Signing up for a Coconut account takes as little as 2-5 minutes. You just need to have your photo ID and your selfie face ready.

Why do I need these to get an account?

If you've ever opened a high street bank account at the branch, you'll mostly likely have been asked to provide photo ID. The representative you spoke to would have checked that it's in date, it isn't a forgery and hasn't expired. To rule out identity theft, they'll also check to make sure it looks like you.

Since we're branchless and offer a digital current account, we run these checks using our third party provider, Onfido, to ensure your ID is valid and authentic and your selfie matches it so that we can automatically match you to your ID.

This makes it really quick and easy to open an account with Coconut. Since we rely heavily on the photos you provide, here's some guidance on speeding through the process.

ID documents we accept:

We'll need a photo of an original document because copies and photos of photos won't pass our authenticity checks. This could be of your:

  • Passport
  • Driving Licence (full or UK Provisional)
  • UK Biometric Residence Permit
  • National Identity Card

When taking your ID photo, remember to ensure that:

  • All four corners are visible
  • The information displayed is legible and easy to read
  • And there's no glare

How to avoid glare on your ID photo

If you have trouble snapping a photo without flash or glare, give this a go:

  • Take the photo in daylight/natural lighting
  • Turn off the lights around you 
  • Switch off your camera flash


The perfect ID photo

Here's an example of the photo we're aiming for. It includes all four corners, with all information clearly visible. Just remember to make sure yours hasn't expired like this one has.


An example of a photo we can't use

This photo, on the other hand, doesn't show all the information we'd need to know the ID is genuine. As you can see, the MRZ at the bottom is cut off. Capturing all four corners in the photo solves that nicely.


And now the selfie

Now we're onto the easy part. When prompted in the app, use the front-facing camera on your smartphone to take a face-forward selfie, removing any sunglasses you might be wearing.

Make sure you're the only person visible in the photo and you have good lighting, like so:

Sunglasses off for this part

Our facial similarity checks against the ID you've provided would fail using this photo because the sunglasses cover the eyes, which is an important feature used for comparison. Don't worry though, you can pop them right back on when you're done.

If you have any questions for when taking these photos or if you want to speak to someone about the signup/application process in general, just hit the chat icon in the app or drop us an email at [email protected].

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