Monese, a British digital banking service founded by Estonian Norris Koppel, has opened for business in the UK.
The company said that it will offer instant account opening through a mobile app, a fully-featured current account interface, low-cost international money transfers as well as a contactless debit card.
Monese will let users sign up for a new account from a mobile device in a few minutes, without the requirement of a UK address proof, a minimum opening balance or the provision that the user’s salary is paid into the account.
Customers of Monese will also be allowed to hold multiple currencies in their Monese account. Also they will be able to use the account, contactless Visa debit card and accompanying app free of charge for basic transactions – up to a point.
Monese-to-Monese account transactions and in-store debit transactions will always be free, while other transactions including withdrawing money from an ATM or making a transfer will require credits.
Account holders will receive five free credits per month, and will also be allowed to earn more by inviting new users to the service. After the free credits are over, each transaction will be charged at a 50 pence flat rate.
However, the startup will not be able to offer credit or loan out customer deposits as it does not have a full banking license. It instead been labelled by UK’s Financial Conduct Authority as an ‘Electronic Money Institution’.