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Revolut CEO on growing a multi-currency card into financial superapp – targets businesses next

In 2015, Revolut was conceived in London out of the frustrations of Nikolay Storonsky, a former Credit Suisse trader. His discontentment stemmed from the exorbitant fees and unfavourable exchange rates imposed by conventional banks whenever he traveled abroad.

As such, he teamed up with software developer Vlad Yatsenko to build a digital banking platform that would allow users to exchange and spend money abroad without incurring high fees. Later that same year, the duo unveiled Revolut’s first product, a prepaid debit card that allowed users to spend money in multiple currencies at the interbank exchange rate.

The multi-currency debit card quickly gained widespread popularity, propelling Revolut’s growth. Today, the company boasts a presence in more than 40 countries worldwide, serving over 30 million retail customers and processing over 400 million transactions each month.

As it continues to evolve, the company has set its sights on a new and ambitious goal — to become a global financial superapp.

Launching in Singapore during COVID-19

In 2019, Revolut made its foray into Singapore. Singapore’s status as a financial hub, its business-friendly regulatory environment, political stability, and high internet and mobile penetration made the city-state an attractive choice for Revolut — the company viewed Singapore an important hub for success in the region.

In addition to this, the city-state is also a travel hub, hosting a large population of immigrants. In fact, about 37 per cent of Singapore’s population was made up of immigrants as of June 2022. This further positioned Singapore as an attractive market for Revolut as there was a demand for a plethora of financial services such as multi-currency payments and international transfers.

Although the launch of the company in the region coincided with the start of the pandemic, Raymond Ng, the CEO of Revolut Singapore, said that the company still saw “a very encouraging reaction” from its Singaporean customers.

“Singaporeans are typically receptive to new technology and products, especially when they are aimed at simplifying existing needs or improving their lives,” he explained.

However, given the travel restrictions at the time, the company strategically utilised the COVID-19 period to enhance and diversify its product offerings in Singapore, extending beyond its original multi-currency card offering.

Revolut offers a suite of products to satisfy various financial needs

Today, Revolut offers a suite of products and services within its app to meet a variety of financial needs. These span from everyday payment needs to international transfers, customisable multi-currency cards, investment products and even a Revolut <18 card catering to both kids and teenagers between the ages of seven and 17.

Within the Revolut app, users get to manage their subscriptions all in one place, organise bills, track financial process and send donations to a variety of charities with just the tap of a button.

Meanwhile, some of Revolut’s multi-currency card plans come with additional benefits including global travel insurance, cashback and discounted access to airport lounges.

In 2022, the company was able to launch commodities and cryptocurrency trading within its platform, as well as stock trading earlier this year.But seeing as to how risky investments can be, especially when it comes to crypto, Revolut also provides in-app education modules to bolster the financial literacy of its customers.

Since its launch in Singapore, Revolut has seen a remarkable growth in its sign-up figures, which has increased by approximately twofold year-on-year. The number of transactions on the Revolut Singapore app has also doubled in June this year, as compared to a year ago.

Raymond credits the company’s achievements thus far to its unwavering commitment to a customer-centric philosophy. The company carries out continuous enhancements to its existing offerings after taking user feedback into account, while introducing new products that meticulously align with the discerned needs of the Singaporean market.

Creating a one-stop global financial platform

That said, in a market like Singapore where onlytwo per cent of the population do not have bank accounts, Revolut is inevitably faced with competition from other well-established financial institutions in the space, including digital banks and traditional banks.

Despite this, Raymond staunchly upholds his conviction in Revolut’s offerings, especially as the company positions itself to become a one-stop, global financial superapp.

Through the superapp, the company aims to create an “easy-to-use and safe one-stop shop for all things money” that will help its customers save time and get more from their money every day, from empowering them to simplify their money management to sending money globally with ease all while promoting financial literacy.

However, building a superapp is by no means an easy feat — a superapp is meant to meet a wider range of customer needs which is why Revolut needs to expand its in-app products and services. To achieve this, the company needs to acquire the right licenses and partner with other financial institutions and industry players to deliver greater value to its customers.

Moreover, introducing new functionalities into an app has the potential to introduce complexities that may impact user satisfaction. Therefore, prior to the launch of any new product, service, or feature, Revolut conducts multiple rounds of checking and testing to ensure that the user experience is as simple, easy and seamless as it possibly can be.

Bringing maximum value to individuals and businesses in Singapore

Despite the hurdles ahead, the company remains steadfast in its pursuit to become a global financial superapp.

In addition to positioning itself as a global financial superapp and expanding its offerings in the personal financial ecosystem, Revolut is also looking to bring Revolut Business to Singapore.

Revolut Business is a one-stop platform for all business finance needs, and is currently available in 40 markets across the United States, United Kingdom, Europe, and Australia.

All in all, Revolut strives to introduce more innovative products and capabilities to its Singaporean customers, tailored to their needs and demands.

“We will continue to engage and work with regulators and industry peers, either directly or through groups like the Singapore Fintech Association to ensure we are bringing the maximum value to individuals and businesses in Singapore,” adds Raymond.

Featured Image Credit: Revolut

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