What is Monese?
Monese launched in 2015 as the first 100% mobile current account in the UK. It’s a digital bank that allows anyone to open a UK bank account without a proof of address and without running credit checks.
After establishing itself as the “expat’s bank” promising a bureaucracy-free personal account, digital bank Monese now also offers a business account. Like many of its competitors, it doesn’t have any physical branches. A mobile app allows you to manage Monese accounts and cards easily.
The Monese personal account is currently available to anyone living in the EEA (European Economic Area, still including the UK), whereas to open a business account your business needs to be registered in the UK.
A good alternative to a Monese business account
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- Free business Mastercard
- No foreign transaction fees
- In-app support
- Invoice directly from your Tide app
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 comes in two versions: Basic and Plus. If you have a Basic account, the maximum balance allowed is £50,000; that become £100,000 with a Plus account. You also get a Monese Plus personal account.
- Card. a free contactless business debit card, delivered to your place. Monese cards are Mastercard, so they’re accepted pretty much everywhere.
- App. all your Monese accounts in the same place on your phone. Instant notifications with balance updates and a graph that helps you track how much you are spending.
- Payments. Local payments and transfers are for free. International payments and transfers are subject to currency exchange fees (0.5% of the transaction value).
- Cash withdrawals. Six ATM cash withdrawals are free each month; £1 each after that.
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 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, it’s cheaper than other challengers’ business accounts, but it isn’t for free. If you are planning on making only a few transfers and payments, you won’t get much value for your money and a free account that charges for each transaction may be more suitable for your needs. Monese is especially competitive when it comes to transfer and payment fees, both in the UK and abroad, so it’s good if you travel a lot or do business out of the country.
Monese says that an EU business account will be available soon. When it does, you’ll probably be able to instantly switch between them and to move money from one to the other, as it is now for personal accounts.
Challenger banks consider security a priority, probably because they know that people are sometimes hesitant in trusting a digital-only bank with their money.
Monese only allows you to access your account from a single device, making it impossible for fraudsters to tamper with it it from another location.
Access to the app is protected through a five-digit code. You also get a notification on your phone every time you make a payment. If your card is lost or stolen, you can block it instantly from the app.
Pros and cons of a Monese business account
- Quick and easy to open, accessible within hours
- You can manage your business and personal finances in the same place, from your smartphone.
- Budget management features included in the app.
- You can deposit cash in the account at Post Offices (£1 fee for each transaction) and PayPoints (2.50% fee).
- Competitive currency exchange rates for transfers and payments abroad.
- Safe and secure.
- The app is available in ten languages.
- Your business needs to be registered in the UK to open the account.
- You must have a Monese personal account in order to open a business one.
- Only six free cash withdrawals a month.
- Traditional banks are still necessary for most of your financial needs – for example if you want to deposit or issue cheques.
Just like its personal account, Monese’s business account is especially competitive if you often do business in the EU – you can open a double account in euro and pound and move money between them without extra fees.
More in general, considering that there aren’t many free business accounts out there (the exception being Starling’s business account, which is worth a thought at the very least), Monese does make a decent deal. However, it leaves something to be desired because of the foreign fee on international payments. It also doesn’t integrate with any accounting software.
All in all, it is a solid digital-only business account, even though not the top of the market. Fees are competitive, the set up really easy and quick and travelling or doing business abroad is much cheaper and easier than with the vast majority of traditional business accounts.
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