FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How long does it take to switch your account?
If you use the Current Account Switch Service that we provide your account will be fully switched in 7 working days.
How do I switch my account to an Acorn Account®?
Switching your account to an Acorn Account® has never been easier by using the Current Account Switch Service. We can switch all your Direct Debits, standing orders and wages/benefits. In order to switch your account call us on 0871 811 1881 (Calls cost 11p per minute, plus your phone company's access charge) and we will switch this over the phone.
Does everything on my old account get switched to my new account?
No, recurring payments, also known as continuous payment authorities are not part of the guarantee. These are set up using your debit card details, rather than your account number and sort code, and are often used for telecoms bills, gym membership and payday loan repayments. So if you switch to an Acorn Account®, you'll need to let the companies concerned know your new card details.
What happens to any debit card transactions that I have asked my old bank to stop?
The Current Account Switch Service should not interfere with this process and any debit card transactions that you have asked your bank to stop should remain so after your switch.
If you are not a bank, what are you?
We are an Authorised Payment Institution (API), operating under the Payment Services Regulations authorised and regulated by the FCA. The main difference between an API and a bank is that we are not licensed to use the customer's money for any purpose such as lending. There are other key differences between a Bank and an API, such as different "Conduct of Business" and capital adequacy rules.
Is my money protected by the FSCS?
Acorn Account is a trading style of Spectrum Payment Services Limited who are an FCA Authorised Payment Institution. This means we are not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. Instead, we have segregated your funds in a safeguarding account with our chosen banking providers (Barclays Bank PLC, National Westminster Bank plc or the Bank of England). This means those funds would be separated from our other assets in the event of our insolvency and used to repay you and other clients. Any money on your card is held in a safeguarded account held by the card issuers (Fair Payments Limited) chosen banking provider (Barclays Bank PLC, National Westminster Bank plc). Fair Payments Limited is a subsidiary of Equals Group PLC. Registered Office: 3rd Floor, Vintners’ Place, 68 Upper Thames St, London, EC4V 3BJ. Barclays Bank PLC, National Westminster Bank plc and the Bank of England provide us with safeguarding account(s), but do not monitor the funds we place on the safeguarding account or how we operate these accounts. As an FCA Authorised Payment Institution it is our responsibility to segregate funds.
I have a bad credit history; can I still get a current account?
Yes, you can. You can get an Acorn Account, regardless of your credit history. We don't make any credit checks*, we can help you make a fresh start.
Can I apply online?
Yes, you can. Simply click here to complete our online application form. If you have any problems, or require some assistance, please telephone 0844 846 5119 (Calls cost 7p per minute, plus your phone company's access charge.) and one of our advisors will guide you through the process.
Can I get my salary/wages paid into my account directly?
Yes you can. To get your salary/wages paid into your account you usually only have to supply your employer with your sort code and account number. Alternatively, you can complete a wage mandate and hand to your employer. Please contact Customer Services who will be able to arrange to send a mandate out to you.
How can I withdraw cash?
You can withdraw cash from most cash machines (ATMs) that display the Mastercard Acceptance Mark using your card and PIN. There is a maximum limit per transaction of £250, with a daily total limit of £450.
It is also possible to withdraw cash over the counter at any high street bank, up to a maximum of £2,000 per day. To use this service you will need to present your card along with photo identification.
You can also get cash back from some retailers who offer this service.
How much does the Acorn Account current account cost?
For just £14.50 per month you get a current account that allows you to manage your finances easily and hassle free. You'll get access to our online account access system and access to our account management team who are just a phone call away. You also get the added convenience of an Acorn Account Debit MasterCard card, so you can use it to shop or withdraw money at home or abroad. You can add a 2nd person to an Acorn account at any time for an additional £5 per month, the balance is shared between both cards. If there are insufficient funds in your Billing Account to cover a standing order or direct debit that you have set up, we will notify you by text 5 working days in advance. If there are still insufficient funds to make the payment 2 working days before it is due to be paid, we will text you again and notify you that we have not made the payment. If there are insufficient funds in your Billing Account to cover a direct debit we will notify you by text on the day the direct debit is due to be paid. We will keep trying to pay the direct debit up until 5pm so you will have until that time to deposit cleared funds into your Billing Account for the direct debit to be processed. The text alerts are free (network charges may apply) helping you manage your money for no extra cost. There is no account opening fee, you just pay the monthly fee in advance.
Please see our Summary Box for fees that apply to the card.
Why am I charged a transaction fee for purchasing something on my card outside of the UK?
Transactions fees are charged for converting your money into a foreign currency. We charge 2.75% of the transaction amount when you use your prepaid card to make a transaction in a currency other than pounds. For example: if you were to spend £100 outside of the UK we will charge you a £2.75 transaction fee. For currency exchange fees (daily and historical) please visit the Mastercard website.
Please see our Summary Box for fees that apply to the card.
How can I check my balance? Do you send paper statements?
You can check your balance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week using our online account, click here to log in. You can view your statement online or print for safe keeping. You can also check your balance by telephoning your personal account manager on 0871 811 1884 (calls cost 11p per minute, plus your phone company's access charge), and they'll let you know your balance and inform you of any upcoming debits from your account. If you have registered your mobile phone number with us, you can also check your balance by sending a text to 60777 containing the word "BALANCE". You will be charged your standard network rate for sending the text request to us, and £0.15 by us for sending the text back to you.
