Revolut and Mastercard Join to Help Repair Schools in Mozambique

Leading digital bank Revolut is partnering with Mastercard to help repair four schools destroyed by  Cyclone Idai in Mozambique. The charitable project is also in support of Universal Children’s Day.

According to Revolut, customers are able to round up their spare change and donate the difference, set up a recurring payment, or give a one-off amount via the Revolut Donations feature. Revolut and Mastercard said they will match every £1 donated by Revolut Mastercard users up to a total of £80,000, with an aim to fundraise £160,000 in total for the cause.

Importantly, Revolut said that one hundred percent of the amount donated by customers goes to charity, with Revolut and Mastercard charging no fees and taking no cut from donations.

Marsel Nikaj, Product Owner for Vaults & Donations at Revolut commented:

“We launched our Donations feature in July to make charitable donations simple, flexible and transparent. We hope that our partnership with Save the Children and Mastercard will help children affected by Cyclone Idai get the important education they deserve.”

Edoardo Volta, Head of Fintech Partnerships at Mastercard said they are delighted to be partnering with Revolut:

“Education is the passport to a better future and by raising these funds we hope to be able to offer that to the children affected by Cyclone Idai.”

Revolut Appoints New Chairman of the Board: Martin Gilbert former Co-CEO of Standard Life Aberdeen to Aid International Expansion of Digital Bank

Digital bank Revolut has selected a new Chairman of the Board. Martin Gilbert, an individual who has been advising Revolut co-founder and CEO Nik Storonsky, will join the bank on January 1st as non-Executive Chair.

Gilbert is the former co-Chief Executive of Standard Life Aberdeen, co-founder of Aberdeen Asset Management and Chairman of the PRA Practitioner Panel. In 2015, Harvard Business Review ranked martin 22nd out of over 900 in its list of the world’s top-performing CEOs.

Revolut has been adding key executive managers in recent months as it plans its global expansion beyond the borders of Europe. This year, Revolut launched services in Singapore and Australia. Currently, Revolut is accepting customers in the US with thousands of individuals on a waiting list.

Revolut recently signed global deals with Visa and Mastercard. During the month of October, Revolut reports that one million new accounts opened.

Storonsky explained that as Revolut prepares to scale its business globally it’s crucial that their senior team has a blend of forward-thinking creativity and experience.

“Martin is a respected veteran of the financial world, and brings unparalleled experience to Revolut,” said Storonsky. “His knowledge will prove invaluable as we continue our mission to become the world’s first truly global bank.”

Gilbert said that Revolut is a unique proposition in the digital banking world, and he is pleased to be joining the Board at such an important stage in its development.

“Nik and the team have made great strides towards building the bank of the future, and I’m proud to add my deep experience of Board governance and corporate growth to the Board as Revolut continues to expand on a global scale.”

In just four years, Revolut has grown to service eight million customers worldwide. Rumblings indicate that Revolut is looking to raise $1.5 billion at a valuation between $5 billion and $10 billion.

Revolut is a future-forward digital-only bank providing traditional banking services alongside brokerage services, cryptocurrencies, foreign exchange and more.

Revolut Ties Into QuickBooks in Open Banking Move

Digital bank Revolut has utilized Open Banking APIs for the first time with a tie-in to Intuit QuickBooks, according to a note from Revolut.

This will be the first time that Revolut has collaborated with a third-party provider to use the advanced functionality of UK Government mandated Open Banking rules.

Revolut states that by connecting accounts with QuickBooks financial management software business owners are able to get close to real-time updates on their payments, expenses and cash balances. The immediacy of the information can help small businesses better manage their services.

Domenico De Fano, Product Owner at Revolut for Business said it is only natural to team up with QuickBooks as the worlds largest cloud accounting provider;

“… we also share the same customer-driven values,” said De Fano. “to deliver a best in class service through innovation.  We understand the importance of accurate, secure and fast information to our customers, that’s why we invested the time to get the best connections in place with QuickBooks.”

Shaun Shirazian, Head of Product Europe for Intuit QuickBooks, added that ensuring that they can provide a best-in-class accounting solution through fully open APIs with Revolut is just the start of what they going to offer them through Open Banking.

“With cleaner and more robust banking data, coupled with the AI and machine learning capabilities within our software, we know that small businesses will be so much closer to mastering their company’s cash flow.”

