Britain's Revolut rolls out digital payment services here

Digital payment firm Revolut officially rolled out its services yesterday, after a low-key launch here earlier this year that amassed more than 30,000 customers.

The British-based firm joins a growing number of financial technology players wrestling for a share of the region's cross-border payment market. Its British rival TransferWise also set up here recently.

Revolut's app functions as a multi-currency e-wallet. Users can hold and exchange 14 currencies at the interbank "Google" exchange rate, send money to and receive money from Revolut account holders for free, and spend in over 150 currencies using a Visa debit card.

These 14 currencies include the Singapore dollar and British pound.

Revolut plans to double the suite of currencies in the coming months, including adding the Malaysian ringgit and the Indian rupee, the firm said yesterday.

While there are no conversion fees for most major currencies on weekdays, a 0.5 per cent to 1 per cent markup is applied to all currencies exchanged on weekends. This is to hedge against currency fluctuations that might occur when markets are closed, said Revolut.

Revolut users here will be able to send money to and receive money from users in Britain, Europe and Australia instantly and for free.

"The average Singapore resident travels about seven times a year and, at the same time, they are transferring up to US$7 billion (S$9.5 billion) overseas," said Mr Eddie Lee, Revolut's head of operations for the Asia-Pacific.

He noted that most Singaporeans are generally unaware that their existing providers are "charging them as much as 5 per cent in fees".

Revolut offers three tiers of membership: standard (free), premium ($9.99 a month) and metal ($19.99 a month). Users on the standard plan can exchange currencies without conversion fees - capped at $9,000 a month - and withdraw up to $350 a month from ATMs worldwide.

Premium and metal users get free, unlimited currency exchange and higher caps on free monthly ATM cash withdrawals - $700 for premium and $1,050 for metal.

Other services on the app include the "Vault" function, which lets users round up card payments to the nearest dollar and stash away their spare change. They can also set up recurring payments or make one-off contributions.

For now, the Revolut account is available only to individuals.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 25, 2019, with the headline 'Britain's Revolut rolls out digital payment services here'. Print Edition | Subscribe