At Coconut, our goal is—and always has been—the same. We want to make freelancers a driving force in the UK business landscape. And to do that, they need the best tools to run their business.
The journey from Coconut 1.0 to 2.0
Our first product, combining an accounting product with a current account, was transformative for self-employed people in many ways. But over time, we learnt a whole lot more about the people we’re trying to help. And the world around us changed massively; it was time for us to apply those learnings, and take our product to the next level.
So in 2021, we launched Coconut 2.0, the tax app for freelancers. Our app makes it really easy for self-employed people to:
- track how your business is doing
- manage your taxes with ease
- send invoices and get paid, and
- adapt seamlessly to Making Tax Digital 2024
In short, Coconut puts you in control of your finances, so that you can focus on what matters most: running your business.
But focus is transformative—and Coconut 2.0 is defined just as much by what we are not doing as what we are doing. So, let’s talk about what we’ve said goodbye to.
Coconut will no longer open bank accounts for customers
Coconut has now stopped opening new business current accounts for customers. In fact, we haven’t opened a new bank account for almost a year.
Instead, we're doubling down on bank statement feeds through Open Banking. This means that any freelancer can can now use Coconut, regardless of your existing banking arrangements. All you need to do is connect your bank accounts and credit cards to our app—and you'll be able to track income, claim expenses and work out how much tax you owe throughout the year.
And in doing so, we can solve a unique problem for self-employed people: we call it unmuddling business from personal.
Why we’ve made this change
There are three main reasons why we've decided to move away from current accounts, and double down on Open Banking:
Open Banking is one of the biggest changes we’ve seen to the financial system in a century.
A change in regulation in 2018 has meant that Coconut can now securely and simply connect with any of 25+ bank accounts and credit card providers, and automatically pull in your bank statements and transactions. By specialising in this technology, we can provide our tax and finance tools to anyone, regardless of where they bank.
New business bank accounts are now much easier to open.
You can open an account quickly and easily with many banks, whether they are new like Starling, Tide or Monzo, or more traditional like Barclays, NatWest or Lloyds. This makes things a lot easier if you want to separate business and personal. And Coconut can connect to them to help with finance and tax.
Mixing business and personal transactions is very common with freelancers and self-employed people.
That’s why we’ve doubled down on the ability to unmuddle your business and personal finances, regardless of where you choose to bank or have a credit card—solving a uniquely freelancer problem.
What about existing customers?
We will, of course, continue to look after our existing current account customers just as before.
But by tapping into the benefits of Open Banking, these customers will now also have the ability to connect other bank accounts and credit cards, and make the most of this additional functionality.
Find out more about Coconut 2.0 and our tax app for freelancers
For more information about how and why Coconut has evolved over the past year, plus insights into how our freelancer tax app actually works, check out the recording of our Coconut 2.0 Launch Event in December 2021: