Should I use Revolut?
Revolut Account Options
Revolut Review: Executive SummaryRevolut is a digital banking platform that offers users a growing variety of financial services. It is one of the foremost startups in the UK, and moreover is considered one of the top global examples of an online banking platform as a bank-alternative. Revoluts core function includes a multi-currency account, attached to a prepaid multi currency debit card, foreign exchange, and peer-to-peer payments, all via a comprehensive banking app. It is one of the best services for travelers but we believe that for international money transfers, there are better alternatives on the market.
Recommended Revolut Alternatives:
This Revolut app review will reveal how Revolut is to a certain extent, unique. Revolut offers something that is similar to a bank account, but without holding a banking license, and is still considered by many as a Neo-Bank. The closest examples we could find are Monese offering a similar range of services, focused specifically on international bank accounts and multi-currency accounts.
The below Revolut alternatives aren’t necessary 100% direct competitors but simply other solutions that will enable prospective customers to hold a multi-currency virtual bank account abroad and make payments to a from it (whereas Revolut also offers investing).
- Min Transfer: £/€/$ 250
- Currencies Supported: 120
- Offices : UK, EU, USA, HK, and UAE.
- Our Rating : 92.8% 🌟Best for Large Transfers🌟
- Business Oriented, Many High Profile Business Customers
Industry Veteran since 1979
Safest and Most Geared Towards Large Amounts
Up Close and Personal Service by Professionals
Fix Today's Rates for Up to 2 Years with a Forward Contract
- Min Transfer: £/€/$/A$/NZ$/$CAD 100
- Currencies Supported: 140
- Offices : UK, EU, USA, Australia, NZ and Canada.
- Editorial App Rating : 98.4%
- Min Transfer: £/€ 1,000
- Currencies Supported: 138
- Offices : UK, Europe.
- Our Rating : 90.6%
TrustPilot Rating : 4.3 / 5
- Very Quick to Respond in a Friendly Manner
Competitive Rates and No Wire Fees
Very High Customer Satisfaction
Operating from Cornwall, Less Operating Costs Rolled Over to Customers
Directors Have Dozens of Years of Industry Experience
Is Revolut Safe?
Revolut, founded by CEO Nikolay Storonsko and CTO Vlad Yatsenko, is one of the fastest growing FinTech’s to have hit the market. The CEO Nikolay Storonsko has become a familiar face in the FinTech space, not shying away from publicity and doing all he can to drive the growth of Revolut. Prior to founding Revolut Nicolay was a forex trader at Credit Suisse whilst the CTO Vlad Yatsenko had many years experience building payment networks for tier 1 banks.
Of all the new FinTech’s to launch in the last five years it has grown at the most staggering pace of all. In 2019, just 4 years since insepction, Revolut has acquired over 6 million customers (that’s even more than Wise‘s at the time of the achievement) and processed over 350 million transactions for over £40 billion in value.
Revolut isn’t just focusing on customer acquisition either and has been diversifying its offering and its global reach consistently. The company has multiple funding rounds, totaling at $1.7bn making it one of the best funded startups in the world. It was recently valued at more than $33bn.
Based on this these figures, it appears like the year that turned Revolut from startup level to one of the most popular banking apps in the world was 2020 where the number of app users grew two-fold from 6m to 12m.
- Europe’s Allstar Company of 2018 – Investor Allstars Awards
- Innovator of the Year 2018 – Malta Blockchain Summit
- UK Tech Awards 2020
Revolut has received more complaints to the Financial Ombudsman Service than any other digital money provider. There are also negative media reports with regard to the conduct of the CEO and Revolut’s AML software. Unsurprisingly with a firm that has grown as rapidly as Revolut has question marks have been raised as to whether the compliance function is adequate for the number of clients it has.
The CEO has reportedly approved high risk clients despite insufficient KYC information for onboarding whilst its sanction screening software was reported to have not been operating for three months. Revolut both deny any misconduct from their CEO and that any payments have been processed which did not pass through their AML software. Explaining that the three month period in question saw trades going through a new market leading compliance platform as well as its original compliance software.
As the old adage says there’s often no smoke without fire and it’s not incomprehensible that Revolut grew beyond its means too quickly. And invariably its compliance function was probably the last to receive investment. Importantly, since the accusations have been made, Revolut has made a series of senior level hires within its compliance function including a new director of financial crime, Philip Doyle.
