Monese Review

Monese Review

Describing itself as a ‘100% mobile, multi-award-winning current account provider’, Monese offers bank accounts that you can open ‘in minutes’. Does Monese make money easy, as their name suggests?

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Matt Crabtree
Senior Editor
Matt Crabtree
Matt Crabtree is a senior editor at CompareBanks. He has over 10 years experience in writing about all aspects of finance and is passionate about helping consumers make informed decisions about their money.
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First Glance

Describing itself as a ‘100% mobile, multi-award-winning current account provider’, Monese offers bank accounts that you can open ‘in minutes’. Does Monese make money easy, as their name suggests?


Contact Info

Bank Website
85 Great Portland St, Marylebone, London W1W 7LT, UK
01706 304 001

Describing itself as a ‘100% mobile, multi-award-winning current account provider’, Monese offers bank accounts that you can open ‘in minutes’. Does Monese make money easy, as their name suggests?

First Glance

Monese bank accounts are available to all residents, over the age of 18, in the European Economic Area.

According to Monese, you can open an account regardless of your financial history. Could this bank be the solution for those that struggle to access current accounts elsewhere?

Read on for our ‘at a glance’ guide to banking with Monese, along with plenty of important details.


  • Open to all EEA residents
  • GBP, EUR, and RON accounts available
  • Open an account without a credit check
  • Instant transaction notifications
  • Worldwide spending
  • Multilingual support in 14 languages


  • No bank branches, though you can deposit cash at PayPoint and Post Office locations. Paysafecash options available in Europe.
  • Fees for all cash withdrawals on free Starter accounts
  • Not part of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme

What is Monese?

Monese is a bank account that’s opened and managed through its app.

You can download the app to your iOS or Android device.

monese review

The Monese app is available on both Apple's iOS as well as Android

Monese launched in 2015, making it one of the earliest app-only banks. The bank’s Estonian founder created Monese with the aim of removing restrictions. You don’t have to provide excessive amounts of ID, or go through a credit check, to open a Monese account.

Better than basic banking in the UK


This full-featured bank account includes a Mastercard debit card, as well as a sort code and account number. However, Monese has no branches. You’ll do all your banking using your smartphone, with a free standard account or one of two paid-for premium options.

Features of the Monese app include instant transaction notifications, budgeting tools and connection to both Google and Apple Pay.

Who is Monese for?

Monese grew from its founder’s idea to make bank accounts easier to open. Now, the bank claims to accept almost every application. Accounts are opened regardless of financial history and residency, meaning that they can be opened even by people that are new to their country.

You don’t need a regular fixed income to open your Monese account. If you have an income that varies from month to month, you can still choose to bank with Monese.

Accounts are open to residents of all countries within the European Economic Area. You don’t need to provide proof of address but will need some form of identification such as a passport or driving license.

Despite this, the bank does come with a few self-imposed restrictions.

There are no Monese bank branches, which means that you’ll need to visit a Post Office or PayPoint to pay in cash. If you have a Starter or Essential account, you'll be charged a flat fee of 3.5%. Classic account holders can deposit up to £400 per month before a fee is applied, while it's £1,000 per month for Premium account holders.

Unlike some other challenger banks, Monese does not provide an option for paying in your cheques. If you expect to receive these, you’ll need another account that does.

For anyone that deals only rarely with cash, and can’t remember the last time they received a cheque, Monese accounts have many benefits. Their relatively loose application requirements mean that most people can open an account.

How does Monese work?

You’ll need a smartphone, and the iOS or Android app, to open a Monese account.

Monese emphasises how you can open your account ‘in minutes’, without a credit check or proof of address.

To apply for an account you will need some form of recognised ID. This can be your passport, driving license or a recognised national ID card. You will also need to upload a short video of yourself, for identification purposes. In some cases, this won’t be enough and you may also be required to arrange a short video call.

You can start using your account in-app as soon as it’s opened, but you’ll be waiting 3-5 business days for your card to arrive. This is a Mastercard debit, with contactless functionality.

What features do you get with Monese?

Monese has the following features, as an app-based bank account:

Real-Time Notifications

When you spend money, you’ll receive a notification on your phone to give you the details of your purchase. You’ll also receive notifications for incoming transactions, and Direct Debits as they’re paid.

Financial Tracking Tools

See at a glance how much you’re spending. In-app tools record your income and your outgoings, including categorised spending so that you can see where your money is going.

Instant Top-Up

Top up your Monese account instantly, by debit card or bank transfer. You can also deposit cash at PayPoint and Post Office locations, though these transactions may go through a bit slower.

