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mBank International Transfers

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.

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About mBank 

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:

  • OUR – all fees and charges are paid for by the sender
  • SHA (Shared) – fees and charges are shared between sender and recipient, with the sender paying for mBank fees and the recipient paying for all other fees charged by the intermediary and receiving bank 
  • BEN (Beneficiary) – fees and charges are paid for by the recipient, this include all fees charged by the intermediary and receiving bank

mBank Exchange rates and fees

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. 

Exchange rates

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.

Transfer fees

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: 

  • Standard Foreign Payment: 0.4% in fees (minimum of PLN 40.000)
  • Urgent Foreign Payment: 0.45% in fees (min. PLN 50.00) 
  • Express Foreign Payment: 0.5% in fees (min. PLN 60.00)

The second layer of fees are determined by the destination country the international transfer is sent to:

  • Automatic deposits of Euro transfers to the European Economic Area: no fee
  • Automatic deposits of international transfers to countries outside the EEA: PLN 10.00 
  • Manual deposits of international transfers: PLN 30.00
  • SEPA Credit Transfer: PLN 2.50

Additional costs

Along with the aforementioned transfer fees, there are additional costs for the following: 

  • Any transfer which cannot be processed automatically by mBank, due to incorrect details or failing to meet technical requirements: PLN 30 – 40.00 
  • Any transfer to an account held with another domestic bank: PLN 40.00
  • Any transfer placed in paper form: Standard form PLN 35.00, Non-standard form PLN 50.00

How do mBank fees compare to using a money transfer provider?

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.

mBank pros and cons

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.

Pros
Safe and secure: as one of the biggest banks in Poland trusting mBank with your international transfers is a safe and reliable option
Quick and easy digital onboarding: sign up for an mBank account and send an international money transfer without needing to leave your house
Cons
Limited language options: the mobile app is available in Polish, Czech and Slovakian only
Subpar customer reviews: the bank is rated 2.8 on TrustPilot, a disappointing score
Neobank business model: digital-only services may prove off putting to customers who appreciate in-person bank visits

mBank Swift Codes

CountryCityBank
Bre Bank Sa Pobocka Zahranicnej Banky Mbank V SrSlovakiaBratislava

Answers to key questions about mBank

In this section we will address frequently asked questions relating to mBank international banking services and foreign payments.

Can I open an mBank account in any country?

mBank accounts are available to those living in Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia only.

Does mBank have an app?

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.

Are there transfer limits?

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. 

How long do transfers take with mBank?

The delivery speed of each transfer type is as follows:

  • Standard Foreign Payment: if submitted before required cut off time funds are deposited in recipient’s account within 2 working days
  • Urgent Foreign Payment: if submitted before required cut off time funds are deposited in the recipient’s account within 1 working day
  • Express Foreign Payment: if submitted before required cut off time funds are deposited in the recipient’s account the same day

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.

Can I use an mBank debit card when travelling abroad? 

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.

How to open an account and transfer money with mBank

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.

Opening an account

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:

  • Polish identity Card (Dowód osobisty)
  • Czech national identity card (Občanský průkaz)
  • Slovak citizen ID card (Občiansky preukaz)

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

Transferring money

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.

Summary

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.