In March 2022, the National Bank of Lithuania has announced that it has inspected Revolut for its AML and onboarding processes and that the results are not satisfactory and hence it levies a fine totaling in EUR200,000 and expects breaches to be remedied until June, 20222.
Revolut did secure a Specialised Bank license from the European Central Bank, which was facilitated by the Bank of Lithuania. It doesn’t hold a full-range bank licence, which would then allow it to provide investment services. It also holds an Electronic Money Institution license by the Bank of Lithuania. Additionally, Revolut holds the appropriate license by the FCA as an e-Money provider, similarly to many other money transfer services in UK.
Additionally Revolut is regulator by multiple regulations in multiple jurisdictions for a lot of things because the offering is so diverse and expansive. Since this Revolut review’s focus is Revolut international payments and multi-currency accounts, we won’t delve into the rabbit hole of listing them all, but we would mention that Revolut is only partially regulated by the FCA for the array of service it provides. On Revolut’s UK website, true for June 2022, it is mentioned that Revolut is not FCA regulated for Crypto and Commodity trading activities.
Revolut is one of the most well known international payment apps or even startups to enter the finance market of recent years. Its trusted by literally millions of people to handle their international transactions abroad through the Mastercard/Visa network, invest their funds and more, with estimated 15m customers worldwide currently. Revolut is also quite transparent about its activities, heavily invested by the world’s biggest funds, and is cash-heavy and debt-free (AFAIK).
On top of the above, it is regulated properly for its payment activity and multi-currency accounts in multiple countries.
Hence, it appears very safe. Just like competitors Wise, it a lucrative startup that is changing the way people and business make payments and it is outgrowing its expectations every year passing.
On the concerning side of things, we know Revolut has faced question marks over its AML practices as well as receiving more complaints to OFCOM than any other FinTech. We must not forget Revolut have significantly more clients than any other FinTech so there’s a natural increase but it’s still not a crown you want to have. We also know that the FCA has begun investigating the firm and that the National Bank of Lithuania did as well and fined two Revolut entities for breaches in its KYC process.
To summarise, Revolut appears safe, but it is tied with slightly too many scandals.
Revolut Customer Reviews & Complaints
- 109,000 reviews on TrustPilot (rating 4.4/5, with 12% complaints)
- 28,000 Apple Store reviews (4.7/5)
- 1.8m on a Google Play (rating 4.4/5)
- 300 reviews on Reviews.io (1 star rating)
- 30 on ProductReviews (1 star rating)
True as for June 2022.
Revolut, being primarily a payment app, has more reviews than any other financial service we have covered on MoneyTransferComparison. Even when you compare Revolut vs Wise’s numbers you realise that Revolut has more customers globally and moreover people who use apps are more likelier to leave a review online. Those are wonderful news for us because with a sample size of about 2m Revolut customer reviews it’s easy to draw conclusions.
Overall, Revolut reviews are highly positive and focus on areas around the comfort of the app, as well as the great rates or savings that the app has provided them with, as compared to alternative means of payments. The ~10% of complaints of all customer reviews online are mostly about their accounts being blocked or not receiving the type and quality of service they believed they deserve.
In comparison with other international money transfer services covered on our website, 10% complaint ratio is rather high, but we have to be a fair about it and say that none of those other providers has that sort of VOLUME of customer reviews and visibility. If you would take Revolut’s customer reviews and compare them against UK BANKS, they would be the best ranking in category by a large difference.
Revolut Fees and Exchange Rates
Fees: this is a breakdown of Revolut’s fees applicable for UK personal clients. There are differences in the offering and fees between different countries, as well as different subscription levels and private clients vs businesses.
- Subscription: free
- Add money to account: free
- Revolut card: free other than delivery fees
- ATM fees: free up to £200, 2% above that mark
- Transfer money to other Revolut customers: free
- SEPA payments: free
- Card transfers: $0.05 to $57.50 for a transaction based on volume and destination as per Revolut’s website: “For card transfers within the Europe region, you will be charged 0.70% of the amount you are sending. For card transfers outside the Europe region, you will be charged 2.30% of the amount you are sending”
- International money transfers to another bank account: variable fees of between 0.35% and 1% depending on currency (a complete list is available on Revolut’s website).
- Currency exchange: 0.5% exchange rate markup made to all currency exchanges on the platform (after you have transferred at least £1,000 you have to exchange each month without paying a fee, based on your subscription level).
Cash withdrawals from ATMs are capped at £3,000 or currency equivalent per a 24-hour window.
