Revolut cited 'personal and health reasons' for the CFO's resignation. Whatever those personal and health reasons really were, they clearly passed quite quickly as within the space of a few weeks, said CFO has joined another FinTech company as their new CFO.
The company quite literally has the words "get sh*t done" in giant neon letters on their office wall. They live by the mantra of move fast and break things. That mantra is inevitably going to cause problems when your entire business is dealing with real money owned by real people in one of the most heavily regulated industries in the world.
Revolut's CEO is the son of the top bureaucrat of Russian Gazprom, which has been implicated as the main channel of - you guessed it, money laundering for Russian oligarchs .
Also, Gazprom Promgaz != Gazprom. It's "a research institute for Gazprom" .
but the premise is correct - a unicorn who raised 5m for an online bank startup is hardly a serious option.
That has become one of my red flag. I want to deal with people and companies focused on the quality of their products and businesses, not on doing "shit" (taking their motto literally).
Another example of a field that I'm personally aware of and in which this kind of attitude should not be acceptable is cybersecurity. If your job is to protect people, then EVERYTHING you release has to be bulletproof.
Analysis Paralysis is a real thing. Sometimes you just have to do it.
The "move fast and break things" crowd are generally the same people that will choose to open things up in the name of "getting shit done". They'll drop firewalls, expose services publicly, and generally go out of their way to avoid security because they see it as a hurdle to achieving their primary goal. In my experience, this lack of foresight almost always causes cascading problems in the future that grow exponentially worse the longer they're left unchecked.
That's normally a red flag, for a banking business a mortal sin.
"Well at Google, they'd use a global distributed fault tolerant Hadoop cluster for their data store." "Dude??? We're building a Wordpress site. We're gonna run MySQL on the same shared server as the php code."
They had a big sign on the wall "Don't fuck the customer."
That's a much better ethos that "move fast and break things", or "Get shit done" in my mind... (Even if it is just performative customer facing propaganda, at least it shows that management understands that's a key requirement customers want to be told they'll meet...)
Don't move fast and break things. Move productively and build things.
it was a great place to work - engineering was pretty lax, most of us were there only from 10-4.
As in, spend your time making something you'd be proud to sign your name to.
That could easily be a way to say that he got threatened to leave that anti-money laundering system switched off 'or else'. Keep in mind that as soon as you create a way for organized crime to do their thing on your service and you are making money of them that they will happily consider you to be in their debt. It happens in the movies, and sometimes it happens in real life.
Someone I know peripherally had something like that happen to him because of a series of movie theaters. Not good, even if you are not aware that such things are happening.
This is why casinos, online gambling, bitcoin related stuff and payment systems as well as two-sided market places always require extra care, before you know it you have a bunch of criminal coat tail riders on board.
Meaning, despite their London HQ, Revolut is Russian owned and Russian managed pseudo-bank.
Giving them more money might not be great idea.
We use Revolut around the office to split bills for lunches, etc, but I wouldn't keep more than few bucks in there.
They have a banking license from Lithuania (but customers are not switched to it) which might be revoked by Lithuania and they are trying for another license in Ireland.
Thanks to comment below - edited this make more sense.
They're only covered against bankruptcy though - if someone steals your phone and drains your account, you're SOL.
I don't use Venmo myself - I'm at a point where I'd rather just pick up the check that try to split it (using any method). And let me friends pick up the next meal.
Just to clarify: The Russian Laundromat mostly relied on the banks from Latvia and Estonia, the two EU countries with the largest Russian population. The only banks which participated in the scheme from Lithuania – Danske and Nordea – were actually Scandinavian, and have either left the country (Danske), or merged with others (Nordea) afterwards.
It doesn't raise issues per se. But Lithuania has a sizable Russian population . It's also a small country.
The latter means it has less experience supervising novel and complex financial systems. It also makes its regulators easier to unduly influence, either through bribery or threats (e.g. Revolut failing would probably deplete Lithuania's national deposit system).
> But Lithuania has a sizable Russian population . It's also a small country.
