In 2019, the UK-based digital banking company Revolut fell victim to a series of publicity disasters. The Telegraph alleged that the company’s executives deliberately decommissioned anti-money laundering software earlier last year. Further reporting revealed that Revolut attracted the attention of the UK financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Combined with news about data breaches, this inspired many of Revolut’s customers to look for alternatives to the digital banking service. Are there any decent alternatives out there? Revolut has so far offered a great advantage over traditional banking providers. The service allowed users to save plenty of money on foreign currency exchange, recurring monthly payments, and bank commissions. However, that doesn’t mean that Revolut has no serious competitors.
Read this article to discover five alternatives to Revolut that you should know if you’re planning to close your account and are looking for your next digital banking provider.
What features to look for in a banking services provider?
Before we move on to list all of the alternatives to Revolut, let’s take a closer look at the critical features consumers should take into account when choosing their banking application.
The company you choose needs to offer its customers top-notch security in all of its digital products. Whether it’s online banking or mobile apps, make sure that the bank complies with all of the regulations required in their country. The best way to apply security measures is through the options of setting limits, two-factor authentication and enabling or disabling payment options.
Many of the alternatives to Revolut are mobile banks — and some of them are even mobile-only. This means that they should offer their customers a state-of-the-art mobile app. An app like that should allow you to transfer money, check your balance, check account history, set security limits, and many more.
Most alternatives to Revolut offer the option of setting up multicurrency accounts. That way, you can easily store different currencies to your account and convert your money whenever the exchange rate is optimal. If you use your card in any country abroad, the exchange rate should be calculated at the time of your withdrawal. So, if you’re planning to travel abroad soon, you can still save a lot of money by exchanging at the best time.
All of the Revolut alternatives we present below allow their customers to withdraw a certain amount of money for free every month. However, when customers reach that limit, usually, some fees will apply.
Many digital banks now offer NFC or contactless payment options. For example, customers can use mobile apps to pay for their purchases.
5 best alternatives to Revolut
This German startup offers accessible banking accounts for the residents of the majority of European Union member states. Founded in 2013, N26 has operated as a regular bank ever since it received its banking license. The bank offers a fantastic mobile app and desktop platform. And you can choose from three available cards: personal, black personal, and business. N26 uses the exchange rates provided by Transferwise.
Note that N26 is not available to UK-based customers anymore. The company has recently decided to leave the UK market following Brexit.
- High availability to a broad range of nationalities,
- Constant expansion of solutions to other countries,
- Collaboration with Transferwise for exchanging currency.
- You can only have one account. So if you already have a personal account, you can’t set up the business account.
This is a mobile-only digital bank based in the United Kingdom. The company started out by offering a prepaid debit card. Once it received a banking license in 2017, Monzo began operating like any other bank. Now customers can choose from current accounts, and more services are set to be offered in the future. The company counts for almost 4 million active customers. Monzo is currently available for UK residents only. However, the company is busy at work on expanding its audience reach. The exchange rates offered by Monzo are MasterCard exchange rates.
- No day-to-day fees,
- You can upgrade for extra features — for example, by upgrading, you can get travel insurance and set a higher ATM withdrawal limit.
- At the moment, Monzo is only available for UK residents, and the account is designed to be used with GBP only.
Transferwise was founded in 2011. The UK-based company provides the broadest range of currency exchanges and money transfer services between international accounts. There is a reason why Transferwise was called the future of international money exchange. The company boasts worldwide recognition and top rank in the banking world. While Transferwise doesn’t hold a banking license, the company is an authorized electronic money institution regulated by the FCA in the UK.
- Transferwise is available worldwide — users from all over the world can apply for a Transferwise borderless account (except for a few selected countries),
- You can hold up to 40 currencies in a single account,
- Transferwise offers amazing customer service,
- You can set up sub-accounts with various account numbers.
- Customers have to pay a small fee to send money.
This Dutch bank is relatively young, but it has already gained international recognition. It was founded in 2015 in Amsterdam. Bunq is available to the majority of European Union residents and is particularly active in the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Spain, Italy, France, and Belgium. However, any other EU citizens can open an account for free. Bunq partner has partnered with Transferwise for currency exchanges as well.
- Bunq services are available to a broad range of customers within the EU,
- The company is always rolling out updates.
- Topping up a credit or debit card might not be free (depending on your account).
This UK-based company offers a wide range of services such as money transfers or current accounts. Founded in 2013, Monese has been growing steadily and acquired a solid customer base. The service is available to all of the residents of the European Economic Area (EEA), which includes non-EU countries like Norway or Iceland.
- Monese services are just perfect for digital nomads and travelers because you can open an account without a permanent address.
- Foreign currency transfers will only be free as long as you transfer to another Monese account. If this is not the case, expect to pay a fee.
Conclusion: the best alternatives to Revolut
We hope this list helps you choose the best service available to match your unique requirements and preferences. This list is also excellent for business owners looking for the top banking alternatives to Revolut that will allow their businesses to go international.
As you can see, fintech is a rapidly growing sector with an increasing number of businesses offering new banking services and a much better customer experience than traditional banking.
Are you looking for more insights about fintech? Be sure to browse our company blog, where our experts share the news about the current and future trends in digital banking.