Monese is a UK-licensed banking institution created in 2016 in the UK. Also available in Italy,provides free card and account
Over the past few years, opening a free online checking account has become increasingly easy and fast. Merit also to the "proliferation" of fintechs that, a bit 'all over the world, offer free products and calibrated to the most diverse needs. These are, in the vast majority of cases, advanced tools that can be easily controlled from smartphones and PCs.
This is the case of Monese, a fintech company created in 2015 in the UK and active for several years in Italy as well. Thanks to the license of the British FCA (the Financial Conduct Authority, the non-governmental authority that regulates the financial world in the UK), Monese can be considered in the same way as a banking institution, which has the ability to manage current accounts with a lot of IBAN. Unlike "normal" banks, however, Monese provides users with a bivalent (euro and sterling) account, which gives an additional level of freedom to its customers.
What is Monese
Monese is a UK fintech licensed by the FCA to create and manage current accounts with a European IBAN. It is, therefore, a product aimed at all European citizens, including Italians. The current account, moreover, is bivalent: the user can manage his funds in both euro and sterling, according to the convenience of the moment. Although Monese is an institution with a regular license issued by the British financial authority, it does not provide loans or mortgages. At the same time, however, you can request a prepaid contactless card of the Mastercard circuit directly connected to the account.
How Monese works
The peculiarity of Monese is to be manageable, from the first second, through the smartphone. The opening of the account takes place in a few minutes through the Android or iPhone app. After downloading it, all you have to do is follow the guided procedure, entering your personal and personal data, the details of your ID and other necessary information. Don't worry: even if the amount of data required may seem high, these are completely normal requests and Monese is safe. During the procedure you will be asked to enter a code to get the bonus Monese: it is 15 euros that will be credited to the account within a few hours.
After verifying the data, the account will be immediately operational and, as mentioned, can be managed directly from your smartphone. On the main screen you will see the balance and the last movements made, as well as links to the main functions of the account (and of the application): from here you can add funds to your account, monitor the outputs and create "piggy banks", subsections of the account where you can deposit money and save.
To top up Monese you have several options: through another credit or debit card; by making an online transfer with SOFORT, with a normal bank transfer or by requesting money from one of your friends who has Monese.
At the bottom of the main screen there are also other shortcuts. By clicking on Card you will be able to request and manage the contactless prepaid card of the Mastercard circuit; from Pay you will be able to make payments to other current accounts or Monese accounts and set up recurring payments; from Earn you will be able to view your invitation code, the Monese code to send to your friends to earn up to 20 euros for each new account opened; in Other you will find links to customer support, the bank statement and the coordinates of your current account.
Monese, then, gives you the opportunity to pay directly with your smartphone: the contactless debit card can be added to PayPal, Google Pay or Apple Pay, so you don't have to carry your "physical" card.
When you open a current account with Monese, you can request a contactless debit card of the Mastercard circuit. Directly linked to your account, it allows you to make payments online, in stores that accept Mastercard payments and to withdraw money from ATMs around the world. The card can be managed by clicking on the entry of the same name in the menu of the app: from here you can see the PIN code, block the card in case of theft or loss and ask for a virtual card Monese only for online purchases (or to pay with your smartphone thanks to the integration with Google Pay and Apple Pay).
The basic account of Monese is completely free. This is the Simple profile, which allows you to withdraw up to 200 euros per month from ATMs (2% commission on higher figures), spend the equivalent of 2,000 euros per month in foreign currency (2% commission on higher figures) and the ability to send money in foreign currency with a 2% commission. Sending the "physical" debit card costs 4.95 euros; receiving times are variable (usually, less than a week).
In addition to the free account, users with different needs can choose to activate one of two paid profiles: Classic and Premium.
By opening a Monese Classic account you will be able to withdraw up to 900 euros from ATMs that accept Mastercard (for higher amounts there is a 2% fee); spend up to the equivalent of 9,000 euros per month in foreign currency (2% fee on higher amounts) and send money in foreign currency with a 0.5% fee. The cost of Monese Classic is €5.95 per month.
By opening a Monese Premium account you will have no withdrawal or spending limits or fees on sending money in foreign currency. The cost of Monese Premium is 14.95 euros per month.