Why Anytime Banking could benefit the pub and hospitality trade

A country pub in Wigan adds up the advantages of Anytime Banking.

Why the mobile app* works for Ellie and Matt

  • Easy access whether you’re home or away: “Wherever I am, whatever I’m doing, I know how my business is operating and that the payment’s being made. It’s a nice security blanket around the business.” 
  • Online transactions help with cash flow: In a cash-rich business “90% of what you sell, you’ve not paid for” so there can be plenty of money in the till but that’s not necessarily a clear picture of incomings and outgoings. 
  • A speedy, daily update: The way that the bank links with accounting software means that every morning there’s an update of exactly what’s been taken, exactly what you owe and where your bottom line is.
  • Reassuring security measures: “I’m grateful when I get a text message saying I made a payment when I know I haven’t. I don’t mind the extra layers of security to my banking.” 


Brimming with charm, the White Lion country pub can be found in Wrightington, Wigan, where it’s been part of the scenery since the mid-19th century. Owners Matt and Ellie Furzeman extend a warm welcome to all, from locals to tourists – there’s even parking for those arriving on horseback.

Having been landlords since 2007, they were both fully on board with buying the pub when it went on the market. After years spent putting their stamp on it via a renovation, community-driven ideas and a popular menu reflecting their passion for food, it was a natural progression.  

“We’ve run it for 17 years, owned it for six months now and it’s continuing to grow as part of the community. A pub with a great team, which serves great food and drink,” says Matt.

How did the bank help with buying the pub?

Ellie and Matt expected to have trouble organising a mortgage** with the bank, predicting the pub trade would be viewed as too volatile. “We were really surprised. Mark, my relationship manager from the bank, was great: he came to the pub, we gave him all our figures. It felt like he was our biggest champion,” says Matt. 

After 16 years of trade behind them and two years since Covid, it was gratifying to find the bank was interested, he reveals, pointing out it’s time to promote the industry as a whole. “I think everyone works hard in every industry. However, in this job, someone will always make you laugh, every single day.”  

“It’s all about the people,” agrees Ellie.

Anytime Banking helps to make life easier

Anytime Banking is a great boost to a business that’s in the pub trade, which is generally cash-rich. “So 90% of what you sell, you’ve not paid for,” says Matt, explaining that where a lot of people have historically got into trouble is in the fact the business can look like it’s doing very well because there’s money in the till every night, but most of that money isn’t theirs.

The speed of Anytime Banking and the way the bank links with accounting software means that every morning there’s an update of exactly what’s been taken, exactly what you owe and where your bottom line is, they explain.

Ellie says they use the bank’s website and the mobile software to monitor their business and check in. “We’re using it regularly, all day, every day. We don’t write any cheques to make payments. It’s all done online.” 

This also helps with staying on top of cash flow, says Matt. “I know my suppliers have been paid and my staff have been paid. It’s a nice security blanket around the business.” 

Covid changed the payments landscape

With cash becoming less popular, a lot of customers use credit and debit cards. Covid changed the way payments were made, and, although they would never refuse to take cash, the increased transparency of online transactions is refreshing. 

“If I pay my supplier, all my invoices match up. I pay them, they get the money. There’s no problem with the cheque going missing in the post or anything else. So this transparency takes a lot of pressure off as a business owner,” explains Matt. 

Secure transactions at home or abroad

“We went on holiday this year and we could still log on and make sure all the payments were in progress, and all the staff were paid. Any issues that come up you can just check on your phone straightaway,” says Ellie.

“Wherever I am, whatever I’m doing, I know how my business is operating and that the payment’s being made,” agrees Matt. 

They’re also impressed by the tighter security that comes with mobile and Anytime Banking. “I don’t mind the extra layers of security to my banking. I’m happy to take that.” he says, referring to biometric approval, the bank’s latest authentication technology, which uses facial recognition.

“Sometimes the security can be frustrating because it is that secure; however, it’s the future and the way forward,” he asserts.

And with the banking taken care of, the couple can focus on what they do best: running a thriving business that plays a growing part in their local community.

Learn more about Anytime Banking.


*Anytime Banking is available to Ulster business account customers. App available to business customers with compatible iOS and Android devices and a UK or international mobile number in specific countries.

**Security may be required. Product fees may apply. Over 18s only. Subject to status, business use only. ANY PROPERTY OR ASSET USED AS SECURITY MAY BE REPOSSESSED OR FORFEITED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON ANY DEBT SECURED ON IT.

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