Monese Review

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Since its establishment in 2013, Monese, like its peers such as Monzo, N26, and Revolut, has successfully redefined how the traditional banking system operates. Headquartered in London, United Kingdom, the company is a provider of instant current account and money-transfer services.

Monese serves the European Economic Area (EEA) and as of 2018, had at least 200 in its employ. Its current account banking product, although offered only online, functions like a typical standard bank account. However, with Monese, you will never have to wait at a bank again.

Regulation and Safety

The legitimacy of any financial services company is very important. On this note, Monese is a company whose services you can use with peace of mind. It is registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Therefore, it is obliged to maintain high standards in the conduct of its business activities. These high standards, interestingly, are not limited only to the way the company handles its clients’ funds, but also their information.

Hence, the company keeps a stable record of all transfers made to its clients’ current accounts. Moreover, funds saved with Monese are insured and, in case of any financial distress, you will be able to recoup. Monese, therefore, is legitimate and safe to use.

Banking Platform (features and Security)

Although not as well organised as that of Revolut especially,  Monese’s mobile platform is easy to use.  Plus, the app was developed to adhere to the highest standards of financial security. In fact, an interesting feature about the app’s security standards is that it enables you to directly manage your pin on it.

As part of the company’s dedication to clients’ protection, accounts opened with Monese can only be used from a single mobile device. As a result, it is impossible for third parties to access those accounts from a different location.

The accounts are further secured with other provisions such as multifactor authentication, 3D Security, and Face ID Biometric Recognition. Overall, those tools ensure that clients’ accounts are always secure. Consequently, there is no way they can be victims of unauthorised access.

Monese is also a member of CIFAS (Credit Industry Fraud Avoidance System), ensuring that it works with banks and other organisation to fight against fraud.

Services

Monese specialises in one thing and that is current accounts. Its services specifically include the provision of a free contactless debit card, the Google and Apple Pay, and international money transfers.

  • Current account
  • Free contactless debit card
  • Apple Pay
  • Google Pay
  • International money transfers

The Monese current account, issued in either GBP or EUR, supports all the services associated with the typical standard current bank account. That is, with it, you can make payments, transfers, ATM withdrawals, and receive cash anywhere in the world.

To open it, a proof of address is not required. This account has a notable benefit in that it enables you to budget easily. When you use it, you can only spend the amount you have in it, thereby ensuring that you never go overdrawn. And once you open the account, you will instantly have online access to the app.

The Monese app can be a great money-saving app. Its “Instabalance” feature enables you to monitor your account real-time through notifications on your phone. It also has a balance graph function which allows customers to visually monitor their balances. This function alone is a perfect protection against overspending.

Besides, Monese also offers a free prepaid debit card. The card is compatible with Google and Apple Pay in the UK, but can also be used in over 200 countries. It enables the successful conduct of international transactions at the company’s exchange rate which is the same as the interbank exchange rate.

Finally, it is very interesting to note that by virtue of the 2011 authorisation by the Financial Conduct Authority (900010), Monese can also issue electronic money and similar instruments for payment.

Customer Support Service

Opening a Monese’ current account is easier and devoid of all the unnecessary stress associated with opening that of a traditional bank. The customer support service is responsive and multilingual (offered in over 10 languages!)

Monese has mostly excellent reviews from its users. However, if you use it, you might experience your account being blocked and missed payments as reported by a few customers.

Commissions and Fees

So how does Monese generate money? The company offers three plans — a free plan and two paid ones. It charges its currency exchange fees based on these.

For the Simple Plan, the currency exchange fee is 2% of the money being transferred. It does not attract any monthly charge to use, however. The Simple Plan has the following fee schedule:

  • No transaction charge on up to £200/€200 ATM withdrawals or cash top-ups. However, a 2% fee follows after that.
  • No transaction charge on card foreign currency spending up to £2,000/€2,000 a month. However, a 2% fee follows after that.
  • No transaction charge on foreign currency fees done between Monese accounts. However, when sending to a non-Monese account, a 2% transaction charge is levied.

The second is the Classic Plan which will cost you a monthly subscription fee of £4.95/€4.95. However, it comes with increased allowances and reduced currency exchanges fees. It works based on the following fee schedule:

  • No transaction charge on ATM withdrawals and cash top-ups of up to £800/€800. However, a 2% fee follows after that.
  • No transaction charge on card foreign currency spending up to £8,000/€8,000 a month. However, a 2% fee follows after that.
  • No transaction charge on transfers made between Monese accounts. However, transfers to non-Monese accounts attract a fee.

The Premium Account costs £14.95 per month to use. But there is no exchange fee for international transfer transactions done on it and you have unlimited allowances to enjoy.

Notwithstanding the plan you use, the Monese app helps you save over 80% on all your international money transfers.

Conclusion

Monese serves as an excellent alternative to a traditional UK bank account. In multiple languages, it provides standard bank account and money transfer services.

Since the company provides all its services via its app, it is especially interesting for anyone seeking a location-independent bank account. As long as you a resident of the European Economic Area (EEA), you are good to go.

Moreover, Monese has existing business collaborations with Google and Apple Pay, Avios, a travel rewards system for specific airlines such as British Airways, and the popular payment provider, PayPal.

Stewart Vickers
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