INTERVIEW | 100,000 Revolut users in Malta... and counting

Chad West, Director of Marketing & Communications at Revolut, speaks to Business Today about the huge success the company is enjoying in Malta and what it is that makes the Revolut business model so appealing


How does your business model work? You make money on the added services, keeping the basic services free, correct?

Revolut employs a freemium model, with a free basic account where customers can opt to pay for add-on services. This model is also used for Revolut for Business. In addition to those models, we have a number of partnerships and services which will make our business model work.

Revolut also offers a Business plan, for businesses to use Revolut as their bank. How does that work?

Revolut for Business is a highly customisable business account that provides control and great value pricing for freelancers and companies. We recently launched two new business account plans with zero monthly subscription fees, designed to support a new generation of ambitious start-ups looking to start local and go global.

Which would be the biggest sector? Is it the personal or business, or are you trying to grow one over the other? Where’s your focus?

Both are hugely important to the business, so our focus is to grow them in Europe and our expansion markets as we grow. At the moment, the personal/retail side has over six million customers, while the business side has over 100,000 businesses signed up.

Tell me about Revolut’s growth marketing strategy. What are your core areas of focus? And what channels have been most effective for you to acquire new users?

Word of mouth has helped to drive Revolut’s growth to a huge degree. As we scale and grow, we will be looking to invest more in marketing channels, while making the most out of our new Revolut Pioneer scheme.

What has been the response to Revolut in Malta? How do you explain this response?

Malta is extremely important to Revolut due to the large number of expats, migrant workers and professionals transferring money in and out of the country. So far, Revolut has proved to be incredibly popular in Malta, with over 100,000 customers signed up to date, that’s almost one quarter of the population. We are signing up around 200 customers per day and only expect that to increase.

To what extent are Maltese customers making use of Revolut’s added features and services? Which are the most popular? Can you provide some data figures as to trading volume and the vale of that trading?

Maltese customers are making use of the everyday features, such as the spending analytics and budgeting aspects. We’ve also seen a huge uptake in our Vaults and Donations feature, with people choosing to stash away their spare change every time they spend, or donate the money directly to a charity.

Will Revolut, and others like you, mean the end for brick and mortar, traditional banks?

Currently traditional banks are failing by not offering effective technology platforms. They aren’t integrating customer data properly for better suggestions and they aren’t serving customers with enough machine-learning intelligence embedded in their processes. In other words, banks are living in the past. Fairly soon we’ll start to see digital-only providers with lower fees forcing some traditional banks to close their branches. We’ve already begun seeing some of the biggest incumbents shutting branches across the UK.

Why? And why do you feel your model is the future?

We believe we can give our customers everything that they require from their financial services company, without requiring physical branches. By keeping our costs low, we are able to pass on the benefits to our customers. Banking is shifting from being a branch-specific activity to one that permeates all digital channels (mobile, social and online). We only see the importance of brick-and-mortar bank offices decreasing over time.

What are the strategies that you’re going to be focusing on for the rest of this year, 2019? What’s on your roadmap?

We will be rolling out our commission-free trading platform very soon, and great products in the pipeline, including Revolut Youth. We also have a number of exciting expansion announcements planned for the coming months, with upcoming launches in the US, Canada, Singapore and Japan planned for 2019.

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