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Monese review May 2019

Is this really banking without boundaries?

Monese is a ‘next-gen’ bank using smartphone technology to improve your banking experience.

Our review goes into Monese’s key features, fees and frequently asked questions.


Monese (Starter)

Download Monese now for free

  • Open your account using your mobile
  • No proof of address or credit check
  • View account details immediately
  • Send and receive payments
  • Sign up takes just 60 seconds
  • Make £10 for referring friends
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What is Monese?

Monese has provided basic banking on smartphones since 2015. It gives people in the UK and abroad a chance to experience streamlined, modern finance. In its own words, Monese “was built to be instant and to break down the barriers of bureaucracy”.

Freeing itself from bank branches, Monese is completely mobile, making your money accessible on the go. Monese takes mobility a step further than the rest, allowing customers to create an account without a UK address.

This feature is what makes Monese unique: the ability for anyone to open an account anywhere in the UK or continental Europe. Whether or not you have a UK address, a credit history or fixed income, you can access Monese and open an account today. The app is currently available to anyone in the European Economic Area.

Monese is completely portable across 20 countries across Europe and, if you move to another country, your Monese account comes with you.

How does Monese work?

Monese Bank works through an app on your phone, it’s completely digital apart from the bank card you can choose to pay for.

Monese works like a traditional banking system, but more streamlined. The app has multiple tabs focussed on different aspects of your account:

  • Debit card: Order and manage your contactless debit card. You can see whether your card is active and get a reminder of your pin.
  • Support: The support tab provides customers with easy access to customer service via instant messenger or email. This tab also has an FAQ section.
  • My plan: Monese offers a free account and two paid account options – a middle tier which costs £4.95 per month, and an ‘unlimited’ tier priced at £14.95 a month. From this tab you can see what benefits might come from an upgrade or subscribe to the service.
  • Direct debits: View and manage your active direct debits. Your account number and sort code are provided on this page for you to copy.
  • Add Eurozone account: Add a Eurozone account at the click of a button. You can switch between your UK and European accounts at any time on the home page.
  • Invite and earn: Invite a friend and you will earn £10 once they deposit money into their account, they also get £10.

Check out this video to see how the app looks and works:

How to transfer money with Monese

  • UK bank transfers: Pay friends, families or bills with bank transfers. Monese uses the Faster Payments Service and says that it typically takes around 2-4 hours for your payee to receive the money you’ve transferred.
  • Foreign transfer: Transfer money abroad into eight different currencies – for up to 8x less than using a high street bank. Monese uses the “interbank rate”, much like Revolut. The delivery time for your money depends on the processing times of the receiving bank. Depending on the currency you’re sending and the time (try send before 4pm), your transfer should take between 2-4 business days.
  • Foreign transfer from Eurozone account: If you’re transferring money to someone with a Euro account through a SEPA payment, then it should reach them by the next working day – or the day after that.
  • Direct Debits: Set up a direct debit and automatically pay for utilities and services. Whether its your gym membership, phone contract, or your electricity bill – this way you won’t forget to pay rent this month.
  • Standing Orders: Set up a standing order (or ‘Recurring Payment’) to make routine payments for a specified amount, payee and date – all managed in-app.
  • Pay Your Contacts: Make payments to friends and family – straight from your phone’s contact list. See who’s already a Monese user, and to whom you’ll be able to make an instant payment.

Using Monese abroad

Monese has the option of opening an account anywhere in Europe making it easier to spend money on the mainland. Being able to switch instantly between your UK and European accounts means you’ll be able to access your money easily wherever you are in Europe.

You will need to be on the Monese Plus or Premium pricing plans to withdraw money without charges, but on the plus side you will get a competitive 0.5% currency exchange fee for the £4.95 account upgrade (£14.95 for Premium).

Monese fees and limits

Monese accounts have some attractive features, especially if you upgrade to a Plus or Premium account:

  • A Plus account costs £4.95 a month and comes with a free contactless card.
  • Alongside the free card you get six free cash withdrawals monthly.
  • You also get a currency exchange fee of 0.5%.

