Revolut, the British digital bank shaking up the industry, is going global in a big way: in a deal with payments giant Visa Inc., it’s tripling its total employees and expanding to 24 new markets.
Revolut said the agreement, which builds on an earlier partnership, enables it to expand from Europe and Australia to the U.S. and Singapore by the end of the year, with Japan and Canada to follow. The company plans to enter other Asian markets and Latin America as well, CEO Nikolay Storonsky told Reuters.
With the deal, Revolut’s markets will increase to 56 to take advantage of consumers’ shifting to digital services. As much as 15% of the banking industry’s global payments revenue, or $280 billion, is likely to be displaced by digital transactions as they become faster and free, according to a recent report from consulting firm Accenture.
Visa, meanwhile, doesn’t want to be left behind as fintechs revolutionize the payments ecosystem. In addition to this deal, the company this month launched an initiative called Visa Partner, which helps fintechs expand their payments systems by streamlining access to Visa’s technologies, network, solutions and licensing requirements.
In the past year, Visa has entered partnerships with fintechs ranging from cross-border payments company Currencycloud to financial wellness platform PayActiv. It has also invested in startups including Minna Technologies, a subscription-management platform for banks, Anchorage, a digital-asset custodian among others.
- Revolut, founded in 2015, has seven million customers and has conducted more than 350 million transactions valued at almost $50 billion, according to its website. The company plans to add 3,500 employees, increasing its workforce to about 5,000.
- In early September Revolut withdrew an application for an e-banking license in Luxembourg after a parliamentarian raised concerns about whether the company was complying with regulations. Revolut said the withdrawal was “strategic” and that it was focusing on Ireland instead.
- Under the new agreement, Revolut primarily will issue Visa-branded cards in the global expansion.