About Monese

Monese is an award-winning ‘challenger bank’. It launched in 2015 as the UK’s first 100% mobile current account and now specialises in this type of account.

What is Monese?

Monese provides basic banking through your smartphone, with the Monese app, and a prepaid debit card.

Monese’s founder, Norris Koppel, moved to the UK from Estonia and was inspired to start Monese after struggling to open a bank account. With no UK credit history or utility bills to prove his address, Koppel found it near-impossible to find somewhere to get his salary paid or rent a home. Knowing he wouldn’t be alone, he decided to set up Monese.

Describing itself as ‘banking without boundaries’, its inclusivity its USP – almost anyone, anywhere in the UK or continental Europe, can open an account without a UK address, credit history or fixed income.

Monese offers a selection of current accounts for personal and business use in the UK and Eurozone.

UK Personal Current Accounts

Monese current accounts all come with a prepaid debit card. With a prepaid card you can only spend the cash you have loaded onto the card – you can’t overspend or go below £0.

There is no credit check when you apply, making it a good option for anyone who’s just moved to the UK or with bad/no credit history.

Monese UK accounts include a free Eurozone account – you can switch easily between your UK and Eurozone account in the app, and, if you move to another country in the EEA, you just take your Monese account with you.

 

At A Glance

  Starter Plus Premium
Monthly cost £0/month £4.95/month £14.95/month
ATM withdrawals £1 each 6 free a month Unlimited
Foreign currency exchange 2% fee (£2 minimum fee) 0.5% fee (£2 minimum fee) FREE
Instant top-ups 0.35% fee (minimum) 0.35% fee (minimum) FREE
Cash top-ups Post Office 2% fee (£2 minimum)

PayPoint 3.5% fee (£3 minimum)

Post Office £1 each

 

PayPoint 2.5% fee (£1 minimum fee)

Post Office FREE

 

 

PayPoint FREE

Contactless debit card FREE + £4.95 delivery fee FREE FREE

 

Starter Account

Key features

  • No monthly cost
  • ATM withdrawals £1 each
  • Foreign currency exchange 2% fee (£2 minimum fee)
  • Instant top-ups 0.35% fee (minimum)
  • Cash top-ups at the Post Office 2% fee (£2 minimum)
  • PayPoint cash top-ups 3.5% fee (£3 minimum)
  • No minimum balance
  • Maximum account balance £40,000
  • Contactless and Apple Pay

 

Plus Account

Key features

  • £4.95 a month
  • Free plus account if you’re a student*
  • 6 free ATM withdrawals a month, £1 each thereafter
  • Foreign currency exchange 0.5% fee (£2 minimum fee)
  • Cash top-ups at the Post Office £1 each
  • PayPoint cash top-ups 2.5% fee (£1 minimum fee)
  • No minimum balance
  • Maximum account balance £40,000
  • Contactless and Apple Pay

*If you’re a European student, you can get a free Monese Plus account for 12 months. You’ll need to send your Monese ID and a document proving you’re a student (student ID, university acceptance letter, or an email from your university email address) direct to [email protected] You’ll be upgraded within 3 working days.

Premium Account

Key features

  • £14.95 a month
  • Unlimited ATM withdrawals
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Free instant top-ups
  • Free cash top-ups at the Post Office
  • Free PayPoint cash top-ups
  • Maximum account balance £40,000

 

Eligibility

You must be 18+ and live in the EEA for a Monese account.

Pros

  • No need for proof of address
  • No credit checks
  • Quick and easy account opening
  • Prepaid debit card – good for budgeting
  • MasterCard – pay in-store or online for your purchases
  • Set up Direct Debits
  • App and service in 11 languages
  • Receive your salary by UK Faster Payments, BACS or CHAPS
  • Top-up your card at a UK Post Office or PayPoint
  • Contactless and Apple Pay enabled
  • Instantly block and unblock your card in the Monese app
  • Branch-free – 100% mobile
  • Operate multiple accounts for one monthly fee
  • Invite a friend reward
  • Partnered with Avios – view your Avios balance in the Monese app

Cons

  • £1 fee for ATM withdrawals on Starter Plan
  • Limited to 6 ATM withdrawals on Plus Plan
  • 35% fees for instant top-ups on Starter and Plus Plan
  • Cash top-up fees on Starter and Plus accounts
  • Cash top-ups are not available until the next working day
  • Monese is unable to accept cheques
  • No FSCS protection

 

How To Apply

Download the Monese mobile app to apply. It’s a quick application process: you’ll be asked to take a photograph of yourself and your ID (preferably a Passport or ID card) and, as soon as your identity is confirmed, you can receive your account details.

You should receive your Monese card to your registered address within 3-5 working days in the UK or up to 14 days internationally.

How Safe Is Monese?  