Revolut provides digital bank services for both individuals and businesses. The Fintech continues to roll out new features while expanding its bank service into other countries.

Digital Bank Revolut Launches in Singapore

UK based digital bank Revolut has launched in Fintech-friendly Singapore, according to a company release. In 2018, Revolut set up an Asia-Pacific hub in Singapore, where the Fintech now employs twenty people. Revolut says it is planning to triple its headcount in Singapore in the coming months. This is the first Asian outpost for the Fintech.

Revolut says the public launch kicks off after a successful beta period. Revolut states that it already has over 30,000 customers in Singapore.

Singapore residents may use Revolut to spend overseas in over 150 currencies at the real exchange rate and minus hidden fees. Users may withdraw up to S$350 each month from international ATM machines for free for its standard users, and S$700 for its premium users.

Singapore residents may also hold and exchange 14 currencies in the app, including the Singapore Dollar, U.S. Dollar, British Pound, Euro, and Australian Dollar. Revolut intends to launch an additional 14 currencies in the coming months, including Indian Rupees, Philippine Pesos and Malaysia Ringgit.

Eddie Lee, Head of Operations for Asia-Pacific, said the average Singapore resident travels about seven times a year and, in aggregate, are transferring up to $7 billion overseas:

“For the most part, these are ordinary, hard-working people who are unaware that their existing providers are charging them as much as five percent in fees.”

Lee previously led Uber Eats’ Asia-Pacific operations before joining Revolut earlier this year.

According to the Monetary Authority of Singapore MAS, the financial regulator, Revolut is currently licensed as a Remittance firm.

Singapore recently announced it would offer 5 initial digital banking licenses. MAS announced in August it would begin accepting applications for non-bank Fintechs to become regulated digital banks. It is not clear if Revolut intends on pursuing one of the licenses.

Beyond the UK and continental Europe, Revolut is currently available in Australia and is currently accepting users in the USA. Canada is expected to launch before the end of the year as well.

Revolut currently reports over 7 million customers in Europe with ambitious plans to become the borderless bank of choice for both consumers and SMEs.

Revolut has raised over $336 million in funding from VC firms, including Index Ventures and DST Global, and is currently valued at $1.7 billion.

Revolut to Soon Offer Mastercard Credit Cards to US Customers

Revolut has partnered with Mastercard to issue credit cards using the global network. According to a release from Revolut, the new deal will reach 210 countries and territories with he first cards hitting the US by the end of the year. Revolut is a UK based digital-only bank that recently expanded into the US to offer its banking services.

Revolut states that Mastercard has built a strong partnership with the company since its launch in 2015 and their participation in the network’s accelerator program, Start Path – which Revolut joined in 2016. The two companies are said to have “enjoyed great success across Europe” providing financial services to consumers.

Today’s announcement indicates the two companies will partner on a minimum of 50% of all existing and future cards Revolut issue in Europe.

Revolut currently is working on expanding into Asia Pacific, Latin America and more.

Nik Storonsky, founder and chief executive officer, Revolut, commented on the renewed partnershp with Mastercard:

“As a launch partner of Revolut, Mastercard has been an important contributor to our success, and today’s agreement will enable us to meet our ambitious goal of offering innovative financial and payment solutions to people all over the world. Launching in the U.S. will be a huge milestone for us, and we are delighted Mastercard will be our go-to-market partner.”

Michael Miebach, Chief Product Officer at Mastercard added that they are delighted with their relationship:

“Revolut’s success and its speed to new markets, such as the U.S., is welcome proof of our commitment to tailoring support for fintechs. Broadening Revolut’s global reach will enable millions more people around the world to benefit from Mastercard’s worldwide acceptance footprint and Revolut’s ground breaking financial services.”

Regtech: ClauseMatch is Now Live in Italy in New Partnership with Banca Intesa Sanpaolo

ClauseMatch has announced that it now operational at Intesa Sanpaolo. The partnership is said to be the genesis of a meeting at Fintech Innovation Lab hosted by the Bank. A Proof of Concept soon followed.

The ClauseMatch platform is currently being used by Barclays and Revolut as well to automate their compliance documentation.

According to a note from the company the Bank’s objective in its “Open Innovation” path is to experiment with innovative Fintech solutions to create digital services for the Bank.

After ClauseMatch passed all internal IT security and compliance checks, Intesa Sanpaolo then implemented the platform within the Cost Management Office governance area, which is an online document management and collaboration solution, adapted to optimize and streamline the process of creating and managing intragroup service contracts.

