A year ago, we set out with the audacious goal of bringing Revolut to Australia. In Europe we were climbing towards the five million customers mark, but launching on the other side of the world isn’t easy. We were mindful not to get ahead of ourselves, and limited the initial beta to our 20,000 strong waitlist.
Now, the time has come, and we’re pleased to announce that the Beta version of the Revolut app goes live in Australia today. We’ll start off by gradually rolling out services to the first 20,000 people on the waitlist, then more over the coming weeks.
So, how did we get here?
And come to think of it, where is here? We identified Melbourne as home for Revolut’s Australian HQ, as the city is a centre for FinTech innovation and talent. In addition to creating thirty high-skilled jobs by the end of the year, we’ll also be investing millions of dollars into the Australian economy.
It’s all part of helping to liberate customers from the clunky, frustrating, and let’s face it, expensive systems of old, so that they can take back control of their money. Breaking down financial barriers and eliminating hefty fees are the reasons Revolut started, and while we don’t intend to rush things here, we’re excited to put power back where it belongs — in the hands of the Australian people.
A startup within a startup
Revolut recently obtained a banking licence from the European Central Bank, but that does not mean that we’re a bank in Australia. Rather, we are what’s called, to use the technical term, an ‘electronic money institution’.
It means that we have no physical branches, which you might think would make it easy to set up anywhere in the world. In reality, every country has its own regulatory laws which govern what financial business can and can’t do. Naturally, we want to get off on the right foot here, which is why we’re taking our time to roll out gradually, to make sure that all of our Australian customers feel supported, and that they have the best possible experience. We’re in this for the long haul, after all.
The fact is, no two regions or countries are ever the same, which is why we describe our Australia launch as like building a startup, within a startup. It’s an exciting challenge, and one that’s already well under way.
But what can Australian customers expect from Revolut?
Better financial wellbeing
The plan is to introduce more features and currencies over the coming months, but already Australians will have access to a wide range of game-changing Revolut features.
Customers will receive instant spending notifications to their mobile after each card payment. They’ll also be able to see how much they’re spending each month on things like restaurants, groceries, and transport. Plus, with the ability to set monthly budgets for each of these categories, customers will have unprecedented control of their money on a micro level.
Australian customers will also be able to instantly send and request money from other Revolut customers for free, split the bill at restaurants and bars at the tap of a button; and for people looking for a savvy way to save money, Revolut can round up card payments to the nearest Dollar and put away the spare change in a Vault.
Freedom from hefty fees
For Australians who frequently spend and transfer money overseas, we have even better news. With Revolut, they’ll be able to spend and transfer abroad at the real exchange rate, meaning they’ll no longer be forced to accept hidden fees and hefty markups from the big banks.
In the Beta, customers will be able to hold and exchange 15 currencies directly in the app, including Australian Dollars, New Zealand Dollars, U.S. Dollars, British Pounds, and Euros. Revolut customers in the UK and Europe can currently hold and exchange 29 currencies, a feature we plan to extend to Australian customers soon.
And that’s not all. Historically, sending money to, or receiving money from friends and relatives in Europe used to be an expensive and lengthy process. We’re talking days of waiting and some pretty considerable fees. With the Beta, Revolut customers in the UK, Europe and Australia will be able to transfer money to one another instantly, and for free.
Australians have been financially underserved for far too long. We’re here to help change that, one account at a time.
Want to join the waitlist? We’re currently on-boarding the first 20,000 Australians to Revolut. You can join them by registering your interest below, and bump yourself up the queue by inviting friends.
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