According to a report in TechCrunch Monese late last week rolled out Direct Debit capability in which customers can set up automatic reccurring payments like a mobile phone bill or subscription service. TechCrunch noted that about 85 percent of U.K. consumers have one direct debit, with the average reaching six. What’s more, the fintech recently became part of the Faster Payments network in the U.K. which enables funds that are sent to locations outside the U.K. make it there at a quicker rate. It’s also in expansion mode, adding the number of physical locations where customers can deposit money into their Monese account. It includes 11,500 post offices around the U.K. and 29,000 PayPoint locations, noted TechCrunch. “The upgrade brings Monese’s offering substantially closer to that of a traditional high street bank account – without the hidden fees and charges,” said the company in the report.
Monese was launched to help immigrants and expats who would have a tough time opening a traditional bank account outside of their home country but is now going after consumers who aren’t happy with the service they are getting by the traditional banks that offer so-called free banking accounts. Monese charges £4.95 per account for nearly all of its services to cover its own banking fees. That makes customers happy, but TechCrunch reported it’s preventing Monese from becoming profitable. “The launch of Direct Debit has brought us another step closer to ending financial exclusion, by demonstrating that consumers no longer have to rely on banks alone for their day to day ‘banking’ and personal finance management,” the company said in the report. “They now have options, and that choice represents a power shift from banking institutions, to the people.”