NEOBANKS OF THE WORLD
Think they’ve cracked it! If keeping your self-employed tax in order drives you nuts, then professionally trained accountants Sam O’Connor (right) and Adam Goodall know how you feel. In fact, it drove them to found Coconut – the bank that gives you a ‘finance team in your pocket’… and what a lovely bunch they are Life’s a beach, they say, for the self-employed. Determining their own hours, working at their own pace… if you’re on a nine-to-five treadmill it’s difficult not to envy Britain’s five million self-employed for leading the kind of flexible, independent, and laid-back lifestyle that you covet. But when it comes to filing an end-of-year tax return, or managing finances as a sole trader or micro-SME owner, that beach can quickly begin to feel like a desert island,
marooning you without access to the tools you need to help manage a complex and diverse financial life. Serial entrepreneurs Sam O’Connor and Adam Goodall have spent the past four years devising a fintech solution for just such castaways in the UK. The result, Coconut Bank, promises to deliver ‘the power of a finance team into your pocket’, through a mobile app and a Mastercard-powered current account that’s tailored specifically for the 15 per cent of working-age Britons who currently work for themselves. “Our vision is to
make self-employment easier than being employed. And the first piece of that is accounting and tax, because that’s the bedrock of your business,” says O’Connor, the firm’s CEO, who, like Goodall, trained as an accountant with global firm PwC. You might think that more than prepared them for that castaway life. In fact, they only became aware of how painfully difficult it was after selling their first joint-venture, ProConfirm, to Confirmation.com in 2014. “The idea came to us when we joined the self-employed community and thought ‘wow, OK. Actually, the accounting and tax side, the running your business side of this, is really difficult’,” recalls O’Connor.
This is the life: Coconut Bank promises to make financial admin easy for the self-employed
TheFintechMagazine | Issue 17
Fintech Finance presents: The Fintech Magazine 17