Take a selfie to open your current account in 20 countries: Monese is ready to go viral with European launch

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Monese allows customers to open a bank account with a video of themselves for identification (Source: Getty)

Monese, the platform which allows users to set up a digital current account with little more than a selfie, is set to expand into Europe today.

Originating in the UK, the startup is designed to make it easier for people – especially foreign nationals – to set up a current account when they may not have the documentation demanded by a traditional bank.

Today, the business is expanding beyond borders and will now be available in an additional 19 European countries.

“Our mission has always been to provide the technology that enables people to live, travel and work freely anywhere in the world. Expanding into Europe takes us one step closer to that goal,” said Monese's founder Norris Koppel.

The business began in 2013, after Koppel – originally from Estonia – found it an uphill struggle to open a bank account in the UK.

People without a UK driving licence may be required to bring several other documents proving their identity and address, which is especially difficult for those who have just moved house.

Yet setting up a Monese account “takes just minutes”, according to Koppel. Customers need only take a video “selfie”, a snap of their passport or national identification and fill in a few details.

Although Monese is full licensed, it is not technically a bank so cannot make loans, invest money or provide interest.

However, Koppel added that this may be seen as an advantage by some customers. It makes it impossible to go overdrawn, which can be costly, and means customers' money is at no risk.

Monese closed its series A venture capital funding round last December, raising $15.8m (£12.4m). 

But the business is not content to stop there, as Koppel added that he expects to seek more investment over the coming years.