If you tend to travel a lot or work for a foreign company, you probably know the pains of currency exchange. Each money transfer is topped with a ‘small’ transaction fee. Together with withdrawal fees, additional payments for using your credit card online, and various other charges they can make up a substantial part of your budget. Revolut is a dynamic startup that, although just two years old, has already disrupted the banking sector with their revolutionary application that eliminates all of these pesky fees.
“Our founder and CEO, Nikolay Storonskyi, came across the idea of Revolut while he was spending his holidays in Las Vegas,” said Jakub Zakrzewski, responsible for international expansion in Revolut. “He noticed that the transaction fees summed up to 15% of all his expenses. He was sure there must be a better way to control his finances while switching between currencies. His idea has immediately found applause among both customers and investors: in just two years, we’ve acquired over a million users and received record-breaking investments from Index Ventures and Balderton Capital – companies that have backed up unicorns such as Facebook, Skype, MySQL or Wonga.”
The core product of Revolut is a mobile app that can be connected to a pre-paid MasterCard or Visa card. Every time you pay with this card, you’re guaranteed an interbank exchange rate – typically about 5% lower than with a regular card. International money transfers, card payments, and currency exchange are all offered free of charge, with no hidden transaction fees. Sounds amazing, right?
To start using this platform, you first need to download the Revolut app and complete a verification process. After uploading a photo of your ID and entering your personal data, you can order a Revolut card. It can be a virtual card (free of charge) or a physical card that comes to you at the delivery cost. If you choose a premium account with higher monthly limits and 24/7 customer service, you will have to pay an additional 7.99 EUR per month.
Revolut is not a bank per se – they haven’t obtained a banking license so far. Still, their collaboration with one of the London banks allows them to offer their customers almost all functionalities of a regular bank. For example, they already are able to convert between 120 different currencies.
The company grows at an astounding pace. Just after two years, it has over 160 employees in four offices – London, Cracow (customer support and compliance), Moscow or St. Petersburg (IT). They already began expansion to global markets such as USA and Asia. On top of that, the Revolut team plans to release a bunch of new functionalities: Apple Pay and Android Pay support, as well as a wider range of financial products such as insurance, savings accounts, and investment accounts.