Intesa Sanpaolo also manages intra-group service contracts between internal suppliers and about 70 Customers between Business Units and Legal Entities of the Italian and Foreign Group.

Clausematch explained that the initial requirement was to identify a solution that would simplify the process of the annual renewal of service contracts. To do this, it was necessary to eliminate the exchange of documents by email with a complex structure of customers and products to then reduce operational activities of updating the system previously used to generate such contracts.

The results of the Proof Of Concept was said to have impressed stakeholders with the ability and speed of ClauseMatch to adapt their solution to the specific needs of Intesa Sanpaolo.

Evgeny Likhoded, ClauseMatch CEO & Founder, said that banks and other large financial services firms are looking for “next-generation solutions for different aspects of their business.”

“The Intesa Sanpaolo case shows how a RegTech company can first and foremost significantly optimize its business processes”, said Likhoded.

ClauseMatch is a 2014 graduate of the inaugural Barclays accelerator program, BBVA Open Talent challenge winner, and is in the top 10 Regtech companies selected by Dow Jones, Financial News, FinTech50 company by FinTechCity and in the 2018 CB Insights list of the most promising Fintech companies globally.

ClauseMatch has been working with Barclays on global policy management and compliance since 2017.

 

Report: Digital Bank Revolut Seeking $1.5 Billion in New Funding

Digital challenger bank Revolut is said to be looking to raise $1.5 billion in both debt and equity financing according to a report by Sky News.

Apparently, Revolut is talking to JP Morgan to  raise $500 million in equity plus an additional $1 billion in a convertible loan. If Revolut is successful, the funding round will make it one of the largest ever private capital raises for a Fintech on record.

The convertible would be contingent upon Revolut receiving a banking license in the US – a difficult task.  Currently, Revolut is partnering with the Metropolitan Commercial Bank in the US to provide its mobile banking services. 

In the US, the process to be approved as a nationally chartered bank is arduous and may take years to accomplish. Partnering with an established bank is a well-trodden path for Fintechs seeking to provide their services without having to endure the regulatory labyrinth of becoming a bank.

Revolut has long been a member of the Fintech unicorn herd but this round would reportedly deliver a valuation of between $5 billion to $10 billion.

Revolut currently claims over 8 million customers mostly in the UK plus a good number in continental Europe.

Launched in 2015, the iconoclastic bank aims to become the largest digital bank in world with its eyes set on expanding not just in North America but also in Asia. A public beta of the App was launched this past June in Australia.

Revolut’s rapid growth has not been without a few bumps in the road. Earlier this year, the Fintech was peppered with questions regarding possible lax AML/KYC controls.

While Revolut has grown rather fast it still trails many money center banks like Citi that boasts around 200 million customers.

Much of the growth by Revolut has been driven by its digital-only approach that appeals to a younger demographic that loathe visiting a brick and mortar bank. Services such as foreign exchange and crypto offerings and traditional banking services combined with lower fees have helped lure millions to the challenger bank.

Revolut is not alone in its quest. There is a growing squadron of digital banks seeking to replace traditional banks and their affiliated high fees. If Revolut closes on this funding round, it may end up being the leader of the pack – by valuation.

Fintech Revolut Welcomes US Bank Customers

Revolut has been accepting new accounts in the US of late. Long-anticipated and recently announced, Revolut has been welcoming bank account sign-ups for its digital-first, Fintech future banking accounts in partnership with Metropolitan Commercial Bank, Member FDIC.

In the US, most Fintechs partner with a chartered bank as the process to become a regulated bank is antediluvian and can take years to accomplish.

Revolut is currently working through the “American beta” launch.

Approved users may expect to benefit from features such as:

  • Instant payment notification after every transaction and show you exactly how much you’re spending each month on things like groceries and transport.
  • A monthly spending budget for things like restaurants and groceries.
  • Round up card payments to the nearest dollar for auto savings
  • Spend and transfer money globally, instantly and for free, with the real exchange rate.
  • Send and request money from your friends and family in seconds in the app.

The included Revolut card enables users to spend money abroad in 150 different currencies using the real exchange rate. Meanwhile, traditional banks still use exchange rates as an important profit center charging high fees and ridiculous spreads on rates.

