Monese Review: Is It Worth It?

In this Monese review, we will be examining whether or not Monese is a good online banking option.

We'll be going through Monese's history and background, its features, subscription plans, pricing, and fees, and finally, decide whether or not Monese is worth it!

Table Of Contents
    Monese Review 3

    Background and History

    Monese stands as a pioneering European banking service, transcending traditional banking constraints by offering localized mobile-first bank accounts. With its footprint encompassing 31 countries across the UK and Europe, communicated through 14 languages, the platform has ushered in a novel approach to banking that resonates with both individuals and businesses. By affording users the ability to bank seamlessly and effortlessly irrespective of their location, Monese has redefined the contours of modern banking.

    The genesis of Monese can be attributed to Norris Koppel, an enterprising mind hailing from Estonia. Koppel's foray into the British financial landscape was accompanied by a setback that would ultimately serve as the catalyst for Monese's creation. His futile attempt to secure a current account from a prominent high-street bank exposed the limitations of traditional banking models. Rebuffed due to his inability to furnish local proof of address and a lack of credit history in the UK, Koppel made a resolute commitment to establish a financial institution that obliterated exclusionary practices stemming from residency or credit history constraints.

    In May 2015, Monese solidified its foundation by successfully concluding a seed funding round, raising a substantial $1.8 million from a consortium of backers that included Seedcamp, Shakil Khan, an early Spotify investor, and an assemblage of angel investors. This infusion of capital not only validated the concept's potential but also furnished the necessary resources to bring Koppel's vision to fruition.

    The transformative moment arrived on 21 September 2015, when Monese unveiled its inaugural product—an instant-to-open mobile current account tailored for the UK market. The strategic launch of this innovative offering marked the initiation of Monese's journey towards redefining the banking landscape across Europe.

    Since its inception, Monese's trajectory has been one of ceaseless expansion and exponential growth. Its commitment to inclusivity, where traditional banks faltered, struck a chord with an increasingly globalized and mobile populace. This has culminated in the platform amassing a user base encompassing millions of individuals spanning 31 countries. Monese's ascendancy as a preeminent and reliable financial service provider within Europe is a testament to its capacity to meet the evolving needs of its diverse clientele.

    Monese's evolution is an embodiment of the fintech revolution—a paradigm shift that challenges conventional banking norms and champions financial accessibility. By allowing customers to transcend geographic confines and access banking services tailored to their circumstances, Monese has not only realized Norris Koppel's aspiration but has also emerged as a beacon of innovation in the realm of modern banking.

    Plans and Pricing

    Monese currently offers four different subscription plans, one of them is free, and the other three are paid, let's take a look at all of them and compare the differences.


    Monese Starter Plan (€0/month)

    • Free and instant account in GBP, EUR, and RON.
    • Great for spending, traveling, and sending money abroad.

    Includes:

    • FREE instant Monese to Monese transfers
    • 2.5% fee, an additional 1% fee on weekends (International Transfers)
    • FREE local transfers in and out
    • Recurring payments and direct debits
    • Personal loans
    • Credit Builder £7.95 monthly fee (Rep. APR 28.2%)*
    • STANDARD contactless debit card
    • €4.95 for first card delivery
    • €9.90 for replacement cards
    • 2% fee for card spending in foreign currencies
    • GooglePay / Apple Pay
    • Virtual debit card
    • €1.5 fee for ATM withdrawals
    • 3.5% fee for cash top-ups
    • Account in GBP, EUR, and/or RON
    • PayPal account integration
    • Avios account integration
    • Joint Accounts with another Monese user
    • Money pots with round-up feature
    • Access to interest-bearing savings accounts
    • Access your account with the Monese mobile app and from a desktop computer
    • Multilingual customer support

    Monese Essential Plan (€1.95/month)

    • The best value plan for managing your bills, with lower fees and higher allowances.
    • Also includes automatic Bills Protection if you have an accident or go to the hospital.

