Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

H2020

MONESE Report Summary

Project ID: 726574

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - MONESE (Innovative banking model for improved financial and economic inclusion of population groups that find it difficult to open a traditional bank account)

Reporting period: 2016-05-01 to 2017-01-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

MONESE project aims to scale up the technical capability of the banking service for reaching and being able to serve growing number of users – to increase the level of automation of user identification, scale up service architecture and introduce features required for EU-wide reach. Combining these innovations with our business model innovation (fixed-fee pricing, streamlined value proposition, value chain deconstruction, focus on underserved people) enables to achieve EU-wide scale in a profitable manner. As a result, banking account service becomes available to a large group of mobile, underserved and unbanked consumers (>56 million in EU), significantly increasing the economic and financial inclusion of these people.
In order to achieve the main objective, several specific sub-objectives have been defined:
1. To scale up system architecture in order to be able to serve at least 20 000 simultaneous users.
2. To finalize new features in order to be able to reach wider markets. For serving people across the Eurozone, we will introduce EUR-denominated bank accounts; for attracting mobile people, we will introduce multi-currency support which allows our customers to have multiple accounts across Europe, keep all their funds in one single place and thus significantly reduce any currency conversion charges.
3. To decrease the average time spent on user identification, allowing streamlined user experience and customer acquisition.
4. To test and assure the functionality of the improved service and validate the improved efficiency of the processes on 5 000 users.
5. To implement business model innovation for wide-scale market introduction – validate a fixed-fee pricing model EU-wide and build a network of at least 20 stakeholders for commercialization.
The MONESE project will result in a live banking service that can be used to fulfil the banking needs at low-cost fixed-fee pricing across European Economic Area. It provides quick account opening and can serve at least 20 000 users simultaneously.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

Within the first period four out of five technical WPs started: WP1 – WP3, and WP5. WP4 – Testing and validation starts in the second period and its proceedings will be reported in PPR2.

WP1 – Scale-up of system architecture required for serving the growing user base
The main objective of this work package is to develop and implement system architecture that could serve at least 20 000 users simultaneously without implications on system performance. Within the first period we have developed and tested upgraded architecture. With the new architecture we managed to increase transactions per second significantly by simply changing storage solution underneath the database. However the tests are still ongoing and the exact results can be provided by month Q3 2017.

WP2 – Finalization of new features required for wider market reach
We have now signed work oders for:
• Euro denominated accounts – SEPA Agency Banking with SEPA payments, direct debits and deposit banking
• Multi-currency Wallets
With work orders signed, we are now entering the final product definition phase with the suppliers, which we expect to be completed Q3 2017.

WP3 – Automation of user identification required for streamlined user experience and customer acquisition
The main goal of WP3 is to take our non-UK client identification process to a new level, by redesigning some of the core parts of our system and introducing more checks and data sources for client identification/verification. Within the first period we have implemented the face recognition solution, built integration with Twilio video call functionality and social media. The overall goal is to reduce the average time required for identification/registration. The exact time reduction can be measured in Q2 2017.

WP5 Commercialization and communication
The main goal for this task is to further define the project results’ exploitation plan and communicate the objectives, progress and results of the project. The WP runs in parallel to all other activities and is well in line with the planned time schedule.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

Opening a bank account is difficult particularly for mobile and vulnerable people. Monese Ltd has launched a mobile-first banking service that allows residents of European Economic Area (EEA) to open a bank account online. Although Monese services can be for anyone, a particular focus is placed on serving millions of underserved people with the highest unmet need – people that the traditional banks struggle to cater for, particularly mobile and vulnerable consumers. By January 2017 Monese had opened accounts for 50,000 customers, majority of whom were mobile people - people who had recently arrived to the United Kingdom. Most of these customers find it difficult to open a bank account in traditional banks and an account with Monese enables them to receive salaries, pay bills and do everyday spending.

Related information

Record Number: 198704 / Last updated on: 2017-05-23
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