With a free account:

  • You pay £4.95 for a contactless card.
  • Cash withdrawals cost £1 or €1 depending on your location.
  • The currency exchange fee is 2%.

The free and paid accounts share some fees, for example:

  • Direct debits are free.
  • Post Office deposits have a 2% fee, a minimum of £2. £500 maximum deposit per day.
  • PayPoint deposits have a 3.5% fee. Maximum £249 per transaction, £500 per day

Limits include:

  • A maximum withdrawal amount of £300 per day.
  • Cashback limits depend on the vendor, but usually between £50 to £100.
  • Card payments can be at maximum £4,000, with a £7,000 limit per day.

Is Monese safe?

As a current account provider, Monese makes security a priority. To register it requires your address, a passport photo and video identification. Your money is also safe behind a passcode which can be changed at any time and you are logged out after 20 minutes of inactivity. If your phone or card is stolen, customer service is available Monday to Saturday during working hours.

A 100% secure banking platform that’s regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority. Transfers made to Monese accounts are stored in a network of stable European banks. Monese customers’ funds are also ringfenced, safeguarded against losses and will never be reinvested by Monese.

Pros and cons of Monese

Pros

  • Fast and easy set-up (no credit check or proof of local address needed)
  • E-statements on request, length of the statements is optional.
  • No fees for money transfers nationally or internationally.
  • Option for a debit card.
  • Competitive currency exchange rates.
  • Free direct debits.
  • Can open both a UK and European account and switch instantly.

Cons

  • Paywalls for certain privileges, extra benefits cost £4.95 per month.
  • £4.95 to receive a debit card with a free account, otherwise you pay through your app.
  • £1 charge for cash withdrawals.
  • Fees for PayPoint and post office deposits.
  • Traditional banks are still necessary for most of your needs.

Overall verdict

Monese is a great option for travellers and works well if you are looking to set up an account quickly in another country. If you live in the UK with no plans to travel but wish to join a mobile bank, there might be better options, but even so Monese is competitive.

Compare Monese with other banking apps

We’ve put together a list of all of Monese’s main competitors, and reviewed them here. Or use the table below to compare all of the UK’s leading banking apps at a glance.

Updated May 27th, 2019
Name Product Fees and charges Delivery speed
N26
Free
5-7 working days
App-based bank account that can be used on the go in any EU country. All about the ease of sending and saving money.
Free with finder.com, otherwise card delivery is £4.99
Up to 9 working days
App-based current account with loads of extra features. (e.g. Real time transactions, payment categorisation, save spare change, free international money transfers, buy cryptocurrency)
Free
Between 3-5 working days
Everything you get from a current account, but with new features for mobile living. (E.g. Goals for saving, spending catgorisation, interest on your balances)
None
Between 3-5 business days
A multi-currency mobile banking app that aims to be ‘built around you’. Use it to open a fully functional current account instantly, straight from your phone, all supported by a feature-rich mobile app

Compare up to 4 providers

Updated May 27th, 2019
Name Product Foreign ATM withdrawals ATM withdrawal limit Foreign transactions fee Card cost Delivery speed
N26
ATM fees differ depending on country
Unlimited free withdrawals
No fees
Free
5-7 working days
App-based bank account that can be used on the go in any EU country. All about the ease of sending and saving money.
No ATM fees
£200 per month. Anything more is charged at 2% of value of withdrawal.
No fees
Free with finder.com, otherwise card delivery is £4.99
Up to 9 working days
App-based current account with loads of extra features. (e.g. Real time transactions, payment categorisation, save spare change, free international money transfers, buy cryptocurrency)
No ATM fees
£300 per day. Maximum of 6 withdrawals per day.
No fees
Free
Between 3-5 working days
Everything you get from a current account, but with new features for mobile living. (E.g. Goals for saving, spending catgorisation, interest on your balances)
€1 per withdrawal
£300 per day
2% on card spend and ATM usage
Card delivery is free
Between 3-5 business days
A multi-currency mobile banking app that aims to be ‘built around you’. Use it to open a fully functional current account instantly, straight from your phone, all supported by a feature-rich mobile app

