Revolut launches as a bank in Republic with deposit accounts

Fintech’s 1.7m Irish customers can avail of additional services such as personal loans

Revolut has officially begun operating as a bank in the Republic with the launch of protected deposit accounts for Irish customers.

The fintech, which has 18 million customers globally and 1.7 million in Ireland, said it has operationalised its European specialised banking licence here. The result is that Irish customers can upgrade to Revolut Bank to avail of additional services.

These include deposit accounts and personal loans with rates starting from 5.99 APR (annual percentage rate).

Revolut said the upgrade process to become a banking customer only takes a few minutes and can all be done via its mobile app.

The launch of Revolut Bank comes amid a period of change in the local banking sector with both KBC and Ulster Bank exiting the market.

The launch of Revolut Bank comes after the fintech recently dropped plans to use an e-money licence it had secured from the Central Bank of Ireland.

The company, which was awarded a full banking licence by the European Central Bank in December, said last month it intended to use that licence to offer services – including personal loans – to customers here rather than the one approved by the Irish regulator.

The fintech’s banking licence allows it to provide bank accounts to Irish customers covered by the deposit guarantee of up to €100,000 per customer.

Revolut Bank is now live in 29 countries in the European Economic Area. The specialised bank licence used by Revolut allows it to provide limited services via its app along with an array of financial services and products offered by other group companies.

More than 150 million transactions a month are done via Revolut currently, the company said.

"Revolut is one of the fastest growing fintech companies in Europe because we put the customer at the heart of everything that we do. Our customer experience is second to none, we have no hidden fees, and we are constantly building new and innovative financial products," said Joe Heneghan, chief executive of of Revolut Bank.

“Launching the bank in Ireland will provide a greater level of security and confidence for our customers, and will enable us to launch a host of new products and services in the future,” he added.

Founded in July 2015 by Nik Storonsky and Vlad Yatsenko, Revolut is best known for consumer-oriented services. However, it has also been pushing deeper into business banking in recent years.

The company was valued at $33 billion (€30 billion) after raising $800 million from backers last year.