The Coconut App is designed to assist those who work for themselves. The team behind the app understands the unique challenges of working for yourself, from sorting out expenses to estimating taxes so you can save appropriately and avoid nasty surprises when they are due. Coconut aims to make all these challenges easier by taking care of those tasks, so you can focus on running your business instead of worrying about its finances.
The team behind Coconut has years of experience in a range of fields, including freelancing, accounting, and technology. Coconut is based on their experience facing the struggles of working for themselves, such as staying on top of expenses and taxes, managing unpredictable income flows, and getting paid in a timely manner.
How Does Coconut Help with Taxes?
One of the big benefits of the Coconut application is its ability to help you estimate your taxes. You use your Coconut account for your regular business expenses and income, and the program uses the information that gets automatically input to estimate how much you will need to pay in taxes. This way, you do not have a surprisingly high bill at the end of the year. Instead, you will have a clear idea of your taxes at any given moment, letting you put aside the appropriate amount of money as you earn.
How Does Coconut Help Organize Your Expenses?
The other major benefit of the Coconut application is the way that it helps you automatically sort your expenses to give you an overall picture of your business’s finances. Coconut automatically categorizes every transaction you make as you spend. To make sure your records are complete, the application also sends instant expense notifications following transactions that remind you to take a picture of the receipt. This type of categorization will help you when it comes time to complete your taxes and can even grow the amount of money you save when you do your taxes.
How Does Coconut Help with Invoices?
In addition to assisting with expenses, Coconut provides some help with invoices. Specifically, the application lets you know when someone makes a payment or you receive the payment, so you can stay on top of any late invoices.
Is Coconut a Bank, or Does It Work with One?
It is important to note that Coconut is not a bank. Instead, it is an option for a smart current account combined with a debit card and application designed with freelancers in mind. Because Coconut is not a bank, the project has a banking partner, PrePay Solutions (PPS). Coconut’s registration with the Financial Conduct Authority is in the form of an agent of PPS (with FRN 902016). PPS is a financial services provider with company number 04008083. It has authorization from the FCA as an Electronic Money Institution (FRN 90010). It is responsible for issuing the Coconut account and card and gives Coconut access to the payments and banking infrastructure. PPS is partly owned by Mastercard and has experience issuing more than 100 million cards around the world.
Coconut App Features
All the functionality associated with Coconut is available via the smartphone application, as this is the main platform. This is where you can manage everything regarding your account, including viewing your full UK account number plus sort code. The Coconut application also lets you manage direct debits, use the Mastercard debit card, block or unblock the card instantly, order a replacement card, send or receive payments, view your PIN, or chat with the support team.
What Types of Accounts Does Coconut Offer?
Coconut is currently in beta and solely offering its Start plan, which is free. This plan is already available for both Android and iOS and designed for sole traders. It includes the UK current account, the Mastercard debit card, automatic express categorization, instant notifications, receipt capture, a tax estimate, and tax reports. An invoicing feature will also be added soon. During the beta version of Coconut, there are unlimited bank transfers, a perk that will apply to the first 2,000 users. When the beta period ends, there will be a limit of 10 bank transfers each month.
The Grow plan is for limited companies and will be coming soon to both Android and iOS. This type of Coconut account includes all the features of the Start plan, including invoicing, as well as the ability to share access with an accountant, connect other bank accounts to the Coconut account, and enjoy VAT management. The Grow plan increases the number of free bank transfers per month to 20, with a small fee for subsequent transfers.
Are There Contracts with the Coconut App, and Can You Stop Using Your Account?
If you ever stop using your Coconut account but do not close it, the company will automatically change your account, so you are at the cheapest tier of membership that applies for your situation. There is no contract when you open a Coconut account, so you can close it whenever you want.
How Much Does Coconut Cost?
The Start plan from Coconut is free, while the Grow plan costs £4.95 a month. Once you reach the limit for free bank monthly bank transfers, Grow accounts can add more for 20 pence per transfer. Regardless of the account type on Coconut, cash withdrawals come with a fee of £1, and replacement cards cost £4. Direct debits are free, and cashback will be coming soon. There is no fee for purchases made abroad.
Are There Limits for the Coconut Application?
Whether you have a Start plan or a Grow plan, your Coconut account can only have a maximum balance of £40,000. There is also a daily ATM limit of £500.
How Can You Use the Coconut Card?
The Coconut card is accepted by most online major retailers, most mobile app services, and in most countries. Coconut only blocks a few key types of transactions from being used on your card. This is a strategic move to deter fraud. You cannot use your Coconut card to pay for dating or escort services, massage parlors, automated fuel dispensers, or certain money transfers/products.
