B2B Payments

Coconut Expands PrePay Solutions Partnership With Invoicing Feature

Coconut, a U.K.-based challenger bank, is expanding its existing partnership with digital payments company PrePay Solutions (PPS) to add corporate accounting and invoicing to its platform.

Together, the companies have introduced an automated tax and bookkeeping management solution for small businesses (SMBs) and sole traders using Coconut, including self-employed and freelance professionals. In a press release issued on Tuesday (Jan. 15), Coconut pointed to sole traders making the shift to become limited companies as a use case that could particularly gain from the new account and invoicing tool.

"It has long been the frustration of sole traders and freelancers sifting through documents and receipts to keep on top of their business finances, and Coconut's solution simplifies this, providing a fast and easy-to-use mobile solution to users," explained PrePay Solutions CEO Ray Brash in a statement.

In another statement, Coconut Co-founder and CEO Sam O'Connor noted that the company aims to provide a single portal through which entrepreneurs can access all the financial management tools they need.

Coconut first teamed up with PrePay Solutions last year to help launch the company. PrePay Solutions provides banking infrastructure and prepaid card technology for Coconut and, according to O'Connor, 4,500 sole traders have signed up for a Coconut account since its launch last year.

"Our relationship with PPS and their team has been critical in delivering a great service for customers, and we're excited about plans for continued development of the PPS platform in 2019," he said.

O'Connor spoke with PYMNTS last February about the biggest challenges that U.K.-based self-employed professionals face in their financial management and banking operations.

“The economics of banking don’t lend themselves well to the bottom 90 percent of the small business market,” he said. “The acquisition costs for banks are around £300 [$425 USD], and their business models are based on transactional revenues, such as foreign exchange and loans. The small end of the small business market doesn’t use that, so traditional banks can’t really service them.”

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