Improving information about currencies transfer!!


#1

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.


#2

Hi there.

Thank you for this feedback.

However, we advise all customers to read our FAQs to help ensure your Revolut experience is as frictionless as possible.

The rule is that you should top up in the currency that your bank account is held in. For example, if you have a UK bank account make sure you top up in GBP. If you don’t your bank will convert the money for you and charge a huge fee!

We currently support top-ups in 26 currencies - EUR, USD, GBP, PLN, CHF, SEK, NOK, DKK, RON, AUD, NZD, CZK, SGD, HKD, ILS, TRY, AED, CAD, HUF, INR, JPY, MAD, MXN, QAR, THB and ZAR. Once you have loaded your account, you can exchange between the currencies in the app; send free money transfers in 26 currencies to banks around the globe; or spend in 120 currencies with a Revolut card.

We’ll take care of the conversion for you when you use your Revolut card abroad. For example in you’re in Thailand, we’ll convert your GBP balance to THB automatically when you spend with your card.

Please note, if you are topping up via a bank transfer outside of the EU your bank may charge you a large international wire transfer fee as such transfer would go via SWIFT.

This information is on our FAQs.


#3

Hi Andreas,
thanks for your feedback but unfortunately does not address the problem.
The underlying problem is that Revolut’s instructions are not clear in order to prevent hefty exchange fees applied by your “Partner” bank Lloyds.
You are incorrectly stating that: _The rule is that you should top up in the currency that your bank account is held in. For example, if you have a UK bank account make sure you top up in GBP. If you don’t your bank will convert the money for you and charge a huge fee! where in reality the huge fee (in my case) has been charged by your bank “Partner” Lloyds when they converted by transfer in € into £ to be added to my Revolut account.
My bank in italy has charged a modest 3€ fee for the transfer (within EU), while your bank “Partner” Lloyds has literally ripped me off with the exchange rate.
If Revolut stated more clearly within the App (as opposed that in the FAQ) that in order to avoid very expensive forex conversion applied by our banking Partner “Lloyds”, the transfer has to be made from Euros to Euros, and ONLY AFTER converted using the in-App conversion system, problems like this would be avoided
Sorry for being direct, but this is the key issue and you guys should have the moral obligation to fix it


#4

I agree that Revolut could improve the communications here.

But: Revolut behaves in this case like any bank account. When sending EUR to GBP accounts, what you’ve got is the expected outcome. This is like it would have worked with any traditional bank in Europe.

When looking at the user experience in the app, a customer’s way is like this: 1st step: select the currency. 2nd step: select the method for top-ups. Depending on which currency is chosen, Revolut only presents the recommended account details.

Believe me, I get your point. And I see two hurdles to overcome: the product Revolut offers is in many aspects different and works differently, while being attached to the traditional banking system at the same time. There is a learning curve, customers need to get familiar with the product. And yet everything looks like a regular bank, and users expect it to behave like one. So how can a customer experience be designed that it is lean and intuitive and only presents informations that are necessary? Assuming all possible hurdles on the way and presenting warnings and explanations would make a very cluttered app experience. And Revolut changes the app constantly to reflect user feedback. (Actually, the way how to find correct account details per currency has changed just recently. It started with 1st: choose method, then 2nd currency.)

Besides this, make sure to do this: activate your personal EUR IBAN from within the app. Make sure to use this IBAN for all EUR SEPA transfers. Make sure to select “EUR SEPA” transfer with your Italian’s bank online banking (not international transfer!). With this, you’re not just avoiding currency conversion on the way but also the 3 EUR transfer fee your Italian bank charged you. International SEPA transfers must not be more expensive than national ones. This is regulated.


#5

Thanks Frank,

this is why I hoped Revolut could see my good faith and help me to offset
the loss I incurred in going through your bank’s partner “full” exchange
rate policy.

I made some quick calculations and it appears this has cost me circa 119£

Maybe you guys can look into this and can help in reducing that “gap”? As
this was the very first time I was using Revolut and considering all the
nuances expressed in previous messages about currencies, user journey etc
I’d consider this as a goodwill gesture and sound Customer Care policy

Happy to hear your suggestions

Thanks
Marco


#6

How does a SWIFT transfer work? :thinking:
This is not so very important,
more important is the fees for a SWIFT transfer…
.
I see many customers feel worried about the money who get lost during SWIFT-transfer.

Something during a transfer setup at Revolut ist very strange:
All banks I know are asking for
BEN, SHA, OUR codes in a SWIFT instruction.
Revolut does not ask for that detail,
sorry but this must be the reason for
most unhappy customer SWIFT queries.

Revolut: please ask for BEN SHA OUR
and let the customer (sender) decide.

But customer (sender) be careful:
avoid BEN or OUR, this are most undefined values,
mostly very expensive.

Take the SHA and you will be happy with no fees for the sender (thanks, Revolut) and you will have defined fees at the receiver side.