The Russian population (5%) is a tiny minority here, not represented by any political party in the parlament. It's much bigger (25%) in Latvia and Estonia, as Russians tend to live in the cities near the Russian border.
> The latter means it has less experience supervising novel and complex financial systems. It also makes its regulators easier to unduly influence, either through bribery or threats
In this case, there is a common view in Lithuania, that as a tiny economy we should focus on IT sector and follow Estonia's example, trying to be the most modern and innovative state in the EU.
Therefore, there is an entire goverment program for attracting and supporting fintech companies, hoping that they will open offices in Lithuania and employ recent graduates, preventing them from fleeing to Western Europe for better job opportunities.
Of course, it makes no financial sense to give a banking license to a foreign startup for such a small economy, but Revolut is extremely popular in Lithuania and the general population sees it as an alternative to Scandinavian banks which have occupied the local market.
As a result, those policitians who have tried to oppose giving the license to Revolut were publicly attacked from all sides as "working on behalf of Scandinavian banks".
I rest my case. That such financial regulation is being politically decided gives Revolut more leeway in Lithuania than it would have in e.g. the U.K.
It's not being politically decided, but multiple senior members of the parlament in the committee on Budget and Finance have publicly expressed their concerns.
I agree that there is a lot of general inexperience in the entire system, and I don't believe that Lithuania would be able to regulate Revolut properly, as it's based in the UK.
The point was, that Revolut was more than welcome in Lithuania, and they didn't need to try to influence anyone. The politicians and regulators were even proud that one of the biggest fintech startups in Europe chose to set foot here.
They also saw that N26 was successfully granted a license in Germany, Monzo in the UK, and Bunq in Netherlands. Therefore, it wasn't seen as such a big risk.
I would guess that regulation in the UK is better, but I'm not really up on my Eastern European/pan European banking regulation to definitively say.
So does Facebook, DoorDash, FlipKart and hundred+ other Silicon Valley companies. Revolut also has money from Seedcamp, Balderton, Index and tons of other VCs.
> Revolut is Russian owned and Russian managed pseudo-bank
Since when being a Russian is a crime? Besides if a company is London based it is regulated by UK authorities.
You make it sound like the guy being Russian, DST being Russian (and allegedly having "ties" to Kremlin) is somewhat a red flag. I would like to hear more on the reasoning behind how all that is negative?
Don't Silicon Valley CEOs have ties to White House? Should I not use their products? :)
There is outsized demand for money laundering from Russia, in large part owing to its endemic and unchecked corruption. This is why most recent European money laundering scandals have involved Russian money .
So when you see an AML deficient operation with multiple Russian ties based out of Lithuania, it raises legitimate questions.
Chao is being investigated by the House . Worst case, we’re talking single-digit millions of suspected malfeasance versus billions in Russia of cut-and-dry graft.
And most importantly, a wrong here doesn’t excuse a wrong there.
And Revolut is a non-Russian service. Hence the comparison.
(Money laundering has three steps . Dirty Russian money is typically placed with Russian banks. It is then layered between Russian and non-Russian banks before being integrated by a non-Russian bank, thereby masking its origins. Given the amount of dirty money flowing out of Russia, a Russian account tends to gather more scrutiny than e.g. a Danish one in the same way a Colombian account garners more scrutiny than a Miami one.)
The problem is that that entity is a de-facto dictatorship that is well known for being corrupt.
Most shareholders and the regulator in control are western based and run by people whose parents aren't employed in Russia's public sector, as far as I know.
Show me a government that's not known to be corrupt.
Giving any Russian oligarchs more money is always a bad idea.
Just waited for the golden parachute check to be cashed in.
What are you talking about, that's completely reasonable.
CFOs of financial services companies are typically senior AML officers. All AML actions are their actions, and AML liability for AML officers is almost strict liability. If something happens and if best practice wasn’t followed, the AML officer(s) are personally and criminally liable.
If someone could turn off the entire AML scanning system with the CFO’s prior knowledge, sign-off, and ex post facto notification, that’s a deficient AML policy.
