Monese is one of the very first banks in Europe to be available only via a mobile app. The founder of the bank created it because he could not open a traditional bank account. Realizing that he was not the only one with this problem, online banking Monese was born. But is Monese a reliable bank? Monese currently accepts to open mobile bank accounts for residents of Italy, Romania, Spain, United Kingdom,
Monese is rated 4.0 on TrustPilot - based on 32359 reviews.
- 1 What is Monese?
- 2 Monese, for whom?
- 3 How to open a Monese account?
- 4 How does Monese work ?
- 5 Paperless procedures
- 6 How do I get a Monese bank card?
- 7 Get a loan with Monese
- 8 The fees at Monese?
- 9 The Monese Plans
- 10 How to deposit into a Monese account?
- 11 In which countries is Monese available?
- 12 Technical assistance and customer service
- 13 Is Monese a secure bank?
- 14 Monese Pros and Cons
- 15 Our Review on Monese
What is Monese?
Monese is a digital bank launched in September 2015 in the UK. Its founder and CEO Norris Koppel, then created the first alternative mobile application to banks in the United Kingdom: Monese. After great success on the British island, Monese launched its services across the Channel by offering euro accounts in 2017. Two years later, the number of subscribers reached one million, then this figure was doubled in 2020. During this year 2020, Monese has also taken a step forward by launching its services on the web, in addition to the Monese application.
Today, Monese does not have branches, unlike other online banks like Orange Bank. Which makes it totally mobile and incredibly appealing to those who want a modern, streamlined way to manage their money. Millions of people therefore use Monese from 31 different countries. This makes Monese one of the most established neobanks at the moment. It is continually expanding its range of services. In addition, 70% of the money received from Monese customers comes from direct debit, which means that most Monese customers use this bank account as their main account. Monese bank accounts can be opened in minutes and are available to anyone living in the European Economic Area (EEA).
Monese, for whom?
Like all 100% online neobanks, Monese caters to tech-savvy customers, who are generally younger than other banks. Monese is also a bank that will appeal to customers for whom fees are the main criterion in choosing a bank, since Monese’s rates are very low.
If you live in the Eurozone or the UK and want easy access to a checking account to save money when you travel, in our opinion Monese is a good option for you. It’s also a good solution if you want to open an online bank account quickly and easily, without the need for utility bills, proof of address or credit history.
It should be noted, however, that Monese only offers basic banking services. If you want to obtain credit or make investments, Monese will therefore not be a suitable intermediary. If you want a solution that will allow you to invest your money in financial assets, unfortunately, Monese is not for you.
How to open a Monese account?
Step 1: Download the Monese app
Either go to the Monese website to enter your phone number to receive a download link for the Monese app. You can also go directly to the App Store (iOS) or Google Play Store (Android) on your phone and search for the app and download it in seconds.
Step 2: Register with Monese
Once the Monese app is downloaded, open it. The first thing you will have to do is select your language.
Then press the “Open free account” button, and accept the terms on data and confidentiality.
Step 3: Choose a Monese Account
You have therefore provided the needed data for your registration. It’s time to choose an account between EUR, RON or GBP account. Select the account you wish to open and press “Next”.
Step 4: Validate your identity
Before continuing, make sure you have two pieces of identification with you, such as a national identity card, a passport, a driving license, or a residence permit. When you’re ready, tap “I’m ready.” Then enter your home address and confirm it if there is no mistake.
You must then select two identity documents, one by one, and take a photo of them directly via the application.
Finally, you’ll be prompted to record a short video of yourself with your face uncovered. Once this step is completed, your account will be verified by Monese, and you will receive a message confirming the opening of your Monese account within minutes.
How does Monese work ?
Anyone living in the European Economic Area (EEA) can open a Monese account. You can open an account by downloading the app from your smartphone or using the link sent to your device through the Monese website.
But then, how does Monese work, and how do you manage your money on this platform?
As mentioned above, all you need to do to open an account is to download the mobile application and follow the procedure. Unlike other checking account providers, you don’t need to provide a local address or proof of good credit. You must take a selfie video and provide identification documents such as a passport to comply with money laundering regulations.
Monese will check your identity and you will then get your account number and code within a few minutes. It’s way faster than going to a traditional bank where you need an appointment and then wait for a letter containing your code. After creating an account, you can start sending and receiving payments right away. Again, everything is done through the Monese app.
How do I get a Monese bank card?
You can order a contactless Mastercard through the app. It still takes some time for Monese users to receive their cards, which usually takes three to five business days. The delay may be longer in some countries. Through the Monese app, you can activate the card with a four-digit activation code once it arrives.
This bank card is similar to any other bank card in that you can shop online, shop at stores, withdraw cash from ATMs anywhere and use contactless payments. You can fund your account, edit your personal information, and access bank statements through the app at any time.
The app also supports Google Pay and Apple Pay, allowing you to make contactless payments with your phone. You can also access currency exchange and international money transfer services at a lower cost. Monese uses the interbank offered rates rather than setting its own fees.