    Includes:

    • FREE instant Monese to Monese transfers
    • 2% fee, an additional 1% fee on weekends (International Transfers)
    • FREE local transfers in and out
    • Recurring payments and direct debits
    • Personal loans
    • Credit Builder £7.95 monthly fee (Rep. APR 28.2%)*
    • Up to €600 for accident, sickness, involuntary unemployment protection
    • €15 per day for up to 30 days for a hospital stay
    • STANDARD contactless debit card
    • FREE first card delivery
    • €4.95 for replacement cards
    • 0.5% fee for card spending in foreign currencies
    • GooglePay / Apple Pay
    • Virtual debit card
    • €200 FREE monthly ATM withdrawals
    • 3.5% fee for cash top-ups
    • Account in GBP, EUR, and/or RON
    • PayPal account integration
    • Avios account integration
    • Joint Accounts with another Monese user
    • Money pots with round-up feature
    • Access to interest-bearing savings accounts
    • Access your account with the Monese mobile app and from a desktop computer
    • Multilingual customer support

    Monese Classic Plan (€5.95/month)

    • Perfect for your everyday spending.
    • Even lower fees, higher allowances, and Purchase Protection for your purchases, including electronic devices such as your mobile phone.

    Includes:

    • FREE instant Monese to Monese transfers
    • From 0.5% fee (International Transfers)
    • FREE local transfers in and out
    • Recurring payments and direct debits
    • Personal loans
    • Credit Builder £7.95 monthly fee (Rep. APR 28.2%)*
    • Up to €1200 for accident, sickness, involuntary unemployment protection
    • €30 per day for up to 30 days for a hospital stay
    • Up to €1,000 per claim €2,500 per year Purchase made in last 90 days on purchase protection
    • HOLOGRAPHIC EDGING contactless debit card
    • FREE first card delivery
    • €4.95 for replacement cards
    • FREE card spending in foreign currencies
    • GooglePay / Apple Pay
    • Virtual debit card
    • €500 FREE monthly ATM withdrawals
    • €400 FREE monthly cash top-ups
    • Account in GBP, EUR, and/or RON
    • PayPal account integration
    • Avios account integration
    • Joint Accounts with another Monese user
    • Money pots with round-up feature
    • Access to interest-bearing savings accounts
    • Access your account with the Monese mobile app and from a desktop computer
    • Multilingual customer support

    Monese Premium Plan (€14.95/month)

    • Get more of everything!
    • The most comprehensive plan, with the lowest fees, highest allowances, maximum insurance, and VIP Customer Support.

    Includes:

    • FREE instant Monese to Monese transfers
    • FREE International Transfers
    • FREE local transfers in and out
    • Recurring payments and direct debits
    • Personal loans
    • Credit Builder £7.95 monthly fee (Rep. APR 28.2%)*
    • Up to €1800 for accident, sickness, involuntary unemployment protection
    • €50 per day for up to 30 days for a hospital stay
    • Up to €4,000 per claim €10,000 per year Purchase made in last 180 days on purchase protection
    • PREMIUM contactless debit card
    • FREE first card delivery
    • FREE replacement cards
    • FREE card spending in foreign currencies
    • GooglePay / Apple Pay
    • Virtual debit card
    • €1500 FREE monthly ATM withdrawals
    • €1000 FREE monthly cash top-ups
    • Account in GBP, EUR, and/or RON
    • PayPal account integration
    • Avios account integration
    • Joint Accounts with another Monese user
    • Money pots with round-up feature
    • Access to interest-bearing savings accounts
    • Access your account with the Monese mobile app and from a desktop computer
    • Multilingual customer support
    • Priority customer support access

    *Representative example: The loan, as a part of the Credit Builder service is a 0% interest loan, but in financial jargon the subscription fee relates to a 28.2% APR as that is the cost of your Credit Builder. This is based on a loan amount of £600.

