Monese is a digital-only bank that allows UK businesses to open an account without a proof of address and without running credit checks. In this review, we outline the features and fees of the Monese business account, and weigh up its pros and cons.
What's in this review?
What is Monese?
Monese launched in 2015 as the first 100% mobile current account in the UK. Like many of its digital competitors, it doesn’t have any physical branches. It works through a mobile app, which allows you to manage your Monese accounts and cards easily.
Monese operates both personal and business accounts, which are currently available to anyone living in the EEA and the UK, although to open a business account your business does also need to be registered in the UK.
How does a Monese business account work?
A Monese business account costs £9.95 a month. In return, you get:
- Account. A Monese business account, that also comes with a Monese Classic personal account. When you open your business account, it’ll have a default maximum account balance of £50,000. After three months, you can apply for a higher limit of up to £100,000.
- Card. A free contactless business debit card, delivered to you through the post. Monese cards are Mastercards, so they’re accepted pretty much everywhere.
- App. This brings your business and personal Monese accounts together in the same place on your phone (you can switch seamlessly between the two). Includes instant notifications of balance updates and a graph that helps you track how much you are spending.
- Payments. Local card payments and money transfers are for free. International card payments and foreign currency transfers are subject to currency exchange fees (0.5% of the transaction value, with a minimum charge of £2 for the foreign currency transfers). Receiving international payments into your account is free, however.
- Cash withdrawals. Six ATM cash withdrawals are free each month (whether you’re in the UK or abroad) and they cost £1 each after that.
- Cash desposits. These cost £1 each at a Post Office and there’s a fee of 2.5% at PayPoints (with a minimum charge of £1).
Is Monese suitable for your business?
There are many business account options available and it can be tricky to decide if Monese is the right one for your business. We’ve highlighted some key factors here to help you decide.
First of all, given the balance limit, a Monese business account is probably more suitable for small and medium businesses.
Moreover, some of its fees are cheaper than other challengers’ business accounts, but it doesn’t come for free. If you are planning on making only a few transfers and payments then you won’t get much value for your £9.95 monthly charge, and a free account that charges for each transaction may be more suitable for your needs.
Monese is competitive when it comes to money transfer and card payment fees, both in the UK and abroad, so it could be a good option if you travel a lot or do business out of the country.
Is Monese a bank?
In terms of data security, Monese only allows you to access your account from a single device, making it impossible for fraudsters to tamper with your account from another location. Monese also uses state-of-the-art security features like 3D secure, biometric login and backend encryption, to give peace of mind that your money, personal data and account are safe. You also get a notification on your phone every time you make a payment, and if your card is lost or stolen, you can block it instantly from the app.
Monese customer reviews
Online customer reviews are for Monese as a whole, rather than for its business account specifically. However, to give you an idea on how the brand has been judged as a digital banking provider, we’ve rounded up its app ratings and Trustpilot scores (March 2021).
On the App Store, the Monese app is rated an average of 4.8 stars out of 5, by more than 38,000 reviewers. Over on the Google Play Store, it receives an average score of 4.5 stars out of 5, based on almost 63,000 reviews from Android app users.
On Trustpilot, Monese has a mark of 3.7 out of 5 and a rating of “Average” from nearly 19,000 reviews. Many users praised the company’s customer service and the mobile app, but some highlighted issues with blocked accounts.
Pros and cons of a Monese business account
- Quick and easy to open, with no credit checks.
- You can manage your business and personal finances in the same place, from your smartphone.
- Budget management features and balance notifications included in the app.
- You can deposit cash into the account at Post Offices or PayPoints.
- Competitive currency exchange rates and fees for transfers and payments abroad.
- The app is available in 14 languages.
- Your business needs to be registered in the UK to open the account.
- You will have to open a Monese personal account when you open a business account.
- Only six free cash withdrawals a month.
- It doesn’t integrate with any accounting software (such as Xero).
- Traditional banks could be necessary for some of your financial needs – for example, if you want to deposit or issue cheques.
|UK ATM charge||£200 free monthly - 2% fee after|
|Account software integration|
|Freeze card from app or online banking|
|Current account switch guarantee|
Doing business overseas with Monese
|Overseas transaction charge||£2000 allowance with 2% fee after|
|Overseas ATM charge||£4|
|International transfer charge||Free to other Monese accounts - 2% to non-monese - £2 minimum|
Considering there aren’t many free business accounts out there (the exception being Starling’s business account, which is well worth a look), the Monese business account does make for a decent deal, as although it comes with a monthly fee there aren’t individual transaction fees to make or receive UK bank payments or direct debits. However, it doesn’t integrate with any accounting software, there’s a limited number of free ATM withdrawals and you can’t deposit cheques.
All in all, Monese offers a solid digital-only business account, even though it’s not at the top of the market. Fees are competitive, the set up really easy and quick, and travelling or doing business abroad is cheaper and easier than with the vast majority of traditional business accounts.
Compare Monese against its competitors
We update our data regularly, but information can change between updates. Confirm details with the provider you're interested in before making a decision.
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