#7

Marco, I just experienced the exact same issue!

However, I received larger wire transfer of over 60,000 USD that was automatically converted into GBP and resulted in currency exchange fee of approximately TWO THOUSAND POUNDS by a Revolut “banking partner”!

As you pointed out, the requirement to specify a unique IBAN per currency is not communicated whatsoever on any relevant page and likely to trap many users. Had I known about this ridiculous fee I never would have agreed to accept the funds to my Revolut account or ever made the transfer in the first place.

Revolut pride themselves on transparency and super low currency exchange fees so this type of thing should NEVER happen!

If this was just a few pounds I would certainly overlook this problem sub-par UI/UX; however, since we are talking about approximately TWO THOUSAND POUNDS unless we are compensated in a timely fashion we’ll need to contact the Financial Ombudsman Service to resolve the matter.

Has anybody else experienced this problem? Were you granted a refund or some kind of compensation? Any suggestions?


#8

Revolut has just raised $250m and is valued at roughly $1,7bn…they have 2 choices now:
listen to customers and stop cashing in (directly or via their traditional banking partners) from “grey areas” or incomplete information such as the one happened to me and, to a much larger extent, you.
Or continue to march ignoring such instances…I’m only imagining how many other cases there are of customers that maybe they don’t even notice they have charged by the banking partner of Revolut for not specifying the right currency or using the right IBAN…


#9

Well, no offence, but I would attribute this to a mistake of yours - even if you might not want to hear that.

If one cares to familiarise yourself with the application for more than a minute, he will notice fairly quickly that there are separate accounts for each currency (which is something that logic dictates as well) and that each such account comes with a unique IBAN.

You obviously provided the sender of the funds with your GBP account and so the funds naturally got converted to sterling. If you had given them the USD account you could have avoided that.

One can certainly always argue that Revolut could make the UI even more and more and more fool-proof but then at some point we will reach Windows’ “are you sure” level that was, again, criticised by everyone.

I am sorry, as I mentioned you probably wouldnt want to hear that, but I dont reckon Revolut as the source of error here.


#10

I think not every user of Revolut Is fully familiar with all the processes and jargon of international banking. If Revolut want to access that market, they need to provide better, clearer information about what the best practices are for their users. This will also reduce their support costs (or wait times).


#11

Nobody expects people to become fully trained professionals in finance, but the UI is still pretty clear about what is going on and if somebody wires USD to a GBP account, it is not too much of a surprise it will be converted.

Again, yes, Revolut could make the UI more and more foolproof up to a level where you need a legal guardian to use it :wink: but I am not sure that would be the best path either.


#12

The descriptions of the processes and procedures could be clearer for people who are new to these kinds of transactions. Revolut encourages an exploratory approach by not providing clear information up front.


#13

I think we are repeating ourselves at this point :).

The UI is pretty clear in my opinion. If you fund your account via the top-up button it will actually choose the right account based on the currency. So the person must have chosen the GBP account in some other way and if someone misses the relatively big GBP heading on that screen right now, I am really not sure if any UI tweaks would change that.

I assume you know the saying about what is going to happen when you make something foolproof :slight_smile:


#14

I’m sure feedback like this is appreciated. But they do provide informations.

From the Section “Getting started, topping up, by bank transfer”.

You can find the transfer details by hitting ‘Top Up’ and then ‘Bank transfer’. Next, select the currency you would like to top up your Revolut account in. You must select the correct currency in the app, as the transfer might not arrive if it’s in a different currency to that of the destination Revolut account. You should also top up in the currency that your bank account is held in to avoid bad exchange rates charged by banks. For example, if you have a UK bank account make sure you make a transfer in GBP to your GBP Revolut account.

Topping up in GBP: Use your unique local account details if you transfer from a UK bank account, otherwise please use the IBAN details with your unique reference number.

Topping up in EUR: Use your personalised IBAN and send the funds as a SEPA payment with REVOGB21 as BIC and not via SWIFT if you transfer from a European bank account. Please use the SWIFT details with your unique reference number when you transfer from outside the Single Euro Payments Area. Any SWIFT transfer to your local Revolut account will be rejected and returned with applicable fees applied.

Topping up in other currencies: Please ensure the reference/description for your transfer is the 8-digit reference number highlighted in pink with no other text. This will ensure that your funds go straight into your account.
Unfortunately we don’t accept cash deposits to your Revolut account. They will be returned to the sender with a processing fee deducted.


#15

There is info, Frank, but I have certainly found it confusing.
To a novice, it’s far from clear in that text what to do if you want to get money into your GBP ledger from someone else who is going to be sending USD, which is what has happened here.
Given the number of questions and the number of grizzles about transfers gone wrong, there is certainly scope for Revolut to improve the customer experience and reduce their support costs by giving clearer information.
Part of the problem is that there is no clear description of the model customers need to have of the product.
The help/FAQ info is itself very fragmented - there is no clear path though it, and it seems to be scattered in different places.