Get a loan with Monese
Monese works with a panel of lenders through the Monevo platform. Monevo is actually the largest marketplace and lending platform in Europe. It connects borrowers with loan providers for personal loans. Through the lenders offered via Monevo, you can borrow from £500 to £40,000.
And this, for a period of 6 months to 5 years. The lenders offered through Monevo offer very low rates, 3.70% APR. If you obtain a loan authorization, the APR that will be offered to you may also vary depending on your personal situation.
A favorable or unfavorable opinion on the loan is issued in less than 5 minutes. If agreed, the money will be available in your account within 3 to 5 working days.
The fees at Monese?
The table below summarizes the differences between the three account types.
|Account – monthly||Free||£5,85/month||£14,95/month|
|Free payment by card||£2000€/month||£2000€/month||Unlimited|
|Payment by card thereafter||2%||2 %||Free|
|Money tranfers to Monese account||Free||Free||Free|
|Money tranfers to other account||2%||2%||Free|
The Monese Plans
The Starter Plan
The Starter Plan provides a checking account with no monthly fee, but you have to pay £4.95 if you want the contactless debit card. Cash withdrawals from ATMs are free up to a limit of £200 per month, but it will then cost you 2% of the value you withdraw. Cash top-ups are charged at 2% of the value you deposit at the post office or 3.5% for doing so through a PayPoint.
The Classic Plan
More active users can opt for the Classic plan at £4.16 per month. This gives you a free debit card and up to £900 in free cash withdrawals from ATMs per month, but you’ll have to pay a 2% fee each time thereafter. Top-ups are cheaper than the Simple plan as they are free for the first £900 deposited, then a 2% commission is charged per transaction after that.
The Premium Plan
Its most expensive plan is the Premium plan, at £10.41 per month. You thus benefit from a free card for unlimited payments and withdrawals, instant and free money reloads and nothing to pay on the forex for the transfer of currencies.
How to deposit into a Monese account?
There are actually three ways to deposit funds into your Monese account.
You can receive payments using your IBAN from any bank located in the SEPA area. It’s free, and it will take one business day, depending on the transfer time.
SWIFT international transfer
For countries not located in the SEPA area, you will be able to receive funds sent in EUR thanks to SWIFT payments on the Monese international deposit account. Account number and transaction details are available in the app. This is free at Monese, however, the issuing bank or beneficiary bank may charge a fee.
Top up by debit card
To instantly top up your Monese account via debit card, you will need to log into your Monese app and enter your debit card details. Go to “Instant Reload“. You can then choose the amount and add up to 3 different debit cards at a time. The card must also be in your name and the funds will appear instantly. Debit card top-ups are free. Any currency exchange will be handled by the issuer of the debit card used. At this time, Monese does not offer cash deposit options on EUR accounts. This option is only available for GBP accounts. This is done by post or PayDay point.
In which countries is Monese available?
Monese is available in 20 countries: Germany, Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and United Kingdom.
Technical assistance and customer service
Being able to easily contact the support service is essential for an online bank that has no physical branch. Monese offers you to contact its customer service securely directly from the application, by support tickets, or by online chat. It is of course also possible to contact customer service by email. However, we regret the absence of a telephone switchboard, which can be useful for emergencies.
Is Monese a secure bank?
Unlike traditional UK banks, your money isn’t covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), which covers up to £85,000 in deposits if a provider goes bankrupt.
However, Monese is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK as an authorized agent of electronic money institution PrePay Technologies, which follows electronic money regulations.
Your money is also protected under the EU Electronic Money Directive 2009/110/EC relating to electronic money and the UK Electronic Money Regulations 2011, which aim to protect money held in the form of electronic money in accounts, such as your Monese account.
According to Monese, in order for its rules to be followed, it must store separately and protect 100% of customer funds by keeping the funds separate from theirs. Monese keeps your money in segregated and protected accounts at strong European banks. Unlike traditional banks, Monese does not reinvest your money and always keeps it separate from company finances. This ensures that even in the unlikely event of bankruptcy or going out of business, your money will remain safe.
Monese Pros and Cons
Monese has advantages for its users, as well as disadvantages which we present below.
✅ Good services for travel
✅ Quick and easy account creation
✅ Free expenses abroad (within the authorized limit)
✅ Direct debits and standing orders
✅ Spend categorization and notifications
✅ Triple currency accounts (EUR, GBP and RON)
❌ No overdrafts allowed
❌ No check deposits
❌ Several account limitations
❌ Free account has limited features
Our Review on Monese
Our Monese opinion is therefore mixed. In a world where people are increasingly mobile, in terms of where they live, where they work and how they transact, Monese certainly has a role to play. Its application is useful for those who regularly move between different countries and also need to send money abroad. It is particularly useful if you regularly travel between the UK, Europe and Romania, since you can easily switch between accounts between these currencies.Monese is a neobank based in United Kingdom offering Personal accounts, Business accounts including a debit card, with all transactions being managed from an iPhone or Android application.