Revolut is a financial platform that was started in the UK as a means for people to transfer and exchange funds for personal and business use. As part of their platform they use an advanced mobile app along with offering current accounts as part of their services as well as many others.
It was started in 2015 by founders Nik Storonsky and Vlad Yatsenko. Within a year of launching, Revolut had over 100,000 personal customers and secured $15m in Series A funding.
In 2017, Revolut Business was launched as a branch of the company dedicated to helping businesses scale faster and launched their crypto trading platform.
The years to follow saw Revolut expand their company globally to Australia, all of Europe, Singapore, Japan, Canada and the United States all the while hitting milestones such as having over 10 million personal users worldwide.
Overall, Revolut remains a convenient and practical banking service that is especially useful for travel, card services, and premium accounts. Its unique features do position it as one of the better platforms in the financial space.
The paid membership levels can be off putting for new users initially, but the benefits can make up for the cost.
Revolut is great for people who want to manage their finances and access their funds around the world, and offers a level of flexibility which makes it worthwhile to try out.Learn more
Pros / Cons
- Although some regular money transfers are free, many transfers will attract a fee.
- You will need a different paying accounts (starting at £/€/$9.99 a month) to access some services.
- Unlike a crypto exchange, you can’t send crypto from your account to another wallet or exchange.
- The platform doesn’t charge you hidden fees to pay with your card in foriegn currencies or to withdraw your cash abroad.
- Useful mobile app
- Budgeting and automatic saving features for your Revolut current account;
- Bill splitting so you can easily send and request money
- Being able to use the services in more than 130 countries and you can easily make recurring money transfers into other currencies.
All card transactions are processed by the Mastercard or Visa network and are protected by Mastercard or Visa rules.
Their policies and procedures are designed to protect personal information. All information is stored and processed using third-party servers located in secure data centres, protected by firewalls and have restricted access in compliance with applicable regulations.
All data passed between Revolut mobile apps, servers, and third parties are 2048-bit SSL encrypted. Revolut itself has not yet been hacked, though Revolut customers have been subject to phishing attempts.
Here are some tips on using the Revolut platform:
You can maximise your 1% cashback and get the most out of your Metal card, by making recurring payments on your essential bills e.g. your monthly electricity bills, Netflix or Amazon Prime subscription, insurance premiums etc.
Enable location-based security: blocks card transactions that are not near your current location to prevent someone who has cloned your card from using it somewhere else.
It is recommended to keep a small amount in your account each time e.g. £100 and top up whenever necessary as this protects you from all your funds being taken at once. The “Vault” feature allows you to store more of your money safely.
Revolut is regulated by the FCA and client funds are stored under a segregated account at Lloyds or Barclays.
As an FCA authorised institution, Revolut protects funds as per FCA requirements, the Electronic Money Regulations 2011, and the Payment Services Regulations 2017.
In the event of an insolvency of Lloyd’s or Barclays, users will be able to claim funds from this segregated account and claims will be paid above all other creditors.
If you choose to buy and hold crypto with Revolut, you won’t be in possession of the private keys for the crypto you own. This means that you can only send the crypto within Revolut’s system, or spend them via your Revolut account.
Revolut also collects a whole bunch of personally identifying data on its users, although the type of data and the amount of time it is held for varies by location. Revolut has stated that customer data will be used for marketing purposes. Personal user data will be shared with social media and analytics companies, as well as credit bureaus, unless users actively opt out. This is definitely one of those situations where reading the fine print pays off.
Revolut is very easy to use, with a smooth, simple and responsive mobile app.
When you log onto the app, the options are very clear as to what you can do there. You can see how much is in your account, see the cards, crypto and stocks that you have as well as see how much money you have put into your vault.
The easiest thing to do on the Revolut interface is add money, which can be done with only a few clicks.
The hardest thing to do on the Revolut interface is verify your identity, which can take slightly longer than expected due to the face recognition feature sometimes not matching your face to your identification quickly enough.
How does Revolut compare?
Revolut is not a crypto exchange, so it can’t be compared to something like Coinbase or Kraken. Its nearest competitor is eToro, another banking and investment service. If you just want a straightforward banking experience with no bells or whistles, try N26, which is covered by a full banking license.
Revolut is easier to use than eToro, but has fewer financial products. Revolut boasts lower fees than eToro up to a point, while eToro’s fee structure is more predictable. Revolut is useful as a general purpose finance app, and suitable for beginners.
Reviews have been widely mixed, with some mentioning clear communication with responsive customer service and some reporting difficulties contacting customer service.
Opening an Account and Trading
Revolut allows people to exchange traditional, fiat currency (like dollars or euros) into several popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum or Litecoin. Revolut makes this process very quick and simple, compared to other methods for purchasing cryptocurrency.
