four additional payment cards for staff

Cons of Acorn business account

  • £65 account application fee
  • Minimum monthly fee of £12.50
  • Fees for account deposits, ATM withdrawals, direct debits, standing orders
  • Cheques can be deposited but not issued
  • No overdraft facility
  • Foreign transaction fees
  • Deposits not protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)

What features does Acorn offer customers?

The main features of the Acorn account are:

  • online banking
  • automated phone service or SMS to check balance
  • cheque deposits
  • cash deposits and withdrawals
  • account manager to help you with day-to-day banking
  • up to five debit cards
  • customer support via phone, live chat, post and email

What do other Acorn account reviews say?

Online reviews can be a useful way of gauging the reliability of a business, though reviews for Acorn are limited and range from mixed to negative. These reviews may come from both personal and business customers.

  • Trustpilot: 1.8 out of 5, based on 19 reviews (5% 5-star and 90% 1-star).
  • Google Play: 3.5 out of 5, based on eight reviews.
  • Apple Store: 3 out of 5, based on 14 reviews.

This information is correct as of 2 December 2022.

Conclusion

For businesses struggling to find access to banking due to bad credit, the Acorn Business Account could be a useful solution. Its charges do not compare well with other business banking options, but the fact that there is no credit check when you apply may be helpful for a business unable to access a bank account elsewhere.

If your business does not have a history of bad credit, the features of an Acorn Business Account are unlikely to be appealing enough to balance out the application fee, monthly costs and transaction charges.

Acorn Business Bank Account FAQs

What is Acorn business banking?

Acorn is not a bank, but is an Authorised Payment Institution (API). It offers businesses the chance to access the sorts of tools they might need to manage their money.

An Acorn account can be set up in 24 hours on weekdays and allows customers to bank online and pay in cash and cheques at Barclays branches. You can also access an account manager to help with day-to-day banking.

» MORE: Same-day business bank accounts

Is Acorn a bank?

Acorn is not a bank because it does not have a UK banking licence. Acorn Account is a brand name used by Equals Money UK, registered with the Financial Conduct Authority.

» MORE: What is a challenger bank?

Is my money safe with Acorn?

As Acorn is not a bank, it is an API, so your money is not protected by the FSCS. However, the money you send Acorn should be safeguarded in a dedicated client money bank account at a registered bank. In the case of Acorn’s insolvency, the money should be safe in those external accounts as they are separate from Acorn’s own finances.

How does an Acorn Business Account work?

An Acorn business account allows you to make online payments and transfers, make card payments, pay in cheques, and withdraw and deposit cash.

You will need to pay a fee to set up the account, plus a monthly fee and charges for certain transactions.

With an Acorn Business Account, you are able to deposit cheques and cash at Barclays bank branches. You will also be able to use your Corporate Mastercard to make withdrawals (fees apply per transaction) at UK ATMs accepting Mastercard. You can make payments with your card in person, online and over the phone. Up to four additional cards are available per account.

You can also make payments by setting up direct debits and standing orders, or by online transfer. This can be done through online banking, or over the phone.

Does the Acorn business account have an app?

Yes, the Acorn Account app is available in the Apple App Store and Google Play.

Does Acorn offer traditional support?

Acorn operates a customer service call centre to answer customer queries and help with everyday banking issues. Live Chat is available too.

Business customers can also contact an account manager for help with day-to-day banking.

Where can I find Acorn bank login details?

Acorn can help you log in to your account by providing your username over the phone. Passwords can be sent to customers through the post and should arrive seven to 10 days after being requested.

How can I open an Acorn business account?

Acorn Business Accounts can be opened online without the need for a credit check. If you apply Monday to Friday, your account should be open within 24 hours subject to identity checks. This includes providing proof of ID, such as a valid UK passport or UK photocard driving licence, and proof of address, such as utility bills, bank or credit card statements no more than three months old.

To be eligible for an Acorn Business Bank Account, you must be aged over 18 and your business must be registered in the UK.

How can I contact Acorn?

You can contact Acorn through the web form on its website or by using the live chat feature. This is open Monday to Saturdays, but closed on Sundays and bank holidays.

Alternatively, you can call to speak to customer services Monday to Friday or contact an automated phone service 24/7.

There is an SMS service available to load your card and make balance requests.

You could also send a letter directly to Acorn.

Review methodology

At NerdWallet UK, we base our reviews and our ‘Best’ pages on the results of surveys we undertook about what was important to people who use these products. This allows us to look at products impartially of any commercial arrangements we have and fairly rate the products on the same set of criteria.

Best means our ‘Best’ and is based only on what products we have aligned to our surveys, which form the basis of our reviews and ratings. This means that there will be other products on the market that we have not included in our ‘Best’ pages. Best does not mean it’s best for you, nor does it mean the ‘cheapest’.

Our reviews may display lenders’ rates. This additional information has not been included in our evaluations but is still very important when choosing a product. Rates offered can depend on circumstances, amount and term. Always check details before proceeding with any financial product.

Product details reflect the information that was available at that time but may have changed since. We strive to give you a review on as many products as possible, but there will be products not included on the market. The review is our opinion, but it does not constitute advice, recommendation or suitability for your financial circumstances.

While we try to provide you with accurate information, the providers can change the terms of their products at any time, therefore it is advisable to check the terms before you proceed.

You can view our full review methodology here.

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