how-does-revolut-make-money

How Does Revolut Make Money? The Revolut Business Model In A Nutshell

Revolut an English fintech company offering banking and investment services to consumers. Founded in 2015 by Nikolay Storonsky and Vlad Yatsenko, the company initially produced a low-rate travel card. Storonsky in particular was an avid traveler who became tired of spending hundreds of pounds on currency exchange and foreign transaction fees. The Revolut app and core banking account are free to use. Instead, money is made through a combination of subscription fees, transaction fees, perks, and ancillary services.

Revolut Origin Story

Revolut is a British fintech company offering consumer banking and investment services.

The company was founded in 2015 by Nikolay Storonsky and Vlad Yatsenko after the former became tired of spending hundreds of pounds on currency exchange and foreign transaction fees while traveling.

With a background in finance, Storonsky knew that the rates he was receiving were not the best rates currency exchange platforms could offer consumers.

Unable to find a solution that minimized the cost of spending money overseas, Storonsky and Yatsenko set about developing one themselves.

Revolut’s first product was a travel card that enabled international travelers to change money into thirty different currencies at market rates.

The Revolut exchange platform was officially launched in July 2015 with a small round of investment funding worth $3.5 million.

Additional capital and expansion

In 2016, Revolut passed 100,000 users and secured Series A funding worth $15 million.

This was followed by a Series B round in 2017 ($66 million) and a Series C round for $250 million the following year.

At some point, Storonsky and Yatsenko pivoted somewhat and built a super app for younger consumers who preferred to access financial services on their smartphones.

Investment capital was used to expand Revolut’s product lineup with crypto trading, business accounts, and a donation service where users could support international charities.

At the end of 2018, the company received a banking license from the European Central Bank, which authorized it to offer consumer credit and accept deposits.

Six months later, Revolut launched commission-free stock trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and NASDAQ. 

In 2019, Revolut passed ten million users as it first expanded into Australia and then Singapore soon after.

The company also entered into a landmark partnership with VISA in September, enabling the bank to expand into 24 markets, including the United States.

Series D funding 

In February 2020, Revolut announced a Series D funding round worth $500 million.

The round was led by Technology Crossover Ventures (TCV), who were also early backers of notable companies such as Netflix, Spotify, and Airbnb.

Five months later, TechCrunch reported that Revolut had secured a further $80 million from TSG Consumer Partners.

The company said that the massive injection of funds would be used to add new features and roll out banking operations across Europe.

Some money would also be directed toward a new subscription management tool where users could see their active subscriptions in one interface.

Launch in the United States

Revolut launched its long-awaited launch in the United States market in March 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic started to take hold worldwide. 

The company then secured a broker-dealer license in September 2021, enabling it to offer a commission-free trading option.

Like competitor Robinhood, Revolut planned to earn revenue via payment for order flow (more below).

After a Series F funding round worth $800 million, Revolut was valued at $33 billion.

The company added extra functionality to enable users to book vacations from their app and withdraw earned pay ahead of time to manage their expenses.

Revolut revenue generation

The Revolut app and core banking account are free to use.

Instead, money is made through subscription fees, transaction fees, perks, ancillary services, and payment for order flow.

Subscription plans

Firstly, there are three paid plans which give extra functionality to the core banking account:

  1. Plus (£2.99/month) – offering the free UK and Euro IBAN account with a customizable card.
  2. Premium (£6.99/month) – offering all Plus features in addition to exclusive card designs, 24/7 priority support, and access to so-called Junior features that help kids manage their money.
  3. Metal (£12.99/month) – offering all Premium features, cashback on card payments, and three free international payments per month. Premium users are also sent a 100% contactless debit card made from reinforced stainless steel.

Rewards

The Revolut Rewards scheme allows users to enjoy personalized cashback offers and discounts on eligible purchases.

Rewards bonuses are credited to user accounts and encompass purchases from entertainment, travel, restaurant, grocery, and retail businesses.

In all likelihood, Revolut receives a commission from each merchant and then gives its users a portion of the fee as a bonus.

Insurance

The company also has two insurance options:

  1. Device insurance – global coverage is offered for £1 per week and covers all accidental damage.
  2. Travel medical insurance – here, Revolut uses geolocation technology to only charge consumers for days they are overseas. Medical and dental coverage starts from as little as £1 per day.

Trading

The Revolut trading platform allows users to trade stocks, commodities, and cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ether, and Stellar.

Users can get started for as little as £1 by purchasing fractional shares.

Plus and Premium subscription members can access a certain amount of free monthly trades. Each additional trade is charged at a flat fee.

Loans

Users can also take out a personal loan for between £500 and £25,000 with a payback period of 1 to 5 years.

