Exchange rate markup - NEW RULES?

Hi;

Going through exchange rate FAQ yesterday, I noticed something that was not not there before, so I suppose it’s relatively new:

"For a few illiquid currencies, we provide the best rate we possibly can. For THB and RUB, we apply a small 1.5% mark up on the exchange rate. For UAH we apply a 1% mark up, and AUD a 0.5% mark up.

At the weekend (Friday 23:59 - Sunday 23:59) we apply a small mark up on the spot rate as the Forex markets are closed. We take the rate from Friday 23:59 and apply a 0.5% mark up on major currencies and 1.0% on other currencies to protect the company from potential losses due to a large fluctuation in the rate. For illiquid currencies like Russian Ruble and Thai Baht, there is 1.5% mark up on weekend."

While the second paragraph has always been there, the first one is obviously new. Does this mean there’s a markup on THB, RUB, UAH and AUD every day and not just on weekends? If so, is this to say that, for example, THB markup would be 3% on the weekends? @AndreasK

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Hello there,

Indeed, it’s new to me too.
I think that, yes, it would bring us to 3% for THB the WE then. At least, this is what I understand. :slight_smile:

Regards,
Julien.

I also understood it like that @julien . But seriously, Revoulut is a good service but they really have issues with corporate communication and information transparency.

@revolut, please find a way to properly communicate news and updates, people cannot be expected to read through the entire community site and FAQ every day in order to understand what has changed.

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There always was an exception for “illiquid” currency exchange. The paragraph might have changed, but since I am an account holder (late 2015), I remember some currencies being more expensive right from the beginning.

Hey Frank,

I know certain currencies are more expensive, but it’s been like that only on the weekends so far. Read both bold papragraph together to get my point of my question.

I wrote:

“While the second paragraph has always been there, the first one is obviously new. Does this mean there’s a markup on THB, RUB, UAH and AUD every day and not just on weekends? If so, is this to say that, for example, THB markup would be 3% on the weekends?”

Best,
Dario

Yes, that is how I understood it. But I vaguely remember some currencies always being more expensive, even during the week. I might be wrong, though. (I might mix things up with Uphold’s terms.)

There was a change two months ago due to yours truly and this thread, I believe. But it also appears it’s been changed since at least once again.

The updated versions are a big step up over what was there originally although it still falls short of what should be there: (1) a complete list of “illiquid” and “major” currencies should be provided; (2) Revolut’s “interbank rate” is never defined anywhere nor can it be queried by the customer without executing a transaction; at the very least delayed rates should be made available to customers; (3) all this information should not be buried in the FAQ; rather, all the fees and markup levels should be listed on a separate page linked from the front page; (4) a history of changes in that document should be provided and there should be a way to subscribe to notifications about any future updates to it.

With regard to (1), a complete list was in fact provided to me in response to one of my posts on this board back in February. However, AUD was not mentioned at the time, and I can’t find this post now so perhaps it’s been sneakily deleted. Meanwhile, it seems the FAQ has been edited again and having just used Revolut in Australia, I am now only accidentally discovering that a markup on AUD was introduced and apparently applied to my trip. Way to go, Revolut. (Incidentally, classifying the Australian dollar as “illiquid” is somewhat baffling.)

What happened to me is thus a perfect illustration of what @expatier noted:

Revolut’s rates are generally decent most of the time but occasionally disappoint, so perhaps it’s deliberate obfuscation on their part to leave customers no recourse in case of any dispute as nothing is essentially being promised and it appears that, contractually, the rates can be pretty much arbitrary. Unless this is the underlying reason, it would be in Revolut’s best interest to finally address all of the above mentioned issues comprehensively.

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Thanks for your input, @trulove, it’s indeed a valuable contribution to this topic!

Just to be clear on what I found as news reading the FAQ:

This is apparently a (relatively) new update. Effectively this means that for the stated currencies, a markup is now applied EVERY DAY instead of just on the weekends as was previously the case.

What is worse, these mark ups will see additional increase during weekends as well. For example, a markup of 1,5% was previosuly applied to THB only on weekends. Now, if I understand this correctly, there is a 1,5% markup on THB every day to which additional 1,5% markup will be added during weekends.

