Revolut is a Fintech start-up, who aim to revolutionise the way that people in over 39 countries handle their finances. They formed in 2015 and started their journey by offering personal accounts to customers. In 2017, they launched their product aimed at businesses.
As of 2021, Revolut is not a licensed bank. Despite this, they offer a service that competes directly with other actual licensed banks in the UK such as Starling Bank and Monzo, and in the EU such as N26.
One important thing to note: As Revolut are not a licensed bank, customer deposits are not protected in the UK under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). Revolut have applied for a license to become a legitimate bank both in the UK and in the USA, so this issue may soon be resolved. Revolut are still an FCA regulated business in the UK, and operate under an e-money licence. All customer funds are held separately with a licensed bank and by law these funds are separate from Revolut’s business funds.
As of 2020, Revolut claim that they have over 500,000 business worldwide signed up to their business accounts.
What is the Revolut Business Account?
Revolut is an app focused banking product that uses technology to give business customers a more modern banking experience. Their stated aim is to simplify and reduce the cost structure of various financial services that a company may need.
In addition, Revolut is an international company with a presence in many countries. With the rise in international business, especially with online businesses, there is often a need to transfer between currencies. Revolut allow transfers (up to certain monthly limits depending on account tier) between different currencies without fees, and at the interbank rate, which can be a very useful feature for many.
How does the Revolut Business Account work?
Borderless Business Account
Receive, hold money and pay in over 30 currencies. Currency transfers done at interbank rate.
Virtual Credit Cards
A business manager can create virtual cards to give to staff so they can easily control spending, and cancel with one click.
Mobile & Desktop
Most of the functions of the business account are managed via the mobile app, but you can also access your account via their website on your desktop.
External App Integrations
Via the Revolut business API, you can connect to external resources such as accounting packages like Xero, Quickbooks and Clearbooks, or business apps such as Slack and Zapier.
With Revolut business, you can sign up for a variety of account tiers. The tiers are:
Hold and Exchange 28 currencies
Local accounts in GBP and EUR
5 free local payments
On-board 2 free team members
IBANs for global transfers
2 x Metal cards
50 free international payments
Foreign currency exchange up to £50,000 per month at the interbank rate fee-free
On-board 30 free team members
Manage team expenses
IBANs for global transfers
The Enterprise tier is can be built with higher limits for all areas, and can be designed by the business. The features and costs depend on what the business requires.
Who is the Revolut Business Account for?
Traditional banking can be very frustrating at times. Many traditional older banks have legacy systems that have been built up over decades. Therefore, sometimes the user experience can be less than ideal. Anyone who has run a business will have the odd horror story of when something has gone wrong!
Whilst they are clearly not immune from things going wrong or issues, the new start-up Fintech challenger banks, such as Revolut (and others such as Starling Bank or Monzo), have the advantage that they have approached the banking business from a ‘technology first’ viewpoint.
They aim to apply modern technologies to the banking business to produce a smoother user experience, to allow a business person to concentrate more on their business. Revolut, along with other modern banks, are a good option for businesses who want to enter this world of technology for their banking.
Revolut are an international company, and as such they have presence in many countries across the world. Therefore they focus strongly on good value currency transfers, which can be a great benefit for many companies.
Revolut’s lack of a banking licence could be a worry to certain businesses as the customer deposits are not insured. However, some businesses have decided to utilise Revolut as well as a more traditional bank. They keep the majority of their funds within the other bank, but use Revolut for their day to day banking, which allows them to take advantage of the Revolut features such as virtual credit cards, or interbank rate currency transfers for example, which gives them the best of both worlds.
How to use the Revolut Business Account?
To sign up for the Revolut business account, you will need to go to the Revolut website. There you will need to complete a form that details first your personal details i.e. name, address and date of birth. Then you would need to add the details of your business i.e. registered name, company number and trading name.
Finally, you will need to verify your identity, and provide some details about what your company does. The details are then checked by the Revolut team, and they will either open your account, or they may potentially require some more details and documents before the account can be opened.
How much does the Revolut Business Account cost?
The monthly costs for the various account tiers are:
|Grow||25 GBP | 25 EUR | 39.99 USD|
|Scale||100 GBP | 100 EUR | 149.99 USD|
|Enterprise||Bespoke – the cost depends on which features you add|
There are also some other costs for various functions:
outside of the allowance on each tier, there is a charge of £0.20 per payment
outside of the allowance on each tier, there is a charge of £3.00 per transfer
Is the Revolut Business Account safe?
Because Revolut is not a bank, customer deposits are not protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) in the UK. Businesses should consider this when making their decision on using Revolut to manage their money.
On Trustpilot and Reddit, there are various complaints regarding accounts being frozen for active businesses, which has made it very hard for the business to trade. This issue can occur with any bank – as there are many anti-fraud and anti-money laundering laws these days, and all banks and financial institutions must adhere to them. Therefore, it would be a little unfair to single out Revolut on this matter. However, the issue here is that Revolut do not have branches. If a business has their account frozen, then at least, as the last resort, they could go down to the branch to try to speak to someone. With Revolut (and other Fintech branchless banks), this is not possible. The business owner must rely on and wait for the customer service people to get back to them.
Revolut Business Account Reviews – what are people saying?
Revolut has a rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot based on over 79,000 reviews. It is not possible to split out the specific business rating as it is a combined score for their personal and business accounts. Out of these reviews, 9% of them are rated as 1 star out of 5. Of these bad reviews, there are various complaints about the quality of the customer service and accounts being frozen. There does not appear to be a large number of low score reviews concerning the business account.
There is a vibrant Revolut subreddit on Reddit, with over 28,000 members. Going through here, you will see certain complaints about the business account – often in regard to setting up the business account initially. There are also many positive comments too of course. It is worthwhile going through this subreddit to understand what people are saying before making the decision to sign up with Revolut.
Revolut Business Account Alternatives
Revolut Business Pros & Cons
Revolut business accounts can be opened by companies in over 39 countries, including the USA, the UK and the EU.
Very good for businesses who operate in multiple currencies.
Revolut is not a licensed bank, so customer deposits are not covered by financial compensation schemes such as FSCS or FDIC.
To get most of the useful account features, you will need to pay a monthly fee.
Not suitable for businesses that handle a lot of cash as they have no branches and cash transactions incur a fee.
Larger businesses that have in house book-keepers may not need many of the Revolut features.
Revolut has many features that can be highly beneficial to businesses. Small or medium business could easily do all of their banking with their service. Larger businesses may wish to maintain an account with a more traditional bank, but still find that they can benefit from Revolut’s key features, such as interbank currency transfers, or their app based functions.