How Revolut is Re-Imagining Banking

Much has been written about how challenger banks are re-imagining the banking experience, so this article is a case study of how one of the fastest growing neo-banks has developed a new banking business model and used technology to create a delightful customer experience.

Banking as a Platform

Revolut is the first bank to truly roll out the marketplace model of banking. Rather than providing its own suite of wealth, insurance & lending products, Revolut instead enables customers to pick from the best available services in the market.

Need credit? Simply enter the amount you need, how long you need to pay it back, and your personal details in the Revolut app. Integrated partner Lending Works will send you a personalised quote directly.

How about phone insurance? The Revolut app automatically fills in your device details and gives you a quote through partners Allianz and Simplesurance

Or overseas medical insurance? Not only is the application super simple, but because Revolut can track your geolocation through your phone, you only pay for the days you’re overseas. Insurance is provided by integrated partner White Horse Insurance Ireland.

Oh, and the rates you receive on all of these are the most competitive available in the market.

Customer Experience

Revolut has re-thought why customers need banks from first principles and designed a user experience to cater specifically for these needs.

  • Real-time transaction notifications with rich data so you know exactly what you spent your money on.
  • Spending analytics that are intuitive. Know how much you’ve spent this month, what categories you’re spending the most on, and which particular merchants get most of your hard-earned cash.
  • Send money to your friends on Revolut in one click, without needing to input their account details.
  • One click ability to freeze your card if you lose it, view your PIN in case you forget it, and set monthly spending limits.
  • Cryptocurrencies. Revolut saw that customers wanted a simple way to invest in crypto, so within months Revolut had built and integrated the capability to invest in Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum straight from the app.

Global First

Revolut is designed for the global traveller. Hold up to 25 currencies at a time, spend the local currency in whatever country you travel to, and send money to other local bank accounts in those countries without getting hit by international money transfer fees. Revolut is the first truly global neo-bank.

Payments as a service, not a revenue generator

Everyone can see that the days of high-cost international money transfer are over. In the last few years services like Transferwise, Currency Cloud and Veem have made it cheap and easy to send money overseas.

Revolut has gone a step further by enabling consumers to hold multiple currencies on its card at any one time and spend that money overseas at the real exchange rate, without hitting consumers with any international card fees.

Customer Support

The best tech companies differentiate themselves by delivering legendary customer service. Think how Amazon, Uber and Zappos differ from your mobile phone or broadband provider.

Revolut has FAQs, community resources, and a direct messenger in the app, so you can quickly message a customer support agent to get your problem fixed. The same problem that would take a 30 min phone call and a visit to my local branch at Lloyds takes only 20 mins using Revolut’s support.

Revolut’s platform business model has yet to prove if the unit economics will stand up over the long term, and traditional banks continue to benefit from a level of customer trust built up over generations that is difficult for a new startup to earn.

However, the superiority of the Revolut banking experience should scare traditional banks that have stalled on innovation for far too long. If the product roadmap does not evolve quickly to improve the customer experience, traditional banks will see their millennial customers leave in droves over the next five years.