Monese - The Digital Bank Account For Everyone
Monese is a current account that you manage from your smartphone. A Monese account gives you some excellent features and access to the innovative Monese app. With a Monese bank account, you can monitor your spending, send and receive payments in multiple currencies, and set up Direct Debits, all without needing any credit history, or proof of address.
Monese was launched in 2015 to help customers get set up with a UK bank account without having to overcome the hurdles that have become typical of other UK banks.
With Monese you don’t need a good credit history; In fact, you don’t need any credit history at all to open an account. You also don’t need proof of address, making it a great choice for expats or immigrants who have only recently arrived in the UK and need to set up a bank account.
What is a Monese account?
A Monese account operates the same as any other current account, with the main exception being that, because it is a digital bank, you manage your Monese account via an app on your smartphone.
With Monese, anyone can open an account in minutes with no proof of address or credit check needed. This makes Monese the perfect choice for people with or without a UK address, a good or bad credit history, or those without a fixed income. The only requirement is that you live in the European Economic Area (EEA).
Monese is hugely popular amongst:
- The expat community
- People who have just moved to the UK and can’t yet open a high street bank account
- People who travel frequently.
The Monese app and all of its services are available in 12 languages.
What is the European Economic Area?The EEA is an extension of the European Union. It includes the main EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway.
Is Monese a bank?
Technically, Monese is not a bank but an Electronic Money Institution.
With an Electronic Money Institution, your money is held in a separate account from Monese’s main finances and assets called a ring-fenced account. Which means if Monese were to go bust, your money would remain safe and protected. In practical terms, it does not affect your day to day banking and you still receive a current account.
You have access to the same features and services you would expect to receive from a traditional high-street bank account, such as a bank account number and sort code to set up Direct Debits and have your salary paid into your Monese account.
With Monese, you also get additional benefits that you rarely receive with other banks, such as budgeting tools, simplified bank transfers, and instant notifications on your mobile phone whenever you use your Monese card or money is paid in or out of your account.
Is Monese legitimate?
Absolutely. Monese is a registered agent of PrePay Technologies Limited, who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
Monese for expats and immigrants
If you have just moved into the UK, you may have come across this all too common problem
- You need a UK bank account to rent a property or pay your bills.
- But, you need to have an address to open a bank account.
It is a never-ending circle that can be extremely frustrating to resolve. In fact, Monese was created because it's CEO had this same problem when he moved to the UK from Estonia. He was denied a bank account for not having a UK credit history, which made it impossible for him to find a place to live and receive his salary.
If you are an Expat or Immigrant and you need a UK bank account, then Monese is the perfect option for you. Monese’s application process means:
- No credit checks.
- No proof of address needed.
- No credit history required.
You can open your account in minutes with just your contact details and a selfie, and you will have access to your new account immediately.
Does Monese do credit checks?
No, credit checks are not needed to open a Monese account.
Is it free to order a Monese card?
It is free to open a Monese account, and it will send your new debit card to you for free.
What types of Monese accounts are available?
There are three different Monese accounts, which come with their own features and benefits. There are accounts available with and without a monthly fee. If you select a Monese account with a monthly fee, then you will enjoy some additional benefits and features.
This is the basic Monese account and has no monthly fee. Monese Simple comes with a white contactless debit card and is the perfect choice if you are looking for a simple, no-frills account.
The Monese Classic account comes with a light blue contactless debit card. Monese Classic gives you a higher limit on the amount you can withdraw from an ATM each month and the amount you can spend abroad.
The most expensive of the three accounts - Monese Premium comes with a navy blue contactless card and removes any limits that come with the Monese Simple and Classic accounts
Compare the best bank accountsStill unsure if Monese is the right account for you? Then why not compare the best bank accounts to see what other options are available.
Compare Monese accounts
We have detailed the benefits and fees for each of the three Monese accounts so you can see which option is the right choice for you.
|Free Contactless debit card||Free Contactless debit card||Free Contactless debit card|
|Free UK and foreign currency transfers to other Monese customers||Free UK and foreign currency transfers to other Monese customers||Free UK and foreign currency transfers to other Monese customers|
|ATMs & cash top-ups - £200 free per month. 2% fee there after||ATMs & cash top-ups - £800 free per month. 2% fee there after||ATMs & cash top-ups - Unlimited. No fees|
|Foreign currency card spending - £2,000 free per month. 2% fee there after||Foreign currency card spending - £8,000 free per month. 2% fee there after||Foreign currency card spending - Unlimited. No fees|
|Foreign currency transfers to non-Monese customers - 2% fee. £2 minimum fee||Foreign currency transfers to non-Monese customers - 0.5% fee. £2 minimum fee||Foreign currency transfers to non-Monese customers - No fees|
Monese does not offer a savings account, which is a feature most other digital banks offer.
One option to resolve this problem is to open a savings account with another provider and transfer money to it from within the Monese app.
