Revolut – an app providing currency exchange with no fees – is launching in APAC next year, and there are already 50,000 people on the wait list

Revolut, a fintech firm valued at US$1.7 billion, is launching a version of its popular app in the US, Canada, and Asia Pacific.
Facebook/Revolut
  • Revolut, a London-based fintech company, will launch its app in Asia Pacific in early 2019.

  • The app lets users hold and change currency at market rates, and doesn’t charge exchange fees.

  • The wait list already has over 50,000 people, with about 10,000 people from Singapore.

Singaporeans’ love for queuing now extends beyond food and free gifts – some 10,000 names are already on the wait list for a finance app that’s launching next year.

The app, made by London-based fintech company Revolut, is promising zero fees when users change money or make overseas payments.

The firm has been valued at US$1.7 billion (S$2.33 billion, RM7.12 billion).

“The opportunity to disrupt markets in APAC is extremely attractive due to long-running customer frustrations with high fees levied by major retail banks… Asian consumers face some of the highest fees in the world when spending and sending money abroad,” Revolut said in a statement.

Read also: Japan beat out Singapore again in a ranking of the world’s most powerful passports

The company announced on Friday (Nov 30) that it is setting up APAC headquarters in Singapore, and has already obtained operating licences for the republic and Japan (whose wait list numbers about 3,000 people). The total APAC wait list has over 50,000 names.

Revolut has over 3.2 million users in Europe.

The app’s expected launch date for APAC markets is scheduled for the first quarter of 2019, while a US and Canada launch is expected in the coming weeks.

To get fee-free currency exchange, users in Europe set up an app-based current account, which stores 24 currencies, including the Singapore dollar, British pound, Euro, US dollar, Thai baht, and Japanese yen. This means currency can be exchanged when rates are favourable and saved for future use.

For APAC, the app will only offer 10 currencies. Revolut did not say which currencies would be included, but it claims users can spend using these currencies in over 150 countries.

All exchanges are done at interbank – or market value – rates. This is in contrast to banks, which charge marked-up rates, a Revolut spokesman said.

Currently, available plans are targeted at the Europe market, with new plans to be announced for APAC.

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The company absorbs all exchange and commission fees for those on its paid plans, while users on the free plan can withdraw up to €200 (S$312, RM953) and exchange currencies up to €5,000 per month. Subsequently, withdrawals will attract a 2 per cent fee.

For paid plans, the “premium plan” costs €7.99 (S$12.5, RM38.1) and the “metal plan” costs €13.99  (S$21.8, RM 66.7) per month.

Read also: New Mastercard YouTrip that lets users pay in 150 currencies with no fees has scored nearly 10,000 subscribers in its first week – and the wait list is getting longer