While Revolut has enlisted more than 5 million users in Europe the jury is still out if the UK based challenger bank can expect the same type of growth in the Yankee market. The US is a highly fragmented and diverse market that may require extensive marketing commitments to promote the name and the higher degree of service.

Meanwhile, Revolut is not alone in its quest to replace the brick and mortar banks of the past as both domestic and international rivals enter the digital banking fray including UK challenger banks.

Digital Bank Revolut Plans to Hire 3500 New Staff Members for Company’s Global Expansion

Revolut, a UK-based digital bank and Fintech unicorn, will be hiring around 3500 new staff members, as the company expands its operations into 24 new markets. 

Revolut’s expansion plans involve a new global partnership with payments giant Visa Inc, the two companies revealed on September 30.

Revolut’s products and services include a prepaid debit card, currency exchange, and a peer-to-peer (P2P) payments platform. The London-based Fintech firm aims to create a fair and frictionless platform that lets users transfer, exchange, and spend money by using a multi-currency card that’s accepted almost everywhere.

Established in July 2015, Revolut’s platform now has more than 8 million customers. The company’s platform currently supports spending and ATM withdrawals in 120 different currencies. Transfers can be made in 26 currencies directly from Revolut’s mobile app.

Revolut’s partnership with Visa extends an existing agreement between the two companies that will see Revolut expand its operations into Brazil, Japan, Russia, and the US by the end of  2019. Revolut currently serves customers based in Europe and Australia. 

The company’s management is also planning to enter the Latin American and Asian markets next year. 

Founder and CEO at Revolut Nikolay Storonsky noted:

“We are around 1500 people now and by summer next year we plan to be around 5000.”

The company’s expansion into new markets will be subject to obtaining regulatory approvals.

As part of the deal, at least 75% of all Revolut cards will carry Visa branding instead of Mastercard and other competitors.

Storonsky said that Revolut’s global expansion could potentially double or triple the company’s customer base.

He also mentioned that Revolut’s average client keeps around €1000 in their account, giving a total deposit balance of approximately €8 billion. This amount is relatively small when compared to the trillions in deposits held by large financial institutions such as HSBC and JPMorgan.

Crowdcube: We Have Funded 19% of UK Unicorns

Crowdcube, a leading UK based crowdfunding platform, is out with a note touting the fact they have funded 3 out of 16 (19%) of the UK’s active unicorns. These three companies include BrewDog, Monzo and Revolut.

Crowdcube reports that in the past 12 months, the platform has provided funding to 196 companies totaling £165.5 million.

In total, Crowdcube has raised £552 million for funded companies and had a total of £787 million invested through the platform since launch in 2011. Crowdcube is one of the largest crowdfunding platforms in the world by total amount raised.

“BrewDog, Revolut and Monzo have hyper-engaged, committed and passionate communities. These are revolutionary entrepreneurs who deeply inspire their advocates. Their success acts as ongoing proof that Crowdcube is disrupting the market by turning the brands’ supporters into a powerful core of shareholders. All kinds of businesses experience success with us, but in 2019 the fintech vertical is attracting huge investment. In the last 12 months fintechs have raised more than £65 million with Crowdcube. I look forward to partnering with the UK’s next unicorn, whoever that might be.”

Crowdcube has provided the following synopsis of the three unicorns:

BrewDog: our first

Since 2006, James Watt and Martin Dickie, the founders behind  BrewDog, have been on a mission to make other people as passionate about craft beer as they are. As they say, “Every beer we make, everything we do, ties back to that.” BrewDog became Crowdcube’s first Funded Club unicorn in 2017, after 11 years of hard graft and several funding rounds. To date, BrewDog has generated over £73m from more than 120,000 of their shareholders, fondly known as Equity Punks. Their raise with Crowdcube generated £13.97m. The craft brewer has been one of the UK’s food and drink success stories over the last few years.

Revolut: our second

Our second Funded Club unicorn is digital banking app Revolut. Launched by ex-finance professionals Nikolay Storonsky and Vlad Yatsenko in 2015, Revolut’s goal was to help people manage and move around money in multi-currencies more easily. Revolut launched their crowdfunding campaign with Crowdcube in 2015; with the pitch closing at £1.01m and 433 investors. Balderton Capital and Index Ventures were also investors, lifting Revolut’s valuation to £42m. After a $250m injection from DST Global, Revolut catapulted to unicorn status. Our original Crowdcube investors realised returns of 19x. Revolut recently hit another massive milestone when they announced their customer base had hit 7m.