    Fees

    Monese has a very competitive fee structure, the fees may be occasionally updated, with that in mind, we suggest that you follow the link below in order to get the latest numbers.

    Security

    When it comes to safeguarding your account, funds, and sensitive information, Monese leaves no stone unturned. With an unyielding dedication to your security, Monese has implemented a comprehensive suite of security features designed to fortify your peace of mind.

    From the moment you become a part of the Monese community, the platform undertakes a rigorous process to verify your identity, ensuring that you are shielded from the perils of identity fraud. To establish your authenticity, Monese requests a government-issued ID complete with a photograph, alongside a brief video of yourself. This meticulous procedure serves as a crucial line of defense, ensuring that you and your assets remain secure within the Monese ecosystem.

    Underpinning Monese's security architecture is a fusion of advanced engineering and pioneering technology. This amalgamation not only underscores the platform's dedication but also guarantees that your financial resources and personal data are fortified against potential threats. Accessing your account is facilitated through a trifecta of secure methods: Face ID, Touch ID, or Fingerprint Scanner. This biometric login mechanism, coupled with robust multi-factor encryption and authentication protocols, forms a formidable bulwark, assuring the sanctity of your mobile money account.

    Transacting securely in the digital realm is paramount, and Monese has addressed this concern adeptly. The introduction of 3D Secure, a supplementary layer of security, bolsters online shopping by employing a one-time password sent via SMS during checkout. This proactive measure stands as a sentinel against potential card fraud, bolstering your confidence when engaging in online purchases.

    Moreover, Monese's vigilant approach to device management sets another dimension of security in motion. The platform restricts account access to a single mobile device at any given time, precluding unauthorized access to your funds. Should you wish to authorize a new device, Monese mandates a secure multi-factor authentication process, ensuring that only authorized individuals can manipulate your account configuration.

    The potential loss of a physical card is a concern that Monese has deftly addressed. The ability to instantly block your card through the app serves as a potent deterrent against unauthorized usage, bestowing you with control over the security of your financial instrument.

    Virtual cardholders are not left out of Monese's security paradigm either. The provision of a distinct 16-digit card number for your virtual card further elevates the protective measures, rendering your virtual transactions immune to potential vulnerabilities associated with your physical card.

    Monese's security apparatus is far from static; it operates tirelessly around the clock. The state-of-the-art tech infrastructure is under constant scrutiny, operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This unwavering vigilance underscores Monese's resolute commitment to your financial safety.

    Monese's involvement in esteemed entities like CIFAS and participation in the Take Five campaign attest to the platform's broader commitment to combat financial fraud. By aligning with these organizations, Monese exemplifies its proactive stance in educating users about potential threats and equipping them with the knowledge needed to safeguard their financial interests.

    Monese Pros & Cons

    Monese: Pros

    • Well established company
    • Both desktop version and app are very intuitive
    • It offers a free plan
    • Integrates with PayPal
    • Many features on paid plans
    • Free multi-currency accounts in GBP, EUR & RON
    • Instant account opening
    • Free instant card top-ups
    • App and support in 14 languages

    Monese: Cons

    • No free cash withdrawals in the free account version
    • No option for a metal card
    • Monese accounts can only be opened from EEA countries
    • Doesn't have a banking license
    • Limited customer support

    Monese Review: Verdict

    Monese is one of the most popular and well-established online banks in Europe, it offers various subscription plans and many interesting features.

    It is extremely easy to use, and very intuitive, both the desktop version and the app are great! It also offers seamless integration with PayPal, and a free plan.

    If you choose one of the paid subscription plans, you'll get many more features, such as insurance, fee-free international transfers, higher limits for ATM withdrawals, and much more.

    On the downside, Monese is only available for EEA citizens, it does not hold a banking license, it has limited customer support, it doesn't offer any free cash withdrawals on the free plan, and it doesn't have a metal card option for its most expensive subscription plans.

    If you'd like to open a Monese account, follow the link below and get started with a £20 bonus!

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