Among a number of businesses, Revolut, which describes itself as a “digital banking alternative”, is changing the way customers engage with their finances.
Nikolay Storonsky, a former trader who worked at Lehman Brothers and Credit Suisse, and Vlad Yatsenko, who previously designed financial systems at investment banks, launched Revolut in July 2015. Revolut began life as a pre-paid card and app, which made it possible for travelers to move between currencies cheaply. It was born out of the frustrations of Storonsky’s over existing foreign exchange goods. The company has extended its range of products and services since then. The fintech company currently has more than five million customers globally and continues to develop its proposition.
Revolut since then started to get a grasps more and more on the financial sector given the fact that has so many powerful features and it’s easy to use even for not tech savvy customers. For example one feature I really like is how easy you can load funds in your Revolut app and pay with one of the available cards.
After signup you get a physical card delivered from Revolut to your address and as an extra you can also make payments using one of the virtual credit cards you have in your Revolut account. One is an usual virtual card you can pay with online and at your convenience can be deleted and generate a new one to use. Another option is a disposable virtual card that re-generates it’s data each time a payment is made so you stay totally secure on your funds avoiding future charges or stole of your card data. Both the standard physical card and the the usual virtual card can be frozen at any time so no future payments will be done from them until you choose to unfreeze the card before making a payment. Let’s say someone get’s a hold of your card details and tries to make a payment, if your card is frozen payment would not go through. Or let’s suppose you paid on a website and later an extra charge for a renewal is to be done but you don’t want this then if your card is frozen the payment won’t go through. You could also always use your disposable virtual card for all payments you don’t want to repeat in future as the card details are re-generated after each use.
And these are only a small fraction of the features you have in your Revolut app.
Let’s look at more of the features bellow:
- Spending analytics – With its categorization functionality, gain weekly insights into your spending.
- Set monthly budgets for expenditures – Take control of your expenses by setting a monthly budget.
- Notifications for instant spending – Get instant warnings for transactions in and out of your account.
- Manage your finances in one place – Connect your other bank accounts to track all your money in one place using open banking.
- Save money with Revolut’s Rewards feature – Get cashback and rewards when spending with your Revolut card with exclusive retailers.
- Move money abroad – Transfer cash abroad using the Interbank Exchange Rate in over 30 currencies (there is a 0.5 percent charge for balances above £1,000).
- Fee-free spending abroad – Spending abroad with no hidden fees (limits apply)
- Earn interest on your savings – Save money to earn interest on the balance in a savings vault from Revolut.
- Round up spare change – With the round-up feature, save as you spend.
- Get paid early – Get your wage paid a day early into your Revolut account.
- Pockets – Arrange your bills and subscriptions into pockets so that the money is automatically transferred out of your account on payday and each bill is paid from a pocket, so you never have to worry about missing a payment.
- Overseas medical benefits – Insure as little as £1 a day for a trip abroad.
- Telephone insurance – Cover your cell phone with Revolut premium policies against unintentional harm.
- Trade Crypto, Stocks & Commodities – Easily trade stocks, Commodities or even Crypto right from the Revolut App.
- Send Money to Friends Or Family – Easily send money to anyone like for example your Friends or Family, even if it’s not on Revolut he will get an invite email for signup.
- Split Bill – Split a Bill with your Friends, Family or anyone on Revolut.
Do you Know How Revolut Works?
Unlike high street banks, with no paperwork, Revolut allows you to set up a current account. They say that a Sterling or Euro current account can be opened in 60 seconds, and this was my experience using the app. They do not initially perform any initial credit checks or require proof of address.
The first step is to decide whether you want to open a current account free of charge, a £ 2.99 per month plus account, a £ 6.99 per month premium account or a £ 12.99 per month metal account.
A top-up of your account is one of the first things the app asks you to do. Revolut effectively utilizes this as an initial security check by adding money from a checked established bank account that is under your name.
Revolut asked me to scan proof of ID via the app a day after setting up the account. It is not possible until this phase is completed to top-up your account. It didn’t take long, luckily. You can take a photo of your national ID card, driving license or your passport. They then ask you to use their camera feature to take a selfie to double-check the resemblance of the image ID you sent. Within three minutes, Revolut sent me a text message stating that my identity had been checked successfully (although they flagged that in some cases it can take up to 10 minutes to confirm).
Customers can order a physical or virtual card from Revolut. The former is a contactless Mastercard pre-paid, which can be used in stores in the UK and overseas. With the exception of the delivery cost, which depends on the method chosen within the app, a physical card can be purchased for free through the app. Customers get a physical card for free with Premium accounts.
In order to use it at chip-and-pin payment terminals, the next step is to create a pin for the physical card to withdraw money from ATMs. You can also use the physical card for contactless and magstripe payments.
The ‘location’ protection feature can be switched on by consumers, which means Revolut can use the GPS location of your phone to prevent fraudulent transactions from taking place. Additionally, to prevent the card from being used fraudulently or cloned, magstripe, contactless payments, ATM withdrawals and e-commerce transactions may be disabled. At the touch of a button inside the app, you can also freeze and unfreeze your card.
You can use Revolut’s physical card to trade in your base currency, as well as in other currencies. You may opt to swap it for the currency of your choosing (i.e. dollars) when you load money onto the card, so that it locks into the current exchange rate. To trade in your base currency as well as in other currencies, you can use Revolut’s physical card. When you load money onto the card, you will choose to swap it for the currency of your choice (i.e. dollars) so that it locks into the current exchange rate.
So now you may be asking how the Revolut App works?
Your Revolut account is managed by an app that can be downloaded to your smartphone or iPad for free. To become a customer of Revolut, you need to feel comfortable managing your account using your smartphone or laptop. Luckily, the software is easy to use and well built. Customers of Revolut can use ApplePay and contactless to pay for goods, as well as using the conventional pin pad. Revolut also has an Apple Watch app that displays updates from Revolut on the face of your watch. If you don’t have an Apple watch, it doesn’t matter, as the alerts are simply displayed on your phone instead. You would need a four-digit password or fingerprint/face recognition to customize the phone app.
What about Revolut Premium?
Revolut now has an account for everyone and if you are still looking for extra insurance and security benefits, Revolut Premium could be more fitting for you. Most of the features are the same in all Revolut accounts, with subscription accounts providing extra features such as discounted system insurance and purchasing security. The cash withdrawal limits are higher, but I do not see the need to use them unless you are always abroad or traveling to a nation where you need to carry cash.
If you lead an international lifestyle and need to make a large number of foreign exchange transactions, a Premium account might make sense. It is also worth considering how the cover for travel and appliances compares with those available on the market. Do they give good value and suit your specifications?
And the Conclusion…
Revolut gives its customers real savings by using the interbank exchange rate and taking out fees. In this respect, it represents a market leader and I think it is a great solution for anyone looking for their next holiday to use a card.
Not only that Revolut it’s easy to use but offers high security for your payments that you would not find elsewhere so easy. It offers by far lots of advantages that would make you wanna use it. You get secure credit card and virtual cards that you can always choose to freeze at your convenience for your security and peace of mind. You also get the option to trade Crypto, commodities and stocks right from the app. If that’s not all the options to split a bill with someone or just send money to your friends or family makes it the best approach of storing your money. Given this there are tons of other options you can choose from the Revolut app yourself so don’t abstain but give it a try. You have nothing to loose so you may choose to register an account here.