We’re committed to giving out our Premium plan to refugees (usually £14.95 a month) for free, for life. The Premium plan waives all transaction fees, granting our customers entirely free current account facilities.
At the moment we can give refugees access to a Monese mobile money account provided they have been granted asylum and received their Biometric Residence Permit (BRP). Banks are legally obliged to accept BRP’s, however many bank branch staff are not trained to recognise them, which causes issues for many refugees and new migrants across the country. Our hope is that schemes like the one we're running will encourage other financial institutions to open their doors to refugees living and working in the country.
In an effort to meet customers at their time of need, we are working with refugee charities across the country who help refugees get settled after they have been granted asylum. These charities include Refugee Education Training Advice Service in Leeds, the Derby Refugee Advice Centre, RefuAid, Gloucestershire Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers, and Jobs Education and Training North, based in Newcastle.
Having worked with us for the last few months, Hannah from Gloucester Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers commented:
Monese are forward thinking and innovative, providing options outside the box to enable refugees in the UK to open accounts quickly and seamlessly. It is a pleasure to be able to work with them and signpost refugee clients to their app and the mobile money account they offer.
Ruth from Derby Refugee Advice Centre also commented:
Working with Monese has been very beneficial for our clients. Having an alternative to the high street banks, which many of our clients have issues with accessing when they first get leave to remain, has been a huge help. The system has been easy to use and clients like having their account details easily accessible.
Farhan, a Monese customer, had this to say:
It was so quick to open a current account with Monese and I find it very easy to use, particularly when it comes to transferring money.
As a Europe-wide organisation ourselves, we want to extend this program to the rest of Europe to ensure we are having as much reach as possible. The challenges in the rest of Europe are very different to the UK, as access to financial services varies in difficulty and scope. Refugees in Germany, for example, are easily able to access a current account but not a debit card. We hope that as we extend our own product capabilities, we will be able to offer help with more complex issues.
In the meantime, this scheme will continue indefinitely in the UK. If you are a refugee or an organisation that works with refugees, please get in touch to learn how to access a free Monese current account.
A year in lockdown: what we spent and where we spent it
We’ve looked back over our pre-pandemic customer transactions from March 2019—February 2020 and compared them with our lockdown spendings of March 2020—February 2021.