Challenger business bank Countingup goes live

By Emily Nicolle on Wednesday 24 January 2018

Digital Banking

The digital bank for sole traders has launched its current account today.

Countingup, the first challenger bank specifically for sole traders in the UK, has launched its business current account today, with built-in accounting software to follow later this year.

Those at the top of its wait list can expect to receive accounts and Mastercards in the coming weeks, while the list remains open to the rest of the UK’s 4.5m sole traders, freelancers and contractors looking to simplify their tax self-assessment.

The Countingup app allows a sole trader to open a current account on their phone in under 5 minutes, complete with a UK sort code, account number and contactless Mastercard. In addition, the platform provides a profit and loss report, and automatically categorises transactions to help small businesses in filing their taxes at the end of the year.

“Sole traders have been neglected by the mainstream banks who focus on larger businesses,” said Countingup founder Tim Fouracre.

“Often sole traders are forced to use personal accounts because the process of setting up a business account is arduous, slow and expensive. This creates a huge headache when trying to make sense of your business finances.”

According to the platform, in 2017 some 5m tax returns were filed at the last minute. By April 2020, the government’s Making Tax Digital scheme will increase the number of tax filings to 5 per year.

Fouracre added: “Countingup is the fastest Challenger bank to launch in the UK. Inception to launch of our business current account has taken just over four months and that’s down to a fantastic team who are determined to make running your business as simple and as automated as possible.”

The business bank raised €750,000 in a seed round in October last year, lead by Frontline Ventures.

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