The aptly named newcomer to the mobile banking industry, Revolut, has reached over 500,000 customers in Ireland, as announced by their newly appointed head of Irish Operations, Joe Heneghan. These figures come amid news that the platform will launch in the US by the end of the year, in partnership with the payments behemoth Mastercard.
The app offers seamlessly integrated services which outperform the competition in all aspects, including cost. Heneghan announced the company’s plans to upscale at a conference organised by the Banking and Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI). Heneghan’s appointment coincided with Revolut’s application to the Central Bank of Ireland for an electronic money licence.
Founded in Britain, Revolut have suggested that they may use Dublin as their EU hub in the wake of Brexit. Heneghan ‘sees Dublin as a hub for technology talent’, with his own team assembled in the company’s new offices on North Wall Quay.
The company’s services are becoming increasingly popular amongst university students, who desire Revolut’s fee-free foreign exchange withdrawals along with the app’s simplistic method of splitting bills with friends. The median age of its customers is 32, which is significantly lower than other major financial institutions and banks across the globe. Heneghan also stated that the firm plans to launch a new ‘Revolut Junior’ platform by which children as young as seven could learn to manage their finances under the supervision of their parents, in a safe learning environment. Heneghan hopes to capitalise on this growth through the introduction of new and improved services in the not-so-distant future.
‘’We feel we’ve reached a tipping point’’ he said. ‘’There’s big change happening in the company. It’s gone from a very small operation to having 1,500 people and it’s going to keep growing.”
More traditional banks have been scrambling to try and keep up with Revolut’s effortless system of transferring money, which isn’t guarded behind endlessly long IBAN codes and tedious registration processes. Áine McCleary, Bank of Ireland’s director of distributional channels, confirmed the launch of the bank’s new app by the end of 2019 as part of a €1.15 billion technology overhaul programme. The bank is seeking to implement regular updates to their online and mobile platform so as not to fall behind their competitors.
Revolut’s ambitious model of business will now attempt to conquer the United States and undercut major banks such as Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase, by providing the same services but with one simple twist; they’re free.
Patrick Doherty – Business Section Editor