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Refugee finance | Photo source Pixabay

Finnish government works with startup on finance for refugees


New prepaid cards could replace cash welfare pay outs provided to refugees by the government.

Finnish finance startup MONI strives to make the banking experience simpler and more streamlined, a notion shared by Finland’s government as it enters a partnership with the company. The government has chosen MONI for a pilot program to provide refugees with MONI Prepaid MasterCards and mobile-first, customisable payment accounts to replace the current cash payments of government benefits. The partnership is also experimenting with salary payments to MONI accounts for those refugees who have obtained a permission to work.

With the help of the Finnish Immigration Service, the topped-up cash cards have been distributed to a number of refugees, allowing them to order their own finances should they ever obtain rights to work. The customisable aspect on the service can be controlled and therefore removed by MONI, an element that is important due to strict laws on bank accounts used by refugees. MONI’s interface is available in Arabic, Farsi and Somali, making it even simpler for those who don’t speak Finnish or English.

With millions of migrants currently seeking refuge in Europe alone, there has never been more of a necessity to think of innovative ways to help those in need. A comparable mobile banking app for Middle Eastern migrant workers provided users with free access to otherwise expensive banking services, while one French catering company took one step further by employing refugees as chefs. How could fintech like MONI’s creation have an impact on your business spending?




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