ProxyAddress is a service that gives ‘duplicate’, or proxy, address details to those facing homelessness, so they can access vital services. From today, it’s launching this service with a groundbreaking pilot program in the London borough of Lewisham. We’ve partnered with ProxyAddress to offer Monese accounts to those who are homeless and without stable address details.
Losing your home means losing your address
In 21st century Britain, an address is not just a location — it’s a de facto form of ID. Without a fixed address, these already at-risk people are cut off from crucial services such as healthcare, receiving post, applying for jobs, getting benefits and opening a bank account.
At Monese, we understand how not having an address, or proof of address, becomes a huge barrier to accessing financial services.
How does ProxyAddress work?
To combat this prevailing problem, ProxyAddress uses duplicated address details of existing homes to provide those facing homelessness with a consistent, secure and free address, which they can use to access the support they need. These are addresses donated by individuals or organisations. During the pilot program in Lewisham, people facing homelessness can access the scheme via Lewisham Council. The council's housing department will guide them through a homelessness application, which includes an eligibility check. They’ll then be issued with a ProxyAddress and presented with the option to sign up to Monese and other providers.
Homelessness in the UK
Rough sleeping in the UK has risen sharply in the last decade — up 165% since 2010. New research conducted by ProxyAddress shows that more than 1 in 20 people believe they’ll face homelessness within the next six months, and 1 in 5 know at least one person who’s been made homeless in the last three years, rising to 1 in 3 for under-25s. ProxyAddress found that these stark numbers are due to inaccessible housing and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, among other contributing factors.
How we’re helping
While we don’t ask for traditional documents such as a utility bill or a credit check to open an account at Monese like banks do, we do need an address at which to register a customer’s account and send their Monese card to.
During the trial with ProxyAddress, people registered homeless with Lewisham Council will be eligible to participate and sign up to Monese using their allocated proxy address. Upon signing up with us, they’ll receive a non-personalised debit card giving them instant access to any funds that are deposited into their accounts. They’ll also be upgraded to a Monese Premium account for free.
Financial services for all
We’re committed to financial inclusion here at Monese. Many of our customers are working in the gig economy, self-employed or living in a different European country to that in which they were born, and aren’t so well served by mainstream banks.
We allow people without a credit history or the traditional documents required by banks, to open an account with us quickly and easily. Customers can also use our app in 14 languages and get help from our multilingual Support team. Finally, our money transfer service allows our customers to send money back home at excellent international exchange rates.
This new partnership with ProxyAddress is one of several initiatives we’ve launched to make sure financial services are open to everyone:
- March 2019: We launched an online directory of inclusive financial institutions, depending on customers’ needs, as part of our ongoing work with the Emerging Payments Association
- July 2020: We more than doubled our cash top-up network by launching tens of thousands of new locations in Europe via a partnership with Paysafecash. Cash top-up functionality is another key element that customers expect from their primary account. Together with our Post Office and PayPoint partnerships in the UK, we’ve created one of the largest cash top-up networks in Europe
We sincerely hope that via this partnership with ProxyAddress, we’re able to help even more people in our communities. If you’re someone who’ll benefit from this new partnership, we’d love to hear from you. Get in touch with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.