All the reasons you should get Monzo as an international student

Here are all the reasons you should open a current account with Monzo, to start your student life in the UK:


But you can’t reliably receive funds from your home country into your Monzo account. :man_shrugging:


Yeah thats a real big omission that needs sorted before they market themselves at foreign international students in my eyes anyway


As an EU student I still need to transfer fee to my Starling account and then to my Monzo…


My partner is going to start her job in the UK next month. Even though she has opened her joint account and normal Monzo account due to her visiting me in the past years unfortunately she can’t transfer her money directly from Malaysia to her UK account since Monzo doesn’t support international-banking. She has transferred to my Natwest account and I have transferred to her Monzo account. It’s a bit of pain. This is where Starling shines because it supports international transfer although I am not a big fan of Starling. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:


Monzo really shouldn’t be pushing this - you can’t reliably receive money from abroad unless you’re using a service such as TransferWise which the significant majority do not do.

The article is also very misleading - why would they need a bank account to be paid for a part-time job? The places most international students work pay in cash.

Edit: Monzo offers a really good product and service, but for international students Monzo is highly unsuitable.


Agree that the article is misleading, also:

You just need an address in the UK where we can send your debit card (like a friend’s house or your work).

Why would an international student moving to a new country already have friends there? Even more bizarrely, why would they have a place of work? They’re moving for their studies, not to start a job. On top of that, UK visas limit non-EEA students to crappy 20 hour/week jobs – not likely something you’d have set up before arriving.

What happened to transparency? There’s no mention of the inability to receive foreign currency or the fact that they wouldn’t be able to deposit the physical cash they’ve brought over without paying a fee. Or the fact they only report to one (niche) CRA, so will hamper the students ability to even have a credit file.

This is great

So it’s useful to know that you can get a bank account with Monzo, even if you don’t have proof of address yet.

But ultimately useless for non-EEA students because you’re not going to get a visa to study without demonstrating proof that you have somewhere to live.

Whether you’re putting yourself through your studies, you’ve blown through your student loan, or you want to avoid maxing out your overdraft

  1. You can’t come to the UK as a non-EEA student without having demonstrated that you have all the funds available for tuition fees and maintenance, often having to demonstrate that you have the cash upfront for all 3 years for a cost of living the home office decides, usually higher than you’d actually need.
  2. You can’t get a (UK) student loan as a non-EEA student.
  3. You’re not going to offer an international student with zero credit history an overdraft – if you did, that’d be irresponsible. So why mention it?

Sounds like this was written by someone who has no idea how life as an international student is.


But your friend whips out a crisp £20 note and offers to spot you.

If they’re on Monzo too, you can pay them back in a few taps or they can split the bill with you

How do you split cash transactions?

This isn’t true. I’m an international student and have had a number of jobs, all which required a UK bank account.

Only on the international transfer front. I use a NatWest account from whenever I get money from home (which isn’t more than three/four times a year) and transfer everything to Monzo straight away. For me, it works better than any other current account and I love it - I would definitely encourage anyone to get it.


I have successfully transfer my money from Malaysia to my Monzo account using Skrill.
Note that the reviews for Skrill-to-Skrill account transfer transfer is very bad, don’t use it.
But the direct transfer to bank account service provided by Skrill is amazing, with a comparatively lower exchange rate and zero transaction fee! It helped me to save a lot of money! It’s even better than the rate offered by transferwise


Hi, how long does it take via skrill to transfer money.

I have transferred 3 times. All took less than 20 minutes to reach my Monzo account.

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That’s fast. Impressive

Agree with what @Zain and @TTJJ said.

Monzo is not well suited as is right now for international students or really even really students from the EEA if we’re being completely honest.

Supporting inbound bank transfers with some kind of collaboration with TransferWise could fix that. Or if Monzo could implement full international payments support without TransferWise then that would be even better.

As someone who isn’t from the UK, after I decided to commit to full Monzo and ever since then I’ve heavily relied on TransferWise. At one point when I mentioned to one of my friends, who has an account with Starling, the whole situation with Monzo and TransferWise he thought it was a bit rubbish that people with Monzo have to go through all that for international payments support.

As a side note since I saw it mentioned earlier, while some employers pay out in cash the kind of jobs an international or EEA student is likely to get would probably require a bank account and pay them using BACS. And I think it’s a stretch to say that any international or EEA student would get a job in the UK within the first couple of weeks of arriving let alone first couple of months.

I’m not gonna say too much about overdrafts, loans, credit scores, CRAs, or some of the other niggles that Zain and TTJJ and others mentioned above.

I would like to say also from opening my Monzo account in mid 2018, it was a good long while before other companies were happy accepting Monzo direct debit details.

I remember specifically Vanquis Bank in early 2019 initially asked me to provide bank account details for another bank because they didn’t accept Monzo direct debits yet for whatever reason although I know this specific issue with Vanquis has since been remedied and the problem has more or less been taken care of.

Not to beat a dead horse or anything but reporting to only one CRA and a somewhat niche one at that does hurt credit scores, I would know because my TransUnion score has been a lot worse than for example my Experian score.

I think being upfront about the fact that international students, or anybody not from the UK moving to the UK for however long for whatever reason, may have an incredibly hard time getting a loan or an overdraft or more likely won’t get one at all would help.

I think also a bit of information about what CRAs are, what credit scores are, some links on how to possibly improve them etc could help.

But the main issue is ultimately international payments and IBAN support although the latter has somewhat secretly been sort of working for a while now with some magic trickery required :rofl: .

And I think Monzo should really play to its strengths but they really needs to fix their flaws/weaknesses. When somebody else I know who is also not from the UK saw me using Monzo one day on my phone they were immediately intrigued and asked me what it was.

I’m not sure how many people like the person I know would be willing to put up with the TransferWise stuff to make Monzo work for them. I suspect not nearly enough would because the more friction you have with making something work the more you’ll turn off people from doing it. Just look at how many people abandon their shopping carts in e-commerce sites because of having to get off the sofa to grab their wallet and type their card information out. Spoiler alert: A lot of people give up because of the amount of friction.

Just my two cents. :grinning:


My child applied Monzo bank account week ago as international student from Singapore going to UK in Sep. Customer Service advised that they need to validate UK address through utility bill. We replied making it clear that this kind of validation is not required in our case as we want to open bank account before arriving UK. We offered to provide other document such as offer letter from Uni. Currently the application is still pending… Looks like there is conflict between what Monzo is advertising and actual application process. Can someone help on this?

You need a valid UK address for the card to be delivered to. We’re only customers, so it’s up to Monzo what they accept.

Take a look at their blogs:

Thanks, we have provided a UK deliver address to send the card during application process in Monzo app.

I’m not sure then other than pushing with Monzo sorry, as I said we’re only customers and I’m a UK resident so hopefully someone with experience will hop in.

Thank you for your help! I am just hoping someone from Monzo can clarify and respond to this thread.

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No problem, it’s unlikely a member of staff will respond on here. There aren’t that many staff on the forum any more.