For example, the rules stopped large numbers of women who had bank accounts or their passports in maiden names from transferring money to themselves. Revolut would see an incoming payment from supposedly the same person, but with a different name, and lock the whole account down until documents could be provided proving why that happened.
That means if you top up your Revolut account on saturday to buy some McDonalds, you are now going to be locked out of all financial services for probably 1+ week while you get official documents proving the name change. A marriage certificate isn't enough. If your salary is paid into Revolut, you might default on loan payments, loose your house/car, etc.
All that to stop only the stupidest of money launderers. Smart money launderers know to use business accounts where the name of the account holder isn't checked by any bank.
I don't quite follow - can you elaborate and explain the scenario?
If a business does the same, and claims they're moving their own money about, the name checks aren't applied, so they can work around many of the checks.
Business accounts however are not checked as tightly as people often enough either outright mis-spell the company name, use outdated company names, specify departments in the name and not the comment field, ...
To be honest, fuck Revolut, so use them with little money.
Something is not right with these freaks.
Can you expand on this? I'm not sure what the reference is to.
So the scenario is roughly (numbers made up):
1. You set a £500 monthly card limit
2. Your card is stolen and somebody charges £1000
3. You get a notification saying you have hit your limit
4. The failed, fraudulent, transaction is not listed
5. You increase your monthly limit to £1500
6. The fraudulent transaction goes through
7. You can now see the transaction
8. You cancel your card and report the fraud
9. You're told by raising the limit you authorized the fraudulent transaction that you couldn't see before you raised the limit
I don’t know European banking law. But in the U.S., this isn’t Revolut’s call to make . They can issue the chargeback and then cancel your account, if they think you’re being screwy. But they can’t deny the chargeback unilaterally.
OP should reach out to their national financial services regulator.
 https://www.federalreserve.gov/boarddocs/supmanual/cch/efta.... Liability of Consumers for Unauthorized Transfers—12 CFR 1005.6
Same with online transactions using 3-D secure (2-factor, usually involving a confirmation code sent by SMS).
For other online transactions however, you just have to ask your bank and they're chargeback the merchant.
I ended calling VISA, who conference called my bank branch, explained that they were legally required to perform the charge back. The bank capitulated on the phone, the VISA guy hung up, and the bank said: VISA's opinion aside, we refuse to perform a chargeback.
"proving" that there hasn't been a security breach somewhere in their infrastructure is impossible, so you'll pretty much always win.
The merchant takes liability on some transaction types. In the UK, any credit card transaction that is flagged by the customer, regardless of chip and pin, is immediately refunded and investigated.
However - as card cloning of chip and pin cards is still effectively at zero, it's very unlikely that fraudulent chip and pin transactions ever take place without, say, the card being stolen as well.
I'm not saying Card-present fraud can't ever happen with EMV cards, or that customer liability is the right thing to have, but this technology really does seem to have held up well to attack. Possibly because there are just easier ways to defraud people...
The response to the fraudulent transaction would surely be the same as that's either the bank's call or/legislative.
Or can you back up this insinuation that smartcard chips that digitally sign transactions are no more secure than magstripes anyone can duplicate?
They're theoretically secure (ie. with cryptography), even if practically many can be encouraged to leak their secrets...
The fact that something that is actually insecure doesn't have fraud protection is the wrong thing.
I think there's a limit to how much liability system vendors should be expected to take. Insisting on all-corporate liability all the time, even for cases that are basically unsolvable like users deliberately giving away credentials, just socialises the cost of careless behaviour on all card users. Why bother upgrading security at all, in that case?
Also, apparently the declined transaction shows up, but it takes a while. It didn't show up on my list even though I got the notification, so I thought it just doesn't show and I went to the limits to raise them.
I have had multiple times when the most recent transaction showed up only after restarting the Revolut app.
What if he was removing it to make a completely different payment?
It seems like terrible UX to not allow/require individual approve/reject on transactions that triggered the limit.
This would have been a massive improvement, agreed. Maybe they have to make a call within a few seconds and can't ask your permission first, though, so maybe that's not possible.
Still, the notification could have shown "Your transaction to MERCHANT for AMOUNT on CARD was declined because of your limit". That would have avoided this whole disaster.
