Revolut now has 1.7 million Irish customers, but what is it really and how does it work?

It’s the march forward for Ireland’s 1.7 million Revolut army.

Revolut is making major changes to its service in Ireland after officially launching as a bank here earlier this year.

The digital finance service, which allows money to be transferred as fast as a text message, is part of the daily lives of generation Z and millennials.

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But many may still be wondering: What is Revolut? And how it works?

Is it a game changer or just part of the shift from cash to more digitized money services that the next

Will it hasten the end of cash, which is projected to phase out over the next decade anyway?

Revolut is the finance app that has literally revolutionized the way we spend, send and save money.

With millions of users in Ireland, and growing, it is leading the charge to make cash a thing of the past.

Its popularity increased during the pandemic, as many moved to digital banking and contactless payments.

It has taken advantage of a new generation embracing new payment technologies and seeing the old old bank account as a thing of the past.

revolution card

It’s such a big part of lifestyles that younger consumers have their own jargon when they wire money to their friends: “I’ll Revolut you.”

It has joined Hoover and Google as a brand that is used so much that it has its own verb.

Now it would be hard to find a young person who doesn’t use the app to split bills with friends and control money fairly.

These days, there’s no excuse to pay friends back instantly if they keep track of drinks or dinner.

The London-based company was smart enough to spot a gap in the tween/teen market that was too hip for youth bank accounts but too young for bank cards.

Its service, Revolut Junior, is now being used as a kind of tech-age pocket money service for kids or a digital piggy bank aimed at seven- to 17-year-olds.

Parents can create a Revolut account for the kids where they can deposit their homework allowance money, or where notes given by aunts and uncles can be transferred to the account.

It means that they can learn to spend and manage their money from a young age.

In a nutshell, Revolut is a mobile digital banking and financial technology (fintech) app that is available on all smartphones.

Allows users to purchase items; transfer money to other accounts, even abroad in 29 currencies, and offers better control of money and expenses due to convenience.

The benefits of using Revolut are the ease of use and simplicity of the service, with the high quality of its mobile app. Users can transfer money from their regular bank account to a personalized Revolut wallet.

To purchase items, a user can request a physical card or set up a digital card on any smartphone device through Google Pay on Android and Apple Pay on Apple devices.

Revolut card alongside the Revolut Android mobile app
Revolut card alongside the Revolut Android mobile app

Transferring money to a separate Revolut account is easy: all that is required is the other user’s phone number and/or Revolut username, and by typing in the amount the user requires, transactions can happen instantly. Setting up an account is faster than setting up a normal bank account.

Once the app is downloaded to a smartphone, by providing a name, address, date of birth, contact details, and a photo ID, the user is halfway there. Users set up a four-number access code that allows access 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Transaction fees apply if users send money abroad, except within the Single Euro Payment Area. There are also penalties if users make more than five ATMs.
withdrawals or monthly withdrawals of up to €200: the threshold increases depending on Revolut plans.

As for Revolut Junior, children and teenagers can set up an account linked to their parent’s existing account.

Once a parent has transferred money to their child’s account, this will allow them to purchase items with their phone or with a requested Revolut card.

Parents have complete supervision of their children’s transactions.

With banks like KBC and Ulster Bank leaving the Irish market, will Revolut replace traditional banking?

Revolut received a banking license from the European Central Bank late last year.

But Daragh Cassidy, head of communications for consumer financial aid service, thinks Revolut won’t compete with existing lenders just yet.

He said: “Revolut charges quite a bit for the use of cash once the monthly limits are reached.

“And without a branch presence, you can’t deposit cash or checks.

“It doesn’t offer overdrafts or mortgages, at least for now.”

Cassidy added that “there is still a generation of people, particularly those over 50, who will be committed to cash for a long time.”

He also thinks customer service presents an additional hurdle for the burgeoning fintech.

He added: “You hear occasional reports of people being locked out of their accounts on suspicion of fraud and then having great difficulty accessing their accounts again.”

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