Can I apply if I'm self employed?
Yes, you can apply whatever your circumstances. We accept applications from the employed, self employed and unemployed. As we perform no credit checks*, you can still be accepted for an Acorn account even if you have had CCJs or defaults in the past. We will also accept applications where the High Street banks may have turned you down due to bankruptcy etc.
Do you provide online account management?
Yes, you will be sent a secure password which will allow you to login to your secure online account. When you login for the first time you will be asked to set up two step authentication to be able to securely access your account online at any time. Using your online account you will be able to check balances, view statements, order a second card, authorise and amend direct debits, set up and amend standing orders, pay your bills via our Faster Payment service, set up your text alerts and amend your personal details.
Do you pay interest?
No, we are unable to pay interest on any funds credited to us.
Do you offer cheque books?
Acorn Account doesn't issue cheque books for its customers. We find that most of our customers prefer making payments online or by card. Cheques can be deposited, however, using the provided giro book, in any Barclays branch.
Do you offer loans and overdrafts?
Not at the moment but we are currently working on offering our current account customers borrowing facilities.
Do you offer Direct Debits?
Yes we do. All you need to do is give your account details to the company you wish to set up a direct debit with and they will take care of the rest. You can manage all your direct debits when you log into your online account.
How do I pay a bill/transfer money?
You can pay bills from your account by Direct Debit, Standing Order or same day/next day Faster Payment, either by using your online account or by telephoning the call centre (please see opening times).
Simply give your sort code and account number to the company you wish to pay. You can view your active & cancelled Direct Debits on your online account.
In order to set up a Standing Order on your account you'll need the sort code and the account number of the organisation you're paying. Sometimes they'll also require you to have a reference number.
Electronic Bank Transfer
You can transfer funds out of your account to any other UK bank account via Faster Payment1. Please see the details for this service below.
|Same Day Faster Payments||Received at Beneficiary Bank|
|Next Day Faster Payments||Received at Beneficiary Bank|
|Monday to Friday before 16:302||Next day|
1 Some banks only accept BACS payments. These take 3 working days
2 If you affect a Next Day Faster Payment after 16:30 Monday to Friday, it will be received at the beneficiary bank the following working day.
Where is my money kept - is it safe?
Yes, your money in your billing account is held securely with our chosen banking provider (Barclays Bank plc, National Westminster Bank plc or the Bank of England). Any money on your card is held in a safeguarded account held by the card issuers (Fair Payments Ltd) chosen banking provider (Barclays Bank plc, National Westminster). Fair Payments Limited are a subsidiary of Equals Group PLC. Registered Office: 3rd Floor, Vintners' Place, 68 Upper Thames St, London, EC4V 3BJ.
How do I deposit cash or cheques?
You can deposit cash and cheques using only the bank giro forms provided by us. You will need to deposit these at any Barclays branch by using the completed form. Please refer to our terms and conditions for details of the cheque clearing rules. We do not accept cheques payable to a third party and endorsed in your favour.
Can I transfer money in from my Paypal account?
Yes. The Acorn current account can be used in conjunction with your Paypal account. Please click here to download a PDF document which provides the instructions. If you have any difficulties our customer services staff will be happy to help you, please Contact Us for assistance.
What are your opening times?
Phone lines are open:
Monday to Friday 8.30am - 5pm (closed weekends and bank holidays)
Live chat is open:
Monday to Friday 8.30am - 5pm
Saturdays 9.30am to 1pm (closed Sundays and bank holidays)
Do I have an IBAN or SWIFT code?
IBAN stands for International Bank Account Number, which you can use when making or receiving international payments.
Your IBAN doesn't replace your sort code & account number - it's an additional number that contains extra information to help overseas banks identify your account for payments.
A SWIFT code (or SWIFTBIC, as it's sometimes known) is a code that helps overseas banks identify which bank to send money to. For example, if an overseas bank is sending to a payment to your Acorn account, they'll need to know our SWIFT code.
Your IBAN & SWIFT number is displayed in the log-in area of your online access.
What is Confirmation of Payee?
Confirmation of Payee (CoP) is a messaging service introduced to help prevent fraud and payments being sent to the wrong account, keeping your money safe and secure.
What payments and account types will CoP apply to?
CoP covers all payments made from and to GBP accounts in the UK that have a sort code and account number. CoP focuses on Faster Payments, BACS, CHAPS and standing orders.
How will it affect me?
CoP is being added to your account in two stages; the first for payments arriving into your account, and the second for payments leaving your account.
At present, CoP will only assist with the first stage.
To support this, the person or business sending you the money must ensure they have the correct account details for you. This includes:
- Your full name or your registered business name, exactly as it appears in your account.
- Your sort code and account number.
It’s important to let us know as soon as possible if your personal details change at all.
Later in the year we will be adding the functionality that allows you to verify outgoing payments to UK accounts too.
How is my data kept safe and secure?
Still have queries about CoP?
For any other queries relating to CoP, please use the Contact Us form or call our customer service team for help.