Compare up to 4 providers

Updated May 27th, 2019
Name Product Fees and charges Interest Savings goals
N26
Free
None
n26 'Spaces' feature lets the user open sub-accounts to stash your money away
Free with finder.com, otherwise card delivery is £4.99
No interest
Set budgets in the app
Free
0.5% AER up to £2,000, 0.25% over £2,000 to £85,000
Create up to 10 different spending goals and protect money from daily spending
None
No interest
Not a feature

Compare up to 4 providers

Updated May 27th, 2019
Name Product Direct debits UK ATMs Payments Freeze your card
N26
Yes
Free
Use MoneyBeam to transfer money instantly. Is partnered with Transferwise so can send money to 16 countries.
Yes: touch of a button in app
App-based bank account that can be used on the go in any EU country. All about the ease of sending and saving money.
Revolut currently only supports direct debits with the Euro IBAN account
Free up to £200 a month
Easy UK payments and can transfer money between 23 countries
Yes: touch of a button in app
App-based current account with loads of extra features. (e.g. Real time transactions, payment categorisation, save spare change, free international money transfers, buy cryptocurrency)
Yes
Free
Pay via bank transfer. Can't pay into paypal currently.
Yes: touch of a button in app
Everything you get from a current account, but with new features for mobile living. (E.g. Goals for saving, spending catgorisation, interest on your balances)
Yes - can cancel with touch of a button too
£1 per withdrawal
Pay via bank transfer, easier to send to another Monese account.
Report lost/stolen in app to be sent replacement
A multi-currency mobile banking app that aims to be ‘built around you’. Use it to open a fully functional current account instantly, straight from your phone, all supported by a feature-rich mobile app

Compare up to 4 providers

FAQs

Back to top
N26
N26

What is it?

App-based bank account that can be used on the go in any EU country. All about the ease of sending and saving money.
Revolut (Standard)
Revolut (Standard)

What is it?

App-based current account with loads of extra features. (e.g. Real time transactions, payment categorisation, save spare change, free international money transfers, buy cryptocurrency)
Starling
Starling

What is it?

Everything you get from a current account, but with new features for mobile living. (E.g. Goals for saving, spending catgorisation, interest on your balances)
Monese (Starter)
Monese (Starter)

What is it?

A multi-currency mobile banking app that aims to be ‘built around you’. Use it to open a fully functional current account instantly, straight from your phone, all supported by a feature-rich mobile app
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15 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    MohamedJanuary 27, 2019

    It’s not a safe account cause someone took money from my account 220£ if I didn’t Lock my card will take all my money and my card was it with me in my pocket I don’t know how they did it but this is not safe

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      johnbasanesJanuary 28, 2019Staff

      Hi Mohamed,

      Thank you for reaching out to finder.

      It is best that you reach out to Monese’s fraud department for assistance as this may be an example of a cyber attack on your account. You may need their help in tracking as well as safeguarding your account immediately. Hope this helps!

      Cheers,
      Reggie

  2. Default Gravatar
    JanNovember 27, 2018

    Hello together,
    I want to share my experiences with Monese. But first I want to do some advertisment for myself. If you use my bonus code B5MP2AJP you will get 5 GBP for free (after signup).

    I got to Monese because I was moving to the UK and had no bank account. As you might know when you foreigner, you will need to get a bank account to get a place to live. If you have no address you can not open a bank account. Thus I looked for an account where this is not the case. I stumbled over Monese and though that I want to give it a shot. The account creation process is really easy to do and a few days later I already received the bank card at my address in Germany.

    After several months of using it I can say it is by far this most easy to use banking application I ever had. You have to be aware that there is some sort of 7000 GBP a day limit and a single transaction can not be higher than 4000 GBP but except for that it is a nice banking account.

    Feel free to contact me if I you have any questions.

    Cheers
    Jan

  3. Default Gravatar
    OlalekanSeptember 26, 2018

    I don’t know why my account with Monese was closed. It’s been almost 2 months now and my balance has not be received in the bank account I gave to them. Monese service is very bad and I am very disappointed.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JhezSeptember 27, 2018Staff

      Hello Olalekan,

      Thank you for your comment.

