Monese review – can you really get a UK bank account in just a few minutes, without a credit check?
Yes, you can. It’s called getting a Monese banking account.
Have you ever wanted a second UK bank account…. or even just a first?
Maybe you live in the EEA and need an account that can handle both GBP and EUR?
Or perhaps you’re fed up with having to wait days or weeks to open a bank account as you don’t have UK citizenship …. or your account’s declined because you don’t meet the traditional banks’ criteria, or don’t have a “good” credit score?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then Monese banking should be your next port of call – providing you with an online UK bank account in just a few minutes.
No red tape, no credit checks, no paperwork, no stress.
“Monese, which launches this summer, is a branchless digital banking service that offers instant account opening via a mobile app, a fully featured current account interface, cheap global payments and a contactless debit card.”
Are you the ideal Monese banking customer?
If you’re at least 18 years old, have an EEA address, and a passport/national ID, you can open a UK banking account with Monese, regardless of your financial history:
- no more hard copy documents
- no more outdated technology
- no more credit reference agency checks
- no more red tape bureaucracy
- no transaction caps (once ID verified)
- no minimum balance
Monese treats customers as a priority, so that you can quickly open a UK bank account.
The Monese account’s perfect for everyday banking.
It’s particularly useful for EEA expats or immigrants – you already know how difficult [read: slow] it can be to open a traditional UK account with a high street bank.
Instead, use Monese.
Your account’s opened in minutes, with accurate real-time processing, the latest cloud technology and full data encryption.
Is your money safe with Monese?
Yes, your money’s safe.
Monese is fully authorised and regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as an “Electronic Money Institution” … but it’s not a bank.
This means that, unlike banks, Monese:
- isn’t allowed to reinvest your money
- isn’t allowed to provide overdrafts or loan facilities
- doesn’t pay interest on your balance
And, perhaps you prefer that idea – knowing that your money won’t lose investment value or be loaned out to others.
Monese places your money in:
- safe-guarded, ring-fenced, stable European bank accounts – you’ll always get 100% of your money back in the unlikely event that Monese collapsed
- covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) – as eligible via Monese’ UK banking partners, up to the compensation limit
Using your Monese bank account – how much does it cost to use Monese?
Monese is currently free to use for all transactions except international money transfers. HOWEVER, in the future, Monese plans to charge 5op for each of these optional paid features: international money transfer (plus 0.5% foreign exchange fee, minimum £1) international ATM withdrawal/card purchase (plus 0.5% foreign exchange fee, minimum £1) UK ATM withdrawal UK fast bank transfer cash deposit via PayPoint Monese will also provide: 5 free Monese credits each month These free credits can be used for any of the optional paid features listed above (excluding the foreign exchange fee) up to 5 times each month. Meanwhile everyday banking essentials will always be free, for example, when you use your Monese contactless Visa debit card, credit your account via bank transfer, use ATM balance checks and make real-time transfers between Monese accounts.
UPDATED: March 2016
It appears that Monese has done a U-turn on its expected fees policy (as above).
Yes, it’s now charging fees but not as previously advertised, ie there’s not going to be an individual fee for particular features, nor will we use Monese credits.
Instead, Monese has decided to charge a monthly fee of £4.95 for all banking features other than currency exchange (0.5% on top of the mid-market exchange rate, which is up to 8x cheaper than the high street banks).
The £4.95 fee starts on 1 April 2016 and includes:
- Monese UK current account, account number and sort code
- contactless Visa debit card
- receiving salary or other payments into your Monese account
- topping up with cash
- UK bank transfers
- global ATM withdrawals and global card payments online and instore
- real-time notifications of spending and money paid in
- real-time payments to other Monese accounts
How long does Monese take to process payments?
UPDATED: March 2016
Payments into your Monese account
Incoming payments are processed Monday to Friday, 4 times daily for transactions received 2 hours before the scheduled processing time (9am, 2pm, 5pm and 8pm GMT), ie for a payment to be scheduled at 2pm, the customer needs to have carried out their transaction by 12 noon for it to be included in the 2pm scheduled processing time.
Once processed, it will be credited to your Monese account within 10-15 minutes.
Deposits received after 8pm, or on weekends or Bank holidays are processed on the next business day.
Payments from your Monese account
Outgoing payments are processed [Monday to Friday], 4 times daily at 9.30am, 11.45am, 2pm and 4.30pm GMT.
Transactions after 4.30pm on weekends or Bank holidays are processed on the next business day.
What’s the Monese banking mobile app?
The Monese banking mobile app is your personal banking branch.
You can carry out your transactions, access your PIN and account details, request/block your debit card, and soon you’ll be able to set up standing orders.
The Monese app even includes:
- in-built national/international money transfer facility with low foreign exchange rates, using the same rates as TransferWise – ie, alot cheaper than the high street banks
- GBP and EUR currencies, so you can bank like a local anywhere in Europe [available soon]
Opening a Monese banking account – what’s involved?
Monese went live in September 2015 and is being rolled out in stages, due to high demand.
You’ll first need to download the Monese Android app [soon to be available for desktop and iOS] from Google Play and follow the sign-up process.
Upload a photo of your ID document, and another of yourself, and start using your account.
Who founded Monese?
Norris Koppel created Monese having moved to the UK and experienced the extremely slow process to open a bank account without UK citizenship.
“He figured that if everything else can be done online these days, there must be a better way to bank too. That’s how the idea of Monese was born. With Monese, you can open a UK banking account on your mobile in minutes, regardless of your citizenship.” [source: www.monese.com]
My experience using Monese
True to its word, Monese opened my account in just a few minutes – it probably took me longer to get a reasonable photo of myself, than it did for Monese to verify my ID!
The Monese card took about a week to arrive, during which time I couldn’t shop in the high street/online with my Monese account. It’s not a deal-breaker to have to wait for your card for a week (which is the usual period for receiving a card from your bank in the UK), but it’s a shame it took that time seeing as Monese is so quick to open the account online.
Never mind, that blip’s soon forgotten.
I’ve since topped-up via bank transfer and used the contactless Visa debit card (which is very convenient to have) on many occasions to shop online and instore, and to get balances/cash from the ATM, all without any problems.
It’s definitely an account to consider for everyday banking, or for an expat needing a UK bank account.
Looking for more information about Monese?
Note: this review is a general resource and does not constitute professional advice. PeasOnToast.co.uk is not authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority with whom you should seek financial advice.
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