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Monese: Virtual Bank Review

Vincent Nyoike
Vincent Nyoike Banking

Monese is an app-only bank in the UK that offers current accounts and money transfer services. Its services are available in 31 countries within the European Economic Area (EEA). It was founded by Norris Koppel in 2015 and has its headquarters in London, United Kingdom. It is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK. The following is a Monese bank review. 

How to Sign Up for Monese Account

You can sign up for an account with Monese if you are aged 18 years and above and live within the European Economic Area (EEA). To open an account, you need to provide details like name, address and proof of ID.

To sign up:

  • Download the Monese App available for Android and iOS users.
  • Select Simple, Classic, or Premium Plan
  • Provide an address to receive a MasterCard debit card within 7-10 days
  • After activating your card, you can start sending money and making payments

Read also: Monzo online bank review. 

How Monese Bank Works

Monese banking services are available to anyone in the European Economic Area (EEA). Monese offers current accounts that come with account numbers and sort codes. These codes and account numbers make it possible to get paid through your Monese account, especially if you are traveling. You can also transfer money within the European Economic Area (EEA) at inter-bank rates at low costs.

Monese provides a contactless debit card that you can use to make payments. Besides, you can also generate an online virtual card; a 16-digit number that allows one to make online payments. You can use a debit card or the virtual card anywhere in the world to make payments. You can make contactless payments with the debit card for 25 - 30 GPB /EUR limits.

You can top up your card through a post office or pay point location when in the UK. If you are in the Eurozone, you can top up your card using a debit card at a no fee, IBAN transfers, or SEPA payments. Top-up fees vary depending on your location and your selected plan.

You can integrate Monese debit card with Apple, Google and PayPal to make contactless payments.

Read also: Skrill money transfer review. 

Monese Plans and Fees

Monese has a free and two paid plans. When signing up, you will be prompted to select the plan you want to sign up. The following are the three plans and their fees.

Simple Plan (Free) 

Simple Plan offers Monese current accounts with a free debit card. It is ideal for people who travel moderately. You can also use i to receive salary, or pay bills.

With the Simple Plan, you get:

  • Free ATM withdrawals and tops of £/€200. It attracts  a 2% fee.
  • Free Monese to Monese currency transfers that attract a 2% fee.
  • Foreign currency spending of £/€2000 per month at a 2% fee.

Classic Plan (£/€5.95 Per Month)

The Classic Plan is ideal for people who travel abroad often or those that send money abroad.

The account offers:

  • Free ATM withdrawals and cash top-ups of up to £/€800 per month attracting a 2% fee.
  • Free foreign currency spending of up to £/€ 8,000 attracting a 2% fee.
  • Free foreign Monese to Monese currency transfers attracting 0.5% - 0.75% fees.

Premium Plan (£/€14.95 Per Month)

The Premium Plan offers flexibility and is ideal for frequent users. With the plan, you get free ATM withdraws, free currency transfers, card top-ups, and free debit cards. You pay a £14.95 or €14.95 fee and you do not have to pay an extra fee for transactions.

Read also: Azimo money transfer review. 

Monese Joint Accounts

Recently, Monese introduced Joint Accounts. Partners can open a joint account and each one of them will receive a bank card. Account partners can manage and control the finances jointly. Also, both partners can have their salaries paid through the joint account.

To open a joint account, both partners must have Monese personal accounts. Joint accounts offer:

  • Shared account number
  • Shared spending and savings
  • Direct debits 
  • Free ATM withdrawals of up to €/£ 200 per month

Monese Debit Card and Virtual Card

Monese offers a contactless debit card that comes with extra convenience. You can use the debit card in over 200 countries and is accepted by many retailers. You can set a spending limit to help you manage your finances without overspending. If you are paying less than £30 bill, you do not need to enter a PIN, instead, you can use contactless payment. Contactless cards offer extra protection by reducing the risks of fraud, while they also save time.

Monese debit cards 

You can also generate a MasterCard virtual card with Monese. A virtual card is like a physical card. It is a 16-digit number you generate online and use it to make online payments. The virtual card  keeps your information secure and you can use it as you wait for the physical card. You can shop with it where merchants accept MasterCard.

International Money Transfers with Monese

Monese allows people to make international money transfers at low costs. This way, you can up to 88% on fees. You can only send money within the European Economic Area and the United States. Monese supports e-payments, Bank transfers and SEPA transfers.

Monese Customer Support

Monese has a dedicated customer support available by email and telephone. The telephone customer support is in English and is only available during working hours.  It takes around one hour to get a response through an email. You can also contact customer support through their official Facebook account.

Is Monese Safe?

Monese ensures the security of your funds and your personal information. You can only use the Monese app from a single mobile device. This ensures that no one else can log in to your account. If you want to use a new device, you will need to authorize multi-factor authentication.

To login into the account, you need to enter a 5-digit password that is only known to you. It means even if someone stole your phone, they cannot access your account.

Besides, Monese is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). It does not reinvest its customer funds, thereby minimizing the risk of losing your money.

Read also: Revolut online bank review. 

Monese Bank Pros and Cons

Pros

  • It offers IBAN accounts
  • Cheap international transfers
  • Direct debits and standing orders
  • Low currency exchange fees
  • Lock your card using the app
  • Customer fund protection

Cons

  • Available to EEA residents only
  • Does not offer loans and overdraft facilities
  • Funds transfer delays

Final Thoughts

Monese is an app-only bank that offers excellent virtual bank account. It is ideal for people who travel abroad frequently or those that make international transfers. It also offers a contactless MasterCard debit card that you can use to make payments. It is a great bank if you are looking to open a bank account and you do not have a credit address.