Coconut review

We take a closer look at the current account aimed at freelancers and the self-employed as well as small business owners.

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Coconut
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Tide

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What is Coconut?

Coconut is a fresh face in the financial technology market, hoping to make money management easier. Coconut is all about providing a useful and innovative tool for tracking business finances.

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.

How does Coconut work?

Apart from the card you are sent in the post after you register, Coconut works through an app on your phone.

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’s fees and key features

Coconut offers a free or pay-monthly account:

“Start”

  • No monthly fee.
  • Automated bookkeeping.
  • Receipt capture.
  • Fee for cash withdrawals.
  • Tax estimation.
  • Limited number of invoices.
  • Commission charge on non-sterling tranactions.

“Grow”

  • £5 monthly fee.
  • Automated bookkeeping.
  • Receipt capture.
  • Fee for cash withdrawals.
  • Tax estimation.
  • Unlimited invoices.
  • No charge on non-sterling tranactions.
Coconut Start
Coconut Start
Account feeFree
FSCS protected
UK ATM charge£1
Account software integration
Requires credit check
Credit check
Key benefitsGet £10 when you open an account by October 31st
Overdraft
Freeze card from app or online banking
Instant notifications
Interest rate0%
Current account switch guarantee

Doing business overseas with Coconut

Coconut Start
Coconut Start
Overseas transaction charge2% currency conversion fee
Overseas ATM charge£1
International transfer charge2% foreign currency exchange fee

Is Coconut safe?

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.
  • Monthly subscription fee for premium facilities.
  • Fee for cash withdrawals.
  • No credit facility.
  • You’ll probably still need a traditional bank account for some of your financial needs.

Our verdict

Coconut is a strong digital-only proposition, and particularly suited to smaller businesses and 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.

Platforms similar to Coconut

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Account fee Bank transfers Accounting integrations Non-Sterling transactions Overdraft Account management Key benefits
Starling Business Account
Free
Free
Xero, FreeAgent
Free

Min. 18 months trading to apply
App, Online
Add the new Business Toolkit onto your free Starling account, and get the first month free of charge (RRP £7pcm)
Tide
Free
£0.20
Free if both accounts are with Tide
Xero, QuickBooks, FreeAgent, ReckonOne, Kashflow and Sage
Free
App
Free spending abroad and at home in any currency, instant payment alerts, automatic categorisation
Amaiz
£9.99 per month
Free in first month
Free Starter plan available
£0.20
FreeAgent, Xero, Sage, Reckon One, Kashflow, QuickBooks
1%
0.5% in Europe, 1% elsewhere
App, Online
ANNA
Free
Free up to a max. balance of £5,000 (or up to £500 paid in per month)
Free
2 free transfers per month and unlimited free transfers to Anna accounts
Coming soon
Free
App
Earn 1% cashback for paying with your ANNA card in selected categories. Enjoy premium benefits free for the first 6 months.
Cashplus business
£69
First year's annual fee refunded.
£0.99
Free transfers in first 3 months
FreeAgent, Xero
2.99%

On invitation
App, Online
First year's annual fee refunded.
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