Monzo

The Monzo team grew so rapidly that they reached unicorn status in just over 3 years. The challenger bank boasts more than 3m customers, with 55,000 new sign-ups every week. Monzo has raised an astronomical £324m since founding, with £24.19m generated over their Crowdcube campaigns.

After raising £20m with Crowdcube in their third crowdfunding round in 2018, Monzo closed a new £113m funding round led by YCombinator (YC) Continuity. This bought its post-money valuation to a massive £2 billion. This means that if you invested in the first crowdfunding round in 2016, your shares would have increased in value 25x.

Monzo previously turned down additional investment offers from notable international investors to ensure their customers and everyday investors could get a slice of the action. The challenger bank’s customer base and shareholders have always been key to the business, as Founder Tom Blomfield explains, “Community is at the heart and soul of everything we do.”

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Seedrs Holds Inaugural Alumni Awards

Last night, Seedrs, a leading UK based investment crowdfunding platform, held its inaugural alumni awards in recognition of their growing number of successfully crowdfunded companies.

Over the years Seedrs has supported more than 590 businesses raise much-needed growth capital. Simultaneously, the very public process has helped to raise the profile of these young firms by promoting their services and enlisting a legion of supporters.

A shortlist of the companies that were in the running is available here.

Seedrs announced the winners via a series of tweets as listed below.

  • Startup of the Year, as voted for by Seedrs investors: @RippleEnergy
  • Entrepreneur of the Year, as voted for by Seedrs investors: Jelte Liebrand from @getsavvynavvy
  • HMS Victory Award for the largest investment from an Anchor partner: @jajayourlife
  • Unicorn Award: @RevolutApp
  • Scale-Up Award for the most successful EIS campaign on Seedrs: @CityFalcon
  • The Seedling Award for the most successful SEIS campaign on Seedrs: @cycle_land
  • Can’t Get Enough Award to recognize a long-standing alumni company (three funding rounds on Seedrs): @LandbayUK 
  • Globetrotter Award for the highest number of international investors: @bux
  • The People Magnate Award for the largest community of Seedrs investors: @WeAreWeSwap

Revolut Adds Free Stock Trading for Premium and Standard Customers

Today, digital bank Revolut has announced the addition of free stock trading for both Standard and Premium customers. The feature is rolling out in 26 different markets including: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and the UK. Revolut states that additional markets to be added in the next few weeks.

Stock trading via Fintech platforms is becoming commonplace as digital banks, robo-advisors and more, seek to challenge established brokerage firms as well as traditional brick and mortar banks which have been slow to adapt by adding services and cutting unnecessary, and sometimes punitive fees.

Revolut first enabled stock trading for Metal customers their top-line service. Users may buy and sell approximately 450 stocks directly from the Revolut App.

The service is tiered with Standard customers receiving 3 free trades per month. Premium customers will be able to make 8 free trades per month. Any trades thereafter will be charged at £1 per trade.

Revolut Metal customers can now make unlimited free trades per month.

Revolut charges Standard, Premium and Metal customers a 0.01% annual custody fee, based on the value of a customer’s portfolio.

Revolut also allows for fractional shares which may be of interest for investors seeking exposure to companies with high per share prices such as Amazon.

Andre Mohamed, Head of Wealth & Trading at Revolut commented on the news:

“We’re delighted to provide even more people with access to the stock market and make financial services more inclusive, innovative and affordable. We’ll continue to build on the trading product, rolling out access to different markets and products in the near future.”

Revolut currently reports over 7 million customers in Europe. Expansion into the US is in the works.

To date, Revolut has raised approximately $340 million in funding, from venture capital firms including Index Ventures, Ribbit Capital, Balderton Capital and DST Global.

Here is the Letter Seeking Additional Information on Why Revolut Pulled its e-Money License in Luxembourg

As was reported earlier this week, Revolut has decided to pass on its application for an e-Money license in Luxembourg. The decision was ostensibly made because Revolut has already received a passportable license in Lithuania and it is in the process of pursuing regulatory approval in Ireland. Speaking with Delano, a Revolut spokesperson explained they “decided to explore the creation of a payments and technology hub in the Republic of Ireland, which is well known for its technology focus and talent pool.”

Over the years, Ireland has become a leading European tech hub with big names like Apple setting up operations. The Irish tech sector is said to employ over 37,000 people generating €35 billion in exports annually. Tech friendly Ireland may make more sense for the digital bank.

