The Banking World for Freelancers was Broken. Here's How We're Fixing it With Parpera
Most banking and financial products are built for larger businesses, not sole traders.
Which means that as a sole trader, you often end up having to deal with unwanted and hidden fees, stacking various tools together, and spending way more time on admin than you’d like.
Our founder, Daniel Cannizzaro, saw these problems first-hand based on his experience growing up with his family’s small business and then going on to work in the consulting and banking world, and decided to reinvent the process from the ground up and build a solution specifically designed for sole traders.
With Parpera, sole traders can set up an account in under 10 minutes, get a business debit card in 3 - 5 working days, send professional and tax compliant invoices, set aside money for taxes, and a lot more.
In this article, we cover the three main issues sole traders face with banking, and how we’re solving those issues at Parpera.
Why the banking world doesn’t serve sole traders, freelancers, and, consultants well
Daniel first saw the inefficiencies of the banking system from the inside, working in a global consulting firm, studying international finance, and independently consulting to banking and finance leaders, globally.
He then came face to face with banking’s real-world challenges and limitations as consultants and freelancers ourselves.
“By seeing wealth and money through the different lenses at the different levels, I realised there was a real, powerful way to use technology to simplify the complex and make things simple and accessible for people in an easy-to-use, easy-to-understand way” - Daniel Cannizzaro, Parpera Founder and CEO
From his perspectives, these are some of the problems he saw sole traders facing:
1. Business banking is built for larger businesses, not sole traders
Here’s the truth about business banking:
Banks make most of their money from lending. Traditional banks don’t put as many resources into tools or accounts designed to help the self-employed run their business more efficiently because business banks make the majority of their revenue from lending, not account fees or additional services.
Banks focus on high-revenue customers. Banks focus most of their attention on customers with an enormous demand for their special skills, as any good business should. Large businesses regularly need short-term loans to juggle cash flow and invest in expensive equipment, making them the banking world’s best customers.
Banks’ expertise doesn’t match freelancers’ needs. The banking world isn’t focused on freelancers, consultants, and sole traders because their expertise doesn’t match up with your needs at all. The primary job of a banker is to assess and manage risk so that they can decide on how much money they could potentially lend to you - and not to make it easier for you to better understand your money and run your business. It’s a perfect fit for their ideal customers but not a great match for freelancers and sole traders.
2. Traditional banking is slow (and complex)
After years of banking, you might think good banking needs to be slow. But its slow pace has more to do with risk, compliance, and legacy technology, products and ways of working. Here’s what it’s resulted in:
Long wait times. Even though online banking has been available for many years in Australia, it still takes days to get a business account set up if you’re not already a customer (and sometimes, even when you are!). You often need to go to a branch when opening up a freelance bank account.
Banking fees aren’t always clear. Getting your accounts set up isn’t as hard as figuring out banking fees. You can go hunting for all the potential fees hidden deep in the terms and conditions or just wait and see how much they charge you for different services. Often, the fees aren’t clear for freelancers and sole traders.
Processes aren’t flexible. Slow banking processes work fine for medium or large enterprises with dedicated departments providing financial support. But not for sole traders juggling all the admin and paperwork themselves.
3. Business banking primarily focuses on money transfers — not all the other jobs freelancers have to do
The current tools available for sole traders are limited. One tool helps with invoicing, but not with money management. One helps with taxes, but not accounts.
Sole traders need a tool that fits all their needs — jumping back and forth between several solutions just ends up taking time and increasing your costs.
“Whether it's wealth management, insurance, or banking, it's just money. And people who are money managers manage risk.
So if you look at it through that lens, then actually the bank can’t provide people with the best experience when it comes to solving the key jobs to be done. A bank is good at managing risk.
Providing you with tools to better set up, manage, or grow your business is not a risk-based decision. So, good risk managers do not make very good UI or UX designers.” – Daniel Cannizzaro, Parpera Founder and CEO
With all the online banking and high-tech innovations, you should have better options. Here’s why banks only focus on one thing:
Freelancers are a low-profit customer. Your bank could adjust its current products and services to better fit your needs, but sole traders are a low-profit customer segment for them. Investing time and money to build cutting-edge, easy-to-use tools to help you run your freelance business isn’t their top priority.
Banks aren’t UX experts. Your bank’s likely amazing at managing risk (after all, part of their job is to keep your money safe!), but not so much at creating products that don’t involve their expertise. It’s tough for them to factor in the needs for all types of clients and they work within complex organisational structures, which make it hard to affect change.
There’s no one tool that takes care of all your admin. You can find tools to help you with your accounting, invoicing, or taxes, but rarely with all three. Each tool has its area of expertise and often is more complex than most sole traders, freelancers, and consultants need or want. The worst part: these tools aren’t designed for admin-phobic, on-the-go freelancers.
These banking and admin struggles faced by business owners lit a fire in Daniel to create a better business banking alternative. He founded Parpera to remove all the stress and wasted time from sole trader banking.
How Parpera is reinventing business banking for freelancers and sole traders
As a sole trader, freelancer, or consultant, you deserve fair, transparent financial tools that help you manage your business with less hassle. So we invented an easy-to-use money management platform where the self-employed could take care of all their financial needs.
We called it Parpera, Latin for “fair wallet.”
Here’s how we designed Parpera to meet your financial needs as a sole trader:
1. Parpera gets your freelance business up and running in 10 minutes
We designed our money management app to let you squeeze your admin into any break in your day, whether you’re at home, on your way to a meeting, or in an office, all from your phone.