Because Monese is a current account, you can set up Direct Debits to pay for your bills and utilities.
Monese does not support overdrafts. However, it has announced that it will be offering loans in the near future, although a date has not yet been confirmed.
Monese offers a business account that sits separately from your main Monese account. You will need to be over 18 and be the authorised individual of the business you want to open an account for. Your business will need to be registered with UK Companies House, as you will need the company registration number to open your account.
Before you can open a Monese business account, you will need to have an individual Simple, Classic, or Premium account.
The Monese business account costs £9.99 per month. For that fee, you receive:
- A black Monese business contactless debit card.
- Free local payments.
- Low-priced international transfers.
- Cash deposits.
- Optional Euro personal account.
- Categorised transactions to monitor your cash flow.
- Instant in-app switching between your personal and business account.
- Competitive currency conversion
You can upgrade your personal Monese Simple account to a Classic account with no additional monthly fee, or you could upgrade to a Premium account and receive a £5 discount off the monthly Premium account fee whenever you open a Monese business account for £9.99 a month.
How to open a Monese account
Opening a Monese account is straightforward and takes only a few minutes.
- Download the Monese app to your phone.
- Open the Monese app.
- Tap ‘Open free account’
- Enter your email address, and where you live.
- Read and agree to the terms and conditions
- Tap ‘Get started’
- Create and confirm a 5 digit passcode.
- Enter your mobile phone number.
- will be sent a confirmation code via SMS.
- Enter the confirmation code.
- Chose either a Euro account or a GBP account.
- Enter your address.
All you need to do next is complete the application process by confirming your ID.
What is the application process?
Once you have opened your account, you will need to provide your proof of ID. This is done within the Monese app
- Take and upload a clear photo of your ID.
- Take a quick selfie of yourself.
Non-UK citizens may be required to complete a short video call with a Monese advisor from within the Monese app to complete the application process.
Monese accept the following forms of ID:
- Valid passport.
- Driving licence.
- A national ID card
Once you have submitted your ID, and it has been securely verified, you will be up and running with your new Monese account. You will be sent a confirmation email confirming your new bank account number and sort code, which you can also view within the Monese app.
How to open a Monese business account
You will first need to open either a Simple, Classic or Premium individual Monese account. Once your individual account has been verified:
- Log into the Monese app on your phone.
- Tap the icon on the top left-hand side of the home screen.
- Tap ‘Add account’
- Select ‘Business account’ and follow the steps to complete your business application.
You will receive a response within 2 days of submitting your application.
When you invite a friend or family member to open a Monese account, they will reward you both with £15.
- Open the Monese app.
- Tap the ‘Earn’ tab.
- Share your invite code.
When your friend receives your invite code, they need to click the link and it will direct them to open an account. Once they have topped up and made their first transaction, you will both receive the £15 reward in your individual Monese accounts.
There is no limit to the number of people you can refer, and you will receive £15 for every account that you successfully refer.
Using your Monese account
All Monese accounts give you access to the same excellent features, including the Monese app, budgeting tools, the ability to use your card abroad, as well as make and receive payments in multiple currencies.
The Monese app
All of your banking activity takes place within the Monese app. It is available to download for free from the App Store, and Google Play Store.
The Monese app is easy to use and navigate and allows you to
- View your account balance.
- View your account information.
- View your latest transactions.
- Lock/unlock your debit card if you misplace it.
- Send and request UK and international payments.
- Order a replacement debit card.
- Monitor your spending.
- View and cancel your direct debits and standing orders.
Within the Monese app, you can view your current account balance and your recent transactions so you always know where you are up to with your spending. A handy graph also gives you insight into your spending habits so you can see which days you tend to spend the most money.
Some banks allow transactions to be authorised even without sufficient available funds, causing people to become overdrawn and then be charged a fee from their bank. To avoid this, Monese only authorise payments when there is enough money in your account, making it impossible to go overdrawn.
Monese also has a feature called ‘Instabalance’ which enables you to view your account balance directly from your phones notification tray, without having to open the Monese app.
Monese is missing a few key features in its budgeting tools that are hugely popular with customers of other digital banks. Revolut, N26, and Monzo all give users the ability to set an overall monthly budget, and budgets for individual categories such as ‘Groceries’ or ‘Public Transport’ to give you more control over your spending.
It’s important to know that with Monese, you can only log in to your account through the mobile app. There is no online banking available, meaning you can’t access your account if you leave your phone at home.
That being said, when you have your phone to hand, it is straightforward to log in to the Monese app once you have opened an account.
- Open the Monese app on your mobile phone
- Enter your 5 digit security code
You can opt to use fingerprint ID or Face ID instead of a 5 digit security code with compatible phones.
Your Monese account can only be registered to one mobile device at a time to ensure nobody else can access your account. If you get a new mobile phone, you will need to register it to your Monese account.
- Download the Monese app to your new device.
- Open the Monese app.
- Tap ‘Log in’
- Enter the email address you used when you opened your Monese account.
