New to the UK? Here’s what you need to know…

Open a UK banking account instantly with the award-winning Monese mobile app. You don’t need a UK address and there are no credit checks. Try it free now.

Things can be a little overwhelming when you start a new life in the UK. You have to get used to a whole new way of living, new cultures and you’ll feel like you have a million things to sort out – so where do you even begin! Here’s some of the most important points that should get your attention, and what you need to do get set up in the right way so you can have the best time in the UK.


As you are already here there’s a high chance you are already working and have all your visa’s or N.I issues already sorted, but what about your next move, or finding a second job to supplement your earnings? First of all, use your network to see if there are any vacancies. Remember to be discreet, you don’t want to spook your boss into thinking you’re leaving until you are ready to go! If you are looking for money just to tide you over you need to download the job app JobandTalent. It lets you connect with employers and find work fast. They say it’s possible for potential employees to be matched, interviewed and get hired within hours. It’s great if you are looking for work that you can start as soon as possible. Read our guide about JobandTalent to see how you sign up.


When you get to the UK you are going to need to have access to a current account so you can easily get paid, transfer money and get a debit card. But you’ll find that getting an account is not as simple as it may seem. Many banks need you to provide them with 3 months worth of proof of UK address and proof of income before you can get an account. Obviously, this is not so easy if you have just arrived from overseas! Monese is different – you can get a UK current account with Monese in as little as 120 seconds, all you need is the app and your national i.d or passport. Once you’ve signed up you will be given a UK sort code and account number which you can give you your employers to get paid. You will also be sent your own Monese contactless Visa debit card which you can use at any card outlet that accepts Visa cards and contactless – including the Transport for London network.


The UK is a well-connected place with great public transport and good road networks. In London, most people’s daily commute consists of a bus, train or tube journey, while cycling has seen a spike and will continue to grow now that there is a cycle superhighway, and further planned safe cycle routes. Getting from a-b has never been easier, but you just need to know how the system works. In London, most people use an Oystercard or their own NFC-enabled bank card (your Monese card will work) or device (like their mobile phone) to pay for their travel. One thing to note is you can’t use cash on London buses anymore, they only accept contactless cards or the lesser spotted paper travel card. In other cities, their transport works differently and not everywhere accepts NFC payments. For more information about transport networks in Manchester visit here and for Birmingham visit here.


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