UK finance app Revolut has been granted a European banking licence, edging one step closer to becoming the “Amazon of banking”.
The company, which became Britain’s first digital-only bank to break even last December, will begin implementing the licence next year, initially focusing on smaller European countries and eventually extending to key markets including the UK, France, Germany and Poland.
The licence will allow Revolut’s three million global users to deposit salaries up to £100,000 ($125,600) through the app, safe in the assurance that their money will be protected under the new European Deposit Insurance scheme.
Nik Storonsky, founder and CEO of Revolut, said: “With the banking license now secured, commission-free stock trading progressing well and five new international markets at final stages of launch, we are living up to our reputation as ‘the Amazon of banking’. Our vision is simple: one app with tens of millions of users, where you can manage every aspect of your financial life with the best value and technology.”
The app, which was launched three years ago, first gained popularity with users by letting them spend and transfer money abroad at the real exchange rate with no additional fees. Since then, it has attracted customers with spending overviews, budgeting controls and savings features, and expanded to offer travel insurance and property investment.
In December last year, the company began offering its customers the ability to buy and sell exposure to cryptocurrencies from within the app, and in August it announced plans to launch commission-free stock trading across the UK and Europe.
After implementing the new licence, Revolut said it plans to start offering full current accounts, overdrafts and both personal and business loans at competitive rates to traditional high street lenders.
“Our vision is that retail and business customers will be able to apply for a loan in just two minutes within the app, and then have the money in their account almost instantly,” said Storonsky. “We’ll remove the bureaucratic process and come in cheaper than traditional lenders.”
Revolut said that it could take up to six months to begin passporting the licence across Europe. In the meantime, the company is focusing on plans to extend its current services to the US, Canada, Singapore, Japan, Australia and New Zealand in early 2019.