To open an account:
Deposits / Withdrawal
There are multiple methods for funding your Revolut account. You can use a bank transfer, including topping up via your salary. You can also top up your account with a card, either in a one-time instance or automatically. There is even the option to add money to your account via Google Play or Apple Pay, including with Apple Watches.
You can withdraw your funds with the Revolut card, which you can do from any cash machine that supports VISA or Mastercard at home or abroad. You can also transfer the funds to any of your other bank accounts and withdraw the funds by your usual method of doing so.
You can exchange up to $200 in crypto with Revolut’s partner exchange, Paxos, without crypto commission fees each month. That is deemed the crypto fee-free limit.
If trading above $200 in one month, standard users will be charged a fee of 2.5%. For certain conversions an extra percentage-based fee is applied which may change according to when and how frequently the currencies are traded.
During the weekend, they take the rate from Friday 23:59 and apply a markup of 0.5% on major currencies like USD, GBP, EUR, AUD, CAD, NZD, CHF, JPY, SEK, HKD, NOK, SGD, DKK, PLN and CZK.
A 1.0% markup applies on other currencies outside of FX market hours. For less liquid currencies like Russian Ruble, Thai Baht and Ukrainian Hryvnia, there is a 1.5% markup on the weekend.
Sending money to a non-SEPA country in its own national currency will incur a fee of 0.3% of the transferred amount, with a minimum fee of £/€0.3, and with a cap at £/€5.
Sending money in a different currency than that of the recipient’s country will still have two different fees: it will cost £/€3 to send USD as well as GBP, EUR or CHF, while sending any other currency will cost £/€5.
Premium accounts cost £6.99 per month and have similar amenities but increase the withdrawals to £400 or €400.
Metal accounts are new and cost £12.99 per month, increasing the ATM withdrawals to £600 or €600.
Card delivery fee is £/€4.99 standard delivery and 19.99 express delivery.
Revolut recently made the news after a $33 billion USD valuation. The fintech recently finished an $800 million fundraising round led by industry giants SoftBank and Tiger Global Management. 11 cryptocurrencies, among them Dogecoin, have just been added to Revolut’s portfolio.
Not all news is good news: Revolut has frequently made headlines for regulatory non-compliance and improper use of anti-money laundering algorithms.
In addition, Revolut was in the news for a report highlighting toxic work culture at the company. Former Revolut employees have said that the high-speed growth has come at a high human cost – with unpaid work, unachievable targets, and high-staff turnover.
Can I trust Revolut?
Yes, Revolut is a legitimate company and a secure option to send money abroad with features that allow for the easiest way for users to manage their finances.
What happens if my Revolut card is stolen?
If your Revolut card gets lost or stolen you can easily freeze and unfreeze your Revolut card via the application so you have some level of protection there. You can also use the application to turn off contactless payments, ATM use, and online payments, then easily turn them back on when you want. This does give a level of control which is reassuring for users.
Is Revolut a crypto exchange?
No. Revolut allows users to buy crypto within the app, but they cannot withdraw crypto. Revolut also does not support individual cryptocurrency wallets. Users have no control over the cryptocurrency they buy, and cannot actually use it – it is only a speculation vehicle. Cryptocurrency held by Revolut is also noot covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, so users have no legal recourse for compensation if funds are stolen.
Revolut recently announced that Revolut Metal subscribers can withdraw a limited amount of bitcoin (£1,000 per month max) to an external wallet.
Is Revolut a bank?
Depends on where you are. Revolut does have a banking license in Lithuania Poland , Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, Greece, Latvia, Malta, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. However, they are not a full fledged bank in many countries, including the UK, where they are based.
We are currently only supporting legal residents of the European Economic Area (EEA), Australia, Singapore, Switzerland, Japan and the United States. The EEA includes:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
Currencies and Payment Methods
You can add money to your Revolut account with a card in AUD, BGN, CAD, CHF, CZK, DKK, EUR, GBP, HKD, HRK, HUF, JPY, NOK, PLN, RON, SEK, USD, ZAR. Make sure to add money in the currency that your card is held in. For example, if you have a US bank account make sure you add USD. If you don’t, your card will convert the money for you and charge a conversion fee.
Revolut currently supports Mastercard® and Visa® cards. American Express is not supported.
One of Revolut’s main innovations is the Revolut card. This is a card you can use to make purchases around the world and makes international purchasing very fast and easy.
Current account service
Other services include the Current account services in the UK and Europe, with features like automatic saving, mobile integration and money transfers built into it.
With the Premium and Metal accounts you get extra perks like higher transfer limits, better rates, and insurance.
Revolut allows individuals to convert traditional, fiat currencies into popular cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ether and Litecoin.