Experience-not so pleasant-with direct deposit

At the outset, let me say that I am a diehard fan of Revolut. I have been banking with Revolut since it was launched in beta here.
I want to share my 2 cents so that Revolut can try to improve its system to attract more people to start using it as their main account instead of just using it as another travel card.
Every time, my salary hits my Revolut account, it gets flagged and put on hold for further review. I totally understand Revolut’s policy. In fact, I appreciate their due diligence in making sure that every transaction is legal and genuine. That should be the way of carrying out any banking transactions.
But, what Revolut needs to understand and try to come up with a customised system for US customers is to identify direct deposits clearly and not to hold it for long. It shouldn’t be difficult for a fintech company like Revolut.
All other banks in US never ever hold salary deposits for a review on a regular basis.
Since I love Revolut, I have not lost my cool to go through the process of taking it up with Revolut customer service and uploading my payslip in order to get the hold on my salary payment lifted every 2 weeks.
Until today, it was just a couple of hours to get this hold released. But yesterday, my salary was held up for a whole day. When I enquired if it was needed to upload my payslip, I was advised that it was not required. My salary was deposited yesterday morning at 0649hrs. After my multiple chats with 3 different customer service reps and uploading my payslips late night, my salary was released this morning. This totally makes their claim of getting one’s salary deposit 2 days early totally irrelevant.
Wondering why Revolut can’t immediately ask for the source of funds instead of trying to review it on their own for more than 12 hours. This will definitely make anyone feel frustrated and force them to take their banking to any other US banks who don’t force this kind of long review process on a regular salary deposits.
I fail to understand when the salary payments are coming the same source every time, why Revolut is not able to identify it quickly.
I am enduring this process for the last 6 months as I don’t want to give up on Revolut’s amazing features.
Hope Revolut can take a serious look into this matter and come up with an ingenious way of improving the review process. Otherwise, they can’t expect to make a dent into US banking sector.
Normally, one will go online to rant about the poor service by Revolut. As you know, there are a plenty of posts throwing mud on Revolut.
But I expect to share my feelings in a positive way so that Revolut can truly revolutionize banking in America by listening to their diehard fans like me and keep improving their service.

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I personally think it’s unreasonable for salary deposits to be held at all. They should definitely improve upon this, I hope it’s the fact that it’s a beta product that is the reason holding everything up (i.e. a temporary license agreement with their backing bank until they are comfortable that Revolut is doing everything sufficiently to keep them out of trouble)

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Hi @Recchan,
it has come out of beta here. It may be a cultural understanding. US banks never bother about your source as long as it comes from a legal source. Also, they are well aware of the process of direct deposit and have no issue of giving 2 days early credit. Hope Revolut will improve their process soon to attract more and more US customers.

I think it’s a problem specific to Revolut (and, to be fair, Fintech in general) figuring out their risk assessment, money laundering and their internal workflows. AIs need to be trained, you need people with expertise, and Revolut finds out the hard way that this is not easy.

The traditional banking sector is culturally different, but not in this aspect. Salaries are paid as direct deposits almost exclusively for a longer time than in the US, where paper checks were (are?) still a thing. I don’t think my parents ever got a pay check since the 1960s. Banks grant an overdraft based on the monthly salary regularly. As a ballpark figure, this overdraft is about three times the salary (varies of course on individual credit rating). Interest rates for overdraft vary but are usually lower than the average credit card rate in the US. So if a consumer needs credit quickly, this is the fastest way to access credit for most. One can just use the debit card and spend it.

Banks issue credit cards, but most credit cards are charge cards, settled every month in full, with no interest. Revolving credit cards are available as well, but they are rare, and interest here is usually considerably more expensive than account overdraft. Banks offer also specific consumer credit (for cars, for computers … ) that is considerably cheaper compared to credit cards. A credit for a car might cost you currently something between 1 and 4 % interest while Barclays Card, a popular revolving credit card, is about 19 %. Account overdraft is about 10 %.

(This varies of course between countries in Europe, but I believe the general assumptions are true for most.)

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Here a credit card is typically between 10-50% (10% being a very good credit report, 20% being normal, 30+% being for a bad score or for starter cards)

Overdrafts are pretty much all 39.99% as we recently barred daily charges for unarranged overdrafts.

Here most are revolving credit cards, only charge cards I can think of that are offered here are offered by AmEx.

Yes, the UK is closer to the US here. And it varies drastically between countries how they make available arranged overdraft.

I just wanted to point out that Revolut’s struggles with direct deposits for salaries isn’t bout a cultural difference. Or, to be precise: it’s the other way around. Regular income paid as direct deposit is in many European markets the way to access prearranged overdraft facilities that banks consider often less risky.

Some countries here were clinging on to cheques a little longer, but it’s not even close to the US market, where in 2015 over 36 % of all payments (by volume) were made by cheque.

(Fun fact: in 2016, 84 % of all cheque transactions were made in France, that’s 10 % of their total transactions. UK: a little under 2 %, 3 % in Ireland, 0.1 % in Germany. Most countries don’t publish numbers anymore because cheques are no longer statistically relevant.)

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Exactly it seems to be a unique issue of Revolut. Other challenger banks such as Chime, Varo, SoFi, etc do not have this kind of ridiculous review procedure. They are able to differentiate between direct deposits of salary and other transfers. Hence, there is no issue with them to give early credit to direct deposits.
When I first saw the feature of early credit of direct deposit, I was under the impression that Revoult took page out of other challenger banks’ book to appeal to US customers. But their inefficient way of review render the claim of early credit into practically not so useful. On the contrary, it metes out a hardship to their customers by putting a hold on their salary payment everytime. This will deter the customers from using Revoult as their main bank.

What does support has to say about that issue?

You honestly put up with that shit every two weeks since six months!?

It seems that their compliance team and customer service are working in a separate watertight hold. All the customer service team could respond was that their review team would update as soon as they could complete the review process. It was not so bad until the last remittance. Earlier, it was a just couple of hours before the hold on the payment was lifted. But this time, it went beyond the limit and they kept dancing around the issue by holding my salary for more than a day. Hence, I had to escalate this matter to a higher level to find a resolution. The hold was lifted on the next day and now I am able to transact as normal though they are still trying further to review my history salary deposit into Revolut.

Yes, that’s no secret. Customer support and compliance are two different teams. And when there’s a backlog at compliance, support can’t do anything but repeat that it’s escalated to compliance.

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