What is Revolut and are there any alternatives?
There is no doubt Revolut is big. And that it completely changed the landscape of financial services for smartphone users. But almost as soon as it was created, it became controversial. Minor scandals and an investigation by FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) became a reason why some people started looking into alternatives.
Are you a Revolut user who is keen to switch to another service? Or maybe you are completely new to this world and are keen to know what’s best in the market? We prepared a short guide which may help you make a decision. Do read on!
What is Revolut?
Before we start looking into Revolut’s alternatives, let’s look into what Revolut really is. When launched in 2015, Revolut was a major revolution in the banking world. The startup was created by Nikolay Storonsky and Vlad Yatsenko who both had a vast experience in working for big financial institutions in the UK. They admitted that they created Revolut because they were frustrated with the way of work of traditional banks, especially when it comes to introducing digital banking services for younger customers. That’s why they launched a digital banking service which offers transfers aboard, pre-paid debit cards that enable easy withdrawals, a crypt-current exchange, saving options and some insurance.
But as it often happens, apart from revolutionizing the world, Revolut also became a focus of a few scandals. Some people mentioned money laundering, some had issues with the way it handles sensitive data. All the media rumors around it make many of its clients look for alternatives which would be safer and do the same kind of job.
Alternatives to Revolut
And fortunately, there is no shortage of alternatives to Revolut! Let’s look into some of them to see what kind of service they offer and whether it would be convenient for you to switch to them.
Monzo started as a debit card provider, but in 2017 it received its banking licence. It is a mobile only service, offering cards and expanding to insurance. The company collaborates with MasterCard. Today it is used by about 4 million people, but it is available in the UK only. The company has just announced it will soon be expanding to the US market.
N26 is a German startup which offers a wide range of digital banking services for EU and US citizens. It keeps expanding all the time, meaning hopefully in the nearest future new countries will be added. It is a great tool, offering a very similar service to Revolut.
Monese is another Revolut’s alternative, great for travelers. It allows card payments without a fee and ATM withdrawals abroad. The company has been providing digital, smartphone base banking since 2015. An account with Monese can be opened anywhere, both within the UK and EU. You don’t need to have an address or a credit history to open one. And it really doesn’t matter if you move countries. Monese can be your choice as long as you stay within the European Economic Area.
Wise (formerly TransferWise)
Founded in 2011, it is known for the best foreign currency exchanges, but it also offers regular accounts and cards. Today it is available for everyone, no matter where they live. Wise allows for ATM withdrawals and free payments in shops, restaurants etc., and is probably one of the very best apps of this kind.
Nuri (formerly Bitwala)
Nuri is great for your everyday banking or if you are travelling abroad and are not keen to pay high commissions. It is also known as a great crypto-friendly solution which is great for everyone keen to start their adventure with crypto-currencies. It is available to all residents of the European Economic Area and is open to over 70 nationalities.
Things to consider when switching to a digital banking provider
When you decide to change your digital banking provider or to start using one, there are some things you should consider. Here are the most important of them:
Make sure the company you decide to use is a secure choice. The internet is full of interesting fintech startups but if you want your money to be safe, make sure the one you choose complies with the appropriate regulations of the country they are registered in.
Have a look at all the services offered by each of the providers and try to imagine what would you really need the account for.
If you are an avid smartphone user, you should make sure the service you are looking for will be available on an app that you can download on your phone.
If you are looking for an alternative to Revolut because you are travelling a lot, make sure the service you choose allows you to make payments in different currencies.
Check what are the exchange rates used by the apps you are considering. They should be much better than in your local bank.
Withdrawals and payments
Check the fees for withdrawals and payments when using card by the provider you are interested in. Also, make sure the limit on withdrawals or payments is satisfying for you.
Revolut alternatives – the summary
No matter what your needs are, there will surely be a provider that can address most, if not all of them. If you are a business owner, looking into fintech solutions that will keep your company thrilling, keep an eye on our blog. We work with many fintech startups and are keen to share our knowledge of this world with you!