Coconut operates a bank account aimed at the self-employed and small business owners, but it's closed to new applications. Use our table to compare alternative business accounts you can open in the UK.
Coconut has confirmed that it is no longer accepting new business account applications. If you are an existing Coconut business account holder, then your account will remain open and you can still use it for your banking.
Coconut is taking new applications from self-employed people who want to sign up to its smart accounting tool – this is an app that helps manage expenses, invoices and tax, but it does not have any banking capabilities.
Coconut has confirmed that it’s no longer accepting new applications for its business current account. But if you’re an existing Coconut business account holder, then your account will remain open and we have reviewed the offering below.
Coconut aims to make your business finances easier, and by doing so it will “free you up to do more of the work you love”. It does this by relieving you of some of the stress that comes with your tax returns and expenses – estimating the tax you’ll owe, documenting paid or unpaid invoices and tracking expenses.
Alongside these features Coconut works as a business current account, giving you control over the money you earn through your trade.
Rather than relying on bells and whistles, Coconut delivers an app which works to make things as simple as possible for the user. Displaying your earnings front and centre on the introductory screen, Coconut encourages you to explore the app from there.
The Coconut app provides a number of features including:
Taxes: See your earnings and the estimated amount of tax you will be required to pay at the end of the financial year.
Payments: Keep a record of your paid and unpaid invoices and how much they’re worth.
Activity: A record of your spending. Not only a way to keep an eye on where your money’s going, but also necessary when tax returns are due.
Card: Activate and deactivate your card from the app.
More: Get a rundown of FAQs, change your tariff and get more out of your Coconut account.
Coconut is registered with the FCA and security is high on its priority list. Your account is kept behind a two-step authentication process and your password is encrypted using industry-standard encryption. Coconut says it also regularly scans for threats and backs up data to make sure it’s always safe.
Pros and cons of Coconut
Open an account quickly and easily for free.
Card sent to you upon registration.
All Coconut’s services are managed through the app.
A record of your spending helps you save money and work out your annual income.
The tax page helps calculate how much tax you will owe at the end of the financial year.
Paid-for account option offers useful features to help your business grow.
You’ll probably still need a traditional bank account for some of your financial needs.
Alternatives to Coconut
Tide is another accounting-style app that can be used by the self-employed, and it provides an online-only business current account too.
Just like with Coconut, this app will assist you with your invoices, taxes and business expenses. There’s a range of charts and graphs to help you get to grips with your financial position.
There are no extra charges applied when you use your Tide account overseas. However, you will face a 20p charge on all transfers in and out of your Tide account. Card transactions cost nothing. ATM withdrawals will cost you £1.
Tide has free and paid-for plan options (at £9.99 and £49.99 depending on your usage), plus you can also apply for a business loan through Tide.
ANNA is a similar app, which comes with a business current account. You can use the app to make use of invoice tracking, spending reports and budgeting.
On top of that, you can pull together your bank accounts, credit cards and investments and view them all in one place.
ANNA offers 1% cashback on a range of business expenses too.
There is a free version available, and for a premium ANNA account, you’ll either pay £4.90, £9.90 or £19.90 per month depending on your business income.
Amaiz is another digital-only current account for sole traders and company owners. It’s packed with useful features to help self-employed people manage their finances easier.
On top of that, you can connect your Amaiz account to professional accounting software.
There’s a free version available, and if you upgrade to a premium plan for £9.99 a month you’ll also be able to access advice from ACCA-certified accountants. There’s a one-month trial, so you can see for yourself whether this service is useful to you.
Cashplus might be a particularly attractive option for self-employed people with a poor credit history.
It doesn’t require a credit check to open a Cashplus mobile-only business current account.
The account fee is £69 per year and you can apply for an arranged overdraft on your account too.
Coconut is a strong digital-only proposition, and particularly suited to self-employed people who run small businesses or are sole traders. It’s easy to use all of its services through the app, and the invoicing tool and tax calculation feature are particularly eye-catching. Although the basic account is free to open and use (apart from a £1 ATM fee), you may find you need the paid-for version for the full range of services, or you may prefer an account with one of the more traditional banking providers if you have more complex business banking needs. Learn more about other business bank accounts.
Frequently asked questions
Coconut makes money through several different avenues:
Interchange fee: Every time a transaction is made using a Coconut card, Coconut earns a small interchange fee for processing the payment.
Subscription fee: The paid-for Coconut “Grow” account costs £4.95 per month.
Other fees: Coconut’s fees, while small, add up over time.
Transfer money or set up direct payments to your Coconut account to get it up and running.
Charlie Barton is a publisher at Finder. He specialises in banking and investments products, including banking apps, current accounts, share-dealing platforms and stocks and shares ISAs. Charlie has a first-class degree from the London School of Economics, and in his spare time enjoys long walks on the beach.
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