Monese Review


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Monese is a mobile bank that was designed with the customer in mind. Founded in 2015 by Norris Koppel, Monese was the first mobile-only bank in the UK now.

In 2021 having over 2 million customers, it's had quite a journey.

This Monese review will go through what Monese offers and if it's worth switching in 2021. 

4.5/5

Monese

Monese is an international, instant mobile money account that lets you transfer money at great rates. We make it easy for anyone to open an account with just their ID and no documents required. You can also set up monthly budgets and get notifications when you spend your money.

Sign up today! It’s quick, secure, and hassle-free. Plus, they won’t ask for any more than your ID when opening the account. You can also use their Spending Overview tool to track how much you're spending every month or week so that you don't overspend on anything!

Customer service

Having a multilingual customer service team is no easy task. Yet Monese's team can help you in 14 different languages making it the perfect bank for EX pats. 

Security 

Not a registered bank like the major UK banks but that doesn't mean Monese doesn't look after your cash. All your money is still regulated by the FCA and stored safely in another account. 

Cost

Anyone can sign up to a Monese account for free and its packed full of features. Premium accounts are available too if you want extras. 

Want to see other digital banks? Check out Starling Bank Review too! 

Who are Monese?

Monese was founded to solve a critical issue on the traditional banking scene - opening an account with no credit history.

The idea came to founder Norris Koppel when he first came to the UK and struggled to open a bank account. Needing proof of address and credit history, which most people coming into the country don't have, Norris knew this was a problem he could solve. 

Monese Founder

Founding Monese in 2015, he made it the company's mission to offer a Monese account with just a few taps. Needing only proof of identity and available to the European economic area EEA residents, Monese was born.

Of course, that is not the only benefit that Monese accounts offer. Being a digital bank, there are many benefits that customers can benefit from. 

What Types of Accounts Does Monese Offer?

For personal users, there are three different types of Monese accounts; Simple, Classic and Premium. 

What accounts do Monese offer

The simple account will suit most people, and although all accounts come with a contactless debit card, you do need a pay a £4.95 delivery charge to receive your card with the simple account.

If you plan on cash top-ups and regular cash withdrawals of more than £200 from an ATM, then you may need to consider the Classic or Premium Monese account.

You can save additional money by paying annual for both the classic and premium Monese account by paying annual - they offer a 30% discount.

Monese annual account saving

Even if you travel frequently, the free option is still excellent value, in my opinion, offering a £2,000 monthly currency spending for free; UK customers will surely benefit from this when travelling abroad. 

Is Monese Account Free?

Monese accounts start from free for a personal account, and you can use it with no issues for free. The only thing to be aware of with the free simple account is that you will have to pay £4.95 to receive your debit card.

For business customers, a Monese account is £9.95 per month and can be added to the Monese app.

Other Monese fees vary depending on the account you sign up for. 

Main Features of Monese Account

Being a challenger, digital bank Monese has lots of unique features when compared to a traditional bank. Here are the perks you will get with a UK Monese account:

Multiple Currencies

Monese euro account, multiple currencies

UK customers and those living in the European economic area can benefit from multiple currency accounts. You can get multi-currency account details in GBP, EUR and RON for a better and more localised experience. Instantly transfer money between your Monese accounts for free.

A euro account allows you to move and manage money in foreign currency. They’re ideal for living, working and travelling abroad without losing out to expensive exchange rates or slow transfer times. You’ll get account details in foreign currency to make receiving money easy wherever you are.

Monese makes it super easy to do a bank transfer between each of your currency accounts.

Good news for those who English is not their native language Monese offers customer support in 14 languages: English, French, German, Brazilian Portuguese, European Portuguese, Bulgarian, Italian, Spanish, Romanian, Polish, Czech, Turkish, Estonian and Lithuanian.

Direct Debits

Direct debits are easy to see within the Monese app. You can see upcoming payments and manage your direct debits without having to go into a bank. 

Apple Pay & Google Pay

Monese Apple Pay

All Monese accounts come with Apple Pay functionality making them a perfect choice for Apple iPhone users. Adding your Monese account is very straightforward. Just follow the instructions in the app.

Google Pay is also available, and again really easy to set up. Follow the instructions within the app to activate Google pay instantly. 

Transfer Money

Transferring money internationally is a pain. You have to jump through hoops to open an account, then wait for the transfer to go through. Plus, you end up paying hefty fees on top of that.

At Monese, they've made it easier than ever before to send money abroad and get better exchange rates than traditional banks offer. With their quick sign-up process, instant transfers at significant savings and 24/7 customer support, sending cash overseas has never been faster or easier! 