Open an account from home. Get a secure business account in 10 minutes with our quick 4-step sign up wherever you are right now. Forget about doing trips to the bank, with Parpera you can open your sole trader account online. We offer a 30 day free trial and you can easily cancel from the settings menu if you don’t like us.
Need an ABN now? No worries, answer a few questions on our site or app and get an ABN in 24 to 48 hours. It’ll take about 4 minutes and you can do everything on your phone.
Protect your money. Your Parpera membership includes a Wise business account and a virtual Mastercard® Parpera debit card.
Get an Instant virtual debit card. In 10 minutes, you’ll have a virtual no-fee business debit card in your account ready to use for local and international purchases.
Invoice in seconds. Create professional, tax compliant invoices designed for faster client payment on your phone in less than a minute. You’ll never need to dedicate valuable time to invoice creation ever again.
2. Manage all your admin in one tool
Juggling 5 different financial tools is the last thing you need when you’re trying to knock out your admin at the end of a busy day. With Parpera, you can get it all done in a few minutes from one app. Here are a few features we offer:
Client payment alerts and reminders . Instead of wondering if a client payment finally arrived in your account, get notifications on your phone when it does. And get notified when invoices are past due, too. Save time and hassle with automated payment reminders on unpaid invoices.
Automatic payment-to-invoice matching. When payments arrive in your account, Parpera sees them and automatically reconciles them for you. No more wasting time searching your statement and guessing which client paid you.
Quick-glance cash flow dashboard. No matter where you are, see your cash flow in a second or two on your phone for this month, quarter, or year. Check all payments from a specific client or business expenses, too.
Expenses categorised in seconds. Mark expenses as travel-related, equipment, tools as well as those that are tax-deductible. If it’s a recurring expense, Parpera will remember it and categorise it accordingly. When tax time comes, no need to pull out a calculator. Your monthly, quarterly or annual expense reports are ready for downloading in one simple click.
Automated tax preparation. You can set aside a portion of your client payments in a Tax Saver sub-account for tax time. Parpera will also estimate what your tax estimate is for the end of the financial year.
3. We have your back with human-contact customer service and community support
Getting help when you need it shouldn’t be difficult, time-consuming, or costly. Here’s how we’ve streamlined Parpera support:
Humans ready to help you. We won’t make you hunt for the right email address when you need help. At Parpera, we’ve got an email address and an in-app chat with real humans ready to answer your questions.
Parpera is powered by its community. When you’re a Parpera member, you’ll become part of the community where you can contribute to the future of its products and services, network with other sole traders, take part in community events like webinars, and receive perks and rewards.
4. Pay one low fee, 100% transparent and fair always
You deserve a more fair and transparent banking and financial world. Here’s how Parpera makes it possible:
No hidden fees. Parpera has one monthly fee. Choose from our three plans, Run for $15, Pro for $35 or Automate for $75. No hidden fees.
No international fees. As a freelancer, sole trader, or consultant, we know you need products and services sold in other countries and currencies, so we won’t add any additional fees to your international debit card purchases.
No limits. Get unlimited invoicing, client data, payments, transactions, purchases, and expense categorisation and receipt storage. Store your expense receipts and invoices forever, too. With your Parpera membership, you get full access to everything for one low fee.
With Parpera, you can simplify your business admin down to a few minutes a day
When our founder, Daniel, personally experienced and saw the struggle current freelancers and consultants deal with when it comes to admin, he knew he could build a solution that would solve all these issues.
With Parpera, you don’t have to spend hours learning how to use an accounting platform, setting up invoices and reconciling all your accounts. Instead, you can sign up in under 10 minutes online, get your own business debit card and start invoicing clients right away.
Parpera Australia Pty Ltd (Parpera, we, our, us) ABN 47 641 580 743 is an Authorised Representative 1302443 of MSC Advisory Pty Ltd ACN 607 459 441 AFSL 480649.
This website contains general information only and any financial advice we provide does not consider your objectives, financial situation or needs. It does not constitute personal advice for the purposes of section 766B(3) of the Corporations Act 2001. Before you act on any of our advice, please consider if it’s appropriate for you.
Wise Australia Pty Ltd ABN 42 070 947 492 AFSL 513764 is the issuer of the business accounts in Parpera's App and the Parpera Business Debit Mastercard®, pursuant to a license by Mastercard Asia/Pacific Pte Ltd Mastercard®. The circles design is a registered trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.
Stripe Payments Australia Pty Ltd ACN 160 180 343 is the issuer of the non-payment facility within Parpera.biz.
Parpera Earn is administered by us. It can provide you with a variable rate of return on your contributions based on the interest earned by Parpera Earn less our administration fees. The rate of return is subject to change typically due to movements in the Reserve Bank of Australia official cash rate. Your contributions to Parpera Earn are not guaranteed and they are not protected by the Financial Claims Scheme under the Banking Act 1959 (Cth). Please refer to the Parpera Earn Terms and Conditions available here for further information.
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We acknowledge and pay our respects to Aboriginal Elders, past, present, and emerging, and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Peoples of Australia, whose ancestral lands and waters we work and live on throughout Australia.
Our offices are located on the traditional lands of the Gadigal peoples of the Eora nation in Sydney, and Boon Wurrung peoples of the Kulin nation in Melbourne.