Passing Know Your Customer tests

My wife is coming to the UK for a longer period, before we were dividing our lives between mostly Asia and partly UK / Europe and now its going to be mostly UK/Europe and partly Asia.

She has a long term 5 year UK visa but lacks any western banking, of course I would like her to experience the ‘banking 2.0’ feeling that Monzo gives. She has no need of a current account, Monzos basic card based offering is perfect, especially as its easy for me to fund and top up via my own or my cards.

The problem I have is satisfying banking regulations for know your customer. She wont have any utility bills, she wont have a UK driving license, she has no existing western banking to UK addresses (I have 2 UK addresses, one Dutch address, one Asian address and a Portugese ones for winter… My life is fluid to say the least !!!).

What does anyone suggest to solve this ?? How does someone new to the UK, attain their first banking relationship. I had never considered this previously.

Monzo doesnt do joint accounts… Can Monzo allocate ‘me’ a second card ?? Even to a second address ?? Would some kind of private rental contract verify an address legally ??

Not sure how easily Monzo would accept her without existing evidence of her already resident in UK, however Monese I beleive will issue UK accounts to those planning to go to UK on evidence from their existing residency in Europe, so maybe she could do something with them if she has any proofs from your Dutch address?

Yeah I realize Monzo need evidence of her being resident here… Thats clearly non negotiable and I am not trying to break or bend the requirements… What I am trying to work around / think about / find out is any ideas on what satisfies them that she is resident most easily.

We dont intend to put any of my utilities into her name.
She will keep using her non UK driving license (on the proviso I can get her insured)…
She wont be working or apply for a NI number.

Are mobile phone bills ‘utilities’ ??
Any idea of something government she can quickly register for ?? Like NHS card ??
If I had one of her overseas bank accounts (Thai) put to a UK address ??

As Monzo do KYC daily I figured maybe they have an idea of what documents ‘verify’ an address legally that are readily available to a new arrival. I dont know if one of my legacy UK banks will let me add her as a joint ??

Or as said before, can ‘I’ get 2 Monzo accounts ?? I have 2 UK addresses both with IDs linked to them.

When we live and travel around asia its 99% a cash economy. You pull from an ATM and spend, here in the UK and Europe its becoming more cashless and it would be good for her to make more of a habit of that when we are here.

This might be easier than you expect, as long as your wife has a valid ID & a UK address that the card can be sent to, then she can apply for a card - simple :slight_smile:


Of course she has a passport, which contains a 5 year visa so right to be here, and has an address.

Does that mean she simply applies for the debit card ?? That would be really great.

That’s definitely it for the prepaid card & I’m 95% sure that, that’s all she’ll need for the current account - obviously the support team can confirm, if you message them through the app.

My understanding is that the new verification process covers the checks needed in order for a user to get a current account.
And you’ll notice that the blog I’ve just linked to there doesn’t mention any changes to the address requirements.

So it looks like that it :boom:


I’m pretty sure that she will be able to get a card, but to make sure, I’d recommend contacting Monzo directly.

Phone: 0800 802 1456


Well thats unexpectedly good news. I was imagining all kinds of hoops to get her first ‘address’ in a system.

Shes going to be here over the next few years, its just that starting process when all utilities are in my name.

I just had the exact opposite this last 2 months, forming corporations remotely I need to show and prove my asian addressing, local banks over there dont post statements and utility bills are linked to the legal house owner, which non nationals cannot be.

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When I moved to UK, I had good luck opening account with Barclays. That was on a third day after I landed, I had passport and Polish ID card. I was living on a friend’s couch for a bit and I had no problems opening an account. My friend’s council tax bill was good enough as some sort of proof (of address?), even though it didn’t have my name on it.

My flatmate, similar story, but this time couch was mine and he was the occupier, got rejected by Barclays, but had no problems at Lloyds.

Monzo cannot be any harder than that, but in case something doesn’t work out, I don’t think it’s that grim to open account in UK without any history, as long as paperwork and id documents are valid. BUT, Monzo, of course, is superior. :smiley:

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My experience is my primary bankers are offshore and due to that and the whole private banking / relationship manager / HNW customer situation they seem to have higher barriers of entry due to money laundering and the kind of size amounts that go through those accounts.

I also am shareholder / owner of a precious metals retail and storage company and we have to do KYC to satisfy mone laundering regs and even issues with FATCA and american investors.

So from both of those address verification is taken firmly, but also in asia can be hard to do. I guess I was overthinking it.

A simple internet/phone bill was enough for me to open a Monzo, so I guess you could just take a SIM only contract or internet plan and you’ll be good to go. :slight_smile:

Out of interest, when did you submit that & were there any exceptional circumstances that led to you being required to do so? I wasn’t aware that, that is part of the process but my verification seems to have gone quite smoothly..

At the time I didn’t have my passport so I had to prove my identity by submitting additional documents by email (not through the usual in-app process) and I sent a proof of address as well - I’m not sure if a proof of address is actually required in the standard in-app flow, but if it is then I assume a phone bill will be accepted.

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Thanks for clarifying :+1:

I’m pretty sure that it usually isn’t (there are exceptions when it will be), as Monzo sends your card to your address. But for anyone else who’s reading this - please don’t rely on this advice as I don’t work for Monzo.

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How I believe it works for banking institutions…

They perform a basic credit check on you, as long as you have been at your address for a while, you have voted from there, you have other accounts there… Its instantly a go… If you havent got that record on the database, then you need to back it up with more…

For the company I am involved with that has to do KYC we are not a banking institution and cant (probably could but with costs we dont need) do that lookup…

I got a national insurance number pretty easily with a tier 4 student visa, but they’ve stopped issuing physical cards so you get a flimsy piece of paper you have to bring around to act as proof (that I keep losing). It took me less than 2 weeks to sort it out I think


There is also an option to look up and print your National Insurance number online in one of the HMRC services, maybe the Tax Online or Self Assessment one. That takes you to a page where you can print out an A4 sheet with your details and your NINO in big print. Sorry I can’t provide the URL but I saw my friend from abroad do it recently

Yeah I have to be very cautious about things like that though. She will not be tax resident and I have to be very careful of my days totals too.

I got it just in case, I hardly need it so I can deal with that piece of paper they sent me (still in the battered envelope :joy:) I’ve probably used it all of twice to vote/ fill out forms

If she has a valid visa they usually state the number of hours you can work on it, and she can apply for a NIN no problem :+1:t3: I don’t think I have to pay for it since I don’t work but idk if it’s under the same thing as the NHS surcharge, which I have to pay while applying for a visa