      I am sorry to hear about what happened to your Monese account. Upon checking, it was stated on their website that all Direct Debit transactions that were set up on the Monese Account will be rejected once your Monese UK Account is closed. Please contact Monese directly so they can check this for you.

      If you have complaints, you can directly get in touch their complaints department.

      Should you wish to have real-time answers to your questions, try our chat box on the lower right corner of our page.

      Regards,
      Jhezelyn

  4. Default Gravatar
    FrancescoSeptember 25, 2018

    They closed the account with my money inside and 15 days after they still did not send me to my other account. They give me a lot of problems with this, logistics and economics. It’s a big fraud, attention please to everybody, don’t open an account with this bank.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JhezSeptember 26, 2018Staff

      Hi Francesco,

      Thank you for your comment.

      I am sorry to hear about how unfortunate your banking experience with Monese. If you have complaints, you can directly get in touch with the bank and be transferred to their complaints department.

      Should you wish to have real-time answers to your questions, try our chat box on the lower right corner of our page.

      Regards,
      Jhezelyn

  5. Default Gravatar
    JonesSeptember 23, 2018

    A really useful app and with low fees also! I used the code YN6PELE3 when registering to get a £10 bonus. The best part of a monese account is that you can solve any problem online :)

  6. Default Gravatar
    PetyqAugust 30, 2018

    Can I cash a cheque?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JhezSeptember 1, 2018Staff

      Hello Petyq,

      Thank you for your comment.

      Upon further checking, Monese is currently unable to accept cheques.

      Should you wish to have real-time answers to your questions, try our chat box on the lower right corner of our page.

      Regards,
      Jhezelyn

  7. Default Gravatar
    domJuly 16, 2018

    Great app :) if you use this code 6YL3B953 you have 5 £ offered at the opening of your account after making a first deposit of 10 £ !
    easy to use and very practice. Unfortynately debit card cost 4,95 pounds :( You can a good alternative for those who have problems in opening a bank account at traditional banks and good transfer fee

  8. Default Gravatar
    MeganJune 9, 2018

    Hi, Can I transfer money from my Monese account to PayPal?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JeniJune 10, 2018Staff

      Hi Megan,

      Thank you for getting in touch with finder.

      You can no longer withdraw funds from your PayPal account direct to your Monese account. Monese is working on a solution with PayPal, but in the mean time you can still make a direct bank transfer or online payment into you Monese account (using your Monese account details), or if you are in the UK or Romania you can deposit cash via PayPoint. You may call Monese at +44 1706 304 001 from Monday – Friday, 08:00 – 17:00 Saturday 10:00 – 16:00. Please note that their all support is in English and the timezone is UTC

      As a friendly reminder, while we do not represent any company we feature on our pages, we can offer you general advice.

      I hope this helps. Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any other enquiries.

      Have a great day!

      Thank you and have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Jeni

      • Default Gravatar
        PeteSeptember 9, 2018

        Hello ,
        Can you let me know how much money I can deposit at one given time into my monese account please. Also if I have the standard account how much cash transactions I can make please per monthh is it still only 6 .
        I would also like to know is there a limit on how much money I can hold in my account?

        • Avatarfinder Customer Care
          JoshuaSeptember 10, 2018Staff

          Hi Pete,

          Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

          Let me answer your questions one by one:

          1. Can you let me know how much money I can deposit at one given time into my monese account please?

          The answer depends on how you deposit your money. If you use the post office, the maximum deposit per day is £500. If you use PayPoint deposits, you can deposit a maximum of £249 per transaction but a total of £500 per day.

          2. Also if I have the standard account how much cash transactions I can make please per monthh is it still only 6 .

          You can do as much cash transactions as you want provided you don’t reach the limit. If you’re referring to withdrawals, there’s no limit on how many times you can withdraw money, but you can only withdraw £300 per day.

          3. I would also like to know is there a limit on how much money I can hold in my account?

          The Monese UK account maximum balance is £40000. If you want to know more about the limits and fees of Monese, please read the details written under the subheading “Monese fees and limits” found above this page.

          I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

          Have a wonderful day!

          Cheers,
          Joshua

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