Monese, an E-Money Institution (EMI), is a UK company founded in 2015 by Norris Koppel, an Estonian entrepreneur (TransferWise, another known FinTech, is also founded by Estonian entrepreneurs) who faced a frustrating experience when he moved to UK: he could not open a bank account because he lacked proof of address and credit history there.
So, Norris decided to launch a mobile money account that could be opened within a few minutes by anyone living within the European Economic Area.
Monese is designed for convenient use : the first step is to download Monese mobile app (available for Android and iOS), and the second one is to follow the instructions to open and verify the account. Verification is similar to all financial services today - using the smartphone to make a picture of the ID document and providing personal information.
Monese provides a contactless debit card that allows the user to withdraw money from ATMs. It is also possible to pay without taking the Monese card out of the bag, as long as the purchase is of £30 or less.
Additionally, Monese enables the option of transferring money to other accounts (local or international ones). In the case of a Monese to Monese local transfer, the process is immediate and without any frees. The whole service was initially free of charge, except for international money transfers, until November 2019 (the “Simple Plan” continues to be free, but is also limited). The fees and benefits vary according to the selected plan (Classic or Premium).
It is a perfect option for freelancers, students, and foreign nationals who do not fulfill the formalities to open a traditional bank account or who do not understand English (the app is available in fourteen different languages).
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