What is Monese? Monese is UK’s first mobile app that served as a bank alternative. It was founded in 2015 by Norris Koppel. The development and popularity of Monese has been rapid, apart from winning several fintech awards, receiving funding and launching new features, the company’s continuous innovation is helping establish a new „status quo” in mobile banking.
The idea behind Monese was to facilitate opening a bank account in the United Kingdom, without needing a perfect credit score, proof of residence or utility bills. A bank account accessible to anyone, that can be easily opened from a mobile device.
With over 2 million sign-ups and customers across 31 countries, Monese is one of the fastest growing fintech startups and one to keep your eye on! In 2018 Monese launched the business accounts and in 2019 they introduced joint accounts.
What type of bank is Monese?
Monese is known as a challenger bank, however, the official term is Electronic Money Institution (EMI). Monese is a small, inclusive, and fairly new institution, that competes with traditional banks, but also tries to serve the customer segment excluded by banks. Monese does not have any physical offices, everything is done online.
What are the characteristics of Monese?
- Fast and accessible
- Suitable for freelancers, digital nomads, frequent travelers, foreigners, and expats
- Easy to use and user friendly app
- Transparent fees
- Customer support in various languages
How can I sign up for a Monese account?
To sign up for the Monese instant account you only need your mobile phone (and number), an email address and an ID (passport for instance). This type of account is accessible to residents, but also to foreign nationals and expats from any of the 31 countries in the European Economic Area.
The first step is to download the Monese app from Google Play, the App store or AppGallery. Afterwards you will be asked to enter an email address and phone number, upload a photo of your ID and a short video selfie to confirm your identity. Once all those have been uploaded, you only need to select the preferred plan and enter the address where you want your card delivered.
How can I use the Monese instant account?
With a Monese account customers can do the following actions:
- Monitor and grow their savings
- View and share account details
- Use the physical card for online payments, for in-store purchases or ATM withdrawals
- Send and receive money, both internationally and locally
- Add cash at one of the 84 000 payment point locations (UK & Europe)
- Set up recurring bill payments and other
With Monese you can get a prepaid debit card. It is a contactless MasterCard with a sleek vertical design.
You can use this card for online and offline payments, as well as to withdraw money from ATM. It is compatible with Apple Pay and Google Pay, and it can also be linked to a PayPal account.
What are Monese Joint accounts?
After opening the personal account, customers have the possibility to invite someone to join their mobile money account. With the joint account the customer receives 2 cards, one for each member of the joint account. Its role is to facilitate common expense payments and bills, but also to save money more easily.
Who can open a Monese Business account?
Users with UK registered companies can have a Monese account also for their business. The business account is managed through the same app, but from a different account. No extra documents are needed, only the ID.
Is Monese safe?
Customers’ data and money is protected by a large range of security features. The base is provided by advanced engineering and innovative technology. App login is biometric and includes a strong multifactor encryption, therefore customers are reassured that the mobile account is safe and secure. Online payments are backed up with 3D Secure.
You can also enable real-time notifications with every payment and in case you lose your card, or it gets stollen, you can instantly block it in the Monese app, preventing anyone from using it.
A new feature for increased security is the virtual card, with a unique 16-digit card number, that is different from your physical card. The virtual card adds an extra layer of security to online shopping.
Monese is also a member of CIFAS (Credit Industry Fraud Avoidance System) and has joined the fight against fraud along the biggest banks.
What fees does Monese have?
Monese has three types of accounts:
- Simple account – this is a free multi-currency account. A contactless debit card is sent for a fee of 4,95£. Cash withdrawals for up to 200£ are free, afterwards a 2% fee is applied, foreign currency card spending limit is 2000£, afterward 2% fee. Transfers to another Monese account is both free and instant, however, to send money to a foreign account a fee of 2% applies.
- Classic account – for a monthly cost of 5,95£ customers receive the contactless MasterCard for free, free ATM and cash top-ups are increased to 900£ (afterwards 2% fee) and foreign currency card spending is increased to 9000£ (after 2% fee). The fee for foreign currency transfers to non-Monese account is reduced to 0,5%.
- Premium account – offers unlimited ATM and cash top-up withdrawals, unlimited foreign currency card spending and free transfers to both Monese and non-Monese accounts against a monthly fee of 14,95€.
How to cancel/close a Monese account?
Closing the Monese account is not difficult at all. All the customer needs to do is to open the Monese app, go to Account Settings and select the option Close account. However, the company recommends contacting customer service beforehand, to see if some other solution can be found. Alternatively, the customer can also request account closure via email.
Monese has received over 19K reviews on Trustpilot – the well know review platform and has an average of 3.6 stars out of 5. 69% of their reviews are marked with the highest mark. The most appreciated features are the ease and speed of creating the account and receiving the card.
Answers to most questions can be found in their extensive FAQ section. Customer support is available via mobile app chat or via email.