|Prepaid account and cards||Yes|
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 beta phase 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. Since then, Revolut has obtained its own Australian Financial Services Licence (ASFL) and, as of August 2020, is now fully available to the Australian public.
What makes Revolut really stand out is that it has different product packages for its users: standard accounts and two paid premium accounts (Premium and Metal). All tiers include a prepaid card that is connected to the Revolut app, though each have different fees and features - but we'll run through more on those below.
As we mentioned above, Revolut has now fully launched in Australia which mean its app and cards are now available to anyone interested in signing up. Unlike a normal bank the fintech has three different account and card tiers: Revolut Standard, Revolut Premium and Revolut Metal. So 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 accounts 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 (which is 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 27 different 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 27 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.
|Australian ATM fee||$0 (up to $1,400/month) and 2% of withdrawal amount after that|
|Foreign transaction fee||0%|
|Overseas ATM fee||$0 (up to $1,400/month) and 2% of withdrawal amount after that|
The Revolut Metal account has everything the Premium tier has to offer, but with a few major additions on top. Why is it called 'Metal' you ask? Well in a first for Australia, Revolut issues its 'Metal' tier users with their own Revolut Metal card.
Metal users are also the only customers able to take advantage of the Revolut's cashback feature. That includes 1% cashback for card payments made outside of Australia and 0.1% cashback for those made within Australia.
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.
So Revolut don't have a banking licence in Australia (at least, not yet). That means they can't provide users with traditional, interest-earning savings accounts which are covered under the government's Financial Claims Scheme.
However, the Revolut app does allow users to set up vaults where they can stash money. There's also a linked round-up tool and a feature which gives users the ability to set regular weekly or monthly deposits. Saving vaults can also be personalised with a specific name and savings goal so it’s clear where their money is going and what towards.
So that users can constantly track their savings progress and keep an eye on where their money is being spent, 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, expats, and really anyone who needs low exchange rates on international money transfers.
Given the comprehensive money management tools and spending option, Revolut could also be an appealing option for general day-to-day use as well - especially for more tech-savvy banking customers.
While Revolut has great options to help it’s users 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. While it does have an AFSL, a full banking licence might be something the fintech explores down the track. Check out our neobank and money app licences explainer for more information about how different licences 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 or Metal 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!