The mobile banking revolution is here as Monese arrives

By Oliver Smith 21 September 2015
Monese mobile bank

The first mobile-first bank has arrived in the UK with a focus on simple, easy-to-open accounts, but will Brits swarm to the idea?

Hot on the heels of Fidor, Britain’s first new digital bank which launched on Friday, this morning the UK’s first mobile bank launched.

Monese hasn’t garnered quite the same amount of publicity or attention as its larger rivals Mondo, Atom Bank or Starling, however it managed to beat all three to market this morning.


Unlike its rivals Monese has a specific group in Britain that it’s targeting, immigrants and expats who have, until now, struggled with the simple act of opening up a new bank account.

Monese promises to do that in just three minutes with a photo of a passport and selfie all that’s needed to get your hands on a current account and a Visa debit card.

Also unlike its rivals Monese doesn’t hold a full banking licence and so can’t offer any sort of credit or loans.

Instead Monese boasts cheap international money transfers similar to that of TransferWise and the ability to hold different types of currency in the same account (like Euros and Sterling) both features it believes will appeal to its target audience.

Opening a new account with Monese, account and in-store transactions are free, but any other transaction like taking out money from an ATM or making transfers abroad cost 50p.

Monese will be the first test to see whether Brits are open to the idea of a mobile bank, it’s a big question especially with the millions of investment pouring into these four mobile bank rivals.

But would you trust a brand new mobile bank with your money?

That’s the big question, and Monese, Mondo, Starling and Atom Bank are all banking on Brits not being shy to join the mobile banking revolution.

Monese launched today as a closed three-month beta for Android smartphones only. The company says it has 50,000 people on its waiting list to join the beta that will be added over coming weeks. Sign up to add your name to the list now.