Business Irish

Saturday 22 September 2018

App-based fintech firm Revolut - with 50,000 Irish users - applies for European Banking Licence

Louise Kelly

Louise Kelly

A fintech startup that has grown rapidly with its offering of app-based banking products has applied for a European Banking Licence.

London-based Revolut, which boasts 50,000 Irish users, intends to build its own payment processor in-house and expects the banking licence to be in place by 2018.

The licence will allow the traditional bank alternative to offer deposit and credit services across Europe, including overdrafts, personal loans and term deposits.

The decision to bring their processes in-house follows a series of complaints by users on social media recently, who stated that their cards had been declined or their payments had been rejected.

The fintech, whose founder & CEO Nikolay Storonsky spoke at the Web Summit on Tuesday (November 6), blamed the issue on "a third party processor". 

"We delayed applying for a banking licence because we wanted to focus all of our resources on product innovation from day one," said Storonsky.

"Even without a banking licence, we have attracted over 950,000 users across Europe, many of whom consider Revolut as their primary current account and spending card."

Founded in 2015 by Storonsky and Vlad Yatsenko, Revolut offers a pre-paid card linked to an app that lets people buy, hold, and transfer money in multiple currencies at low rates.

In the last few weeks, the company launched its initial insurance offering, mobile phone cover, which began the fintech's initial expansion into insurance as part of its ambition to become "the first global banking app".

The banking licence will also offer Revolut's 950,000 users globally extra reassurance as it would protect customers funds up to €100,000 under the European Deposit Protection Scheme.

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