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Coconut Adds PrePay Solutions Tech For Freelancer Banking

U.K. challenger bank Coconut, which launched only weeks ago to provide banking services for freelancers, has landed a new partner.

Reports Wednesday (Feb. 7) said PrePay Solutions (PPS) is working with the company to provide Coconut its banking infrastructure and prepaid card technology. Their collaboration will be integral to Coconut delivering banking services to freelancers and contractors, especially as they prepare for new tax rules that require small business (SMBs) and freelancers to file taxes quarterly, beginning in April 2020, the firms said.

Coconut offers freelancers and sole traders a mobile app to automate tax and expense management. Its suite of solutions also comes with a contactless Mastercard for sole traders to make purchases in-person and online.

“It is exciting to be working with a company as innovative as Coconut,” said PrePay Solutions CEO Ray Brash in a statement. “As with any partnership, the chemistry has to be right, and the Coconut team is perfectly aligned with our company vision and ambition.”

“Freelancers, sole traders and small businesses are the backbone of our economy, but they are completely underserved when it comes to fit-for-purpose digital banking and account tools,” he continued. “Working together with Coconut, we’re offering a completely new type of product to a growing and underserved group, helping them to benefit from personalized accounts that truly meet their business needs both now and in the future.”

“We’re really pleased to be working with the PPS team; they have created the best banking infrastructure product in the U.K. and are bringing some of the most innovative financial products to market,” added Coconut CEO Sean O’Connor. “We’ve worked together to deliver our product in record time with our beta launch this January. PPS is a crucial long-term partner for us.”

O’Connor recently spoke with PYMNTS about the launch of Coconut and some of the challenges freelancers face when accessing financial services.

“When I was self-employed, I tried to open a business bank account,” O’Connor said. “I had to book an appointment in the local branch and go sit for an hour and fill out a questionnaire. It just felt like the bank was putting up a hurdle for me to open the account.”

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