There are many thousands of people in Ireland who have regular financial transactions with UK banks or companies. Having a UK bank account when living in Ireland can make things easier – such as paying UK direct debits other UK bills or accepting a UK payment such as rental or pension payments etc.
Monese is an easy and cheap way to get access to a UK Sterling bank account for Irish residents. It was launched in 2015 as the UK’s first mobile app alternative to the banks and they have over 2 million customers.
Monese is a UK based digital payment company that gives people living in Ireland,or other EU countries, the ability to have a UK Sterling account, with an account number and sort code, in GBP Pounds Sterling.
Monese accounts are not full bank accounts – but their account numbers are treated like any normal UK bank account for receiving payments in Sterling.
You get a Mastercard debit card for spending and spending in Sterling from the Sterling balance on your Monese account will not incur any fees.
It also comes with a Euro account.
A Monese account is currently available to anyone living in Ireland or anywhere else within the European Economic Area (EEA). No address check is required. The relatively low requirement for sign-up documentation makes it an excellent option to those new to the Eurozone or the UK .
They have almost 1 million customers and carry out $3 billion of transactions a year.
Monese has many useful features, such as Joint Accounts, savings pots that can be linked to interest-paying accounts at Raisin.
Topping up of a Monese account can be done by debit card or bank transfer – both are FREE.
Cash Top Up
A GBP Monese account can also be topped up with small amounts of cash at UK post offices. (fees and limits may apply – see table below).
You can also top up a Euro Monese account with cash using Paysafecash at many Payzone points in shops all over Ireland. Fees and limits apply
There are 3 different levels of account with Monese
- Starter account has no monthly fees (A one-off €4.95 card delivery charge.)
- Classic Account £5.95 or €5.95 per calendar month charge.
The currency is dependant on whether you choose to run the UK or Euro account as your primary account.
- Premium Account which is £14.95 or €14.95 per month.
Summary of Monese Account Fees and Limits
|Comparison of Monese Accounts
|Top up With Debit Card
|ATM Cash (Anywhere)
|First £500 or €900 a month is free then 2% fee
|First £1500/€2500 is Free then 2% fee.
|Apple Pay /
on Debit Card (Uses Mastercard exchange rate)
|Free IF Pounds sterling, Euro, Romanian lei and Swedish krona:
Other currencies = 2%
|Direct Debits (UK only)
|International Transfers (Uses wholesale exchange rate)
|Max 50 a month
fees start at 2.5% fee (min €2)
|Max 100 per month.
fees start at 0.5% (Min €2)
|Max 200 per month.
|Cash Top Up
3.5% (Min €3)
|Yes . First €400 a month free then.
2% fee for GBP (Min £3)
|First €100 a month free then 3.5%
You can visit the Monese website and sign up for free.
Monese is a registered agent of PrePay Technologies Limited and is authorised by the UK Financial Conduct Authority as an electronic money institution.
Euro accounts are operated by PPS EU SA – which is an E-Money institution based in Brussels, authorised by the National Bank of Belgium.
If you need to transfer large amounts of money to or from Ireland – you should read our article on Sending Money From Ireland to UK
WISE – An Alternative to Monese
Wise (Previously called Transferwise) is another multi-currency account that comes with a debit card. There are no monthly fees.
The borderless account can be used to accept bank transfers in Sterling, Euros, US Dollars AUS Dollars and NZ Dollars. You can exchange currencies at good exchange rates and low transparent fees. You can use the debit card to spend in different currencies. Find out more at Wise
Who Can Open a Monese Account?
A Monese Sterling Account for Irish Residents can be used by anyone who’s at least 18 years old and a resident of Ireland or any resident of the EU.
If you live in one of these countries, you can open an account with Monese:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.