Revolut banking start-up looks to double customer numbers in Ireland

Fintech says it now has 1.5m customers in Europe, as transactions climb

Revolut: the banking start-up said it is signing up between 6,000 and 8,000 customers a day

Revolut: the banking start-up said it is signing up between 6,000 and 8,000 customers a day

 

Revolut, the banking start-up, is looking to more than double the number of customers it has in Ireland, to 150,000 by the end of 2018, after announcing that it gained an additional 500,000 users across Europe in the last two months of 2017, to give it a bigger market share than some traditional banks.

The London-based fintech, which now has 1.5 million customers, and saw its monthly global transactions jump by more than 700 per cent in 2017, said its extra business helped it to break even for the first time in December.

The company told The Irish Times it had just 15,000 customers in Ireland at the end of 2016. “We’re now at 75,000 customers without much pushing from our side, but we’re now putting a lot of effort into Ireland, with card giveaways at big tech companies in Dublin, and we are running local community events across the Republic and the North,” Revolut’s communications manager, Chad West, said.

The company, which recently opened an office in Dublin and hired William Keane as its country manager, has said it plans to disrupt Irish banks by allowing users to spend globally at the real exchange rate and eliminating unfair fees for standard transactions, contactless payments and ATM withdrawals.

The start-up, which has raised $90 million (€73 million) from Index Ventures, Balderton Capitaland Ribbit Capital, among other investors, was launched by Nikolay Storonsky and Vlad Yatsenko in July 2015. It said that it is now signing up between 6,000 and 8,000 customers a day, to give it 350,000 daily active users and more than 800,000 monthly ones, and that it has processed 60 million transactions worth a total of $10 billion (€8 billion).

Revolut, which is shortly to expand into the US, China, Singapore and Australia, allows users to open a current account in 60 seconds, exchange currencies at the interbank rate, transfer funds in any of more than 20 currencies to any bank in the world, and spend fee-free in 120 currencies with a contactless Visa.

“Instead of becoming a bank from day one, we chose to focus our time and resources on product development and customer acquisition. This strategy is clearly paying off, as we have now firmly positioned ourselves as the market leader in Europe and soon the world,” Mr Storonsky, the company’s chief executive, said.

“Whilst it is encouraging to see that our business model is working, becoming a profitable business is not our priority right now. We are completely focused on expanding Revolut to as many countries around the world as possible.”

Mr Storonsky said talks about further expansion are under way in India, Brazil, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates.