One of the first mobile-only banks to start in the United Kingdom, Monese allows opening a current account without any need for credit history, address proof, or utility bills.
The brand currently offers a wide range of banking services and has grown to become a popular option for digital nomads and travelers who would like to get a fully-functional account without jumping through hoops.
However, being an established bank does not mean it is the best for everyone. Let us try to understand a few things you should know about Monese before you decide to register for it.
What Is Monese?
Based in the UK, Monese was founded back in 2015 as the first mobile-only bank for the European public. The idea for the bank came from the difficulty the founder Norris Koppel faced in opening a bank account when he moved to the country.
He could not open an account as he had no credit history or utility bill for proof of address. The company was started with an aim to provide an on-demand, instant, and inclusive banking service.
In 2016, the European Fintech Awards recognized Monese as the ‘Best Challenger Bank’. Today, people from around Europe can open an account within minutes without any limitations or hidden fees. Monese has created a new area of ‘Challenger banks’ in the financial services landscape.
Monese offers a wide range of features similar to any other banking service. All the features are offered as standard and there is no need to upgrade the plan to access them.
During the registration process, you get an option to select the currency you want to work with. The service lets you have an account in every currency you choose which comes in handy when selling or buying abroad.
It is also a useful feature for travelers as you readily have money in the desired currency and need not put the effort into converting it.
The app also offers a section dedicated to tracking expenditures. Under this option, you find all your transactions in the month listed for easy reference.
You also get access to your spending habits over the previous months. You can quickly access these reports under ‘Spending’ on the homepage. You get an overview of all your spending data here.
With Monese, you get real-time notifications on your spending as you make payments. This means you are instantly notified of your spending every time.
This is a simple yet handy feature, particularly useful for those who operate a joint or business account.
Monese allows you to make low-cost transfers to other countries. With a Monese account, you can send money to 30 countries in about 20 currencies at the mid-market rate.
The foreign exchange fee is quite affordable at 0.5 to 2 percent depending on the plan you choose. International transfers are fulfilled by the service within 24 hours.
An attractive feature available on the apps is setting budgets with a dedicated section.
You can easily set a budget using the ‘Budget’ option under ‘Spending’. This will provide a friendly reminder to act around your set limitations.
How Does Monese Work?
Like many other new school banks, Monese is an app-only bank which means it has no physical branches. It is essentially a bank in your pocket where anybody can sign up with a few button clicks. To open an account, you just need to get the app on your mobile device and follow the instructions given.
Monese lets you open a personal, joint, or business account through the app without providing any address proof. You simply need to submit an identity document like a passport and a selfie video from your phone to pass the checks. The system would then verify your identity and your account is created quickly.
Once registered, you can start sending and receiving payments immediately through the app. You also get a debit card that you can use to shop online, make ATM withdrawals, and make contactless payments anywhere in the world.
The app allows changing personal information, making top-ups, and accessing bank statements at any time. It also comes with an integration for Google Pay, Apple Pay, and PayPal for easy payments.
Is Monese Safe?
To provide the same level of security as traditional banks, Monese works under the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and follows regulations outlined by the agency.
As a part of this regulation, Monese ensures that customers always have their money available and there is no upper limit on account per customer. This means all your money kept in a Monese account is protected.
However, Monese does not have a UK banking license which makes it different from mainstream banks. It is not protected by FSCS (Financial Services Compensation Scheme), so you would not be compensated for losses if the company goes bankrupt. Moreover, Monese cannot offer loans, overdrafts, or other lending services.
Monese Pros and Cons
- Account creation is easy and quick
- Multi-currency accounts
- Spending notifications and budget tracking
- No need for credit check or address proof
- Integration with Google Pay and Apple Pay
- Amazing user experience on the app
- Free account has limited features
- No loans or overdrafts
- Account limitations on spending and withdrawals
- Only available in Eurozone and UK at the time
- Only accessible from a single phone
- Doesn’t have a banking license
Monese is a useful service for those who travel between countries and those who need to send money abroad frequently. The company offers a quick signup process and comes loaded with a plethora of features to make banking more accessible.
The app-only bank has also introduced a variety of services including Bills Protection Insurance though many of them come at a price. Overall, it is an excellent application that simplifies international transactions and contactless payments.