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Revolut moves closer to ambition as ‘Amazon of banking’

Cherry Reynard
Written By:
Cherry Reynard

Banking app Revolut has been granted a European banking licence in a move, it said, brings it closer to becoming ‘the Amazon of banking’.

The group has unveiled plans for full current accounts, consumer lending and commission-free stock trading. It will being implementing the licence next year in smaller European markets, but will eventually move out to the larger markets of the UK, France and Germany.

Revolut started as a currency exchange service three years ago. It built up a 3m-strong customer base by allowing them to exchange at the real ‘spot’ exchange rate. Since then, it has introduced spending overviews, budgeting controls and savings features, including a ‘Vaults’ system that allows you to add a little on top of each purchase, which is transferred to a savings account. It also has trading features, including cryptocurrencies.

However, for the time being, users have to transfer money from their bank account to the app. The new banking licence will allow its customers to start depositing their salaries, which will be protected up to €100,000 under the European Deposit Insurance Scheme. As part of its banking proposition, the group will also begin to work on offering overdrafts, personal and business loans.

Nik Storonsky, founder and chief executive of Revolut, said lending facilities were a priority: “Our vision is that retail and business customers will be able to apply for a loan in just two minutes from within the app, and then have the money in their account almost instantly. We’ll remove the bureaucratic process and come in cheaper than traditional lenders.”

Over the last 12 months, the app has grown significantly, opening between 8,000 and 10,000 current accounts daily and transacting over $4 billion per month in volumes.