In March of this year, London based Fintech Soldo, a payment and spend management services, was awarded an e-Money license from Ireland’s Central Bank. Other Fintechs have done the same.

Spawned by the original article in the Telegraph that uncovered Revolut’s decision to withdraw the e-Money license in Luxembourg, MP Laurent Mosar has formally requested that the Minister of Finance clarify as to exactly why the application was withdrawn.

Mosar asks, referencing the original article in the Telegraph (translated):

In this context, I would like to ask the following questions to the Minister of Finance

    • Can the Minister confirm this information?
    • Why did this company withdraw its application for approval in Luxembourg?
    • Is this withdrawal definitive?

The Minister is legally compelled to respond within a month.

Mosar is a member of parliament for the Christian Social People’s Party. Earlier this year, Mosar queried the Luxembourg government on Revolut following an earlier report in the Telegraph that alleged “lax compliance controls.”

Revolut is one of the leading digital banks in Europe that has grown quite rapidly. But the rapid growth has been accompanied by some growing pains along the way. A Fintech Unicorn, Revolut has set its sights on expanding beyond European borders including into North America.


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Digital Bank Revolut Gives Up on Luxembourg e-Money License

Revolut has decided to withdraw its application for an e-Money license in Luxembourg, according to a report in the Telegraph. The application was originally filed in September of 2018. Revolut was said to make the decision following the approval of two financial services licenses from Lithuania that will allow the digital bank to “passport” its services across the European Union. Additionally, Revolut has filed for a similar license in EU member state Ireland.

According to Delano, the Luxembourg Financial Sector Supervisory Commission (CSSF) indicated that Revolut pulled the application on July 25th but did not provide additional details as to why the application was withdrawn. A Revolut spokesperson told the news outlet:

“Following the successful completion of the review in Lithuania, our focus remains on building out our local banking team there. As recently reported, we have also decided to explore the creation of a payments and technology hub in the Republic of Ireland, which is well known for its technology focus and talent pool. Our investments in both these European countries has been driven by what is in the best interests of our 7 million customers. We’re excited to be working with some of the most highly regarded tech and financial services talent in both these countries.”

It was also reported that the application was withdrawn due to questions regarding compliance issues by Chamber of Deputies MP Laurent Mosar. A formal letter was said to be filed this week by Mosar requesting further details from the Luxembourg Minister of Finance, Pierre Graamegna, as to why the license was withdrawn. A response is legally required within a months time.

Revolut is a leading UK based digital challenger bank. The Fintech bank has grown rapidly both in the UK and across Europe and has recently expanded into Australia. A US digital banking service is expected later this year.

The rapid growth has not come without challenges as Revolut has endured a bumpy road at times regarding questions around compliance issues such as KYC and AML requirements. Revolut reported the creation of a global licensing team in January of 2019 to better manage the complex demands of adhering to banking regulations across various international jurisdictions.

 

Revolut Expands into Portugal with New Customer Operations Center in Porto

Digital bank Revolut is expanding into Portugal with a new customer operations center in Porto. The company reports that it will hire up to 400 new employees at the new location. Ricardo Macieira, an ex-Airbnb executive, and Rebeca Venancio, formerly at Microsoft, have been appointed to lead Revolut’s operations and communications in Portugal respectively. Construction is underway to upgrade an old cannery, Amorim Amorim, in Matosinhos. New hires are currently in temporary offices.

Revolut notes that currently, the bank has 250,000 Portuguese customers.

Revolut states that it has already hired 70 customer support agents in Porto with roles across customer support, complaints, investigations, and compliance.  This new office should be completed this year, moving staff from the existing temporary office.

Revolut says that is adding 1000 new accounts each day in Portugal and it has grown by 150% this year alone. In the UK and Europe, Revolut reports over 6 million customers.

Nik Storonsky, founder & CEO of Revolut, said that Portugal is emerging as a key Fintech hub in Europe and they are proud to be part of that movement.

“Last year, during my trip to WebSummit in Lisbon, it became very clear to me that the country was fully embracing all the benefits that financial technology has to offer,” said Storonsky.

Venâncio will lead Revolut’s Communication and Public Relations in Portugal, after working for almost three years in Marketing and Communication at Microsoft Portugal and with a career dedicated to journalism, at SIC, TVI, Cofina group and Diário Económico.

