Monese vs Starling for business banking

Updated on 7 August 2023

In the past few years, the UK banking industry has been disrupted by the rise of digital-only “challenger banks.” These neobanks offer an array of competitive services to businesses, aiming to leverage digital technology for easier and more efficient banking. In this comparative article, we will focus on two significant players in this space: Monese vs Starling Bank. We will delve into their features, fees, unique offerings, and consider which of the two might be the right fit for your business banking needs.

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Monese vs Starling

FeatureMoneseStarling Bank
Full FSCS ProtectionMonese funds are safeguarded in separate customer accounts, but are not covered by the FSCSStarling is covered by the FSCS up to £85,000
Free Business Account OptionFree plan available with basic featuresFree business account available for small businesses, freelancers, and sole traders
UK Account Number and Sort CodeProvided for business accountsProvided for all business accounts
Euro IBANAvailable for international transactionsAvailable for European transactions
Free Card Transactions in the UKNo charge for card transactions in the UKNo charge for card transactions in the UK
Free ATM Withdrawals£1 per withdrawal in the UKFree ATM withdrawals in the UK
Direct Debit SupportSupported with the business accountSupported with all business accounts
Standing Order SupportSupported with the business accountSupported with all business accounts
24/7 Customer SupportAvailable via email and phoneAvailable via in-app chat, email, and phone
Real-time NotificationsNotifications for all account activitiesNotifications for all account activities
Google Pay/Apple PaySupported for all accountsSupported for all accounts
Integrated AccountingNot availableAvailable; Starling partners with accounting software platforms like Xero and QuickBooks
Overdraft FacilityNot availableAvailable with interest charges
Cheque Scanning via Mobile AppNot availableAvailable for all business accounts
Business Loan ServicesNot availableAvailable; terms and conditions apply
Business Credit CardNot availableNot available
Multiple User AccessNot availableAvailable; multiple cards can be issued for the same business account
Instant Payment AlertsAvailable for all transactionsAvailable for all transactions
Cash Deposit via Post OfficeNot availableAvailable; small fee applies
Mobile Check DepositNot availableAvailable for all business accounts
Monese vs Starling

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Metro Business Banking
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Mettle Business Banking
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Monzo Business Banking
✓ Business Current Account
✓ Dedicated mobile app experience
✓ FSCS Protected
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Virgin Money
✓ Business M Account
✓ In-Store, Online & App Banking
✓ Insights & Forecasting Platform
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Monese

Monese is a pioneer in providing mobile banking services without the need for a UK address, making it accessible for those who are often underserved by traditional banks. Its simplicity and user-friendly interface make it an enticing option for businesses looking for an uncomplicated banking solution.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Quick Setup: Monese boasts a quick and easy set-up, making it ideal for businesses needing to start banking immediately.
  • No UK Address Required: The ability to open an account without a UK address is a unique feature that sets Monese apart.
  • Free Basic Business Account: A key attraction for small businesses is the option to have a free business account.
  • Fee-free Foreign Currency Spending: Monese does not charge extra for card transactions in foreign currencies, making it a good option for businesses with international operations.

Cons

  • Limited Business Services: Monese lacks certain features such as business loans, multiple user access, integrated accounting, and overdraft facilities.
  • No FSCS Protection: Monese doesn’t offer Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) protection which may be concerning for businesses.
  • ATM Withdrawal Fees: Unlike Starling, Monese charges for ATM withdrawals, which could be an additional cost for businesses regularly dealing in cash.

Table of fees and charges

Fee TypeAmount
Monthly Fee for Free Business Account£0
ATM Withdrawals£1 per withdrawal
International Money TransfersUp to 2% fee
Monese fees and charges

Unique and Standout Features

Monese’s standout feature is its flexibility.

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As one of the few banking services that doesn’t require a UK address, it provides an inclusive service to those who may struggle with traditional banks’ criteria.

This can be a boon for businesses without a fixed base or freelancers who travel frequently.

Furthermore, Monese’s policy of no extra charge for foreign currency spending makes it an attractive choice for businesses with overseas transactions.

Starling Bank

Starling Bank is a fully licensed and regulated bank that offers a comprehensive range of business banking services. With a broad spectrum of features, Starling has managed

to make a significant impact on the market and has become an appealing option for small to medium-sized businesses.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Full Range of Business Banking Services: Starling offers a comprehensive suite of features such as integrated accounting, business loans, and overdraft facilities.
  • FSCS Protection: Starling offers full FSCS protection, ensuring customers’ funds are safeguarded up to £85,000.
  • No ATM Withdrawal Fees: Starling doesn’t charge for ATM withdrawals, making cash transactions cost-effective.
  • Multiple User Access: Starling supports multi-user access, which is beneficial for businesses with multiple decision-makers.

Cons

  • No Business Credit Card: Like Monese, Starling does not offer business credit cards, which may limit spending flexibility.
  • May not be Suitable for Larger Businesses: While Starling’s services are extensive, they are primarily tailored towards SMEs rather than larger corporations.

Table of fees and charges

Fee TypeAmount
Monthly Fee for Free Business Account£0
ATM Withdrawals£0
Electronic Money Transfers within UK£0
Starling Bank fees and charges

Unique and standout features

Starling’s strongest asset is its robust suite of business banking features.

Its integrated accounting tools allow businesses to manage their finances more efficiently.

Starling also provides business loans and overdraft facilities, which are particularly useful for SMEs needing additional capital.

Its cheque imaging feature is a significant advantage, as it allows businesses to deposit cheques via the mobile app, saving a trip to the bank.

Conclusion – Monese vs Starling

When considering Monese vs Starling for business banking, the decision will largely depend on your business’s specific needs.

If you value inclusivity, flexibility, and fee-free foreign transactions, Monese could be an excellent fit.

However, for more comprehensive business services, including integrated accounting, business loans, and FSCS protection, Starling Bank may be the preferable option.

Both banks provide free business accounts, and they are built with digital convenience and real-time account management in mind.

Ultimately, the choice should be dictated by which features align best with your business needs and operations.

FAQ

Is my money safe with Monese and Starling Bank?

While Starling Bank offers full FSCS protection, meaning your deposits are protected up to £85,000, Monese does not. However, Monese does safeguard client funds in segregated accounts.

Can I deposit cash with these banks?

You can deposit cash into your Starling account at any Post Office in the UK. However, Monese does not currently support cash deposits.

Do these banks offer overdrafts or business loans?

Starling Bank provides both overdraft facilities and business loan services. Monese does not offer these services.

Can I set up Direct Debits and Standing Orders?

Yes, both Monese and Starling Bank support Direct Debits and Standing Orders.

Do they offer customer support?

Yes, both Monese and Starling Bank offer 24/7 customer support.

Can I use these accounts for international transactions?

Yes, both banks support international transactions. Monese does not charge extra for card transactions in foreign currencies, whereas Starling charges a small fee for foreign currency transfers.

Do these banks offer business credit cards?

As of now, neither Monese nor Starling Bank offers business credit cards.

Do these banks support multiple users for the same account?

Starling Bank allows multiple users on the same account, which can be very helpful for businesses with multiple decision-makers. However, Monese does not currently offer this feature.

Can I scan and deposit cheques using these banks’ apps?

Starling Bank allows you to deposit cheques via their mobile app. Monese currently does not have this feature.

What are the charges for ATM withdrawals?

Starling Bank offers free ATM withdrawals, while Monese charges £1 per withdrawal.

Reviewed by , Managing Director

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