Coconut account: International Business


Coconut accounts are designed for people who work for themselves - entrepreneurs, freelancers, and self employed professionals. It’s among a growing number of online banking options and apps available to people who don’t want to use a traditional bank account for their small business.

Coconut make it easy for you to manage your money via the app, alongside your accounting and tax - saving you time on business admin.¹ Unfortunately, with a Coconut account you can’t send or receive international payments just yet - which may be a problem if you’re planning on working with customers or suppliers overseas. If your business is set to grow internationally, you may consider a specialist product such as the Wise Business account.

This guide gives an overview of the features of the Coconut account, including how to access your money if you’re travelling overseas, and manage international payments.

How to make international payments?

Whether you’re a business owner dealing with suppliers based overseas, or a freelancer taking work from international clients, you may well need to send and receive international payments to allow your business to grow.

Unfortunately this is not possible with a Coconut account, although there are plans to bring this functionality online in future.² If you need to make or receive international payments, you may want to consider an alternative product such as the Wise Business Account. It’s even suggested by Coconut themselves!³

If you’re an existing Coconut customer - it also doesn’t mean that Wise can’t help. You can send money from GBP to another currency, by setting up the payment via Wise, and funding the transfer with a bank transfer from your Coconut account in pounds. You won’t be able to fund a transfer via Wise, using your Coconut card. Here’s a quick step-by-step guide:

  1. Set-up a transfer on Wise.
  2. When you asked how you would like to pay for your transfer, select to pay via ‘Bank Transfer’.
  3. Use the account number, sort code and reference that is displayed to you by Wise to pay for the transfer from your Coconut app.⁴
Create your account and start saving with Wise today!

You can also use your linked debit card to access funds held in your Coconut account while you travel, either to pay for goods and services directly, or to withdraw cash from a local ATM. There may be a fee to pay for this service, which we’ll cover a little later on.⁵

Wise Business can save you money on international payments

More and more people are taking the leap into self employment, or working freelance. If you’re one of them, you’ve got a lot on your hands already - without needing to worry about your business admin, or complex and costly international transactions. The Wise Business Account could be your perfect solution.

Send and receive payments globally for a low transparent fee, with all currency conversion done using the real exchange rate with no markup. You'll can get a multi-currency account which lets you hold over 40 different currencies in the same place and manage your balances via the app. As well as your own account details for the UK, US, Australia, New Zealand and the Eurozone, to receive fee-free payments in these major currencies - and manage your money like a local, around the world.

You’ll even get the linked Wise Business debit card, so that you can spend anywhere in the world at the real exchange rate - with low conversion fees, and zero transaction fees.

Now, back to what you came to read.

Coconut Features

If you’re looking for the best business bank account for your needs, it pays to compare a few before you make a decision. There are plenty of options available, so thinking about the features that matter to you, and the sort of transactions you’ll be making is essential to help you find the right one.

Coconut offers 2 different account plans - the Start package, which doesn’t have a monthly service fee, but offers a relatively limited range of features, and the Grow package. Coconut recommend Start for people working on a side business, or who have just made the leap into self employment or freelancing. On the other hand, Grow comes with a monthly fee of £5, but brings with it a range of additional perks aimed at people running their business full time.

Here are a few pointers to consider when looking at the products available from Coconut:


  • Open an account via the Coconut app in minutes, and close it any time you want to with no hassle.
  • Different account pricing depending on your needs.
  • Get a linked debit card for your business spending.
  • Bank level security, including 3 factor authentication and account monitoring to check for fraud.


  • If you choose the Start package, you’ll pay a 2% foreign currency charge when using your debit card overseas - to avoid this fee, choose the Grow package, which comes with a monthly fee of £5.
  • Limited number of invoices available for free on the Start package.⁴
  • You won’t be able to make or receive international payments from your Coconut account, and won’t receive an IBAN number.²
  • No open API to allow workflow automation.³

To help you decide, compare Coconut features with other free business bank accounts.

Coconut card abroad

Although you won’t be able to send or receive foreign payments with your Coconut account, you can still access your money while you travel using the linked debit card. There may be a fee to pay to do this, depending on the account type you opt for.

Here’s what you need to know:

Coconut Wise
Foreign Transaction Fee: % 2% with the Start account² Between 0.35% and 1% *dependent on currency in which you want to spend.
Foreign Transaction Fee for 500 GBP payment in EUR: 10 GBP (Start account) 1.85 GBP. *GBP to EUR: 0.37%

Rates and fees correct at the time of research 26 August 2019. Prices based on the ‘Start account’ with Coconut, and transactions (online / PoS) - not ATM withdrawal. For the Grow account you can choose to pay £5/month to get fee free foreign transactions. For up-to-date pricing information, always check the provider’s site directly.

If you’re looking for the best way to keep on top of your business finances, researching a range of options is a smart idea. Many entrepreneurs are realising that the best bank for small businesses might not be a bank after all. You could be better off with a modern online alternative which comes with many of the perks of a regular business bank account - and a few more, too. Check out the accounts available from Coconut. However, it’s worth thinking carefully about how you’ll use the account - both now and in the future - before you make a final decision.

For many professionals, having access to a multi-currency account makes good business sense. After all, being limited to only accepting payments in pounds could make it far harder to connect with a global customer base, or accept freelance work from international clients. If you plan to take your business beyond the UK, take a look at how the Wise Business can help you grow.

Sources used:

  1. Coconut: About Us
  2. Coconut: IBAN and International Payments
  3. Coconut: Product Roadmap
  4. Coconut: Pricing
  5. Coconut: Using card abroad

Sources checked: 26-August 2019.

Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

Money without borders

Find out more

Tips, news and updates for your location