• Revolut reduces cryptocurrency trading fees in an effort to increase US business

  • Customers in the United States can now trade up to $200,000 in cryptocurrency without paying commission fees. After the coronavirus pandemic dampened early marketing efforts, Revolut hopes to raise brand awareness among Americans.

    Revolut, the $33 billion British digital bank, has reduced fees for US customers on a variety of products.

    Customers in the United States of America will now be able to trade up to $200,000 in cryptocurrency each month without incurring commission fees. Previously, standard Revolut users could only trade $200 per month without incurring fees.

    Other changes allow users to withdraw a set amount of money each month, send up to ten international remittances per month, and open five free accounts for their children.

    According to Ron Oliveira, CEO of Revolut in the United States, the move is intended to raise the company’s profile in the region. Revolut debuted in the United States in March 2020, just as the Covid-19 pandemic hit. According to Oliveira, the unfortunate timing hampered its early marketing efforts.

    “We had a very quiet beginning,” he explained. “Now the question is, where do we go from here?” We’ve discovered that we have the most comprehensive and diverse offering of any fintech in the United States today.”

    Banking segmentation

    Revolut began as a foreign exchange tool in London in 2015. It now bills itself as a financial “super-app,” providing current accounts, stock and cryptocurrency trading, and a variety of other services. According to CNBC, the startup intends to launch stock trading for US customers in the coming months.

    Revolut is also pursuing a banking charter in the United States, as it does in many of the markets where it operates. In March, the company filed a preliminary application with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation.

    “Part of our global strategic plan is that we want to have banking licenses either in countries where we already have a large presence, or where we think the upside is great, and the United States is obviously the latter,” said Oliveira, adding that a charter would allow Revolut to offer a much broader range of products. According to him, the company is already planning to launch credit cards and unsecured lines of credit in the United States.

    However, in order for its charter bid to be successful, Revolut will need to persuade regulators that banking and cryptocurrency products can coexist within the same service.

    “Crypto is one of their top concerns.” ‘How will crypto be handled, inside or outside the bank?’ That is the central question. “Does crypto exist inside or outside of the bank?” Oliveira stated. “For us, cryptocurrency exists outside of the bank… The way it’s set up is that if you have the Revolut app and want to buy cryptocurrency, you don’t go into the bank; instead, you go outside the bank. You’ll have to go to a different entity for that.”

    The proposed structure is similar to that used by Zopa, a British peer-to-peer lender founded in 2005. In the summer of 2020, the company launched a licensed bank in the United Kingdom, which it now runs alongside – but separate from – its peer-to-peer lending business.

    What's your reaction?