My new collector passion seems to be about new challenger bank accounts 🙂
Yes, now is the turn for Monese. My third online bank after #Revolut and #TransferWise. As I already mentioned in a previous post, banking 2.0 is here.
Enrollment is very easy with a video based verification and with a simple upload of ID card.
Same as Revolut and TransferWise, it is easy to start with Monese by using their new free entry level account.
I received the card with some extra swag in one week, really impressively fast. It takes my traditional bank longer to replace my expired card 🙂
There is a simple envelope that contains the card, a beautiful white card, several referral codes (one is available above) and two Monese stickers.
As the other challenger banks, it looks like they took a lot of care on the design of the card. Again, as I already mentioned in the other reviews, I cannot understand why the big expensive old banks have ugly as hell plastic cards.
There are several distinct features to the card:
- It is a vertical card. That is a very cool and simple idea to differentiate the card.
- The edge of the card is shiny 🙂 You cannot see this in the above image and is hard to catch on camera, but the edge of the card has a mirror like finish. This makes the card very easy to spot from a stack of other cards. Very handy little trick, similar with the small cut in the TransferWise card.
- All the card identification data is on the back of the card. Yes, this is a social media share friendly card. I can post a picture of the card without a problem 🙂
As expected, the card is a chip card with contact-less features, pretty standard in EU.
The following are the features that come with the standard free Monese account, compared with Revolut and TransferWise:
- Free EUR, RON and GBP accounts (Revolut and TransferWise support more accounts). Monese offers an GB EUR IBAN, an RO RON IBAN and a GB sort code.
- Account activity in real-time, overview of your monthly outgoings (standard features for the new banks).
- Real-time notifications (standard feature for the new banks)
- Top-up using debit card or SEPA transfer.
- Support for Apple Pay and Google Pay (same as Revolut). Sadly for me only Apple Pay is active in Romania, Google Pay lags behind with Romanian support.
- Has integration with AVIOS account. This is the British Airways rewards points program.
- KILLER FEATURE: Integration with the Pay Pall account. OK this is the killer feature that sadly is available only for UK user for now. You can move money to and from Pay Pall with ease.
- Recurrent payments. This is an interesting feature that emulates the function of a direct debit.
- ATM €200 free monthly withdrawal, 2% fee after (the same as Revolut and TransferWise).
- Foreign currency card spending €2,000 free per month, 2% fee after (the same as Revolut and TransferWise).
- Foreign currency transfers free & instant to other Monese accounts, 2% fee when sending to non-Monese accounts, €2 minimum fee,
- You can upgrade to “Classic €4.95/month” or “Premium €14.95/month” with the difference of having higher limits and lower costs for features at points 8,9,10.
Features updates 01/2020
Like any fintech that wants to be on the competitive edge Monese is improving every month. The following are some important features added as of January 2020.
Monese web portal
I think one of the best feature that all fintech players should have, a web portal. I know that the mantra in the business is “mobile first” but I hate when this becomes “mobile only”.
Until now, only TransferWise had this feature of a web portal to your account. I am pleased to see that Monese added this feature.
Go to the https://web.monese.com and you will be able to create a web account.
First time you will be asked your mobile number as the username and a confirmation code from your Monese application. For later logins a password will be used to access your web portal.
The features are still limited, no transactions can be done yet through the web portal. The portal is just to view your accounts and your statements. This is perfect if you want to see the status of your accounts and want to easily save or print statements.
This is another big feature introduced for Romanian users, a Romania IBAN.
Monese is the first international Fintech I use that has an Romania IBAN !!!
The IBAN is in fact an account with Libra Internet Bank https://www.librabank.ro/ a small but very active Romanian Bank. What is even better this bank is one of the 4 technically advanced banks that is already part of the new Romanian Instant Payment service.
This partnership with Monese shows that Libra Bank is taking a shot at the other bigger banks from Romania that are slacking in updating their systems to the new open banking initiatives and connection to the newer payment systems.
Monese just went up on my list of Fintechs 🙂