In this review we will be discussing the digital-only financial institution mBank. Based in Poland, mBank focuses on providing all products and services online, including international bank transfers. We will be looking at how mBank’s global banking serves their customer base of more than 5 million people, comparing the bank’s transfer fees and rates to the prices offered by competitors in the specialist money transfer sphere.
mBank was launched in response to the popularisation of the internet and has become Poland’s largest online bank. It is commonly referred to as a neobank, a term given to financial institutions that provide online-only products and services.
Using the mBank app customers can apply for all kinds of financial products and services, from current and saving accounts, to credit cards or cash loans. mBank’s digital-only services are available to individual clients, companies, SMEs and corporations, and private banking customers based in Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia.
Can I use mBank for international bank transfers?
Yes, it is possible to arrange international bank transfers – referred to as Outgoing and Incoming Foreign Payments – with mBank. These transfers are submitted by completing a foreign payment order online or in paper form (at an additional cost).
International bank transfers are divided into the following categories by mBank:
When it comes to setting up international bank transfers complex fee structures are commonplace among banking institutions. This is because banks primarily offer other financial services and therefore do not solely focus on providing competitive and transparent fees like money transfer companies do. In this section we will dissect the complicated nature of mBank fees, translating them into clear and concise terms.
International bank transfers made with mBank must be made in the following 20 currencies: EUR, USD, CHF, JPY, AUD, BGN, CAD, CNY, CZK, DKK, GBP, HRK, HUF, ILS, NOK, RON, RUB, SEK, TRY, ZAR.
According to the exchange rates page of the mBank website, mark-ups on the mid-market rate for the currencies listed above range between 2 – 3%. These mark-ups are not the biggest we have seen banks charge. However, the foreign exchange rate offered by mBank is still not considered competitive when compared to money transfer operators like Wise, who match the exact mid-market rate of exchange.
The fee structure employed across mBank’s international transfer services are compiled of multiple layers.
The first layer of fees added to the transfer amount is determined by the chosen payment type from the following 3 options:
The second layer of fees are determined by the destination country the international transfer is sent to:
Along with the aforementioned transfer fees, there are additional costs for the following:
There are a lot of terms and conditions to consider when arranging an international transfer with mBank and the various costs add up quickly for most foreign payments. Due to the various fees outlined above, mBank international transfers are more expensive than using a money transfer provider would be.
It is important to understand the advantages and disadvantages of international bank transfers in order to appropriately compare the service to money transfer providers. Here is a list of crucial pros and cons for prospective mBank customers.
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In this section we will address frequently asked questions relating to mBank international banking services and foreign payments.
mBank accounts are available to those living in Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia only.
Yes, the mBank mobile app is available to download for free from the Google Play or App Store. There are Polish, Czech and Slovakian versions of the app which have received average customer ratings of 4.7 out of 5.
This depends on the type of bank account which is being used to make the international transfer: different transfer limits are available to individual clients, companies, private banking customers, SMEs and corporations. Customers can log into their online banking via the website or mobile app to view their daily transfer limit.
The delivery speed of each transfer type is as follows:
International transfers submitted ahead of the cut-off time are executed on the same business day provided the customer has funds in their account when executing the payment. International transfers submitted after the cut-off time are executed on the next business day.
Using your mBank card in Poland, Slovakia or Czech Republic is free of charge and withdrawals of at least 70 EUR or the equivalent in a foreign currency is free of charge too. We would recommend contacting customer service to learn more about additional costs for overseas spending and withdrawals, depending on country.
Thanks to the high-tech digital resources available to mBank customers, the process of opening an account is easy and entirely digital. The same goes for international transfers; as a forward-thinking financial group, mBank facilitates several innovative money transfer methods including foreign payments made via the recipient’s phone number or Facebook Messenger.
The process of opening a personal mBank e-account takes approximately 5 minutes. You will need to prepare a government-issued photo ID such as:
Step 1: To register for an online account visit the website or download the mBank app and click on Personal e-account. You will be asked to enter your full name, phone number and email address.
Step 2: You will be asked to choose whether you would like to order a mBank debit card as well as any additional products or services
Step 3: During this step you will be asked to enter your PESEL number (Polish customers only) , your country of birth, place of birth, date of birth and mother’s maiden name, before proceeding
Step 4: At this stage you will be able to review your application in full, including the terms and conditions, before submitting it for approval
In this section we will run through how to set up a bank-to-bank international transfer using the mBank app:
Step1. Open the mBank app, log into your account and tap the Transfers tab
Step 2. To make a currency transfer, go to the Transfers tab and tap Make a one-off transfer, then select the tab on the left for Foreign Payments
Step 3: Enter the amount you wish to transfer and your recipient’s details: full name, bank details and contact information, before submitting the transfer
Step 4: Once submitted, funds should reach the recipient’s bank account in 1 – 3 business days, depending on the chosen method of transfer
What customer support is available for mBank?
Customer service is divided into Personal, Private, SME and Corporate Banking categories, with designated phone numbers and live chat options for each: customers can find out more here.
mBank provides perfectly good financial services for Polish, Czech and Slovakian customers. When it comes to international transfers, however, the bank’s numerous fees outweigh the favourable exchange rates for foreign currency. As a result, sending money online to a foreign country will be expensive for customers using mBank. There are cheaper and more efficient money transfer operators available, and we would urge customers to use our comparison engine to discover the best possible option.
As a neobank, mBank is primarily designed for customers who prioritise smartphone services over in-person or telephone banking. However, English speaking customers who are looking for a digital bank would be better suited to the services of challenger banks like Monzo and Starling Bank: find our review of each of these UK-based alternatives here.