I suspect that by wanting to move fast they put less emphasis on the features that are more time-consuming to implement.
I am guessing that you are the author of this blog post. For a long term user, you seem to have made a lot of assumptions and mistakes. You also seem to have a few cards on your account. I can't tell if you froze ALL of your cards, either immediately upon discovering the fraudulent event or before raising/disabling limits and then 'deal' with the rogue virtual card afterwards.
Revolut is a pre-paid card. You can't expect expect the same level of protection or consumer rights, which are provided by a Credit Card or a bank registered in your jurisdiction.
Regardless, you should post this in the Revolut community for more visibility and probably get an actual resolution, before jumping on the GDPR angle ─ which will fail to provide with you enough details, as most financial institutions will redact any information on fraudulent transactions ─ stating in some vague language that it is an on-going fraud/crime investigation, hence they are not allowed to discuss it etc.
Er, are you sure?
In the UK marketing: https://www.revolut.com/a-radically-better-account
it is described as "Free UK current account". That's the name of a full, normal, bank account. I would expect it to have the full consumer protection, FSCS, etc.
If it doesn't, they're committing some pretty massive advertising fraud...
You can expect all you like, but there is no UK FSCS protection. They have frequently ran into trouble with their advertising campaigns!
What were they?
> I can't tell if you froze ALL of your cards, either immediately upon discovering the fraudulent event or before raising/disabling limits and then 'deal' with the rogue virtual card afterwards.
I froze the card the charge was made on immediately after I discovered the fraudulent transaction, yes. I didn't freeze anything before removing the limit because I didn't think it was fraud until quite a bit after I saw the large transaction go through.
Initially I thought my work had used my card to book a trip for me or something similar. I didn't even imagine someone could have gotten my card details somehow.
I must be missing something here. Is sharing your card details with your workplace, so they can spend your money on your behalf, a normal thing for you (or anybody) to do? Legitimately asking here because I don't understand this at all.
Let's say someone shares their card details with their workplace. For some reason beyond your or mine understanding. Which causes them, in a rush, to think "Ah, must be that, I'll drop the limit". Does this justify that person losing their money that was stolen from them via fraudulent charges?
The hell I can't. If they can't make their service secure and stand behind it when they fail, they have no business providing the service at all.
What Revolut's legal status and responsibilities are, I don't know. (Although the update says that they did eventually refund him, so clearly someone was aware they fucked up.) But implying that it's the user's fault for not anticipating Revolut's insecurity is absurd. He did make a mistake, but so did Revolut, and they should have (and, eventually, did) make it right.
I also use them as my main debit card, because I (mistakenly) thought that the immediate notifications and safety limits would keep me safer in case of fraudulent transactions.
My comment was referencing the above statement from the blog post, which highlights the fact that using this card as a debit card is not a prudent decision. There was absolutely no implication that Revolut was blameless, in any way whatsoever!
I am glad that the matter has now been resolved. For your reference, this card is not protected under the UK Financial Services Compensation Scheme, neither does it provide protection under Section 75 of Consumer Credit Act 1974. However, it is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority(FCA) under Electronic Money Regulations 2011 and Section 12 describes the complaint handling procedure, which requires the consumer to follow the dispute resolution process by contacting the business first, before escalating it to the Financial Ombudsman Service. In most cases, there is a resolution before it reaches FOS.
It generally happens when recurring bill payments come through, so I didn't really think much of it, I did what I do when a transaction fails. If I had seen the amount, I definitely wouldn't have done anything like that.
What's the point of a limit, if you automatically remove it whenever something is over the limit?
It's weird to me that the focus is on Stavros not doing this or that, when the original failure was the bank's. If the notification had said "This transaction here failed because it hit the limit" none of this would have happened. If the app had shown that transaction in the list, none of this would have happened.
Yet here we are asking why the user didn't react perfectly to the failures of the bank. It's weird.
And there's no weird transaction listed, so assuming it's a standing order wouldn't be unusual.
