Home A Guide to Challenger Banks Monese

Monese Review

Monese is a challenger bank founded in 2015 by Norris Koppel to revolutionize banking through its mobile money account. In 2017, it collected 10 million USD from a Series A funding, and in 2018, another 60 million USD from a Series B funding.

Updated: 29/07/2021
Read time: 4 minutes
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About Monese

Monese won the “best challenger bank” in the European Fintech Awards in 2016 and was among the top 20 LinkedIn’s hottest startups in 2019. With clients spanning 31 countries, Monese takes pride in its 4.0 ratings out of the highest 5 from Trustpilot.

It has an app that can be downloaded from Apple Store, Google Play, and Huawei AppGallery. 

Can I use Monese for international bank transfers?

Yes. All money transfers done with Monese are done through its app, allowing clients to add regular recipients in their contacts to make money transfers more convenient.  

Monese can be used for international bank transfers, but the service is limited to about 35 countries only, most of which are in the EEA. International bank transfers can be done through the Monese app, which shows the breakdown of fees right before the transaction is completed. 

How long do transfers take with Monese?

Monese money transfers made within the UK through Faster Payments reach the recipient account instantly. For international transfers within SEPA countries made before 11 a.m. CET, the money transfer will be completed within the same day; otherwise,  it will take around one business day to complete the transaction. International transfers outside SEPA countries take around two to four business days to get to the recipient account.

Are there transfer limits?

Yes. Monese sets their transfer limits at 40,000 GBP for UK accounts, 50,000 EUR for Euro accounts, and 49,999 RON for Romanian accounts.

Can I use a Monese debit card when traveling abroad?

Yes. It can be used anywhere so long as the retail stores or the ATMs support Mastercard transactions.

Monese Exchange rates and fees

Monese shares its latest exchange rates on its website, and it uses that rate for all transactions within the last working day. Hence, the actual exchange rate used in a transaction may slightly differ from the breakdown on their website.

Clients can only send from three currencies: GBP, EUR, and RON, as implied on the money transfer page. Monese’s money transfer services can reach 35 countries, most of which are located in the EEA. The US, Hong Kong, and India are some countries outside of EEA that Monese can transfer money to. 

As of July 20, 2021, 100 GBP converts into 133.40 USD, with 1 GBP equal to 1.3612 USD. 

Transfer rate

Monese’s transfer rate is based on the type of the client’s account, as follows:

  • Simple Account  –  2% of the transfer amount when sending money to a non-Monese account, or a minimum amount of 2 GBP. 
  • Classic Account – Transfer rate starts from 0.5% when sending to non-Monese accounts or a minimum of 2 GBP.
  • Premium account – no transfer fee

Additional costs 

Unless registered with a Premium account with Monese, clients must pay a  currency exchange fee that starts from 2% of the total amount or a minimum of 2 GBP, 2 EUR, or 8 RON. Monese does not list other fees on their website regarding international money transfers.

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

Monese has its exchange rate updated in real-time and may omit fees if a client is a Premium user. It features a simple breakdown of fees that customers may find desirable in a money transfer. 

Wise’s transfer fees are based on the total transfer amount. The fees include a flat rate based on the transfer method, the exchange rate, and a variable fee based on the total amount for transfer. The breakdown is shown in Wise’s website calculator.  Since Wise bases its fees on the total transfer amount, transferring money through Wise may be too expensive to transfer personal funds.

Monese pros and cons

Interested clients who want to sign up with Monese may need to look at some pros and cons before joining Monese for their services:

Pros
Monese is transparent with its fees and currency exchange rates. All of it can be seen in the app before the confirmation of a money transfer.
Monese’s app can be translated into 14 languages, which other banking apps do not usually feature. The app can automate bills payment, make monthly budgets, divide savings according to purpose, and track payments. A PDF or an excel version of the expenses can be exported. The app also contains a virtual card to increase payment options. Apple Pay, Google Pay, Avios, and PayPal can also be linked to the app.
Monese uses these money pots to allow clients to save for a trip, for an emergency, or other financial projects. It does so by setting up savings categories, determining a target amount for each pot, and tracking the deposits made in each pot.
Cons
Monese accounts can only be opened from EEA countries.
Monese can do international transfers for about 35 counties, most of which are in the EEA.

What customer support options are available?

Monese can be reached through the following ways:

  • Monese app – Clients may get in touch with the Monese Customer Support team via chat in their app.
  • Monese email – Clients may send an email to support@monese.com using their registered email linked to their account as stated in the app.

Summary

Monese was founded in 2015 and has since beefed up its features that offer convenience. Opening an account with Monese is hassle-free with less requirements and no credit score checks. It is called a ‘mobile money account’ because clients only need at least a registered phone number to open an account.

Monese is a challenger bank that continues to be funded for their innovative banking ideas. It partnered with various payment channels, such as Google Pay, Apple Pay, Avios, and Paypal to offer flexible payment options to its clients.. It allows its clients to make transaction wherever they are through an app that stores in one place the details of their budgets and cash flows.

Mark
Written by
Mark

Mark is a journalist with more than 20 years experience in news, features, entertainment, lifestyle and sport. Away from work, he’s a devoted husband and father.