Revolut Goes to Asia


We’ve written frequently about Revolut in the past, and my mantra remains the same.  If you want to see where the future of digital banking is headed, and get a pulse on what Gen Y & millennials are looking for from a bank, this is where you’ll find it.

British-based, and cofounded by Russians Nikolay Storonsky & Vlad Yatsenko, the bank has quickly built a cult following in the UK, then in Europe (now with 2.8 million users across 28 European markets)and now is starting to take aim at Asia, where it knows the competition will be fierce.  In order to tackle the fickle Japanese market, Revolut has partnered with billionaire Hiroshi Mikitani’s Tokyo-based e-commerce group Rakuten.  The firm applied for approval earlier in other Asia-Pacific markets including Australia, Singapore & Hong Kong, but Japan granted a license for introducing select online services first.  The firm also has plans to launch in the US imminently and is offering early access to Americans who visit their website.
(Cindy Taylor/Publisher)

“TOKYO — Financial technology companies in Asia face a new competitor, as British digital banking startup Revolut says it has entered the Japanese market with plans to expand elsewhere in the region.

Revolut, founded in 2015, is Britain’s fastest-growing fintech player, with 2.8 million users across 28 markets in Europe. It arrives in Japan through a partnership with billionaire Hiroshi Mikitani’s Tokyo-based e-commerce group Rakuten.

Revolut allows people to transfer and spend money in various currencies with no fees using prepaid cards and a mobile app, which also lets users track their spending and invest in cryptocurrencies and other financial products.

The service resembles what is available at Asian fintech companies such as Alibaba Group Holding affiliate Ant Financial and Japanese names Line and Money Forward. The biggest difference may be co-founder and CEO Nikolay Storonsky’s determination to make Revolut a powerful global player.

He sees financial services following the pattern of the technology industry, with a few global giants dominating the marketplace. Storonsky wants to make Revolut one of them…”

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