Revolut, the London fintech startup that offers a card and current account features, coupled with low currency exchange, is launching a new product aimed at businesses — upping the anti against competing services, such as TransferWise’s recently launched “Borderless account”.
Available in the U.K./Europe, the new Revolut offering enables companies to sign up for multi-currency accounts, where they’ll be able to hold and transfer money across 25 supported currencies at the interbank exchange rate, as well as doing things like issuing employees with corporate cards for “global fee-free spending”.
“Additional features will include free and instant money transfers between companies that are signed up to Revolut for Business, real-time spending notifications, [and] dedicated customer support,” says the company.
However, unlike TransferWise, which offers its account for free but generates revenue via a transparent fee whenever you exchange currency or transfer money out of the account, Revolut is charging a monthly fee ranging from £25.00 – £1,000 per month, depending on your business requirements. To encourage companies to make the switch, the first month will be free.
Another difference is that TransferWise offers account numbers for the U.K., Europe and the U.S., meaning that for most functionality it is just like having a local bank account in those supported countries, and is definitely a good option if you receive a lot of payments in Dollars. Revolut is offering U.K. account numbers and sort codes, whilst EU accounts will have personal IBANS only.
TransferWise is also planning to launch a card, but, for now at least, Revolut has the upper hand here with the ability to issue a company’s employees with free corporate cards for spending abroad. It is also worth noting that, unlike TransferWise, Revolut’s new business offering isn’t initially available to sole traders or freelancers.
With all of the above said, it’s probably a mistake to frame both TransferWise and Revolut’s new business product as taking chunks out of each other. The real enemy here are incumbent banks and the high currency exchange rates and inflexible multi-currency business banking they typically provide. Other fintech companies, such as World First, are also eyeing up businesses’ multi-currency needs.
Meanwhile, Revolut has been pretty active of late, rolling out a plethora of features that take it beyond a pre-paid card for low currency exchange when spending abroad. The company launched “current account” functionality in February, putting it into neobank territory, and followed up in March by offering credit in partnership with Lending Works.
The same month, Revolut rolled out a subscription version of its consumer service that sees users pay a monthly fee for unlimited interbank foreign exchange when you spend, transfer and exchange money via a Revolut account.
Late last week, we also learned that the London startup has taken venture debt from U.S.-based Triplepoint Capital, according to a regulatory filing. The amount remains undisclosed, and will be used to see the company through to a much larger Series B round currently in the works.