Current account and bookkeeping app Coconut is the latest fintech startup to apply for a slice of the RBS bail out fund, eyeing up a £25 million prize from Pool D of the Competition Remedies Fund.
Coconut's bid for funding comes as the firm moves to add integrated accounting services to its offering in April, ready for the tax authority's mandatory switch to digital-only submissions for VAT-registered businesses.
Using the new app, customers will be able to see the movement of their money instantly, receive guidance on how to manage their expenses, speak directly to a network of partner accountants that are on hand to give advice through an in-app chat and get their filings done or tax returns done.
Currently planned to cost customers £100 per month, Coconut believes the combination of both current account and accountancy advice will be more efficient and helpful to small traders than the current raft of tools on offer from banks and cloud-accounting suppliers.
Coinciding with the launch, Coconut has also signaled its intention to apply for a cash hand out from the RBS Remedy Fund.
Sam O’Connor, co-founder and CEO of Coconut says: “We are finally seeing funds being poured back into innovative tech that can help self-employed people and small business owners with their finances. People have been left out in the cold for too long, underserved by banks that use antiquated legacy systems or cloud accounting packages that require a level of expertise people simply don’t have.
"We have created a radically simplified proposition, with everything you need to do business in one place. If we are selected, the prize will help us develop richer features to help manage business finances and reach hundreds of thousands of customers in the UK.”