Revolut signals banking revolution with 30,000 Irish customers

The fintech start-up, which has raised more than $15m, is targeting 1m customers

Revolut is  rolling out a business platform to help companies manage international payments, payroll and corporate travel.

Revolut is rolling out a business platform to help companies manage international payments, payroll and corporate travel.

 

More than 30,000 customers have joined Revolut, an app-based banking alternative that launched locally 18 months ago, the company has said.

The London-based fintech start-up is targeting 1 million customers globally by the end of 2017, with Ireland now the firm’s fifth-biggest market.

“Our goal for this stage was to hit 15,000 customers in Ireland, so we are delighted that we’ve doubled customer-acquisition targets. We are aiming for 100,000 Irish users by the end of the year,” said Peter O’Higgins, a Cork native and chief financial officer of Revolut.

“Unlike other markets, the Irish are victim to an endless stream of charges for simple things like contactless payments and ATM withdrawals. Revolut has never charged for these services and fully intends to help keep Irish money in Irish pockets – not the banks coffers,” he added.

The company was launched by Nikolay Storonsky and Vlad Yatsenko in July 2015. Since then it has raised more than $15 million (€13.76 million) in investment from the likes of Index Ventures, Balderton Capital and Seedcamp. It has also gained 540,000 customers across 42 countries.

In addition, the firm with headquarters in Canary Wharf, which holds an electronic money licence from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK, last year successfully raised £1 million from a crowdfunding campaign which was oversubscribed by 11,000 would-be investors.

Revolut is in the process of rolling out a business platform to help companies manage international payments, payroll and corporate travel.

Eliminating unfair fees

The company says it is intent on disrupting 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.

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 exchange rate, transfer in 23 currencies to any bank in the world, and spend fee-free in 120 currencies with a contactless MasterCard.

In addition to its financial service offerings, Revolut claims a wealth of technological advantages over traditional banks, including real-time spending alerts, budgeting controls, bill splitting and the ability to immediately freeze cards should they be lost or stolen.

Among its rivals in Ireland is Berlin-based start-up N26, which had 10,000 Irish customers, about 10 per cent of which are subscribers to its premium service, which costs €5.90 a month, or €70.80 a year.

Revolut last month announced plans to introduce its own premium account which will give members cheaper deals and the opportunity to participate in a forthcoming £4 million crowdfund campaign that will be part of the company’s larger Series B round.

A 12-month membership to Revolut Premium costs €82 and offers subscribers fee-free currency exchanges at interbank rates, a premium MasterCard, overseas medical insurance, a doubling of limits on ATM withdrawals and 24x7 customer support.

Revolut said about 5 per cent of Irish customers had signed up for the premium service so far.