The company makes money by charging interest on the loan and, where applicable, overdraft fees for late payments.

Payment for order flow

payment-for-order-flow
Payment for order flow consists of a “kickback” or commission that the broker routing customers to a market maker (in charge of enabling the bid and ask price) will pay a commission to the broker as a sort of market-making fee.

Revolut also collects payment for order flow (PFOF) to earn money from commission-free trades.

Essentially, PFOF is the compensation a broker (Revolut) receives from a market maker for sending customer trade volume their way. 

Key takeaways:

  • Revolut is an English fintech company offering banking and investment services. It was created after co-founder Nikolay Storonsky became dismayed at exorbitant foreign exchange and transaction fees while traveling abroad.
  • Revolut offers three paid plans which give extra functionality to their free bank account. The company also earns a commission through its cashback and rewards scheme.
  • Revolut has also established itself as an insurance and personal loan provider. Additionally, users can invest in stocks, commodities, and cryptocurrencies in fractional amounts.

Read Also: How Does Robinhood Make MoneyHow Does Betterment Make MoneyHow Does Acorns Make MoneyHow Does SoFi Make MoneyHow Does Coinbase Make Money, How Does E-Trade Make MoneyHow Does eToro Make Money, Fintech Companies And Their Business Models, How Does PayPal Make Money, How Does Venmo Make Money, How Does Honey Make Money.

List of FinTech Business Models

Acorns

how-does-acorns-make-money
Acorns is a fintech platform providing services related to Robo-investing and micro-investing. The company makes money primarily through three subscription tiers: Lite – ($1/month), which gives users access to Acorns Invest, Personal ($3/month) that includes Invest plus the Later (retirement) and Spend (personal checking account) suite of products, Family ($5/month) with features from both the Lite and Personal plans with the addition of Early.

Affirm

affirm-business-model
Started as a pay-later solution integrated to merchants’ checkouts, Affirm makes money from merchants’ fees as consumers pick up the pay-later solution. Affirm also makes money through interests earned from the consumer loans, when those are repurchased from the originating bank. In 2020 Affirm made 50% of its revenues from merchants’ fees, about 37% from interests, and the remaining from virtual cards and servicing fees.

Alipay

how-does-alipay-make-money
Alipay is a Chinese mobile and online payment platform created in 2004 by entrepreneur Jack Ma as the payment arm of Taobao, a major Chinese eCommerce site. Alipay, therefore, is the B2C component of Alibaba Group. Alipay makes money via escrows transaction fees, a range of value-added ancillary services, and through its Credit Pay Instalment fees.

Betterment

how-does-betterment-make-money
Betterment is an American financial advisory company founded in 2008 by MBA graduate Jon Stein and lawyer Eli Broverman. Betterment makes money via investment plans, financial advice packages, betterment for advisors, betterment for businesscash reserve, and checking accounts.

Braintree

how-does-venmo-make-money
Venmo is a peer-to-peer payments app enabling users to share and make payments with friends for a variety of services. The service is free, but a 3% fee applies to credit cards. Venmo also launched a debit card in partnership with Mastercard. Venmo got acquired in 2012 by Braintree, and Braintree got acquired in 2013 by PayPal.

Chime

how-does-chime-make-money
Chime is an American neobank (internet-only bank) company, providing fee-free financial services through its mobile banking app, thus providing personal finance services free of charge while making the majority of its money via interchange fees (paid by merchants when consumers use their debit cards) and ATM fees.

Coinbase

coinbase-business-model
Coinbase is among the most popular platforms for trading and storing crypto-assets, whose mission is “to create an open financial system for the world” by enabling customers to trade cryptocurrencies. Its platform serves both as a search and discovery engine for crypto assets. The company makes money primarily through fees earned for the transactions processed through the platform, custodial services offered, interest, and subscriptions.

Compass

how-does-compass-make-money
Compass is a licensed American real-estate broker incorporating online real estate technology as a marketing medium. The company makes money via sales commissions (collected whenever a sale is facilitated or tenants are found for a rental property) and bridge loans (a service allowing the seller to purchase a home before the revenue from the sale of their previous home is available).

Dosh

how-does-dosh-make-money
Dosh is a Fintech platform that enables automatic cash backs for consumers. Its business model connects major card providers with online and offline local businesses to develop automatic cash back programs. The company makes money by earning an affiliate commission on each eligible sale from consumers.

E-Trade

how-does-e-trade-make-money
E-Trade is a trading platform, allowing investors to trade common and preferred stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), options, bonds, mutual funds, and futures contracts, acquired by Morgan Stanley in 2020 for $13 billion. E-Trade makes money through interest income, order flow, margin interests, options, future and bonds trading, and through other fees and service charges.