Who Can Use Coconut App, and What Platforms Is It Available On?
Only sole traders can use the Coconut App, which is available for both Apple and Android devices. However, there will also be support for limited companies soon. To use Coconut, you must be a UK resident and have a permanent address within the UK. You will also need a valid ID and to use the camera on your smartphone.
If you are interested in opening an account, you can join the waiting list and will receive a notification when it is your turn. Joining the waiting list also automatically signs you up for the monthly insider news. When joining the waiting list, you will be asked whether you use an iPhone, Android, or other and whether you are a sole trader/self-employed, limited company, or other. Then, you just input your email address.
How Do You Open a Coconut Account?
As mentioned, to open a Coconut account, you must join the waiting list. Once you get to the front of the line or receive an invite code, you start by downloading the application. Then, you sign up by entering your name, address, and date of birth. You then take a photograph of your identification and a selfie. Valid IDs include driver’s licenses, passports, National Identity Cards, and EU Resident Permits. That process should only take you a few minutes.
Coconut will review your application before approval. This is typically very quick and takes less than an hour but may take longer, especially when automatic checks do not work. In some cases, Coconut may also request additional information if the automated checks do not match your address and name to the records checked. It is also possible that you will need to prove your intended account use if the automated procedures cannot verify your intent.
Once you receive approval, you get an account number and sort code to use immediately. Coconut will also send you your debit card via first class post at this point.
How Do You Pay Money into Your Coconut Account?
As soon as you order your Coconut card, you can begin paying in as well as sharing details with clients. Go to the “Card” part of the application, then select “Share account details.” You can copy or view the sort code and account number or directly share them via WhatsApp, SMS, or email. Since Coconut is on the Faster Payments network, payments out of and in your account should arrive within two hours.
Can You Export Data from Coconut?
Coconut aims to make it easy to manage your finances, including sharing information with your accountant. As such, it is possible to export data from your account. Go to the main page of the Coconut application, and you will see an export icon sitting right above the list of transactions. Click on this button, then export your data in the CSV Format, Open Financial Exchange (OFX) format, or as a PDF statement. The last lets you choose the date range, while the CSV Format has all categories and notes for transactions.
What Features Is Coconut Looking into Adding?
Coconut is already looking into ways to expand their offerings. For example, it is investigating methods of offering credit, such as credit cards via trusted partners. Coconut is also investing how it can add multicurrency transfers since the accounts currently only accept payments in GBP and from UK accounts. If you have any suggestions of features you want Coconut to add or simply want to express your interest in a potential feature to help Coconut prioritize features, you can email the team at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, you can comment on the Coconut roadmap.
How Does Coconut Ensure Security of Funds?
PPS manages the funds that are deposited into a Coconut account, then stores them in a safeguarded and ring-fenced account held with Barclays, so they are never at risk. PPS, Coconut, and Barclays do not have the ability to use client funds for settling liabilities, ensuring that the funds always remain accessible.
What Other Security Measures Does Coconut Have?
Coconut uses Amazon Web Service for its cloud infrastructure due to the use of best practices and state-of-the-art security. It also has automated systems to monitor vulnerabilities. Other security measures include the use of HTTPS, encryption at rest with a rotatable key, regular third-party penetration tests, continuous security vulnerability scanners, regular backups of customer data, strong password hashing techniques with bcrypt, and requiring two-factor authentication.
What Kind of Customer Support Does Coconut Offer?
Coconut has an extensive FAQ section with in-depth articles on a range of topics that should answer most questions. If you do not find an answer to your question, you can chat with the team using the application, which will always connect you to an actual person and not a bot. Or you can email the support team at email@example.com. Customer Support works on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., so the team will respond to contact outside of those hours during the next business hour.
In the case of emergencies, there is also a phone line, +44 808 169 9928. This emergency line is available 24/7 and designed for situations like stolen or lost cards or cases where you suspect fraud on your account. Although the phone line is reserved for emergencies, you can speak to a team member during regular office hours or leave a message, so someone calls you back. Emergencies have the priority for phone contact, and Coconut encourages you to use other methods first for nonemergency situations.
In the case of any complaints, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org. Coconut takes complaints seriously and always acknowledges receipt of them within five working days. Complaints are handled by its own Complaints Manager, who works toward a resolution while keeping you informed. Coconut always aims to resolve the issue as soon as it can but asks you to allow up to 15 working days for this process.
The Coconut application is designed to appeal to freelancers and entrepreneurs who work for themselves. It helps manage your business finances, including transactions, and assists you with planning for your taxes.