And yeah, "panic", the fees for missing payments on some bills can be fairly high so you probably can't wait till beyond 2pm that day.
They also said they would take measures to avoid this from happening again, hopefully they make good on that promise.
Thank you all very much for your help and support, I hope this doesn't happen to anyone else.
Will others be savvy enough to raise this attention? I would rather that a regulator went to bat for you and slapped them with a large fine. Because as it stands they can do the same thing to everyone else, only give refunds when someone raises attention and perhaps this only accounts for 1% of the cases.
They are going to take measures to swat stories down quicker before they create bad press, but there is likely a good reason for their behavior so expect no uniform change.
In the short term, I imagine this is better for companies, since a very small number of these incidents actually generate enough outrage to need fixing. In the long term, I wonder if companies will ultimately regret creating an environment where every consumer immediately goes public with every complaint they have on social media as soon as something goes wrong?
- they froze my account.
- they required documentation.
- the chat was broken. There was no way to contact them and send the documentation.
- I found them in Twitter, someone from Revolut passed my issue along. No one called me.
- They kept messaging me in the chat. I could see the numbers piling up but the chat was "opps something went wrong" and a blank page.
- I tried all: cache, restart etc...I didn't want to uninstall.
- after two weeks I took the big risk and uninstalled the app. It was very tense...I installed it again (it worked luckily) and I could finally chat again. Problem solved.
They never called me, I could not call them, the problem was on their end but I had to find a way and take the risks.
Fintech is just banks with a sleek interface and no experience after all.
Monzo, for instance, is excellent.
They’re not. It sounds like Revolut is regulated in Lithuania; complain to them . I’d also light up your own country’s national financial regulator.
(If you can find nexus with the U.K., they’re a good one to get involved , too.)
All the CFPB did for me was forward my complaint to Chase who (politely) told me to go fuck myself.
CFPB is a joke. Your state financial regulator and the Fed enforce Regulation E in the United States.
Note that the rules are less strict for returns than for fraud. You’ll want to include proof of shipping the return, but the merchant and network have some discretion. (VISA is more consumer-friendly than MasterCard with return chargebacks; AmEx is the best.)
>The company asked me to pay a fee before they would issue me credit.
You never did receive what you ordered: a working product.
One time, I just had to tell a company while I was on the phone with them, that I had this specific website open on my computer and was filling out the form. That got them to resolve the issue immediately.
Unfortunately, this would only address the issue with Newegg, not Chase. But you should still get your refund, or the monitor, which you can then return for a refund (if you ended up buying another one somewhere else already). If Newegg says it's too late for a refund, tell them to read their own ToS which says you are elligible for a refund, or that you will sue them in small claims court. Or you could use your credit card's warrenty if it has one.
Heck, if your credit card has warranty coverage, did you try using that? From what I understand, if you try returning a defective item and the store won't accept it, the credit card company will just write you a check.
Just open a new case with the credit card company and don't refer to the old issue/case.
Ah, I went down the Credit Card path.
>Heck, if your credit card has warranty coverage, did you try using that? From what I understand, if you try returning a defective item and the store won't accept it, the credit card company will just write you a check.
By the time I thought of this I was out of the warranty time frame. I did bring it up in my CFPB complaint though, but I don't recall if they addressed that specifically when they told me to pound sand.
>Unfortunately, this would only address the issue with Newegg
Newegg banned my account after the dispute. Since they sold a defective monitor as "certified refurbished" and then fraudulently answered the CC dispute I don't have any faith they will voluntarily resolve the issue. Unfortunately, this level of customer service is par for the course for them.
Newegg banned my account after I told their support that someone else logged into it, changed the password, and purchased a $1000+ camera with a gift card. I'm not sure if it counted as a dispute or not, as the money wasn't mine and it wasn't shipped to me. I found it odd that I had no option to reset my password and continue using it. I stopped shopping with Newegg after they silently deleted an entire transaction/order on my second account; all I ever got was the initial order confirmation; it took a call to their support to find out that it was not something I did wrong, but they couldn't tell me why it was cancelled.
