I started using Revolut 3 days ago: the promise of “Free international money transfers, fee-free global spending, always at the interbank exchange rate.Business or Consumer, Revolut is the only banking alternative designed for your global lifestyle”. was too appealing to resist
I transferred €9k from a €-denominated bank account in Italy to Revolut using the standard bank details provided within the App.
The idea, like the majority of transfers, was to move euros from Italy (where I do NOT live anymore) into my UK account and use those for my living in the UK. Simple, obvious.
When the funds appeared on my Revolut profile, I quickly checked the conversion rate applied to figure out it was not as good as expected.
After an excruciatingly painful 3hrs session using Revolut’s chat (the only system to communicate) asking for clarifications, I was told that I did a mistake:
I should have selected “euro” as currency and transfer euros from my italian account to Revolut.
Who thinks about transferring euros to euros if you are living in the UK and intend to use this transfer to buy goods/services in £GBP? The normal thinking is to expect that euros will be transferred AND converted to GBP so I can move them to my UK bank account, right?
Isn’t it the ultimate goal of Revolut to make transfers and conversions, cheaper and simpler?
To my surprise (as I’m not a banking expert like many “average users”) I was told that Revoluts NEEDS a traditional bank (Lloyds) to settle and execute payments.
When the “traditional” bank received my funds in Euros and transferred those to my £ Revolut account, despite being the “partner” bank or Revolut, they applied a hefty premium on the exchange rate. I figured out that the difference was nearly £120 if doing the process as labelled “correct” by Revolut (euro to euro and only THEN do intra-app conversion to £GBP)
I took the freedom to suggest Revolut that this simple mistake could be easily prevented by improving the Interface of the App and informing users that are about to transfer Euros (or other currency) to a different currency denominated account asking if they are “sure” about this.
Labelling more clearly for the users the fact that currencies have to be transferred, when possible, using the same currency in order to avoid surprises also seems a no brainer and something that would make the customer journey smoother.
I think that there’s an intrinsic confusion in someone transferring foreign currency to a different country (where they live) and expect that transfer to also be converted if that’s not the “normal” process to follow. Clearly, knowing in advance the fact the Revolut relies on a standard bank that NEEDS to make money when possible, would have prompted some alerts in me,.
A bit of info labelling and info should avoid this, very easily.