The caps in per each single transaction is £200, £400 and £600 for those on a Standard, Premium and Metal plan.
When making a transfer domestically in the UK, there are daily and weekly limits. The transfer limit is £80,000, the daily limit is £100,000 and the weekly limit is £250,000. You can’t make over 15 transactions per 24 hours, and a weekly cap of 80 transfers is also applied. Business accounts have a transfer limit of £250,000 and a weekly limit of £500,000 (domestic transfers).
The limit for cross-currency transfers is much less. The monthly limit is £5,000 for all plans.
If you’re using the app within UK banking hours the rates are pretty decent. 0.5% for a currency exchange or 0.35% (one of the cheapest international money transfer rates) to 1% per payment is pretty much comparable although slightly more expensive on average than close competitors Wise, and could also be easily beating when transferring large sum of money abroad through a foreign exchange broker like TorFX. With that being said these are transparent exchange rates which beat banks’ rates by a lot and overall pretty good fee structure.
Revolut Offices and Global Reach
- Dedicated Dealer: Not supported
- Offices: Global – Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Japan, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, UK, US
- Ways to approach: In App Chat
- Translations: App available in an impressive 24 languages, Customer Support in just English and Polish but with plans to launch in various other languages later in 2019
- Accepts clients: Revolut is available for legal residents of the European Economic Area (EEA), Australia, Singapore, Switzerland, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States.
- Currencies Handled: 29 via Bank Transfer, 140 with Currency Card
- Client reviews: Almost 2m with 90% positive
Revolut has offices in an astonishing number of countries, in fact probably more than any other FinTech, and a very global reach. You can transfer money to almost any currency in the world and hold in more currencies than competing multi-currency account providers.
Revolut’s strength that sets it apart from competition and turns it into one of the most valuable startups in the world is how compete its offering is. While our Revolut review is mostly focused on Revolut’s international payment solutions as well as Reveolut’s multi-currency account and card, there are additional aspects to the service it that make people regard it as a proper Neo-Bank very much like Revolut competitor Monese.
The “plain vanilla” option you have with Revolut is pretty much setting up your own account online and transferring money to a bank account, pretty much like other online money transfer sites, but unlike them, you can also receive foreign exchange payments a virtual bank account and withhold funds in it. That makes Revolut a multi-currency / foreign exchange account provider, similarly to companies like OFX (which is an online money transfer provider with multi-currency account functionalities).
Then, Revolut offers a multi-currency card which is a function that only 3 other non-bank companies that we have covered on our MoneyTransferComparison can say – Wise, Monese, and Payoneer. Customers can exchange currencies inside the revolut platform and then use the card internationally and spend money in local currency.
Additional functionalities on top of what’s described above make it truly a bank alternative:
- Budgeting services.
- Early salary – short term financing for individuals.
- Pet insurance services.
- FX Forwards for businesses.
- Invest in stocks, crypto and commodities through your Revolut account.
- Open banking component (connect with your bank account).
- Chrome browser addon for making payments easier.
- Payment gateway for businesses.
- Completely payment API
The bottom line is that for UK customers, Revolut offers anything you’d expect an online bank to offer and potentially even more!
- Credibility Score - 65%65%
- Client Feedback - 70%70%
- Fees, Exchange Rates - 85%85%
- Global Reach, Availability, Service - 75%75%
- Added Values - 90%90%
Revolut is one of UK’s most promising startups with the highest valuations and they boast more customers than any other cross-border fintech startup in the world. With as many as 15m customers globally and massive transaction volumes, there is no doubt Revolut is onto something good.
The offering for both individual customers and business clients is vast and surpasses any other payment specialists and potentially surpasses also most or all of UK’s Neo-Banks. Revolut is no longer a simple multi-currency account connected to a Revolut card that enables cheap currency exchanges, it’s a lot more than that now. It’s a bank account in multiple currencies that you can use to pay and receive payments, and a currency card, but it’s also an account that you can use to borrow funds, save funds, invest funds, and use as your one-stop-shop for everything banking, powered by edge-cutting technology and more than $1.7bn in funding.
On the flipside, if you focus on Revolut international payments then you realise that there could be Revolut competitors who are able to transact your international money transfers for lesser fees. Additionally to that, Revolut has been getting some hit from customers, whistle blowers, and ultimately regulators including a recently levied fine of more than EUR 200,000 by the National Bank of Lithuania.