Including UAH and AUD to the list of illiquid currencies is another novelty. I don’t understand why is AUD considered an illiquid currency.

Absolutely agree on this! This is a transparency must.

For other readers who still might not be clear on this topic:

  1. Major currencies are essentially the top-up currencies: EUR, GBP, USD (soon to include CHF and PLN?)

  2. Illiquid currencies are THB, RUB, UAH and apparently AUD.

  3. Interbank rate is given to Revolut by MorningStar Inc.

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Is NO ONE from @revolut going to address this issue?

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Certain currencies are under currency control regimes, which limit the volume and velocity at which it can be required.

Therefore a mark-up for such currencies.

Sure, I understand what you’re saying. But that was not my point here. The point of this thread is about Revolut changing policies without making this change transparent and about the lack of a proper communication of such important changes. There was a mark up on illiquid currencies only on weekends previously, and now this mark up is added on those currencies every day, with an additional mark up added on top during the weekends. Also, UAH and AUD were added to the list of illiquid currencies.

The overall issue here is that such policy changes should not be mentioned or buried only in the FAQ section, because most people will simply not notice that a particular change came to effect. Shoud all users keep going through the FAQ every day just to check if something changed?

Why not sending a message to all users in the app and pin this update under the “News” section of the community page?

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The major point is that now, for the first time, markup applies to some currencies throughout the week, not just on the weekend.

The rules were changed significantly without any announcement.

Also, Australia has had a floating exchange-rate regime since 1983, and the currency is anything but illiquid: http://www.rba.gov.au/mkt-operations/ex-rate-rba-role-fx-mkt.html

If there can be a markup on AUD then it’s not inconceivable EUR or USD might be next, and we won’t be notified either. Someone will just edit the FAQ silently and we’ll find out accidentally later.

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This should be communicated properly. And I honestly do not see how AUD can be an illiquid currency.

@anon33247966 could you please address this?

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Now AUD illiquid? Pfff
After Revolut makes 1.5% on THB…

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This is really sneaky. Revolut needs to explain in what way Australian dollars, a major developed-world currency, are considered “illiquid”. Adding AUD to this list with no announcement seems like a money grab. At this point, with these kinds of tactics, I can no longer recommend Revolut. Much better to use Loot or Monzo, which provide the wholesale MasterCard exchange rate, which is as good as, and often better than, Revolut’s supposed “Interbank” rates. These cards hands-down beat Revolut for transactions at weekends, and for pretty much all transactions except, occasionally, those in EUR or USD. If you can, get a Halifax Clarity, or Santander Zero card, and use them for purchases. Job done, and you don’t have Revolut’s sneaky tactics and backhanded charges.

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Don’t forget about another novelty related to these exchange rate mark ups - these were previously added on weekends only but now there is mark up on THB, RUB, UAH and AUD every day, plus the weekend mark up on top of that!

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I contacted online customer care today and complained about the mark up on AUD, in particular the notion that it is an 'illiquid ’ currency, when blatantly it is not. Got this reply:

‘OK, I’m back with the update. Thank you for taking time to contact us regarding incorrect info provided in our FAQ. I would like to confirm that we’ll be removing AUD from that list today.’

And indeed the FAQ this evening shows no mention of a mark up on AUD. Checking the app it seems that interbank rates are again being offered.

Thumbs up on this Revolut :+1:

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I still see AUD under FAQ, strange.

Is it a cached copy? This is a cut and paste of the relevant FAQ taken from the support section of the app just now:

‘For a few illiquid currencies, we provide the best rate we possibly can. For THB and RUB, we apply a small 1.5% markup on the exchange rate. For UAH we apply a 1% markup.’

Reference to AUD (it was there this morning) has been removed.

However on the FAQ section retrieved on the app (not on my laptop), there is no reference to markup rate on AUD anymore, so I see the same thing you saw. Maybe I should log out of the community page and log back in.

Can you try to check the FAQ on the web, via your computer/tablet instead?

UPDATE: It seems to be a cached version after all - I just consulted the FAQ using different browser and there’s no mention of AUD anymore. Thanks for pointing this out.

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