Macieira has been appointed as Growth manager for Revolut, responsible for developing Revolut’s business in the country.

Revolut Introduces 3D Secure Payments

Digital bank Revolut announced earlier this week the launch of its new 3D secure (3DS) payments feature. According to Revolut, the feature was created to help fight against fraud and to keep Revolut users safe.

“3DS is a step you take when buying something online using your Revolut card. If you’ve ever bought something online with another card, then you’re probably already familiar with the general concept. 3DS on Revolut is simple. If you’re paying with your Revolut card on a website that uses 3D Secure, we’ll automatically send you a push notification. This push notification will ask you to open the app, and tap on ‘Confirm’. Simple as that. If for any reason you don’t get a notification, you’ll just need to open the app and tap on Confirm.”

Revolut also reported that the 3DS confirmation happens before the transaction is made, meaning the user’s payment could still be declined after they confirm it in the app. The fintech added:

“There are two parts to this. 3DS only applies to ecommerce payments. That is, payments made for things you buy online. It does not apply when you use your physical card in a shop, at a chip and pin machine, for example. The second thing to note is that 3DS only applies to certain ecommerce payments. Revolut has no control over which ones it applies to, as this is handled by merchants individually.”

Revolut Works with WWF and The Rainforest Alliance to Provide Donations to Amazon Rainforest

Digital bank Revolut is working with WWF and The Rainforest Alliance regarding the emergency appeal to support those dealing with the devastation caused by fire to the Amazon rainforest.

Revolut has a donations feature as part of its bank application. Revolut initially launched this past July with three charities: WWF, Save the Children and LGBTI charity ILGA-Europe. To date, Revolut reports it has raised over £100,000 for these causes.

Revolut states that all donations to The Rainforest Alliance made through Revolut will be directed towards efforts in the Amazon, and for the next week, all donations to WWF will be treated likewise, funding a range of important causes aimed at protecting our rainforests.

These donations will be dedicated to battle the devastation as well as supporting local and indigenous community needs for medical assistance, firefighter training and security.

Revolut users will be able to contribute via the in-app Donations feature, which allows all users to round up their card payments and donate the difference to charity. Customers can also donate by setting up a recurring payment or making one-off donations.

The company states that 100% of all funds go to the charity and Revolut charges no fees.

Nik Storonsky, CEO and founder of Revolut said through their work with WWF and The Rainforest Alliance, they want to help people donate easily and support efforts to tackle the fires, offer emergency relief and protect the rainforests.

Rob Wood, Head of Partnership Communications at WWF-UK thanked Revolut for supporting the emergency appeal and giving their customers an easy way to help.

Revolut Boosts Executive Leadership with New Hires from Traditional Banking

Digital bank Revolut has added to its executive team with several new hires harkening from traditional finance.

According to Revolut, the Fintech bank has hired Philip Doyle as Director of Financial Crime Risk, Wolfgang Bardorf as Treasurer and Stefan Wille as Deputy Chief Financial Officer.

Doyle was previously at ClearBank. Bardoff has worked at Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank and Wille used to work at Credit Suisse as well as N26.

Nik Storonsky, Founder & CEO at Revolut commented on the new appointments:

“This year we’ve made some exceptional senior appointments to the company. As we continue to strengthen our existing governance and processes we’ve hired some of the most talented professionals, with many years of experience, delivering world-class business practices. I’m looking forward to welcoming Philip, Stefan, and Wolfgang to Revolut’s executive team and I have no doubt their knowledge will be invaluable as we grow.”

Revolut notes that in the past months the company has hired multiple senior executives with vast experience in financial services. Chief Operating Officer Richard Davies was previously in senior leadership roles at HSBC, Barclays and TSB. CFO Dave MacLean was the former Finance Director at Metro Bank.

The new hires are important as Revolut is scaling rapidly. Revolut reaffirms its plans to launch in both North America and Asia at some point in 2019. In June, Revolut set up operations in Australia.

Managing the diverse regulatory and compliance demands of these regions is a significant task. Earlier this year, Revolut took some heat for allegations of lax AML/KYC controls.

Today, Revolut claims over 6 million customers in the UK and continental Europe.

Future Fintech: The Fight for the Digital Banking Crown

As 2019 moves into its third quarter, the once burgeoning industry of digital banking is starting to make serious waves in the financial world – and investors are taking notice. Big players like Monzo, Starling, N26, Revolut, and EQIBank have recently completed massive funding rounds supported by a range of VC’s and angel investors from around the world.