Bills Protection

Choose an Essential, Classic or Premium account and you'll be insured if you need your regular bills to be covered due to falling sick, having an accident, losing your job or needing to stay in hospital. The amount of cover you get will vary depending on your account, but it provides you with an extra bit of peace of mind that you don't need to panic if life throws you a curveball.

There are a few terms to consider. Self-employed people will only benefit from the hospital stay cover and you'll need to be off work for 30 days in order to be able to make a claim. But a wide variety of bills are covered, including rent, utilities, school fees, groceries, regular charity donations, gym memberships and more.

Insurance starts from the day your account is opened.

Purchase Protection

Available on Classic and Premium accounts at no extra cost, Purchase Protection will help you keep your biggest purchases safe. If something you buy with your Monese account (such as your smartphone) is damaged or stolen, you can get a refund.

To make either a Bills Protection or Purchase Protection claim, all you need to do is follow the steps in the app.

Google and Apple Pay

Monese accounts can be used with Google Pay and Apple Pay so that you can leave your card at home.

Worldwide Spending

You can use your Monese card worldwide, although depending on your account there may be a fee to pay.

Open Banking

You can see many of your other financial accounts within the Monese app. These include PayPal and Avios.

Savings Pots

Store your money in pots, keeping it separate from your main account balance. You can also apply for a fixed-term savings pot to earn interest on your spare money.

Euro Accounts

Open a Monese Eurozone account, for access to global bank transfers and the option to bank across Europe. These accounts include an IBAN for international transfers and money stored in Euros instead of GBP.

More recently, Monese has also started offering accounts in Romanian Lei (RON) if that’s something that would interest you. You can only open a solo personal account in RON, it isn’t currently available for joint accounts.

You can open a secondary account alongside your primary one so that it’s possible to have both a standard GBP and Eurozone account.

Multilingual Support

Monese customer support is available in 14 different languages. You can also select these languages for in-app use.

Languages currently supported are English, French, German, Brazilian Portuguese, European Portuguese, Bulgarian, Italian, Spanish, Romanian, Polish, Czech, Turkish, Estonian and Lithuanian.

What packages does Monese offer?

Monese has a Starter account that is free to use. If you withdraw or deposit cash there'll be a fee, regardless of how much you pay in.

The Essential account is the most popular. For a £1.95 per month charge, you can withdraw up to £200 a month without paying any fees, and there are other perks too.

For £5.95 per month, you can upgrade to the Classic account. This increases your cash transaction limit to £900 per month (£500 in withdrawals, £500 in cash top-ups).

The Monese Premium account comes at a cost of £14.95 per month. But, it allows for up to £1,500 to be withdrawn each month and £1,000 deposited before you incur any fees.

Are there any additional charges?

Though Monese offers a free bank account, watch out for your monthly limits. If you go over, any additional spending or cash deposits will incur a fee. This fee varies depending on your account.

Here's a full breakdown of the different accounts, what's included, and the fees you'll pay:

Local and Monese to Monese transfersFreeFreeFreeFree
International transfers2.5% fee. Extra 1% at weekends.2% fee. Extra 1% at weekends.From 0.5% feeFree
Accident, sickness and involuntary unemployment protectionNoneUp to £600Up to £1,200Up to £1,800
Hospital staysNone£15 per day, up to 30 days£30 per day, up to 30 days£50 per day, up to 30 days
Purchase protectionNoneNoneUp to £2,500 per year, maximum £1,000 per transactionUp to £10,000 per year, maximum £4,000 per transaction
CardStandard cardStandard cardHolographic edge cardPremium card
First card delivery fee£4.95FreeFreeFree
Replacement cards£9.90£4.95£4.95Free
Card spending in foreign countries2% fee0.5% feeFreeFree
Virtual cards, Google Pay & Apple PayIncludedIncludedIncludedIncluded
ATM Withdrawals£1.50 fee£200 free per month£500 free per month£1,500 free per month
Cash Deposits3.5% fee3.5% fee£400 free per month£1,000 free per month
Priority customer support accessNoNoNoYes

How safe is Monese?

Monese is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, as an agent of PrePay Technologies Limited.

Your funds are not protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). But, in accordance with e-money regulations, all funds are safeguarded and are stored with other UK bank accounts.

You have the option, in-app, to lock and unlock your card and to control when it can be used. Locking your card does not stop Direct Debit transactions.

What about customer service?

There are no Monese bank branches to visit for customer service. This is, however, offered in-app.

Customer service is available in 14 different languages.