Monese does not provide Financial Services Compensation Scheme protection (which protects your money up to £85,000) however, it is a registered agent of PrePay Technologies Ltd which is an FCA authorised company.

Monese also ‘guarantees the protection of 100% of customer funds’. They ensure your money is protected because they don’t re-invest customer funds – they keep it all separate from their own company finances.

If Monese becomes insolvent, customers would receive 100% of their account balances back.

Your Monese app is protected with a 5-digit passcode. Monese only allow single device access: if you need to access your current account on a new device, you’ll have to log in with your registered email address and respond to a device authorisation request.

Monese also have a handy in-app feature to instantly block and unblock your card – useful if you misplace your card, only to find it again later.

How Does The Monese Card Work?

Monese prepaid debit cards are Mastercard – accepted in over 200 countries across the world, you can use it to pay for goods and services in shops, over the phone or online.

One of the few places you can’t use them is at self-service petrol pumps. Monese cards are contactless and Apple Pay enabled. You can use your Monese card to withdraw cash from ATMs, but, depending on your account, the number of withdrawals may be limited and fees may apply.

Because they are prepaid debit cards, you’ll have to top-up your card with funds before you can spend. There are a number of ways to do this (covered below).

Topping-Up Your Monese Card

You can top-up your Monese MasterCard in four ways:

  1. Cash top-up
  2. UK bank transfer
  3. IBAN transfer
  4. Debit card

Top-up limits apply.

Cash Top-Up

Take your Monese MasterCard and cash to any UK Post Office or PayPoint to top-up your card. Fees are shown in the table below. Funds will be available in your account the next working day.

  Starter Plus Premium
Cash top-ups Post Office 2% fee (£2 minimum)

PayPoint 3.5% fee (£3 minimum)

Post Office £1 each

 

PayPoint 2.5% fee (£1 minimum fee)

Post Office FREE

 

PayPoint FREE

 

You’ll need to top-up a minimum £5 at the Post Office.

Cash top-up limits are:

    • Post Office: £500 per transaction per day
    • PayPoint: £249 per transaction and £500 per day

UK Bank Transfer

Transfer funds from another UK bank to your Monese account – you’ll need your Monese account number and sort code, which you can find in the app.

IBAN Transfer

You can pay into your UK Monese account by IBAN transfer. More information on how to do this can be found here.

Debit Card

You can top-up your Monese card using a debit card in your own name. You will need to enter the details from the card in the Monese app in the Instant Top up area.

Debit card top-ups are limited and there’s a 0.35% fee for UK debit card top-ups for Starter and Plus plan customers.  Debit card top-ups are instant so your funds will be available straight away.

Instant debit card top-up limits are:

Daily £300 (total of 2 top-ups)

Monthly £600 (total of 10 top-ups)

If you’re topping-up by debit card, you’ll need to top-up a minimum of £10.

Monese For Travel

Monese promises transparency and no hidden fees. It can save you money when you travel because they use the real, wholesale exchange rates that banks get and pass the savings on to customers – you’ll pay competitive currency exchange fees:

Starter: 2%

Plus: 0.5%

Premium: Free

Being able to switch between your UK and Eurozone accounts means it’s easy to shop and manage your money anywhere in Europe.

AVIOS

Monese is exclusively partnered with Avios, so you can collect points as you shop with selected retailers and view your Avios points balance in the Monese app.

 

FAQs

Can I have my salary paid into my Monese account?

Yes, you can receive payments into your Monese account by UK Faster Payment, BACS or CHAPS.

Can I set up Direct Debits from my UK Monese account?

Yes. Monese offers Direct Debits at no extra charge.

Can I open an account without a UK address?

Yes. If you live somewhere in the European Economic Area – Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

Will Brexit affect my Monese account?

No. You will still be able to use your account and card as before to send and receive payments and send money abroad. Fees will not increase as a result of Brexit. There will be some changes to terms and conditions, but the functionality of accounts should not be affected.

Business accounts

You can apply for a Monese business account if you’re 18+, hold a Monese personal account, and are director of a UK registered limited business with UK Companies House with a registered company number (even if you live outside of the UK). Business accounts cost £9.95 a month.

What is the invite a friend reward?

If you invite a friend to join Monese via the app, and they add at £10 to their account, you’re both eligible for a reward: £10 for you and £5 for your friend.

Can I have more than one Monese account?

You can hold multiple Monese accounts and you will only ever pay one monthly fee.

In Summary

Monese is basic banking with added functionality – good for freelancers, digital nomads and ex-pats.

See what other people are saying about Monese

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Company Details
  • Company Name: MONESE LTD
  • Registration Number: 08720992
  • Incorporation Date: 2013-10-07
  • Status: Active
Loan Details
  • APR See Website
  • Loan Amount See Website
  • Repayment Duration See Website
Contact Monese
  • via Post: 85 Great Portland Street, First Floor, London, England, W1W 7LT