Middle man fees during bank transfer out of Revolut


I just transferred Rands to a South African account. R100 (about £5) less than I sent arrived in South Africa, even after allowing for Revolut’s charges and before the fees of the bank on the South African side.

Revolut, can you confirm if you are using a different bank to route payments to South Africa, and their charging structure? This really feels like I’m paying for something that no-one told me about. Transparency is very important if I’m going to consider different options to send money. Therefore answers that include words like “maybe” don’t work.

To be clear, I did the currency conversion in Revolut. I sent Rands to South Africa so there should be no currency conversion. I used the correct number and BIC for the South African bank account.


Some banks charge a fee for incoming payments.

My bank charge 1.5€ for national incoming payments. So every time I send money to my account in Romania I get charged by my bank.


When doing an international wire transfers there might be intermediary banks involved. Those banks often take af fee. These fees can’t be calculated before doing the transfer. This is most likely the reason.


Btw. There’s a useful post in the :r: big about transfers.
For example when I send money to my bank in Romania, Banca Transilvania, Revolut uses a national bank located in Romania (Unicredit bank) to transfer the funds. This is as a national interbank transfer.

But my bank charge those ones with approx 1.5€, as well as any other incoming transfer from non Transylvanian Bank account to the RON account. Tho, doesn’t charge anything for incoming transfers in other currency accounts (what a logic… ) no matter if it’s international SEPA or national interbank transfer, as well as SWIFT.

So. Check your bank fee sheet and try to find if incoming transfers to other currency accounts are free

Also. Look on the blog. There are some very useful infos about the transfers.


As far as I am aware, fees for incoming EUR SEPA transfers should not be possible. Switzerland is an exemption because of their special relationship within the SEPA area. Are other non EUR denominated countries are also exempt from this rule? That would be new to me.


Some banks don’t charge for incoming payments (ING I know) some does (BT, my bank).
But some banks have other fees to charge (ING) while everything else is free on BT.

Didn’t know about SEPA being fee-free by default, thanks :pray:

OP sent to South Africa which is a complete another story (means, money will go from his Rev account to Rev account on a 3rd party bank and from that bank to the end user account, in the happy case)


Unfortunately for us SEPA EUR transfers not always are free. It depends on Bank’s policy.
In Poland some banks get fee for SEPA EUR transfers (i.e. BZ WBK), the other- not (i.e. ING)


I was just referring to fees for incoming payments. Banks can charge for SEPA transfers itself. Do you also see fees from your polish banks just for accepting an incoming EUR SEPA transfer, when no currency exchange is involved?


I was referring to incoming transfers too.
As I’ve written above- some banks get a fee in case of EUR- EUR SEPA incoming transfers.


Thanks for clarifying.


Hi @PetraPapenfus.

Revolut does not charge a fee for cross-currency transfers for up to £5,000 / €6,500 / $6,000 / Fr 6,000 / 20,000 zl (or equivalent) per month. A 0.5% fee will apply to any further cross-currency transactions performed during the same calendar month.

You should also watch out for third party fees. If your transfer is sent in Euros and your bank is using SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area), then a transfer from Revolut is free. SEPA comprises of the 28 E.U. member states as well as Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco and San Marino.

If your bank is located outside of the E.U. or is not in Euros, then your transfer will be sent via SWIFT (Society for Worldwide InterBank Financial Telecommunications) and you may incur international wire transfer fees.

You can find this on our FAQ here: http://bit.ly/2xbFz8O


Thanks for the update. I appreciate that Revolut is having some success in disrupting the non-transparent world of international banking. Still, Revolut is doing so well in other areas, and being upfront about fees. I can’t help hoping you could do more here too.

The piece I am missing is this: I have no control over, or knowledge of, any intermediaries that Revolut uses to route my payment to South Africa. If you use a third party to relay my money, can you at least tell me who they are and how their charging structure works? I can confirm that the charge in question for this transaction has nothing to do with the sender (Revolut) or the receiving bank. Simply saying “watch out because someone might take some of your money along the way” is a bit like a road sign telling drivers to watch out for falling rocks. Not a lot you can do about them.

Surely you know who you used to relay my money? Can’t you say who they are?

As it stands, someone took R100 of my hard-earned money. It could be the wise man on Mount Olympus for all I know. What’s to stop him from taking R500 the next time I do this?


The problem with this is, this depends on many factors like the receiving bank. There is not one single route the money always takes. This depends on individual business relationships some banks might have, and others don’t, and how national central banks are set up differently. What is true for one South African bank might not be true for another South African bank. You would need a database with every single bilateral connection between banks and all intermediary connection points. Imagine the effort needed to provide a price list for this for every possible country. And then the effort to keep this up to date for thousands or millions of connections and the potential rage of customers when something turns out differently than it was postet on that list.


Noted. Still, there is a lot of money driving the solution to this problem. I think the essence of my original comment is fair: Revolut is doing well to de-bloat the usual international money transfer process. Getting true sight of what goes on between banks, and how they siphon money off along the way, is a logical part of this.


Well, I agree. I just don’t see how this could be achieve to the extend you seem to imagine. That’s more a structural thing than a communications thing. Have you checked out the two blog posts from Revolut about transfers? You can also check out Transferwise’s concept. This is a different approach to this, and it’s also a completely different focus. Revolut’s product was built around being a really good card for payments in many currencies. The transfer capabilities are built on top if the currency exchange module, but then it connects to the more traditional banking system and relies on partners. Other companies addressed the international transfer part diffently and do more in-house there, but are behind when it comes to other services Revolut excels in. And all this might change when Revolut starts to set up more branches around the globe, which is a regulatory necessity to tackle the market in different countries.


@JessicaZ is there any further detail you can add to the specifics of my recent transaction? I’m not asking for data on every possible route to transfer money from me to South Africa, just keen to know who the intermediary was.