Coconut: a new kind of bank account for freelancers

A new challenger bank aimed at freelancers has launched an introductory beta program.

Coconut is a London-based banking service that specialises in providing solutions for freelance workers, offering them a simple way to manage their finances.

The service, which is operated through an an app, allows freelancers to invoice, manage spending, and track their tax position.

Coconut is in private beta, and currently only available for iPhone users, but interested freelancers can now sign up for an invite.

What does Coconut offer freelancers?

Coconut is the latest in a line of new business ‘challenger banks’ aiming to streamline the banking process for small firms.

The services are generally run through smartphone apps, and either offer a prepaid debit card or a full bank account with account number and sort code. Coconut is based on a prepaid debit card model, although it is thought that the organisation will seek a full banking licence.

Once freelancers have received an invite to the beta program, they will receive a debit card and access to the app. Through Coconut, freelancers and small business sole traders can send invoices within the app, and track and categorise their spending.

Coconut uses push notifications to show when payments are received, and reminds freelancers when invoices are due.

But the app also helps workers keep track of their tax position, with a running total in the app showing expected liabilities at the end of the tax year. It’s even better for those who have student loans, as it can keep track of your repayments.

Launching in London

The app is currently focusing on the London freelance market. Once applicants have provided proof of identity and address, they are asked to collect their card and meet the Coconut team at breakfast events in the City.

Coconut is a direct competitor to new business challenger bank Tide, which runs on similar lines but is aimed at larger companies. Read our list of business challenger banks for more options.

Have you tried a challenger bank like Coconut or Tide? Let us know in the comments.

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