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.
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
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
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
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.