Between 8am and 5pm Monday-Friday, you can call Monese customer support. From the UK, the number to call is 01706 304 001, with telephone support only available in English.

You can also email

Can Monese replace your everyday bank account?

Perhaps the biggest barrier to making Monese your only bank account is its lack of support for cheques. If you are ever likely to receive cheques, then you’ll need another suitable account.

Using cash can be inconvenient. You’ll need to visit your local Post Office, or a PayPoint location, in order to pay it in. However, many people will find that their local Post Office, or shop with PayPoint, is more accessible than legacy bank branches.

Cash transactions, including ATM withdrawals, have a monthly limit on most accounts. If your deposits and withdrawals take you over this limit, then you’ll be charged a fee on the rest. Customers regularly dealing with larger amounts of cash can pay for a Classic or Premium account to increase (or eradicate) those limits.

You will need a relatively modern smartphone to apply for and manage a Monese account. There are no web-based online banking options, or telephone banking functionalities. But, if you are happy to use your mobile phone for all of your banking, then with a full UK bank account (and even the option of a Eurozone account with an IBAN) you can readily receive any incoming payments and make payments including Direct Debits.

Monese: The Verdict

A majority of people within the European Economic Area will be approved for a Monese account.

Though many other banks are looking to reduce their red tape, Monese was founded specifically for this purpose and has fewer restrictions than most.

If you’re an international student studying in the UK, or have recently moved and lack a UK financial history, then Monese is unlikely to turn you away. Bank accounts are opened without credit checks and with limited ID requirements, which means that they are also well suited to those with poor credit history.

The Eurozone account offered independently or as an add-on, could be valuable for regular travellers. It allows you to bank like a local throughout the EEA, with a balance that’s kept in Euros. This also makes Monese a suitable account for students that might return to their home country during the summer holidays.

For those that live permanently in the UK, Monese is also suitable. It offers standard UK bank accounts for all of your day-to-day banking.

Whilst ATM withdrawals and cash deposits are an option, be prepared to pay extra if you go over your monthly limit. For many users, the cash transaction limits on their account will be more than enough. Those that more frequently deal with cash have the option of a premium account. Though there are no Monese branches, many customers will find that their local PayPoint or Post Office is actually conveniently close.

With PayPal and Avios connectivity, Monese makes it easier to keep track of additional financial accounts. Meanwhile, features like savings pots and budgeting tools can help you to manage your money.

For people that are happy to bank on their smartphone, don’t receive cheques and only use cash on occasion, there is no reason that Monese can’t be a primary account. And with Eurozone accounts and fewer restrictions than most banks, there are many good reasons to bank with them. Just keep an eye on your phone’s battery level, because there are no alternative options if you run out of power.

More About Monese

Monese is a UK-based financial services company that is set up as an alternative to traditional banks. It was founded by Estonian entrepreneur Norris Koppel. Koppel was inspired to start the company by his being turned down for a current account when he first moved to the UK because of a lack of UK credit history and proof of address. He decided to create a banking service that didn’t exclude people based on these factors. The instant-open current account launched in September 2015 with a waiting list of more than 50,000 customers.

To open and manage their Monese account, customers must use the Monese mobile app. This was launched for Android in September 2015 and for iOS in July 2016.

Monese Products and Services

Monese customers can use the app to pay for goods and services, plus bills such as rent or utilities. Customers can also pay companies or individuals via bank transfer; transfers between Monese accounts are unlimited and take place instantly.

Monese customers do not have to prove residency in the UK and current accounts can be opened via smartphone in just three minutes. Monese began charging £4.95 per month for current account holders in 2016 but has since introduced a free account option and a premium option. All services are free of charge other than international money transfers.

If you have both business and personal banking accounts, you can switch to Monese and get the features of both Monese Plus and a business bank account for £9.95 per month, with the two spends separated in the app.

A Euro personal account is also available with a Euro business account is coming soon, while solo accounts are also available in Romanian Lei (RON).

Monese Security

Monese accounts can only be accessed from a single device, preventing potential fraudsters from accessing account information from elsewhere. Other devices can be added but must be manually authorised using multiple authentication processes every time. Customers must also enter a five-digit passcode every single time they use the app.

Monese Contact Details

85 Great Portland Street
First Floor

Telephone: 01706 304 001

Monese FAQ

Are there any Monese branches?

Can my employer pay into my Monese bank account?

Will I earn interest on my bank balance?

Does Monese offer loans or overdrafts?

Where are Monese cards accepted?

What is the minimum age requirement for a Monese account?

Does Monese offer student accounts?

Is it free to put money into a Monese account?

How much can I withdraw from an ATM?

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