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Mr A

Table of Contents

  • Overview of Monese
  • Account Options and Features
  • Personal Accounts
  • Business Accounts
  • Opening a Monese Account
  • Banking Features
  • International Money Transfers
  • Bill Payments and Direct Debits
  • Budgeting Tools and Savings Pots
  • Instant Spending Notifications
  • Contactless Payments
  • Monese Pricing Plans
  • Simple Plan
  • Classic Plan
  • Premium Plan
  • Safety and Security
  • Customer Service
  • Advantages and Disadvantages of Monese
  • Comparing Monese with Competitors
  • Summary: Is Monese Worth It?

Overview of Monese

Monese is a UK-based digital banking app founded by Norris Koppel in 2013. Its primary aim is to offer quick, easy, and flexible banking services to customers, particularly those who face challenges opening traditional bank accounts. Monese is particularly popular among expats, immigrants, and those with limited credit histories, as it doesn't require customers to have a local credit history or address proof to open an account.

The app provides various financial services, such as money transfers, bill payments, direct debits and standing orders, contactless payments, and customer support in several languages. Monese operates in more than 30 European countries, allowing customers to hold balances in multiple currencies (GBP, EUR, and RON).

Account Options and Features

Personal Accounts

Monese offers personal accounts with features that cater to a range of customers. The accounts can be opened quickly, with a simple ID verification process. Once registered, customers receive a contactless Mastercard debit card, along with access to Monese's mobile app, which provides banking features such as transfers, payments, and budgeting tools. Furthermore, Monese allows users to hold multiple currency accounts (GBP, EUR, and RON), enabling them the flexibility of managing funds in different currencies.

Business Accounts

Monese's business accounts cater to small business owners and freelancers, providing quick and easy onboarding, multi-currency accounts, and segregated personal and business accounts. Business account holders can access features such as setting up direct debits and standing orders, sending and receiving international payments, and taking advantage of Monese's exclusive business card perks.

Opening a Monese Account

Opening an account with Monese is fast and straightforward. It can be done through the Monese app, which is available on both iOS and Android platforms. Upon downloading the app, users need to follow these simple steps:
  • Create an account using their email address, mobile number, and creating a password.
  • Verify their identity with a valid photo ID, such as a passport or national ID.
  • Snap a selfie to complete the verification process.
  • Choose the desired pricing plan and account type – personal or business.
After completing these steps, the account will typically be opened within a few minutes, and the Monese debit card is sent by mail.

Banking Features

International Money Transfers

Monese allows customers to send and receive money from abroad quickly and conveniently. Users can transfer funds to over 30 countries in multiple currencies, either through the SWIFT network or local in-country transfers. The transfer fees vary depending on the recipient's location and the chosen pricing plan, with the Premium plan offering free transfers.

Bill Payments and Direct Debits

Users can set up bill payments and direct debits directly through the Monese app. The app allows you to schedule payments, set up recurring payments, and keep track of your transactions. Direct debits can be set up with ease, and users can always make changes to or cancel them within the app.

Budgeting Tools and Savings Pots

Monese offers helpful budgeting tools and savings pots, enabling users to set spending limits, track expenses, categorize transactions, and even create separate pots to save for specific financial goals. With these tools, Monese aims to assist individuals in making more informed financial decisions and managing their money effectively.

Instant Spending Notifications

To closely monitor all transactions, Monese provides real-time notifications to users each time their debit card is utilized - whether it's for making purchases, ATM withdrawals, or even declined transactions. Additionally, the Monese app displays a detailed account of transactions, sorted by date and category, providing users with complete control over their financial activities.

Contactless Payments

Monese's Mastercard debit card is contactless, enabling customers to make quick and convenient payments. The debit card also supports Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay, allowing for additional ease when making transactions.

Monese Pricing Plans

Simple Plan

The Monese Simple plan is a free-tier personal account providing essential banking features with some usage limits. This plan allows you to hold multi-currency accounts, access international transfers, receive instant spending notifications, and manage your account online or via the mobile app. However, it also imposes fees for certain services such as ATM withdrawals and foreign currency card spending.

Classic Plan

The Classic plan, priced at £4.95 per month ($5.95 for business accounts), enhances the accessible features compared to the Simple plan. It includes additional benefits such as higher monthly ATM withdrawal limits, free foreign currency card spending, and reduced fees for international transfers.

Premium Plan

Monese's Premium plan costs £14.95 per month ($9.95 for business accounts), offering the highest level of banking features. This plan includes unlimited ATM withdrawals, free international transfers, priority customer support, and additional perks.

Safety and Security

As a fintech company, Monese places a high priority on ensuring customer safety and security. Monese is licensed and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). It guarantees that customer funds are held separately in safeguarded accounts with major banks, ensuring the funds remain separate from Monese's balance sheet.

Furthermore, Monese employs advanced encryption technologies and stringent verification processes to protect customer data and transactions. Additional features such as biometric authentication, the ability to lock or unlock the debit card, and setting limits on spending/withdrawals further bolster security.

Customer Service

Monese offers customer support in multiple languages through the in-app chat function, email, and social media platforms. For Premium plan users, Monese also provides priority customer support. The company's customer support has garnered mixed reviews, with some customers expressing satisfaction, while others report difficulties with the response times or assistance provided.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Monese

  • Easy account opening process – no address proof or credit history required.
  • Supports multiple currencies and international money transfers.
  • Attractive features – real-time notifications, contactless payments, and budgeting tools.
  • Offers free accounts and affordable pricing plans.
  • FCA regulated, ensuring a high level of safety and security.

  • Some fees imposed on ATM withdrawals or services in free and lower-tier plans.
  • Limited physical presence – no local branches.
  • Mixed reviews regarding customer support experience.

Comparing Monese with Competitors

Monese faces competition from other digital banking platforms such as Revolut, N26, and Starling Bank. While each provider offers unique features and pricing, Monese stands out with its hassle-free account opening process and the option to hold balances in multiple currencies.

However, in terms of fee structure, other competitors may have lower fees for certain services or additional perks, making it crucial to assess individual needs before choosing a digital banking provider.

Summary: Is Monese Worth It?

Monese offers a range of attractive banking features, targeting customers who may face difficulty in accessing traditional banking services. With quick account opening, multi-currency support, and user-friendly mobile app, it's an appealing option for those in need of a flexible banking solution.

However, potential users should weigh the advantages and disadvantages, considering their specific requirements and comparing Monese's service with other digital banking platforms. While Monese may not suit everyone, it can be an ideal solution for expats, immigrants, and those with limited credit histories. Overall, given its competitive and flexible offerings, Monese is definitely worth considering for those seeking a more accessible and mobile-first banking experience.

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