Fast-growing fintech Revolut expands beyond Europe with Australia launch

  • Revolut says it will start gradually onboarding 20,000 Australians who signed up to a waiting list.
  • The firm selected Melbourne for its Australian headquarters and will build smaller teams in Sydney and Perth.
  • It’s one of a breed of new app-based banking challengers that are trying to compete with established players.

Fintech start-up Revolut launched its app in Australia on Thursday, marking its first expansion outside of Europe.

The online banking platform said it would gradually sign up 20,000 Australians already on a waiting list, while new customers will have to wait a little longer.

Revolut has grown rapidly since it was founded in 2015, racking up more than five million customers in total. By contrast, German rival N26 said earlier this year it has over 2 million users.

The digital bank gained popularity for its foreign exchange service which offers the real exchange rate, and has added more features to its platform in recent years, including business accounts and cryptocurrency trading.

Will Mahon-Heap, Revolut’s expansion manager for the Asia-Pacific region, said the company won’t offer those extra features in Australia yet as it’s taking a “measured approach.”

“Sending money between the U.K., Europe and Australia has traditionally been costly and time-consuming, with transfers taking up to three business days to arrive,” Mahon-Heap said in a statement Thursday.

“Making them instant and free between Revolut customers is a huge step towards us tearing down financial borders, and will keep money in the pockets of our customers.”

Revolut has selected Melbourne for its Australian headquarters and said it will also build smaller teams in Sydney and Perth. It plans to hire up to 30 people in the country by the end of the year…

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