Founded in the United Kingdom in 2015 by Norris Koppel, Monese is an online company offering money services as a substitute to traditional high-street banks.
Moving or living abroad is a complicated process. One of the most difficult aspects being that one needs to provide proof of address and sometimes also credit history to open a bank account. The advantage provided by Monese is that one can open an account, which even has the vital European IBAN number, immediately and without proof of residence or credit checks.
This account can be used as your principal account, with the same services of a traditional high street bank account available. Namely, it is possible to transfer money, to send and receive funds, and to make purchases online and in shops.
The whole process can be done very quickly via your mobile phone. You simply download the app and, after proving your identity, the account can be opened instantly. Of course, the account can also be completely controlled from your phone too, meaning it is accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
As part of your account, Monese offer a contactless, pre-paid debit card which can be used in more than 200 countries worldwide to withdraw money, pay in shops and online. A great feature of the card is the locking feature where you can block your card directly from the app if you think you’ve lost it and unblock it again, on the off-chance you find it again. Given that it is prepaid, you can also avoid bank charges by only spending what is in the account.
Payments and transfers can be made from your Monese app. Benefits include instantaneous and unlimited transfers for Monese to Monese accounts and cheap rates for sending money abroad. Of course, you can also receive transfers and any wages too.
It is possible to try the service without charge for a month. Subsequently, there is a fixed cost (which the company claims is cheaper than in traditional banks) to be paid each month.
There is a budgeting feature on the app which lets you see your finances in real-time and in graph-form.
Those who are skeptical about the security of an online service can be reassured by the fact that the company is enrolled with the UK Financial Conduct Authority and has a five star rating on Trustpilot.