Digital Banking

British Digital Bank Revolut Breaks Even

U.K.-based FinTech firm Revolut has announced that it is the first digital bank of its kind to break even on a monthly basis.  That result, according to the firm, was pushed by a rapidly expanding base of users and a new suite of products that upped its revenues.

Revolut has proven to be a consumer favorite due to its fairly inexpensive and accessible foreign exchange products. Currently the bank has 1.5 million European clients.

It is not the only digital-only operation of its kind, and the last few years have seen a slew open across the pond — but all but Revolut are money losers at this time.

Revolut founder Nikolay Storonsky told Reuters that December’s result were on pace with trends the firm noticed throughout 2017 and that it expects to see continue through this year.

“In January we had an even stronger month…and again we are up 20-25 percent on revenues compared to December,” he said.

Unlike its various money-losing rivals in the space, Revolut offers premium and business accounts, both of which have a fee associated with them — those have turned out to be revenue drivers. The bank also benefits from its slightly wider footprint — it is the only British digital bank to operate across Europe so far and has enjoyed real tailwinds from active interest in France, Germany, Switzerland and the Nordic region.

That nation block helped drive its user base up by 50 percent in the last two months, according to the firm — which is also eying further expansion into India, Brazil, South Africa, Lithuania and the UAE. On top of its banking offering, the brand has expanded into device and travel insurance through its marketplace, additions that were among services that helped push its marketplace revenue to $1.5 billion — a 700 percent increase in the past 12 months. Another program that has helped push revenue, according to the bank, is an added feature that makes it possible for users to buy, hold and sell cryptocurrencies within the Revolut app.

Storonsky said there had been strong demand for this from customers since the capability launched, though enthusiasm for the feature has dipped along with the price of bitcoin of late.

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