With over seven million customers worldwide, Revolut have been a driving force on the global fintech scene for a few years now during which they've built a worldwide neobank based on innovations to suit the travel, international money and everyday banking needs of more globalised spenders.
Launched in 2015 in the UK, and now with an office in Melbourne, Revolut is an app-based, financial platform that comes with some seriously unique global spending and transfer features that set it apart from its competitors. Within the app you can make money transfers in 15 different currencies, set up saving vaults to store your funds and even create spending limits or savings targets.
Revolut launched in Australia in June 2019, after ASIC gave them permission to conduct business in Australia despite not having their own Australian Deposit-taking Institution (ADI) licence. The company is registered in England and Wales and is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority under the Electronic Money Regulations 2011. While they may eventually obtain their own ADI, for the moment all transactions made by Aussies using Revolut will be conducted through a trust account with an unnamed local bank.
What makes Revolut really stand out is that it has two different product packages for its users: Standard and Premium accounts. Both of these include a prepaid card that is connected to the Revolut app, both have different monthly fees and, most excitingly, both have competitive benefits that aren’t offered by traditional banks.
All Revolut prepaid Visa cards can be used at retailers and to withdraw cash from ATMs, but card holders must load funds from an external source such as their regular credit or debit card. Users can also set-up automatic top-ups through the Revolut app which makes the process stress free!
While Revolut hasn’t fully launched in Australia just yet, the money app is planning on doing so very shortly. In the meantime, if you’re really excited about the products and features Revolut has on offer you can join their waiting list in order to get early access.
Speaking of products, unlike a normal bank Revolut has two different account and card tiers, Revolut Standard and Revolut Premium. Here are some of the major points you’ll want to know about each:
|Australian ATM fee||$0 (up to $350/month) and 2% of withdrawal amount after that|
|Foreign transaction fee||0%|
|Overseas ATM fee||$0 (up to $350/month) and 2% of withdrawal amount after that|
A Standard account with Revolut is free, meaning that you won’t have to pay monthly account fees like you would with the other account offered by the fintech. It’s the “no-frills” option, but still gives you features that you may not receive from a regular bank.
The Standard account comes with a prepaid Revolut Visa card that is connected to their app. With this card you can spend in over 110 currencies at the interbank exchange rate. The interbank exchange rate refers to the rate that banks use themselves when swapping between currencies - so you’re getting the lowest rate possible!
And if that’s not enough, there are no exchange fees when you make an international money transfer in 15 fiat currencies like USD, GBP or Euros, up to $9,000 AUD per month and a small fee of 0.5% for transfers over $9,000. There are also no ATM withdrawal fees up to $350 AUD per month, but for anything above you’ll have to pay a 2.00% fee for ATMs withdrawals worldwide.
|Australian ATM fee||$0 (up to $700/month) and 2% of withdrawal amount after that|
|Foreign transaction fee||0%|
|Overseas ATM fee||$0 (up to $700/month) and 2% of withdrawal amount after that|
With the Premium Revolut account, users pay a $10.99 AUD monthly account fee, but receive added bonuses to those offered with the Standard account. On top of receiving the interbank exchange rate, Premium users have unlimited transfers in 15 major currencies with no monthly limit and the fee-free ATM withdrawal limit is also raised to $700 AUD.
Revolut’s Premium Visa card also comes in a range of customisable colours and is delivered by global express for free. Not only do cardholders get priority customer support within the app, they also have access to disposable virtual cards for greater security when making online purchases. These virtual cards are created in seconds within the app with unique card details, which will regenerate after every transaction to add an extra layer of security.
Another cool bonus with Revolut’s Premium Visa card is that customers gain access to over 1,000 airport lounges around the world through LoungeKey Passes. These passes can be purchased within the app (at an additional cost to the monthly fee) and act as a ticket to get you into the partnering airport lounge of your choice. So, once you’ve booked your LoungeKey Pass through the Revolut app, just present your QR code on your smartphone at the entry to the lounge and kick back before you take off.
Revolut has created a seriously smart app with some noteworthy features that could be exactly what today’s tech-savvy consumers need when it comes to global transfers and spending management.
The Revolut app creators have made it easier to send money locally or abroad. They know that often people make regular transfers to the same place, so they’ve set up an automated recurring payment tool that is perfect for subscriptions or splitting regular bills. Simply set and forget. You can also request money quickly and conveniently with your smartphone, and with the ability to attach personalised notes, images and even GIFs, the interaction between giver and receiver is a bit more fun.
The Revolut app allows you to set up vaults where you can connect a round-up tool, set regular weekly or monthly deposits or just make random contributions. Users can personalise saving vaults by giving them a specific name and setting a savings goal so it’s clear where their money is going and what towards.
So that users can constantly track their savings progress and stick to their targets, Revolut have made it easy to set monthly budgets and daily spending limits within the app. Not only this, users can also visually gauge where their money is going with the analytics tab that categorises all payments under headings like groceries or restaurants, and provides accurate figures and graphs on how much you spend down to the exact percentage.
Revolut’s goal is to take international spending and transfers to the next level through their various card options, and in-app features and tools to help you save. Ultimately, Revolut could be the right option for travellers, those who need low exchange rates on international money transfers or anyone who could do with a more comprehensive money management strategy.
Anyone who loves all things digital could benefit from having a great financial app at their fingertips and having flexible options for different accounts with various standout features - like budgeting tools and money transfers in multiple currencies.
While Revolut has great options to help it’s customers convert or manage their money, this 100% app-based fintech may not be suited to all tastes. There is no phone or in-branch banking, so for people that prefer a physical banking experience, Revolut won’t be able to offer the traditional services they need. Nor does it currently have a full suite of banking product offerings, such as savings accounts or home loans, available to Australians.
Revolut is also not a bank or neobank in Australia, at least, not yet. It currently has special dispensation from ASIC to hold customer funds in one or more trust accounts with an undisclosed Australian bank. Check out our neobank and money app licences explainer for more information about how this may affect your money.
Signing up to Revolut is all done via their app, where you provide your mobile number, name, address and payment details (if you’re signing up for a Premium account).
Once your account is opened, Revolut will send the corresponding card to your given address which you will then need to activate through the app before you can start using it. When the card is activated and you’re ready to go, you can start using it however you like and in whatever currency you need!