U.K. startup Revolut has announced that its customer base has surpassed three million users. The fintech platform, which has quickly become a viable online alternative to traditional banking, was established in 2015. It currently offers payment and exchange services for a growing number of fiat currencies and cryptocurrencies.
Fintech Startup Defies Skepticism
The company marked the milestone on Twitter: “Three years ago, banks and investors laughed at us. Today, we have signed up three million customers and no one is laughing now. Thank you!” The announcement came about three months after Revolut launched a new debit card that offers support for some of the leading digital coins.
Revolut Metal is the platform’s premium service. For a monthly fee of €13.99 (less than $16), users can get a free U.K. current account and an Iban account for euros, with unlimited exchange in 24 fiat currencies. The new card also offers access to five cryptocurrencies — bitcoin cash (BCH), bitcoin core (BTC), ethereum (ETH), litecoin (LTC), and ripple (XRP) — as well as the ability to spend over 150 currencies at the interbank exchange rate.
The contactless Revolut Metal card comes with fee-free ATM withdrawals of up to €600 per month (over $670). According to the product page, the online banking startup also offers cardholders cash back on all their payments and purchases — up to 0.1 percent within Europe and up to 1 percent elsewhere.
The launch of the exclusive card, which supports digital assets and can be used anywhere that Mastercard is accepted, has likely played a role in the expansion of Revolut’s customer base. There are very few other options on the market in the European Economic Area matching the services offered by the U.K. company.
Plans for Expansion to Other Continents
Revolut’s platform is currently available to residents of the following European countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, 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, Switzerland and the U.K. The company plans to enter markets outside Europe as well, including North America (U.S. and Canada) and Australia.
The British startup with Russian roots also plans to operate in the Russian Federation. In June, Revolut announced a partnership agreement with Qiwi, the country’s leading payments provider. Russian users will be granted access to Revolut’s services via Qiwi’s online banking infrastructure. It has been reported that in Russia, Revolut will initially only provide financial services to private individuals. At launch, they’ll be able to install the company’s online banking app and order a free Visa card with support for multiple currencies.
Revolut is likely to face some competition. Oleg Tinkov, the founder of a Russian project offering similar services, said at a recent fintech forum that there’s no reason for the U.K. startup to go to Russia. The holders of the Tinkoff Black card can already open accounts in 30 currencies and take advantage of favorable exchange rates. What Tinkov didn’t mention, as noted by news outlet Bitnovosti, was that his platform does not support cryptocurrencies.
Revolut’s Russian-born founder and CEO, Nikolay Storonsky, responded:
We are not going to abandon our plans … Large players see us as a serious competitor. They try to copy our products and break down into
emotions in our presence.
Storonsky, whose company raised $250 million at a valuation of $1.7 billion this past spring, also recently commented on the possible influx of institutional investors into the cryptocurrency space. The entrepreneur voiced skepticism over these expectations, as such players have not expressed much interest thus far. “I just don’t think banks will catch up,” he said.
One thing Storonsky’s unicorn startup has been criticized for is that its platform does not support transfers of cryptocurrencies to other wallets. Responding to another suggestion to introduce the feature in the comments below the “three million customers” tweet, Revolut admitted that it does not have any immediate plans to do so. However, it promised to pass the feedback over to its development team.
Do you think Revolut will expand its set of services related to cryptocurrencies? Tell us in the comments section.
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