Security

Why is my Monese account blocked?

Sometimes we have to temporarily block or even close accounts — here’s why.

by Alex on 06 February 2020
Why is my Monese account blocked?

There’s nothing more frustrating, frightening or surprising than opening your Monese app only to find that your account has been blocked. We understand what an upsetting experience this can be, especially if you believe you haven’t done anything wrong. We get it.

This is something that comes up often across our community channels, so we want to explain why we may (on the rare occasion) need to block an account.

First, it’s important to know that our aim is to provide you with financial services that are safe, secure and lawful. Our first priority is always to protect you and your money. To do this, we follow a strict set of guidelines set out by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the National Bank of Belgium (NBB), depending on where you live. This means that sometimes we have to block — or even close — an account that doesn’t meet certain requirements.

We might also need to block or close your account if we think it's being used for anything outlined in clauses 15, 16 and 17 of our Terms and Conditions, such as:

  • unauthorised use of your Monese account or card
  • the use of your Monese account or card in a negligent or fraudulent manner, or other unlawful purposes
  • inaccurate information provided by you during the application process

All banks, financial institutions and many other types of businesses comply with these FCA or NBB rules. While it may not always seem fair, we never block an account without good reason.


Fighting financial crime

The most important regulation protecting your account with us is The Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017 (MLR 2017). If we suspect illegal activity, by law, we must take action immediately. Criminal use of our services isn’t in anyone’s interest — neither yours or ours — and we take the matter very seriously.

We’re also members of the fraud intelligence agency CIFAS, helping us to be in constant communication with other banking services and provide insight into fighting cybercrime.

To help us detect unusual activity, we have our own state-of-the-art systems in place. They play a big part in protecting your money from criminals who might be trying to gain access to your Monese account. And it’s not just for you — we ourselves don’t want our products to be used for financial crime.


Getting to know you

When you sign up with us, one of the first things we do is a “Know Your Customer” (KYC) check. This is a process we use to gain a better understanding of your financial profile and behaviour. In particular, we need to be able to:

  • make sure you are who you say you are
  • manage any risk involved in your finances
  • monitor your payments, transfers and balance top-ups
  • have correct and up-to-date information about you

You can learn more about these requirements on the FCA’s website.

In order to keep you and our business safe, we perform regular checks on everyone — this often leads us to our next step.


Sometimes, we need more information

When we don’t have all the details we need, we’ll get in touch with you, usually by email, to find out more.

Sometimes, we may need to do a security check to make sure that nobody else is using your account. This doesn’t mean you’ve done anything wrong — we’ll just need to ask a few questions to check you haven’t been exposed to any security risks.

If we can’t verify who’s using your account and why, it means we aren’t meeting KYC guidelines, and could be in violation of the Money Laundering Regulations — a potentially serious crime.

So, if we do email you asking for more information and supporting documents, please get back to us as soon as possible so that we can aim to keep your account open and accessible.

All this helps us make sure that your account, personal information, and money are always safe. You’ll see that all of the above is covered in sections 14 and 15 of our Terms and Conditions.

Based on some of the scenarios described above, here are a few things that may happen with your account, along with information on what you can do about it.


If your transaction is still pending

If you’re sending or waiting to receive money, it can sometimes take longer than usual.

Firstly, keep in mind that transfers always depend on the other bank’s processing times. You’ll also want to consider that some types of transfers don’t get processed on weekends and public holidays, so plan for extra time if you’re sending on one of these days.

Apart from that, we may have to run a security check before processing the transfer on our end. If that’s the case, we’ll reach out to you and ask for some more details (such as the source of the funds or the reason for the transfer). Do watch out for our emails and get back to us with the information we need as soon you can, so we can get your transfer going.


If we’ve blocked your account

When your account is blocked, we’ll restrict your access to the Monese app and any payments you make with your Monese card won’t go through. If this happens, we’ll let you know immediately, usually by email, and provide you with next steps.

We understand that having your account blocked can be incredibly inconvenient, but unfortunately we can’t always tell you why it has been. If it ever happens, we’ll do everything we can to get it back up and running for you quickly. To help speed up the process, here’s what you can do:

  • Watch out for emails from us outlining next steps.
  • Answer all the questions we ask as best, detailed and as quickly as you can.


If we’ve closed your account

In rare cases, we may have to close your account. This means your access to Monese is cancelled for good, and you won’t be able to reactivate or open another account with us.

We know this can be frustrating. If this happens, we’ll send you an email outlining some of the reasons this might have happened.

If we close an account, it’s usually because of one of the following:

  • We haven’t been able to understand the activity on the account;
  • or our systems have detected something we suspect to be a risk for you, other customers or us;
  • or law enforcement has specifically instructed us to do so.

Unless we’re instructed otherwise, we'll usually return any remaining money back to you, after you’ve given us the details of a different account we can send to.


We hope you understand that the rules and regulations we follow are in place to protect you, other Monese customers and ourselves from criminals. At Monese, we’re always working to stay ahead of financial crime and ensure the safety of our customers.

If you still have more questions, please visit our FAQ section for further reading. You can also get more information on the FCA website.

If you believe your account has been unfairly blocked or closed, please send us an email at complaints@monese.com or visit the Financial Ombudsman website. You can find the details of our complaints process in section 20 of our Terms and Conditions.


Alex
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