Revolut’s Quest To Become A Financial SuperApp
Updated: Jul 28
Antifragile, as described in the eponymous book by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, is used to describe things that gain from disorder and chaos. The FinTech industry is witnessing a massive turn of fortunes and is experiencing unprecedented disorder and chaos, especially in the consumer-focused segments such as neobanking, BNPL, digital investments, etc.
Plummeting valuations, investment cooldowns, heightened regulatory scrutiny, and recent geopolitical tensions have brought an unwelcome winter for the FinTech industry. When most of the players in this space have resorted to defensive choices, a UK-based e-money institution with a European banking license is showing the traits of being an antifragile.
Revolut has not just remained immune to the recent downdraft but seems to be scaling new heights amidst the uncertainty and chaos. In its quest to be a financial super app, Revolut has stuck to its aggressive expansion strategy, persistently increasing its global footprint, backed by a diverse range of products, features, and tools for the customers. Having already covered the stellar growth in their product offerings from 2015-2020 in our previous deep dive, in this edition, we take a look at the more recent ones, launched from 2021 onwards.
2021: Big Bets On Business
2021 proved to be a pivotal year for Revolut Business as it introduced a wide range of solutions, echoing its mission to be the one place to manage all things business. In January, the FinTech announced the launch of its acquiring solution in 16 additional European countries, allowing businesses to accept card payments online. In the following months, the firm launched QR Code Payment Acceptance in Europe (except Romania, Latvia, Iceland, and Cyprus) to facilitate internet-based instant and socially distant payments and Smart Expenses, offering business owners an additional layer of control over spending. Addressing popular demand, Revolut Business launched the Ultimate Freelancer plan and metal cards to freelance business customers. The digital bank partnered with employers in the UK to launch On-Demand Pay – an earned wage access product to help employees access wages early and improve their financial wellbeing.
2021: Continued Crypto Cravings
Cryptocurrency trading remains a key revenue contributor for Revolut, and it has continued to bring more tokens and features to improve customer stickiness with the crypto community. In April, the digital bank added 11 new crypto tokens – Cardano, Uniswap, Synthetix, Yearn Finance, Uma, Bancor, Filecoin, Numeraire, Loopring, Orchid, and The Graph – increasing its tally of offerings from 10 to 21. Its “New Token Tuesday” campaign introduced eight more Network and Oracle tokens, including the famous DOGE, with the app presently supporting over 75 coins. These moves resonate with CEO Nikolay Storonsky’s ambitious vision of becoming a one-stop shop for financial services and are evident from his comment, “For example… decentralized wallets, and enabling deposits, withdrawals of crypto and staking, lending — that’s another piece that we're missing and we're working on”. Soon afterward, Revolut announced the launch of crypto withdrawals, allowing customers to transfer BTC to their personal wallets outside of the Revolut ecosystem, offering exclusive beta access to UK Metal customers initially.
2021: Rally In Retail
As the worst effects of the pandemic ebbed, the tourism industry started to bounce back as people were eager to reconnect, explore new destinations, or revisit reliable favorites. The digital bank’s retail division was quick to capitalize on this trend with the launch of Stays, allowing its UK customers to book holidays and get 10% instant cashback. Revolut’s innovation has always prioritized popular community demands – resulting in the launch of a limited edition 24-carat gold plated card in the UK, US, and EEA, and a limited edition poppy card in the UK to support the Royal British Legion, a British charity providing support to members and veterans of the British Armed Forces, their families, and dependants. It also relaunched its iconic rainbow card in the UK, Europe, and the US to celebrate pride month. Revolut Junior announced the incorporation of Apple Pay and Google Pay in its app, facilitating contactless payments for its teenage customers in the UK and EEA.
2022: Relentless Rise Of The Revolut-ion
With launches already scheduled in multiple regions, 2022 is turning out to be a significant year in the history of Revolut. The FinTech updated its Savings Vault, enabling metal customers in the UK the opportunity to earn 1.35% interest (AER) paid daily on their Savings Vaults in GBP. It also helped its customers in the US to avail 30 minutes, fee-free money transfers to Mexico. The digital bank launched its Stock Trading feature in Australia, not only allowing customers to trade shares listed on the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ through the app but also waived all commission fees for the rest of the year to anyone who used the Stock Trading feature by June 30, 2022. The FinTech collaborated with Allianz Partners to provide travel insurance to Revolut customers holding a Premium or Metal Account in the EEA and the UK. The e-money institution has been eyeing up the BNPL space for quite some time, with its CEO lightheartedly commenting about acquiring “one specific Swedish player.” In June, the digital bank launched ‘Pay Later’ in Ireland, providing customers the option of paying across three monthly instalments for purchases up to a maximum of €499.
With a mission to help pet owners in the UK maintain their furry friends' health, Revolut entered a new vertical by launching Pet Insurance, initially applicable to cats and dogs only. Keeping socio-economic causes in mind, Revolut introduced payment services to refugees fleeing Ukraine and eased many of the requirements needed to set up an account.
Since its inception in 2015 as a facilitator of multi-currency transactions, Revolut has witnessed meteoric growth across many dimensions. The FinTech has now surpassed 20 million retail customers worldwide and is now processing over 250 million transactions a month. In July 2022, the digital bank forayed into in-person payments solutions with the launch of its first-ever hardware device, Revolut Reader, with the lightweight card reader accepting debit and credit card transactions and contactless payment methods. With a mission to give people more control over their financial well-being, the digital banking platform is well on course to further bolster its range of offerings in the upcoming months – backing its claims to be a “truly global financial super app.”