FinTech: Revolut Expands Across the Atlantic; Dismisses Corona Concerns
The challenger bank makes its much-awaited U.S. landfall.
Digital “neobank” Revolut, the London-based fintech unicorn, is rolling out its app-based banking service in the U.S. The upstart bank, which commenced operations in 2015, has already amassed over 10 million customers in the U.K. and Europe. App-based Revolut has no physical branches. U.S. customers can now open an account with a debit card in minutes using their smartphone. (PYMNTS.com)
Revolut’s U.S. ambitions
According to The Verge, Revolut’s app was in beta testing in the U.S. since June 2019 using 60,000 testers. Moreover, prospective U.S. customers are in a waiting queue to sign up with the British fintech.
Revolut itself has eyed the U.S. market for years. Last month, it gained the financial heft to support its ambitions across the Atlantic. It raised $500 million at a valuation of $5.5 billion, a threefold increase from when it was last valued by investors at $1.7 billion in April 2018.
Regulatory complications may have slowed its U.S. expansion, though it has now tied up with Metropolitan Commercial Bank (NYSE: MCB). The FDIC, therefore, insures customers’ deposits up to $250,000.
With Revolut who needs a bank?
Revolut has piled on convenience features for customers. Direct deposit customers get their pay two days before being paid by their employers. Real-time remittances are free, and across 28 currencies at the interbank rate.
“When spending or transferring money overseas, most people are unaware of the hidden fees that banks are charging them,” said Nik Storonsky, founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Revolut. “The world is becoming more connected, and financial services should be supporting this notion, not hindering it.”
Further, customers have access to 55,000 ATMs in the U.S. and abroad. Along with a debit card, customers may also opt for a disposable virtual card. They can also set up financial budgeting, as well as categories for capturing expenses and payments.
Storonsky rejects coronavirus rumors
Revolut hit back at rumors that it was in financial trouble due to the virus pandemic. A report by Rosenblatt Securities warned that Covid-19 could wipe out $76 billion from fintech unicorn valuations.
Storonsky responded: “The Coronavirus pandemic is causing unprecedented movement in financial markets. Naturally, this can be alarming and can allow rumors and false information to spread quickly. To put your mind at ease, I’d like to make Revolut’s position super clear. Last month, we raised $500 million from investors. So I want to make clear that for Revolut it’s business as usual.”
Image credit: Flickr
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