Why would I need a SSN to open a Monzo (USA) account?

Hey. On Twitter Monzo has stated that in order to open a US account you’d need to have a SSN. However, I don’t get why they are enforcing this. As an international student I was able to open a US bank account with Chase just by showing them my passport, my visa and my utility bill. Bank of America, Wells Fargo and other banks offer the same. It’s therefore not correct that you’re required by law to have a SSN in order to open an account.

Does anyone know why Monzo are enforcing it?

It is also explained here.

This might be due to the bank they’re partnering with and the requirements they’ve put on it. Also as there won’t be branches it’s probably easier to prove with an SSN

My guess they’ll implement that later, but to get the account of the ground it’s easier to just allow ssn

With Chase I’d to physically go into a branch, but with that said. All they did was to make a copy of my pasport, my visa and my utility bill. I could do that myself and upload it online, like with the verification process of Monzo in the UK. If they are worried about the documents being fake, I guess you could always get them notorized.

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Hi there Bendik - I’ve moved your topic to our US forum and added US to the title, since the topic is only relevant for our US accounts.

As far as your actual question, let me follow this up with the US team and get back to you :grinning:

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The fact you went into branch shows you were at least in the US :grin: Notarisation sounds like it would use a lot of COps time to verify people

Not having a SSN was the only reason why I’d to go into bank. Getting a document notized is as easy as taking it to the bank or another public place and have them stamp it, as far as I know.

Thank you! I’d really like to open a US account and get rid of my old school bank.

Do you have an ITIN number, Bendik? I believe that international students and other non-permanent residents get these in place of an SSN, from the IRS.

Unfortunately, I do not. The only way to get one is to get a on-campus job. I will try to apply for a on-capus job, get a ITTIN, apply for Monzo and then quit the job if that’s what it takes, but I was hoping to avoid it.

My understanding is that we are hoping to offer accounts to non-permanent US residents, if they can provide an ITIN.

I don’t believe we are - at present - looking into alternative verification methods that don’t require either the SSN or ITIN, so if there’s a relatively simple way for you to get the latter, I’d advise doing that :slight_smile:

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Really disappointing as I was also hoping to get a US Monzo account given I am moving there for 2 years but will not have an SSN (cannot easily get unless you have a work offer letter) or ITIN.

Banks, as previously mentioned, are fine opening an account without an SSN if you visit in person and given the Monzo accounts required in-person meetups, would be great to be able to get one!

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Hey @bendik :wave:

Great question!

Since we’re just getting started in the US we have some specific regulatory requirements we need to meet to begin making money work for everyone out here.

For example: giving us a SSN or ITIN. Unfortunately we can’t be flexible around this right now, and we’re bummed that this means you can’t join us yet.

In the Monzo way, we’re starting small, and listening to our customers so we’ll definitely take note that this isn’t a good solution for international students. Like Simon said, we’re looking into offering accounts to non-permanent US residents so please keep an eye on our blog, and follow us on Twitter for updates.

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Based on my experience with US banks over more than 20 years banks accept any ID if you physically walk in to a brick and mortar branch, but very few (if any) bank(s) are set up to verify an ITIN online, ITIN and SSN have the exact same format, but ITINs don’t work online. Will Monzo accept ITIN either online or a pdf of the IRS doc? I have have four e-commerce payment gateways in the US all accepted on my ITIN, I have never been able to open a bank account online with the ITIN.

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Not strictly true. It needs doing by a Notary Public, which is usually a solicitor/attorney. Bank branches in the US will generally have one or two staff who have had the necessary legal training, but as I found, if they’re on lunch, you’ll need to go back again! Certainly not something a startup digital bank would want to entertain from Day 1.

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Hi Thor - you will be able to open a Monzo account with your ITIN online in the same way you would with you SSN.

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Hi

Any updates when Monzo will fully up and running in the US? Ready to accept applications.

Regards

Thor

As it stands, we are unlikely to start mailing out cards in Q4, but we will be holding more launch events… Watch this space! :eyes: