A new fintech startup has entered the scene and is the newest that is looking to take on the traditional high street banks by introducing a current account. However, it comes with a twist.
Coconut is squarely aimed at consultants, freelancers, and the self-employed, vowing to help them keep on top of their finances through innovative features. That includes informing users the amount of tax that they owe at any given time and when they are required to pay and a simple way of managing expenses, as well being able to keep track of payments from their various clients.
According to the newest official jobs figures, almost five million people in the United Kingdom are self-employed.
“The growth of self-employment in the UK is one of the biggest structural changes in our workforce of our time, but self-employed people are still one of the most underserved groups of businesses when it comes to banking products and services that meet their specific needs,” stated Sam O’Conner, the co-founder and chief executive.
“Staying on top of tax and expenses, getting paid on-time or managing an unpredictable flow of income is a big worry and time-suck for customers. And this is only going to become a bigger burden with Making Tax Digital requiring digital tax submissions quarterly instead of annually. We created Coconut to sort out these challenges for freelancers, and we ultimately aim to eliminate the need for tax returns, removing a huge amount of stress for business owners.”
The newly-launched account is free, with additional features such as managing VAT and the ability to share information with accountants that comes with a premium version that is priced at £4.95 a month.
The Making Tax Digital initiative will begin rolling out from April 2019. The deadline for the online filing of tax returns is today. In 2017, around 840,000 people filed their tax returns late incurring charges amounting to £84m.
In 2016, O’Conner and Adam Goodall, both of whom are serial entrepreneurs, established Coconut. It has previously gone by the name Monizo. Coconut was part of the Techstars accelerator of Barclays.