Revolut can't refuse to reply. They are literally advising you on the first step to file your complaint in this procedure, as prescribed by the Financial Ombudsman Service. It is there to exhaust your query, in order to either resolve the matter amicably or to arrive at some satisfactory conclusion and more importantly it exists to filter out any frivolous claims.
> Your complaint has been sent to the trader. They can either suggest one or more dispute resolution bodies to work on the complaint or they can decide not to proceed with an out-of-court settlement of your complaint.
> You do not need to do anything more at this stage.
Signed up with my Passport and transferred €50 to the newly created Revolut account. I wait a week still no money in the Revolut account -- contact support. They explain I'm not registered and that I have to register first -- I'm at a loss as they could issue me an IBAN and I'm still not "registered" -- apprently I have to present a passport that isn't American because "they don't accept US passports" even though they did during my onboarding -- since I didn't have another passport available (my Irish one) I asked them to return the money and close the account. It took them 8 weeks to return the €50 with me chasing them everyday for the last two weeks.
I don't understand why N26 accept US passports and Revolut don't.
So this is a competitive advantage of N26 over Revolut?
I have switched to N26 now.
Get a serious one and automatically transfer some money onto your fancy cards every month, if you like their service for everyday payments.
That took them more than a month to figure. More than a month of a constant email ping-pong where they were requesting more and more documents, some of them multiple times over and over.
Never mind that the big fish they are really after wouldn't have it in their own name and thus are basically unaffected. It's a lot easier for companies to simply say no US customers than have our idiots in Washington after them.
After all those new-ish, app-based banks are for people with too much time on their hands. You mostly can't talk to anyone, and when they answer it's just a copy-paste from their FAQ. They also lack features, e.g. Kontist doesn't support international bank transfers. Support will tell you "well it could work, but we can't give you any assistance". I don't have six months until your development team understands and implements some protocol!
No phone number should be a dealbreaker for banking. 99% of the time, you don’t want to talk to a banker. But that 1% of the time can make or break you for months or years.
These start-ups (e.g. Bank Simple, Revolut, et cetera) prey on consumers who have only experienced the 99%. You don’t want to have a 1% event, like fraud, or an issue overseas, or a liquidity crisis, with a service you can’t talk to. (It’s also bad enough when it’s your first time with an issue. You don’t want to be banking with someone who’s (a) never solved that problem before either and (b) not available to talk to.)
To be fair, even having a phone number may not help. I spent four months at the beginning of the year trying to get HSBC to close a business account. When visiting the branch I was told I needed to phone head office as they deal with business accounts. After speaking to first line customer support I was told many times "someone will call you back" but nobody did.
Eventually they closed it, but I never received a refund for the account charges between when I requested the closure and it actually being closed, which I was promised.
This is why I still use my local Sparkasse (credit union) and pay ~9€ a month. They can sort out pretty much everything instantly - need a second card for your s/o, a secondary account for handling freelancer income, or a loan? No problem, show up and get what you want.
Additionally: when you're up for buying a house and all the lender bank has to look is the credit score, you will be paying more interest than if you apply for a credit at the bank that has handled your business over decades. None of the "new online banks" does real estate financing.
Which country are you in? This has most definitely not been the case for me anywhere I've lived. It's irrelevant if you were a customer with the bank before the mortgage application or not.
In my experience neither credit score nor past business have a significant impact on interest rate. Price and value of the house is everything.
Is this actually true? That would be a real reason for me to do the same, but if not I would prefer my money to stay with the GLS, which invests it ethically.
I've had negative and intolerable experiences with Curve, TransferWise, Tide, and Revolut. I would recommend avoiding all of them. Not all of them offer banking solutions (Curve being the odd one out in that list), but the three that do are all e-money, which I guess speaks for itself.
Money is power and power corrupts seems to apply too often with this stuff.
So, I was uninsured.
Imagine if this happens when you are in the US and you get sick.
This is serious stuff, it's just too risky to let them play with it.
From Revolut perspective: insurance theoretically could be abused but i doubt they haven't calculated the risks as it would mean losing money although i don't see how this is different than me getting travel insurance online and just providing some travel info that from X to Y i need it.
