Mobile Commerce

European M-Banking Startup Monese Gets Big Backing

Monese, the newest player in the European mobile banking startup, has yet to launch and it’s already getting the backing of some big names.

Most recently, it secured $1.8 million from Seedcamp, SmartCap, and Spotify advisor and investor Shakil Khan, TechCrunch reported.

Monese is a soon-to-be mobile banking service based out of London and Estonia that enables money to be easily transferred from a bank account outside of the sender or recipients’ home country. Specifically, immigrants who may need to send or receive money back home. Monese’s slogan, “all you need from a bank, without the bank” indicates what’s appealing about the service.

With an anticipated launch in the summer of 2015, it should be on the market soon. The online-only bank allows its customers to verify details in real time and everything can be done via mobile. While there isn’t a physical bank associated with the service, each customer also gets a debit card so they don’t have to only rely on mobile. The service also claims to have no monthly fees and no overdraft fees.

The company doesn’t have a full U.K. banking license at the moment, so it can’t offer credit or loan money, but it is regulated by Financial Conduct Authority, which oversees electronic money companies.

“This enables us to hold customers’ funds, provide payments and provide debit cards very similarly to the high street banks,” Monese CEO Norris Koppel told TechCrunch.

In the interview, he also highlighted how Monese benefits the audience who might otherwise find it difficult to open a bank account in another country, and those who face high-cost international transfer fees. While Monese acts similarly to most bank accounts, it takes away the hassle and extra fees often imposed in traditional banking systems.

“Monese’s underlying technology enables the company to provide customers with a U.K. current account regardless of their citizenship. This will revolutionize banking for immigrants and expats as ‘residency restrictions’ imposed by traditional high street banks are one of the single greatest barriers to accessing the banking system when they arrive in a new country,” Koppel said.

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