UK-based Monzo has been making headlines lately with a £2 billion valuation following a £113 million funding round led by startup accelerators Y Combinator and Latitude. Despite lacking some of the advanced features and alternative asset investment options, it now presents serious competition to its closest rival, Revolut.

Monzo announced in June that it plans to roll out its services into the USA, where it faces stiff competition from tech startups like Wirex, Varo Money, Chime, EQIBank, N26, Aspiration and more. P2P lender Zopa has long messaged its intent to transition into a digital bank. US-based marketplace lender LendingClub revealed earlier this month its intent to pursue a banking charter thus throwing its hat into the ring of digital-only banking operations.

Since its launch in 2015, Monzo has already amassed over 2 million users and has drawn the attention of Instagram founder Kevin Systrom and musician Tom Odell.

Fellow UK-based digital banking startup Starling Bank has flexed its muscle in the sector, having secured £75 million in a funding round earlier this year led by Merian Global Investors. The move brought its total valuation to over £120 million and solidified the bank’s plans to expand into Europe later this year.

European newcomer N26 dominated the global digital banking scene in 2018, being named the number one tech startup in Germany by Linkedin. It powered its way into 2019 by raising a whopping $300 million in its Series D funding round, bringing its total valuation to $3.5 billion. New investors to the N26 table include the New York firm Insight Venture Partners and Singapore-based GIC.

Bringing Custody Solutions to the Table

Since its inception in 2016, fresh tech startup EQIBank has forged ahead with a wealth of new features, including multi-layer custody storage for alternative assets. The strategic relationship, formed with trusted South Dakota-based custody solutions provider Kingdom Trust, makes the firm a leader in digital asset insurance. As of this month, EQIBank customers can now enjoy up to $50 million in digital asset insurance.

“We’re proud of our growing operational and technology relationships, of which Kingdom Trust is a welcomed addition. Our job is to give EQIBank’s clients the ability to protect their future,” said EQIBank CEO Jason Blick. “We think about the things they need before they know they need them. Strong, insured custody is one of those things.”

California-based Aspiration has been around since 2013. Following a $47 million investment round in 2017, the firm launched a new $200 million fundraising round in April this year in hopes of pushing its valuation past $1 billion.

With over 1 million investors, the firm benefits from backing from famous Hollywood actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Orlando Bloom and focuses on providing more ethical and social banking services to those in need.

Far from the struggling tech startups of the early 2010s, online digital banks now represent serious competition to the traditional banking sector. With lower fees, faster transactions, digital asset support, and increasingly comprehensive custody solutions, the big banks have no choice but to sit up and take notice.


Aubrey Hansen is a freelance writer, a graduate of Aarhus University and crypto enthusiast. She writes about blockchain technology, Fintech, and cryptocurrencies.  She’s been researching major developments in the crypto world in the past couple of years.

Digital Bank Revolut Launches Business Expense Management Feature

Digital bank Revolut has integrated Xero, an SME accounting platform, to facilitate seamless business expense reporting. The Revolut for Business app has also been updated for team members to upload receipts and add expense information, according to a release from the company

The new “Expense Management tool,” is designed to help growing businesses more easily manage expenses. Business owners may now approve or reject team expenses, an area that has traditionally been difficult to manage.

The Expense Management feature is available on paid plans and is described as part of Revolut’s commitment to help businesses get off the ground by saving time and money. Expenses may now be monitored in real time. By syncing with a Xero account, businesses may reconcile expenses.

Edward Berks, Business Platform Director at Xero said that Revolut’s customers will now have their expenses “beautifully integrated” with their accounting records in Xero.

“The days of paper receipts stored in shoeboxes are long behind us.”

If you don’t use Xero, users may create their own categories within the Expense Management tool and export expenses as a CSV file.

Revolut for Business recently launched two new business account plans with no monthly fees and made changes to the pricing structure of their plans, introducing a customizable model that provides even more control and great value pricing. The new expense management tool is included in all the paid plans.

Revolut continues to release new features that appeal to both retail and business customers. The digital bank aims to differentiate its service from traditional high street banks and other challenger banks.

Revolut is in expansion mode having recently launched in Australia with other countries in the queue. A pending launch in North America is expected in the coming weeks.