The rest of the story looks really, really bad for Revolut - I have never had a traditional bank speak to me like that before.
The first message is the auth which comes online. This can only be accepted or declined. Once it has been accepted the value of the transaction is reserved against the credit limit but no movement of funds takes place. The issuing bank can remove the auth manually, but this just releases the credit, it has no impact on what happens next.
The transactions are posted to the account in overnight batch, during which the card system will attempt to match the pending auths and remove them. Some transactions (such as recurrent ones) will have no matching auth. There is no opportunity at this stage to "reject" a transaction, the batch is applied or it isn't. The issuing bank will typically get or more batches per BIN.
The dispute process at this point involves the issuing bank (Revolut) issuing a chargeback against the acquiring bank, which triggers a process during which each bank has certain timeframes to reject or accept the chargeback. So from this standpoint Revolut is basically following standard process.
Yeah, I guess they have a reason for doing that, though I don't know what it is. Still, I would have thought they can cancel it in cases of fraud? Maybe it's so you can't "dine and dash" or similar.
I fall into the second category, but I'm also aware that what little I have in $bigBankCo is covered under depositor's insurance, and I'm good as long as I don't sign up for their usurious lines of credit or things like that.
And I've seen way too many smarmy startup dudes promising customers the earth, moon and the stars if they join their revolutionary "non-bank". No thanks.
I also keep money in two different "regular" banks, since I don't trust those much either.
I was one of the early adopters and their ardent evangelist. I probably hooked more than 10 people to Revolut. Before they were giving any incentives for referrals.
But their customer support turned to shit, their exchange rates became less 'fair', and their service became much, much worse.
A few examples...
(1) I traveled to the US, had troubles activating the travel insurance, contacted customer support, got it working. All good. A few months later, I find weird charges on my account. Contact customer support, ask about the charges. Turns out they charged me insurance fee for days that I was apparently insured, a month later. Best part: I had absolutely zero proof that I was insured at the time I was supposedly insured (take a guess how that would work out for me if I had to make a claim).
(2) I was trying to use their travel insurance again (between my first trip, and their fraudulent charge). The insurance is supposed to auto-activate when you travel abroad, but it did not. Contact customer support as soon as I realised (after arriving to the US), but they refused to activate it cause I already reached my destination. Had to get a different insurance, having to drive 1.000 km in the US without health insurance, before my new travel insurance kicked in. Luckily, nothing happened.
(3) We tried to open a company account. Us three owners were registered as authorised persons in the application form. Our application got refused, no explanation. Plus they froze PERSONAL accounts of my two co-founders for around two weeks. No access to their funds, no explanation. Try contacting the customer support, only to have a bot spew boilerplate nonsense at you. After a few weeks, their accounts just started working again. Explanation? Apology? You wish.
Bottom line is, they can't be trusted, let alone relied upon for anything even remotely important.
Worst thing is their entire pitch was about how they are on a mission to improve 'bad old banks', yet they failed on very fundamentals of banking.
For me, they are a Ryanair of financial services: cheap, but will screw you if they get a chance; and good luck if anything goes wrong.
A few days ago they sent an email offering their Metal cards for referrals. A few years ago I was doing that for free. Today there is no chance I would recommend Revolut to anyone.
- don't keep a significant sum there; not more than what I can afford to loose if things go wrong
- keep unused features disabled at all times, activate and deactivate features or card only when I want to use it. Practically my card is blocked until I want to use it and blocked again as soon as I paid.
My balance today is ~ $35. I will top up when I need to pay more, it is enough for a coffee, a snack or to fill in gas (I ride a bike, even with expensive European gas it's still ~ $25 for a full tank).
I haven't yet got on the 'challenger bank bandwagon' mainly due to laziness.
This has made me a lot more hesitant to do so. Certainly not with revolut, who are now notorious for a broken growth-first mindset.
All I hear from these upstarts is how easy their app is to use, and how frictionless my payments will be. These are utterly meaningless platitudes. Show me the money.
(the card is an ugly neon green, but works fine in my experience)