How to open a Monzo account

Zorica Lončar

Looking for a new bank account? If you’re not keen on using a traditional bank and prefer to manage your money via your smartphone, Monzo could be the ideal choice.

In this guide, we’ll give you all the key info on how to open a Monzo account. This includes account types you can choose from, eligibility requirements and how to get started.

But first, let’s run through what Monzo actually is.

What is Monzo?

Monzo is an online bank, offering smart banking solutions which you can manage via an app on your smartphone.

Based in the UK and founded in 2015¹, Monzo was one of the first app-based banks, described as ‘challengers’ to traditional banks. It now has over 5 million customers².

It offers current accounts, along with premium, business, youth and savings accounts. These provide many of the same features and services you’d find with a standard bank, including a debit card and FSCS protection. The only difference is that you’ll manage your money using the Monzo app.

Monzo also offers international payments, powered by Wise³. This means customers can get the same faster payments and mid-market exchange rates as offered by Wise, but all without leaving the Monzo mobile banking app. Find out more about it here.

What accounts does Monzo offer?

Monzo offers a choice of current, premium, business, joint and youth accounts. Here are just a few of the most popular options for personal and business banking:

Monzo current account⁴

A free UK current account with a debit card, fee-free UK bank transfers and a limited number of app features. These include Pots for savings, spending categories and in-app customer support.

Monzo Plus⁴

A UK current account costing £5 a month, offering all the free Monzo features plus 1% interest on balances up to £2,000. You’ll also get a Holographic card, virtual card, fee-free overseas ATM withdrawals and advanced app features.

Monzo Premium⁴

Costing £15 a month, this premium account includes all the free and Plus features plus lots of other perks. For example, 1.5% interest on balances up to £2,000, phone insurance, worldwide travel insurance and a Metal debit card exclusive to Premium customers.

Monzo Business accounts⁵

If you want to use Monzo for business banking, you can choose from the free Monzo Lite account or the Pro account at £5 a month. You can compare account features here, to find the option that works for your business.

Monzo 16-17 account⁶

Monzo’s youth account offers all the same features as its adult current accounts, including a contactless debit card and fee-free ATM withdrawals within the EEA.

But there are a few key differences. For starters, the account blocks spending on anything that is illegal if you’re under 18, such as gambling. Plus, you won’t be able to get an overdraft with a Monzo 16-17 account.

Can you open a Monzo account without a UK address?

To open a Monzo account, there’s one key eligibility criteria you need to meet. You’ll need to live in the UK full time, and have the right to reside in the UK⁷.

This means that when you apply, you’ll need to provide your home address along with other personal details. You’ll also need a valid ID, such as your passport, driving licence, National ID card or biometric residency permit⁷.

Other eligibility requirements

Along with having a UK address, you’ll also need to be over 16 years old⁷ to open a Monzo account.

It’s also important that you can verify your identity, for which you’ll need a valid form of ID (as listed above) and be able to take a selfie video on your smartphone for Monzo to compare it to. We’ll run through this step in more detail next.

How to open a Monzo account online

If you’re ready to open your new Monzo current account, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do it⁷:

  1. Download the Monzo app. It’s available on both the App store for Apple devices, and the Google Play Store for Android devices
  2. Open the app and start creating an account. You’ll need to provide your address, email address and phone number, along with details about how you’ll be using the account and what you do for a living.
  3. Verify your identity. To do this, you’ll need to take a photo of your ID and then a selfie video of yourself. Once you’ve uploaded both of these in the app, Monzo will compare the two to verify your identity.
  4. Set up your account. Choose which account type and options you’d like, and set it up according to your preferences.
  5. Wait for your Monzo debit card to arrive in the post. This should take just a couple of days. Once it arrives, you can activate it by following the instructions in the Monzo app.

And that’s it! You’re all set to start using your new Monzo account.

After reading this guide, you should be all set to choose a Monzo account and open it online. The key step is to download the Monzo app, and to have your ID documents ready. Then all you have to do is simply follow the in-app instructions.

Once your account is all set up, you’ll be ready to test out Monzo’s smart mobile banking solutions, which includes making and receiving international payments for less thanks to their partnership with Wise.

Sources used for this article:

  1. The Guardian - Monzo Digital Bank
  2. Monzo - about
  3. Monzo - international transfers
  4. Monzo - current account
  5. Monzo - business
  6. Monzo - 16 plus
  7. Monzo - Monzo Personal Account

Sources checked on 01-02-2022.

Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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