Fast-growing fintech Revolut has officially begun operating as a bank in Ireland with the launch of protected deposit accounts for its 1.7 million customers.
Irish users can upgrade their status for additional services and to have their deposits of up to EUR100,000 protected under the deposit guarantee scheme in Lithuanian. The specialised bank licence also allows Revolut to provide limited banking services via its app.
The upgrade process will only take customers a few minutes from within the app. Revolut says the arrival of bank status provides users in the eligible countries with wide range of products and services.
“Launching the bank in Ireland will provide a greater level of security and confidence for our customers and will enable us to launch a host of new products and services in the future,” said Joe Heneghan, Chief Executive Officer of Revolut Bank.
After launching in Ireland, the Fintach unicorn is now operating as a bank in 29 markets across the European Economic Area.
The British-born startup is confident that the move would yield more business after a survey showed that 50% of respondents would deposit their salary on Revolut and 54% would spend more via the app if they had their deposits insured.
Revolut was valued at $33 billion
Revolut has been shifting business customers in Central and Eastern Europe from its London-based entity to Lithuania as it was preparing for Britain’s exit from the European Union. The challenger bank has secured a Specialised Banking License from the Bank of Lithuania, which allows it to offer and passport a wider range of solutions to customers in Europe. Revolut, which counts more than 18 million customers, allowed users to transfer their accounts from an e-money account to a fully-fledged bank account.
The company further explained that due to some differences between local regulations, they will ask some users to reverify their ID or provide details about their business when their accounts are migrated.
Revolut, which offers banking and trading services through an app, raised $800 million last year in a funding round that valued the firm at $33 billion. This valuation was a sixfold increase compared to nearly $5.5 billion the UK firm was worth in 2020.
Revolut has been among a number of app-only fintech companies that are looking to branch into banking as they diversify their revenue stream and bring new services to their existing customers.
The new business roll-out comes as the market for Fintech firms offering alternatives to traditional banks has become fiercely competitive. Revolut is already going up against other established rivals, such as Stripe, which recently expanded its portfolio of partner banks that have signed on to offer co-branded banking services.