Banking for Users Without Banking Services such as Asylum Seekers

Wow I am humbled by the greatness of Monzo and its staff’s vision. Thank you so much. :tada:

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Wonder what percentage of people in these groups have a smart phone and data connection, Will there be some form of alternative access, such as web ?

You’d be surprised - though maybe smartphones + wifi is more likely - (ignore the title / tone of the first article, it’s only ‘obvious’ that they would if you read certain sources of news) -

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All the asylum seekers I have met in London have Smartphones and those I have visited in their accomodation or homes have had broadband or wifi too.

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Good to know, thanks, guess this is something I hadn’t given much thought too

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Following on from Jonas’ comment, it was great to read yesterday in an interview with Tom, that Monzo already has a current account service for the unbanked in mind already -

he also shared some insight into the scale of the problem & the impact it has -

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This thread illustrates just how difficult it is to open a current account in the UK at the moment, as a refugee :pensive:

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As noted in this other thread:

… the Lords Select Committee released a report relevant to this topic on 25th March 2017.

The Select Committee on Financial Exclusion calls on the Financial Conduct Authority and Banks to give greater priority to tackling financial exclusion in the UK. With more than 1.7 million people in the UK without a bank account and 40% of the working age population with less than £100 in savings, the Committee asks them to end the scandal of the poorest being excluded from even the most basic financial services.

The report can be downloaded from this page:

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Very good. Just because they are refugees in another country or internally displaced doesn’t mean they poor beggars and should not be entultle to basic rights to communication and fabulous facilities. They are also humans and they have rights to use these facilities. They must use it to bring property to their lives and make them independent.

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There is someone on Mumsnet who is trying (and struggling) to help some refugees open bank accounts.

A couple of folk over there have suggested Monzo , is this is something you would be able to assist with?

If so maybe you could go do some outreach on MN, good Samaritans, and good advertising :wink:

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Monzo usually require passports. Some refugees lose theirs.

Also, have a look here:

I have heard that monese can be quite a bit more flexible in their ID requirements than Monzo, though these are unsubstantiated rumours.

Would love to know more about this as well.

As Jonas mentioned Monzo wants to provide accounts for the unbanked. Tristan’s mentioned to me recently that it’s still in their plans. It’ll be a while before they’re ready though.

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I’m pretty sure there was an article about this topic a while back that was big news, after someone tweeted about their journey around banks trying to open an account for an asylum seeker or immigrant. I feel like perhaps Tom commented to say Monzo would try to help, and that may be how I first heard about them. But I could be misremembering…

They would have heaps of official government documentation to be able to claim asylum. Photo ID is the biggest problem.

Credit union might be worth a try, a lot of them do debit cards these days

As a former director of a credit union I can say however that they (are supposed to) apply the same level of KYC and AML as a bank does. So they may have to hunt around for a more lax credit union with less stringent documentation requirements.

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Forcing users to move to current accounts has forced my refugee friend off Monzo - any way to get her an account again?

It wasn’t really that it was forced, more that a product was withdrawn.
I’m guessing your friend hasn’t got any photo documents? You could ask in chat or your friend could try a prepaid from another provider

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@jonas said this in Jan 2017. I hope he can update if this is something still in works or in long grass.

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If your friend has refugee status they should have a biometric residence permit which can be used for ID to open a bank account

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Hello :wave: please ask your friend to contact us through the in app chat or emailing help@monzo.com so we can discuss and review their circumstances.

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