Global fintech Revolut is launching its money app and card to the broader public today, complete with a unique set of features and a subscription scheme not yet seen in Australia.
Revolut, which has 12 million customers worldwide, has already onboarded the 30,000 Australians on its waiting list, but today’s move means that the fintech is finally moving out of its beta phase.
Designed for mobile, Revolut has found success overseas targeting a younger, digitally-savvy user base and according to Revolut Australia chief executive, Matt Baxby, that’s the aim of the game in Australia as well.
“Most Aussies, and indeed most young Australians, manage the lion’s share of their life through their mobile phones now, and we believe it should be no different for managing their finances - whether it’s something as simple as budgeting and splitting bills, or something more complex such as purchasing cryptocurrencies or commodities,” Baxby says.
“Revolut is building towards a financial SuperApp that enables Australians to truly take control of their finances in one place. There are so many existing financial products that are either too complicated or inaccessible for Australians and we want to break that down and put the power back into our customers’ hands.”
Revolut’s all-in-one ‘financial SuperApp’
For those who aren’t familiar already, Revolut is not a bank - at least, not yet in Australia.
Instead, the fintech offers its users a physical Revolut card (more on that below) for spending, and the Revolut app for an assortment of other needs.
Like many of the neobank and fintech players operating in the same space, Revolut is pushing the boundaries with its app by offering a suite of features not typically available with many of Australia’s mainstream banks. Customers can:
- Transfer money overseas at the interbank rate (the rate banks use with each other)
- Hold up to 27 different currencies in their account
- Send and request money from abroad with other Revolut users (for free)
- Pay with disposable, virtual cards
- Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay
- Set up budgets
- Make use of analytics and spending notifications
According to Baxby, Revolut’s extensive list of app and card features are aimed at appealing to the value-seeking side of the Australian psyche, features which have already registered with early adopters.
“Australians want to know that they’re getting a good deal,” Baxby says. “For example, the ability to hold and transfer foreign currency at the interbank rate is a big step up from a lot of other players in the market.”
“I think our money management tools are also vital, particularly now during COVID where discretionary spending has come under a bit more pressure. Being able to set budgeting goals, split bills with friends and to gain these insights into where you’re spending your money - these are the tools which customers have really taken a shine to.”
Aside from value, Revolut also sees their app as offering an all-in-one solution in a market where financial players have traditionally stuck to their own lanes.
“I think there’s a real appetite in Australia for customers to be able to manage all of their financial life in one place,” Baxby says.
“That’s based on a few insights we’ve had. Consumers tend to engage with their finances a bit passively and money management overall can be fairly complex because the solutions are often disparate - i.e. people may have five different apps for five different uses.”
“But we have a lot of confidence from the experience we’ve had in the UK and Europe that the features we have to offer, and the fact that users have access to them all in the one place, is really important.”
Premium, Metal and the subscription model
Revolut has also brought its novel subscription-style model, which has served them well in Europe, to Australia.
While users will be able to access the bulk of Revolut’s app and card features for free, there are also two paid plans available: Revolut Premium ($10.99/month) and Revolut Metal ($19.99/month special offer, or $29.99/month normally).
Aside from features like virtual disposable cards and higher fee-free ATM withdrawal limits which are available with both paid tiers, Revolut Metal users also get an actual metal Visa card and 0.1% cashback for card purchases in Australia, and 1% cashback for those outside Australia.
“We’ve seen this subscription-style model get a foothold in the UK and Europe, but we also think it will apply to the Australian market because for the right sort of user, there is a lot of value tied up in our different tiers,” Baxby says.
“Take Metal for example. If you’re an expat living in Sydney earning pounds and you want to send that to the UK, having no monthly limit on the amount of foreign exchange you can do has a huge amount of appeal.”
“Combine that with things like the cashback offering which helps people feel like they’re being rewarded for every dollar they’re spending, and I think Metal will have a fair bit of appeal.”
Licencing and future features
The road to its full public Australian launch has not been the smoothest for Revolut.
Originally entering the Australian market in 2019, the fintech raised eyebrows from some after receiving special dispensation from regulator ASIC to hold customer funds in trust accounts with an undisclosed Australian bank.
However, Revolut has since obtained its own Australian Financial Services Licence (ASFL) and while it is still not a bank with the ability to offer products like bank accounts and savings accounts, Baxby confirms that obtaining a banking licence is on the cards in the future.
“Our view of the market is that competition is obviously concentrated with a few major banks and as a result consumer choice hasn’t been particularly widespread,” he says. “But there’s potential for our customers needs to be better met by Revolut offering credit and deposit products in the future.
“Our banking licence is an enabler for that, and it’s something we will be targeting in the future. We don’t want to put a timeframe on it but it is something we’re actively working towards at the moment.”
In the meantime, Revolut users can look forward to future releases such as an automatic donations feature, the ability to exchange cryptocurrency and to trade stocks (commission-free).
Interested in learning more about Revolut? You’ll want to take a look at our comprehensive Revolut money app review, or for the latest news and guides on other emerging Aussie financial players, check out the Mozo fintech hub.
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