Revolut acquires European banking license, aims to become “Amazon of Banking”

Revolut, the London-based fintech, has been granted a European banking license and will begin expanding operations in 2019, initially focusing on smaller European countries. Once Revolut has established a foundation for new services in more rural areas, the company plans to “passport the banking license” to larger markets, including the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Poland.

The fintech, which was founded in 2015, originally attracted customers by offering the ability to spend and transfer money abroad, using location-specific exchange rates. The company has since served 3m customers and added new features, including spending overviews, budgeting controls, and savings features. Users of the app may now buy and sell exposure to cryptocurrencies from their phones and will soon be able to partake in commission-free stock trading across the UK and Europe.

“With the banking license now secured, commission-free stock trading progressing well and five new international markets at final stages of launch, we are living up to our reputation as the “Amazon of banking”. Our vision is simple: one app with tens of millions of users, where you can manage every aspect of your financial life with the best value and technology”, said Nik Storonsky, founder & chief executive officer of Revolut.

With Revolut’s acquisition of a European banking license, customers will be able to directly deposit their salaries, with protection up to €100,000 (£90,000), in compliance with the European Deposit Insurance Scheme. Beginning in 2019, Revolut is also aiming to offer overdrafts, or “personal and business loans at competitive rates to traditional high street lenders”.

“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,” said Storonsky.