Revolut Business - The Modern Bank Account

After a year of heavy usage, this article reviews Revolut as a banking solution for business accounts. I discuss most usable features as well as potential drawbacks. Let's dig in, it's really worth taking a deeper look.
Revolut-Business-Banner

When we first registered for our private Revolut accounts, it did not take long until it became our go-to banking solution. It is since then our primary card we carry around with us everywhere we go (but more on that later).

Fast-forward a couple of months and we had to evaluate bank accounts for our newly incorporated company. Given the title of this post it should come to no surprise that we actually ended up registering for a Revolut Business account. After using it for more than a year we thought it is now time for a review.

About Revolut

Since its inception in July 2015, UK-based Revolut is one of the fastest growing Fintech startups. It now serves over 4 Million customers worldwide. Currently operating under a Luxembourg e-money license, it offers a limited set of products. However, Revolut obtained an EU Banking License in Lithuania (hello Brexit) in December 2018 and will thus launch a full set of banking services starting in 2019. Expected are full current accounts, savings accounts as well as retail and business lending. Most importantly, any deposited funds will be protected up to €100,000 under the European Deposit Insurance Scheme (EDIS). Exciting times ahead for sure.

Why we bank with Revolut Business

Image source: https://www.revolut.com/business-accounts-made-easy

With only few reviews to go with (it was at the time a fairly new platform), our main initial motivator was the very transparent fee structure and comparatively low costs offered. We started out with the START subscription for €25 per month (limited to 100k of incoming funds per month) and never ended up facing any additional costs.

What you get with Revolut Business are multi-currency current accounts, physical and virtual debit cards and an Open API. There are currently no investment account or loan offerings (will change with the recently obtained banking license). Most new features are introduced in the UK first since it is their operational base.

What we like

  • Real foreign-exchange rates
    Our no. 1 feature is the zero-fee, instant exchange between 24 currencies at the real-time exchange rate. Whether you pay for a subscription in USD, receive Amazon payouts in GBP or spend money on in a co-working space in Bali, you never have to worry about additional bank charges.
Image source: https://www.revolut.com/business-accounts-made-easy
  • Security
    Probably most important when it comes to banking is security. We especially like the possibility of fine-tuning card settings. We always have location security turned on (corresponds to phone location) and also only enable ATM withdrawals when we need them. In case your card gets lost or stolen you can immediately block it (or unblock it when you happen to find it again) without any costs incurred.
  • Business expense tracking with employee cards
    Talking about cards we probably should also mention that besides corporate cards, the whole team can get their own prepaid card tied to the company’s current account. Business expenses can be tracked easily that way.
  • API and automation
    Open API – one of the easily underestimated but extremely useful features. If you know your way around it, you can easily build API integrations between Revolut for Business and your own apps (start here). Some integrations that are available ready to use include Slack, Zero and Zapier (new ones are being added). We use Zapier for some basic workflows like adding transactions to our accounting sheets or synchronising payments in our accounting software.
  • Very helpful chat
    Whenever we needed help, we turned to the support chat. Even when needing advanced analysis, we always received prompt and professional support. Never had any issues with it.
  • NEW: Revolut for business app
    In February 2019, Revolut launched another much-anticipated feature when they released a dedicated Business app. The app simplifies tracking of corporate spending, enables instant payment notifications and even increases security (freeze card on the go if it is misplaced).

What we dislike

  • Statement export
    We sometimes struggle to provide our accountants with useful statements because of the very limited export functionalities. For example, single transaction statements list the recipient’s name but lack the actual payment reference. It’s just little things, but nonetheless quite annoying.
  • No support for special transaction types
    It’s not that we want to complain about paying tax, but in the European Union it is quite common to use special transaction forms for various forms of payments involving the ministry of finance. Revolut does not support any of them.

International payments via SWIFT

Please be aware that when receiving incoming payments via SWIFT, you need to use an additional, intermediary BIC that is listed under your account details.

Conclusion

After one year of heavy account usage, we would totally recommend Revolut for Business, just because you get a lot for your money. As always, if it is the right thing for your business obviously depends on your individual needs, as account features are pretty basic (no investment, trading, savings or loan accounts). As a frequent traveler you will find a lot of value in the zero-fee foreign exchange rates. The same applies if you need to hold various currencies due to your international business needs.

However, when considering a purely online-based banking solution, you just got to accept the fact that there is no physical office you can visit for someone to help you type in that receiver account number. Most likely, there won’t ever be one.
Me personally, especially since travelling a lot, I find it way more efficient to use a 24/7 live chat out of my current location to solve arising problems, rather than having to drive to the next bank subsidiary. Especially if the chat support is as responsive, efficient and professional as the Revolut Business one. That said, I totally understand why people still prefer face-to-face meetings with their personal bank advisors and feel safer with their money sitting in local banks. I know that their deposited money is far from actually sitting in the bank safe but that is another topic..

Please leave a comment if you have any further questions or suggestions. Leave a like if you found this article helpful.

Bonus section – private Revolut account benefits

Private Revolut accounts offer way more features than the business ones. What we find most useful in our everyday lives are the following:

  • Payment splits
    In quite a lot of countries it just isn’t a thing to split the bill in restaurants. It also isn’t a thing to carry cash anymore. What if you could easily break down bills between you and your friends or share that grocery shopping invoice with your partner? Revolut lets you instantly split payments or send/request money between users. It just makes life easier in today’s cashless world.
  • Budgeting and saving goals
    Saving up for your dream holiday? Revolut lets you round up your spare change or make automated recurring payments into your personal savings vault. To further assist you in reaching your saving goals, you can set daily and monthly spending limits. Limits can even be set per category, from groceries to restaurants and entertainment. Reminders help you stick to your budgets.
  • Insurance
    As a Revolut account user, with travel days depending on your subscription, you automatically get global medical insurance for your trips. Furthermore, you get very good rates on device insurance. I use the Revolut partner insurance to cover my iPhone against all drops including screen damage, liquid damage and damage caused by a third-party.
  • New: Lounge access
    The long-awaited feature of airport lounge access is finally here, and we tested it on our latest trip through Dubai international airport. It is comparable to LoungeBuddy or Priority Pass offerings, so you won’t actually get into airline lounges. However, there is a huge selection of lounges available on the world’s most frequented airports. Prices are very low with around €27 for a day-pass (Revolut Metal subscription includes the first lounge pass for free).
  • Cashback
    Reserved for Metal subscription, the cashback feature is especially useful if you spend a lot of time outside your home country – or especially outside of your home currency region. While for me the cashback in Europe is only 0.1%, I am credited 1% of all payments outside of Europe. For me this is great, because I actually make back all subscription costs through cashback.

Leave a comment

×