Klarna

how-does-klarna-make-money
Klarna is a financial technology company allowing consumers to shop with a temporary Visa card. Thus it then performs a soft credit check and pays the merchant. Klarna makes money by charging merchants. Klarna also earns a percentage of interchange fees as a commission and for interests earned on customers’ accounts.

Lemonade

how-does-lemonade-make-money
Lemonade is an insurance tech company using behavioral economics and artificial intelligence to process claims efficiently. The company leverages technology to streamline onboarding customers while also applying a financial model to reduce conflicts of interest with customers (perhaps by donating the variable premiums to charity). The company makes money by selling its core insurance products, and via its tech platform, it tries to enhance its sales.

Monzo

how-does-monzo-make-money
Monzo is an English neobank offering a mobile app and a prepaid debit card for consumers and businesses. It was one of the first app-based banks to enter the UK market, founded by Gary Dolman, Jason Bates, Jonas Huckestein, Paul Rippon, and Tom Blomfield in 2015. All were employees of Starling Bank, a similar neobank challenging the dominance of established financial institutions in England. The company enjoys many revenue streams: business and consumer subscriptions, interchange and overdraft fees, personal loans, and more.

NerdWallet

how-does-nerdwallet-make-money
NerdWallet is an online platform providing tools and tips on all matters related to personal finance. The company gained traction as a simple web application comparing credit cards. NerdWallet makes money via affiliate commissions determined according to the affiliate agreements.

Quadpay

how-does-quadpay-make-money
Quadpay was an American fintech company founded by Adam Ezra and Brad Lindenberg in 2017. Ezra and Lindenberg witnessed the rising popularity of buy-now-pay-later service Afterpay in Australia and similar service Klarna in Europe. Quadpay collects a range of fees from both the merchant and the consumer via merchandise fees, convenience fees, late payment, and interchange fees.

Revolut

how-does-revolut-make-money
Revolut an English fintech company offering banking and investment services to consumers. Founded in 2015 by Nikolay Storonsky and Vlad Yatsenko, the company initially produced a low-rate travel card. Storonsky in particular was an avid traveler who became tired of spending hundreds of pounds on currency exchange and foreign transaction fees. The Revolut app and core banking account are free to use. Instead, money is made through a combination of subscription fees, transaction fees, perks, and ancillary services.

Robinhood

how-does-robinhood-make-money
Robinhood is an app that helps to invest in stocks, ETFs, options, and cryptocurrencies, all commission-free. Robinhood earns money by offering: Robinhood Gold, a margin trading service, which starts at $6 a month, earn interests from customer cash and stocks, and rebates from market makers and trading venues.


SoFi

how-does-sofi-make-money
SoFi is an online lending platform that provides affordable education loans to students, and it expanded into financial services, including loans, credit cards, investment services, and insurance. It makes money primarily via payment processing fees and loan securitization.


Squarespace

how-does-squarespace-make-money
Squarespace is a North American hosting and website building company. Founded in 2004 by college student Anthony Casalena as a blog hosting service, it grew to become among the most successful website building companies. The company mostly makes money via its subscription plans. It also makes money via customizations on top of its subscription plans. And in part also as transaction fees for the website where it processes the sales.

Stash

how-does-stash-make-money
Stash is a FinTech platform offering a suite of financial tools for young investors, coupled with personalized investment advice and life insurance. The company primarily makes money via subscriptions, cashback, payment for order flows, and interest for cash sitting on members’ accounts.

Venmo

how-does-venmo-make-money
Venmo is a peer-to-peer payments app enabling users to share and make payments with friends for a variety of services. The service is free, but a 3% fee applies to credit cards. Venmo also launched a debit card in partnership with Mastercard. Venmo got acquired in 2012 by Braintree, and Braintree got acquired in 2013 by PayPal.

Wealthfront

how-does-wealthfront-make-money
Wealthfront is an automated Fintech investment platform providing investment, retirement, and cash management products to retail investors, mostly making money on the annual 0.25% advisory fee the company charges for assets under management. It also makes money via a line of credits and interests on the cash accounts.

Zelle

how-does-zelle-make-money
Zelle is a peer-to-peer payment network that indirectly benefits the banks’ consortium that backs it. Zelle also enables users to pay businesses for goods and services, free for users. Merchants pay a 1% fee to Visa or Mastercard, who share it with the bank that issued the card.

Read Next: Fintech Business Models, IaaS, PaaS, SaaSEnterprise AI Business ModelCloud Business Models.

Read Next: Affirm Business Model, Chime Business Model, Coinbase Business Model, Klarna Business Model, Paypal Business Model, Stripe Business Model, Robinhood Business Model.

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