The app makes it easy for you to transfer funds between your UK current account and your Monese international account in just three taps - no hidden fees or tricky forms needed! Monese also makes managing multiple accounts simple with one login across all your connected accounts, including debit cards, credit cards, bank transfers etc., so you can view everything in one place from any device. 

Budgeting Tools

Monese budgeting tools and savings pot in Monese app

Managing your money can be time-consuming and stressful.

Monese created a solution to this problem that makes managing your finances as simple as possible. 

Monese is an app designed for anyone who wants to get on top of their finances without spending hours looking at them. It comes with features like Spending Overviews, Monthly Budgets, Instant notifications whenever you spend, and more!

Related Article: Best Budgeting Apps in the UK

Some of the cool budgeting features that I liked are:

Rounding up Pots

Like Monzo and Starling Bank, Monese also offers a feature where you can round up your spare change into a separate saving pot every time you make a purchase or spend money on your debit card.

Like Starling Bank, it has an advanced roundup feature meaning you can round up your spare change up to x10.

 Related Article: Apps That Round Up Spare Change 

Set Goals


Within the app, you can set goals for your money. For example, say you are saving for a holiday, you can set a goal for a pot to track your progress.

Spending categories built into the app also make it easy to see where you are spending your money and so that you can adjust any bad habit you may have to make reaching your spending goals that little bit easier. 

Partnership with Raisin

Monese has also partnered with Raisin, a well-known Savings accounts provider, so if you are willing to lock your money away to earn a little interest, you can also open a Raisin account right within the monese App.

Using Monese Abroad

Monese has the option of opening an account throughout Europe. Can you quickly switch accounts from the UK to Europe to ensure you have access to your money? You get a £2000 fee-free card payment abroad and £200 withdrawal money from the ATM. All plans offer at least some of its fee-free expenditure outside Europe also but with different limits. With various plans, the maximum amount of money you have to spend outside European borders.

Travellers need to access their money when they're abroad, but the current options are inconvenient and expensive.

The majority of travellers still rely on cash for day-to-day spending overseas. This means that you have to visit an ATM or bank branch in person, which is time-consuming and can be frustrating if you're trying to enjoy your holiday. You also pay a high fee for withdrawing cash from ATMs - up to £5 per withdrawal! And with exchange rates set by banks, it's difficult to know exactly how much money you will receive when collecting foreign currency at airports or bureaux de change. 

Monese makes managing your travel money easy with our prepaid multi-currency card. Load your Monese card with the amount of pounds sterling you want, and then use it just like any other debit card or credit card while travelling around Europe (or anywhere else in the world).


Monese & Avios Partnership

Avio is a loyalty currency - the British Airways executive club, Iberia Plus, AerClub, Vueling Club and Meridiana Club. Millions of customers take out Avios worldwide.

Monese is the first online account linked by an Avios network. Customers will be able to earn Avios points through payments and referrals to friends. Customers may also send and receive Avio in between customers with Avios and a Monese.

This enables customers to log and maximises their Avios purchases as they fly or travel from hundreds of Avios Partner brands, including Just Eat and ASOS, among others.

If you are already a Avios member and are looking for a account that helps you grow your points then Monese could be perfect for you. 

Monese Debit Card

All Monese accounts come with a contactless MasterCard debit card. The Monese card comes in various colours depending on which account you have.

Monese Debit Card

In more than 200 countries, the Monese - Debit card is acceptable. Contactless payment helps you reduce your carry-over of spare coins for smaller transactions. This is done without the need to enter a PIN either when the transaction exceeds £30. Contactless payments have no security issues because the business will take a specified amount 'once' transaction.

Remember that the card works as a prepaid card. This means when you want, you have a budget with the card, which will prevent you from overcharging and charging. Another feature is the card is also contactless of debit.

Monese also offer joint account cards, and I have to say I love the design it reminds me of one of those necklaces where you need both parts to see the full design. 

Monese Joint account card

Monese Joint account card

Monese Customer Reviews

Monese is an app that is worth 3.5 out of 5. The app has over 20,000 reviews on Trust Pilot. Having a well designed, the customer-friendly app was a preferred feature by customers. and being extremely easy to open. 

Despite some complaints about the complaint procedure, users praised the Card app and its function in general.

Monese has also won awards winning the 2016 European Fintech Awards.

Is Monese Safe and Legit?

Although not registered as a UK Bank For UK customers, Monese Ltd is a registered agent of PrePay Technologies Limited, which is an electronic money institution authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority under the Electronic Money Regulations 2011 (with firm reference 900010) for the issuing of electronic money and payment instruments.

