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Revolut – In Brief
Revolut is a financial technology company that aims to simplify and modernise banking and other financial services, similar to other companies such as Monzo and Starling. Possibly the most successful fintech company in Europe, Revolut’s core product is an app based current account (although they are not yet a licensed UK bank), however, they offer a variety of other financial services alongside this.
Revolut Pros & Cons
- The app is very easy and intuitive to use.
- Residents of over 30 countries can use Revolut.
- Many extras, so good for customers who wants to use one platform for all their finances.
- Currency transfers are good value and simple
- Revolut are not yet a licensed UK bank, so customer deposits are not protected under the FSCS.
- Some customers have complained of frozen accounts that are hard to get re-opened.
- Revolut have no bank branches.
- Revolut do not have any way to pay cash or cheques into your account.
What is Revolut?
Some of Revolut’s competitors, such as Starling Bank or Monzo, were created firstly as a digital bank. This means that they aimed to use technology to create a better banking experience than the traditional banks. Revolut’s founders were initially inspired to create the start-up as a way to offer consumers currency transfers at a cheaper rate than the traditional banks.
However, the mission for Revolut has expanded, and now they are definitely also a digital bank, aiming to offer a simple, smartphone app led service that offers a wide variety of financial services within one app. At the heart of the offering however, is a banking application that allows a user to perform all their banking requirements.
Easy to use smartphone app – bank wherever you are, around the clock.
Spending Analytics – get insights into your finances
Pockets – categorise your spending with Pockets
Vaults – set up within your account to save
Instant Notifications – see any account activity instantly
Set budgets – create monthly budgets for spending categories
Earn interest on savings – on money within your dedicated Savings Vault – interest rate depends on which tier you are on
Mastercard Debit Card – with contactless and enabled for Apple Pay/Google Pay
Metal Debit Card – available on Revolut Metal
Round Up payments – round payments up to the nearest pound and save the difference
Investments – invest in stocks, crypto and more
Insurances – available on higher paid monthly tiers
Low cost currency transfers – cheaper than most other banks
Quick and easy account set up – no fuss quick account opening
Fee-free ATM withdrawals – up to a certain limit on each account tier
Purchase Protection – available on higher paid tiers
Personalised Metal Cards – design your own card, chose a special edition or a 24k gold plated card.
Who is Revolut for?
Revolut are very focused in international currency transfers, so is a very good choice for consumers who deal with different currencies.
Revolut has tried to pack as many features into its app as possible. Via the app, you can do many financial things that other apps do not offer. For example:
- Currency Transfer
- Charitable Donations
This makes Revolut a highly-featured platform that allows users to try out a bit of everything in addition to the core banking services.
For some people however, they may wish to use dedicated service for each of these. For example, if they wish to trade stocks, they may get a more fully featured product with a dedicated stock trading app such as Trading 212 or Freetrade.
Got a bad credit rating?
Good for travellers
Metal Debit Cards
Tired of carrying around lots of cards?
UK Banking Statistics
Revolut Costs & Fees
The costs for the 4 levels of Revolut accounts are:
- Revolut Standard – Free
- Revolut Plus – £2.99 per month
- Revolut Premium – £6.99 per month
- Revolut Metal – £12.99 per month
In addition to the above recurring costs, Revolut also have costs for certain other actions and processes:
For any ATM withdrawal over the monthly allowance (dependent on subscription level) 2% of the withdrawn amount is charged, with a minimum of £1.
Is Revolut Safe?
The biggest concern for any potential customer is that Revolut is not a licensed bank in the UK currently, although they have applied to become one. Therefore, if Revolut were to go out of business, then customer deposits could be at risk.
Revolut state on their website:
“As an electronic money institution, we are required to “safeguard” money we receive from (or for) customers like you. “Safeguarding” means that we deposit the money we receive from you (or for you) into a client money bank account. The money in these client accounts is held by us on your behalf. We have client accounts with a range of large banks (that meet our and our regulator’s requirements). Safeguarding protects you because, if Revolut was to become insolvent, the money in these accounts would be used to pay out you (and our other customers) before anyone else. Because the account you hold with us is an electronic money account (not a bank account), your money is not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.”
Revolut Customer Reviews
Revolut have an average score of 4.5 out of 5 from over 115,000 reviews on Trustpilot. Users particularly like the customer services and the flexibility that the app offers with payments in other currencies. However, 10% of the reviews are 1 star ‘bad’. These users often complain of frozen accounts, or other issues with their account, that take a long time to get resolved. Like other digital app-based banks, it is possible that a lack of staff to review these issues means that it can take longer for issues to be resolved.
There is a very active Reddit group for Revolut with over 41,000 members. Feedback is largely positive, but there are some complaints. This is a good place to spend some time if you are undecided about whether to sign up for Revolut.
It has been widely reported that Revolut have experienced some controversies regarding a couple of different issues. Firstly regarding accounts being frozen. Secondly regarding their treatment of staff. It is worth researching these issues to see if it is something that may put you off using them as your banking provider.
Which is better – Revolut or Starling Bank?
|Pricing||From free to £12.99 Details||Free|
|ATM Withdrawals||Free with limits Details||Free UK & Abroad|
|Safety/Security||Deposits NOT protected under FSCS||Deposits protected under FSCS|
|Extras||Many options Details||None|
Which is better – Revolut or Monzo
|Pricing||From free to £12.99 Details||From £5 to £15 Details|
|ATM Withdrawals||Free with limits Details||Free in UK, 3% abroad if over limit|
|Safety/Security||Deposits NOT protected under FSCS||Deposits protected under FSCS|
|Extras||Many options Details||Many options|
Which is better – Revolut or Monese?
|Pricing||From free to £12.99 Details||From free to £14.95 Details|
|ATM Withdrawals||Free with limits Details||£1.50 charge on Free and if above limits|
|Safety/Security||Deposits NOT protected under FSCS||Deposits NOT protected under FSCS|
|Extras||Many options Details||GBP and EUR account|
Is is worth paying for Revolut?
Revolut do have a free version of their current account, and you can certainly use that for your banking requirements. However, on the free version, you do have costs and limits that you may reach, for example on the amount of ATM withdrawals you can make before you are charged. In addition, the accounts on the paid tiers get higher interest paid on savings vaults than the free tier.
Also – if you are interested in the extras Revolut offer, such as metal debit cards, insurances, stock trading, cryptocurrency trading etc, then you will have to pay for the higher tiers to access these.
Is Revolut free to use?
The standard Revolut account is free to use, although you do get various extras if you use the paid monthly tiers.
Who owns Revolut?
Revolut is owned by a combination of the founders, employees, and various investors and investment funds that have contributed investments to fund Revolut’s launch and growth. In late 2021, Revolut had a funding round that valued the business at over $33 billion.
How does Revolut make money?
Revolut’s main source of income is via customer subscribing to their monthly paid services. In addition, they have similar income streams to traditional banking providers i.e. interchange fees (whenever the Revolut card is used for purchases), currency transfers etc.
Is there a Revolut business account?
Yes, Revolut have a dedicated business bank account for any business or sole trader.
How to deposit cash into Revolut?
It is not possible to pay cash or cheques into your Revolut account. If you regularly receive money in those forms, then it is better to find a different provider.
Revolut have had tremendous success in recent years, gaining many millions of customers in the UK and beyond. They offer a very good current account service, and have many extras that would allow you to use just Revolut for many, if not all, of your financial needs. The only downside is that they are currently not a licensed UK bank. However, they have applied to become one, so that could soon change.