International Payments & IBANs

Towards the end of last year we explored several ways of setting up international payments which ultimately led to us partnering with Payoneer. You can read more about this partnership on our blog.

This approach gave our customers privileges when opening accounts and receiving international payments. Whilst it helped with getting paid internationally it didn’t make it easy to do tax and accounting on your foreign income.

How we’re approaching it
Coconut’s strength lies in really solid bookkeeping, accounting and tax. Setting up IBAN accounts that can accept multiple currencies is a complicated beast and a problem that is well solved by numerous companies including Revolut and Transferwise.

We’d like to solve this problem for our customers by allowing folks to connect foreign currency accounts into Coconut, across a number of institutions. You’ll then be able to see your foreign currency accounts the same way you do with any other accounts you’ve connected to Coconut via Open Banking.

We also plan on adding multi-currency support in the app.

Our questions

  • What percentage of your income is from overseas work?
  • What currencies do you typically get paid in?
  • How do you currently get paid for work done overseas?
  • Do you also incur expenses in other currencies?

Most of my income is from international clients but I bill and get paid in GDP. I need to be able to provide an IBAN so that my clients can send me payments via bank transfer - this is the main route I’m paid, seconded by PayPal. I don’t have any overseas expenses.

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Hi @Readbyrose, thanks for this. If you could accept card payments through PayPal would that work, or is bank transfer a must for your clients?

99% of the income is from overseas paid in via IBAN or PayPal. The overseas expenses is in the local currency (eg Euro) which is funded by the Revolut card because it has good rates.

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Hi @samoc I would have to check but a lot pay by bank transfer rather than by card… My clients are mostly academics at universities and are paying via grant money that comes out of accounts that I am assuming wouldn’t have cards associated with them, but I could be wrong. I’ve only ever had one client want to pay by card though!

Thing is, unless it’s equivalently cheap - or cheaper - to receive international payments into my Coconut, I’d continue to use Transferwise - which is very effective, once you’ve got it all set up. My main concern is getting the most ££ for my $$/Euros.

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@Sundaypapers I’d actually love to show Transferwise in Coconut and even better enable you to initiate payments from Coconut in Transferwise. It’s a bit further down the road, but Xero did something with them recently. It always helps for customers to nudge them if you happen to chat to their support.

That’s useful to know, thanks.

Coming to this a bit late.

  • What percentage of your income is from overseas work? Nearly all of it for approx. the last year.
  • What currencies do you typically get paid in? GBP, USD and EUR
  • How do you currently get paid for work done overseas? Bank transfer only (it’s the only way my current foreign clients will pay)
  • Do you also incur expenses in other currencies? A couple of software subs are in USD, but I think they are invoiced at an equivalent GBP. Do they count?

Because of lack of IBAN I’ve actually not actively used Coconut to receive income for several months now. So this is becoming a problem.

I also have a related but different query - is it possible to ‘de-connect’ a bank account if connected using open banking on Coconut? If so, how? TIA

Was wondering if anyone can answer my previous question from last month on de-connecting accounts?

Also, is there likely to be any updates/progress on IBANs?

I am based in Sweden now, so I tend to use TransferWise (as I mentioned when replying to you here).

TransferWise allows me to capture the payment in SEK for a very minimal fee. Alternatively I can also use the few bank accounts in different currencies (Euro/USD etc) that I have and then just convert it into SEK.