- You will be sent an email to confirm your request.
- Open your email app and confirm the request.
- Your new device will now be registered to your Monese account.
The Monese Card
All Monese accounts come with a contactless MasterCard debit card which uses MasterCard 3D Secure to keep all of your online purhases safe and protected
What is Mastercard 3D Secure?MasterCard 3D Secure, also known as 3DS, sends a text message to your mobile phone containing a unique verification code whenever you try and make an online payment. You will need to enter this code correctly to complete an online purchase.
You can use your Monese card anywhere in the world that accepts MasterCard payments and because Monese is designed for international use, you also benefit from low exchange rates and the ability to send and receive money in both Pound Sterling and Euro.
UK card payments and withdrawals
There are limits to the amount of cash you can withdraw for free from an ATM depending on which Monese account you have. If you exceed your monthly limit, you will be charged every time you withdraw money.
|£200 per month fee-free. 2% fee per withdrawal thereafter||£800 per month fee-free. 2% fee per withdrawal thereafter||Unlimited. No Fees|
It is always free to use your Monese card anywhere that accepts MasterCard, as well as being free to use online.
International card payments and withdrawals
Monese does not charge any fees to use your card abroad in a different currency as long as you do not exceed the permitted allowance.
|£2,000 per month fee-free. 2% fee per payment/withdrawal thereafter||£8,000 per month fee-free. 2% fee per payment/withdrawal thereafter||Unlimited. No Fees|
How to top up your Monese account
There are four ways to add money to your Monese account
- Cash top-up.
- UK Bank transfer.
- IBAN transfer.
- Debit card top-up.
To top-up your Monese account using cash, simply visit any Post Office or Paypoint and present your Monese debit card along with the money you want to top-up with.
Don’t forget that there is a limit to how much you can top-up by cash and withdraw from an ATM each month depending on which Monese account you open.
UK Bank transfer top-up
Anyone can transfer money into your Monese account via bank transfer. They will need your Monese bank account number and sort code, which you can find within the Monese app.
IBAN transfer top-up
Banks outside of the UK do not use bank account numbers and sort codes, instead, they use what is called an IBAN number.
To receive a top-up from outside of the UK, you will need to use the Monese IBAN details and you must use your Monese ID number as a payment reference to ensure the money reaches your account.
Monese only accepts transfers from outside the UK in Pound Sterling and Euro.
What is my Monese ID number?Your Monese ID is a unique reference number linked to your Monese account. Android users can find their Monese ID in the menu. iOS users can find their Monese ID in the upper part of the ‘Account’ tab
Debit card top-up
Debit card top-ups arrive instantly and are free of charge. To top-up with your debit card:
- Open the Monese app.
- Tap ‘Instant Top Up’
- Enter the amount you want to top-up.
- Enter your debit card information.
You can top-up by up to £600 a month by debit card, and you can only perform 10 debit card top-ups each month. If you need to top up by more than this, then you can add additional money via a bank transfer.
You can add up to three different debit cards to your Monese account to save you having to re-enter the debit card information each time.
It is not yet possible to top-up by credit card, cheque, Apple Pay, or Google Pay.
Monese makes it easy to send money to anyone in the UK or abroad. You can select the currency you wish to use when making a transfer, and Monese offers some of the lowest exchange rates available.
It is free to transfer money to other UK bank accounts in Pound Sterling. Transfers to other Monese customers arrive instantly, and transfers to other UK banks typically arrive within 30 minutes.
Transfer money abroad
You can transfer money abroad in different currencies, and because Monese uses the Interbank exchange rate, you always receive the lowest rates available.
You can transfer money abroad in:
- Polish Zlotys
- Brazilian Real
- Turkish Lira
- US Dollar
- Australian Dollar
- Bulgarian Leva
- Mexican Peso
- Romanian Lei
The Interbank exchange rate is the same dynamic rate that banks use to swap money between one another. The rate is real-time, so you are always receiving the best rate available.
Foreign currency transfers to other Monese customers is free of charge. However foreign currency transfers to non-Monese customers are only free for Monese Premium accounts. There is a fee per transaction for Monese Simple and Monese Classic accounts.
Monese is the world’s first current account that allows its customers to collect Avios points.
What are Avios points?Avios is a loyalty scheme that rewards you with points that you can spend on flights, hotels, car rentals, and experiences.
To earn Avios points with Monese, you will need to create an Avios account or link your Monese account to your existing Avios account. Once you have linked your Avios account with your Monese account, you can begin earning points.
Use your Monese card to pay for goods at over one thousand retailers, including Just Eat, ASOS, Argos, Trainline, and many more to earn points.
Avios points are available with all Monese accounts. You can view transactions that have earned you points, and view your Avios balance alongside your everyday spending within the Monese app.
We receive a commission for some of the products and or services mentioned within this website. Our website is free to use, and the commission we receive does not affect our opinion or the information we provide. All of our content and opinions are non-biased.