Your money is safe and stored in a separate account if you are worried that Monese don't have FCA protection like other major banks. 

How Do I Open an Account With Monese?

How to open a account with Monese

To open an account with Monese, you need to live inside EEA. The company keeps expanding its footprint to get more customers.

To open the account, use the smartphone lens to take a picture of or send a photograph of an ID document. It can be any ID card or visa card, and it's not important to the country from which the card was issued.

The application uses advanced technology to ensure your identity. You can easily get account information in minutes. This application is set to be used with the on-screen instructions for setting up any UK current account.

Your bank details are given once your account has been verified. 

Once you have opened a account you can set up any direct debits etc like you would with a normal bank.

What ID do I Need to Open a Monese Account?

All you need is an email address, phone number and an ID document like your passport. It’s simple to create an online money account with Monese.

Can anyone open a Monese account?

Anyone living in the European living area can open an account and follow the payment instructions.

Does Monese Do Credit Checks?

No one of the benefits of Monese is that there are no credit checks needed therefore making it a perfect account for those who have no credit history or poor credit history.

The only ID you will need to apply is proof of ID, which is a passport is perfect for. Once you've inputted your details, you will get an account number straight away to be able to do instant top-ups to your account. 

 

Monese Review: The Verdict

Monese review summary
Pros
  • Great for ex-pats: you can get an account with no credit history or proof of address.
  • Multilingual Customer Support: 14 different languages from the customer care team, now that is great banking service. 
  • Savings automation technology: automatically pay money into a savings pot up to x10 whenever you spend on your card. 
  • ATM withdrawals: you can do this as you normally would at any ATM point. You can also make ATM withdrawals abroad.
  • A separate account for other currencies.
  • The app makes it easy to see your account balance at any time and access monese account.
  • Nice looking debit card: Whichever account you go for, the eye-catching debit card is for sure a conversation starter!
  • Excellent money transfer services: UK bank transfers and international money transfers are swift and easy.
  • A current account available for all needs: with 3 different options for current accounts, you should be able to find a current account that suits your needs. 
Cons
  • You have to pay to receive your debit card on a simple account (£4.95)
  • Not a credit broker/ not a lender: If you are looking for Loans or overdrafts, that is not something Monese can offer.
  • No in-store branches, so you will not be able to see anyone if you prefer face to face service. 
Conclusion

Monese is a great option for those looking to start banking with the convenience of an app. You don't need proof of address or even credit history. You need one form of ID and your phone number.

The debit card can use it in over 130 countries, which means it's perfect for frequent travellers.

I also love that BA cardholder (British Airways) actively help me collect AVOIS points on my everyday spending - plus if you spend £15 in any given month, then there are no fees at all! 

What do you think about Monese? Let me know below in the comments section.

Monese Faq

Can you withdraw money from Monese?

Yes, you can use your debit card to make ATM withdrawals at any point like you would with a traditional bank.

Where is Monese bank located?

Monese is headquartered in London, United Kingdom.


What happens if Monese goes bust?

Will all my money be gone? That is what you might be thinking, and the answer is no. Monese is required by the FCA to protect your money in a separate account. Here is what Monese say:

'As you might know, we're authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as an e-money institution. Monese accounts are e-money accounts, and they’re provided by our long-term partner PrePay Solutions (PPS), who is authorised and regulated by the FCA and the National Bank of Belgium (NBB) to issue e-money and provide payment services. As your account is provided by PPS, they’re also responsible for protecting your money.

At Monese, your money is protected through a process known as “safeguarding”.' Full details of safeguarding can be found here.



How do I contact Monese bank?

Email them at support@monese.com,  make sure you’re sending from the same email address you used to open your Monese account. 

Start a conversation with the Customer Support team via your app. Tap on the top left-hand icon in your app, then ‘Get help’. If you can’t find the answer you’re looking for, it’s easy to start an in-app chat with them!


Can I get an overdraft with Monese?

Currently Monese doesn't offer overdrafts


Monese
Monese Review

Monese is a mobile bank that was designed with the customer in mind. Founded in 2015 by Norris Koppel, Monese was the first mobile-only bank in the UK now. In 2021 having over 2 million customers, it's had quite a journey. This Monese review will go through what Monese offers and if it's worth switching in 2021.

Product Currency: £

Product In-Stock: InStock

Editor's Rating:
4.5

About the author 

Mary Elizabeth

Founder of MeMoreMoney. A self-taught finance nerd, learning by doing and experiencing. Bought first house at 21, paid off student debt, and save 100k by 30. Featured Personal Finance Expert in GO Banking Rates and Yahoo! Finance

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