Fintech Revolut to take on pillar banks with new Irish base
Disruptor to offer personal loans after winning 200,000 Irish customers
Fintech disruptor Revolut is to establish an Irish base in the coming months as it prepares to take on the country's pillar banks with new current accounts, overdrafts, and personal loans.
The London-based banking company, which is valued at around $1.7bn (€1.49bn) claims that it will offer the cheapest overdrafts in the Irish market as well as the lowest interest rates on loans up to €15,000. More than 200,000 customers use the service here with a further 100,000 targeted for 2019.
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Revolut's global marketing head Chad West said that use of the service in Ireland had "blown up" over the last 12 months.
"We've noticed a big rise in the number of people using in the border regions because you can store and transfer multiple currencies easily. We've decided that we need a more local presence in Ireland," West said.
"We're hiring a country growth manager, a marketing manager, and a number of local community managers who will work in Dublin, Cork, and Belfast."
West said that Revolut will initially hire up to six people and will "continue to add" as the company grows in the market. Currently all Irish operations are routed through the group's headquarters in London.
West said that there was a "minimum expectation" to have 300,000 users in Ireland by the end of the year. He said that the product was going to "rapidly change" since it secured a European banking licence in December.
Revolut will use the passporting rights of the licence to allow it to offer current accounts, personal loans, and free stock-trading products in Ireland.
West said the "ballpark" interest rates on the personal loans would range from 8pc to 14pc on values up to €15,000. Users will be able to apply for the loans and receive the money in their accounts instantly, according to West.
In the past Revolut has been viewed as a "digital purse" product that goes hand-in-hand with a separate account from a pillar bank but the company plans for that to change.
"We're building this one-stop financial shop," West said. "Our view is that there will be no need to use any other service. Over the next few years you'll see Revolut as one of the top banks in Ireland," he claimed.
Bank of Ireland and AIB are in the process of enhancing their digital offerings.
Sunday Indo Business