Residency permit not accepted?


I have a friend who just registered in Revolut and he is having trouble verifying his account.

We both work for an International Organization in the Swiss-French border, and as such we have special legitimation cards that give us the right to stay and live in France or Switzerland for as long as we are working in the organization. For all intents and purposes, this is our residency permit. If the police or airport security asks us for a visa or permit, we show them this and no more questions are asked. We declare taxes in france, we have french and swiss bank accounts, etc etc

When trying to verify the account, the agent seem to be claiming that this is not a valid residency permit, and now they escalated the issue for the compliance team.

To make matters worse:
His contract is finishing, so the legitimation card will expire in a couple of months, so he will go back to his home country that is not in Europe, and as such not covered by Revolut.

Let’s make it even worse:
Because his contract is finishing, he topped up the funds he had in his bank’s prepaid credit card to Revolut, and then he cancelled that card and bank account - he cannot leave the account openned otherwise they will charge insane monthly fees, so he took care of closing the account and cancelling the original card today.

The problem:
So now he has money in his revolut account that he can’t use: he can’t create virtual cards, he can’t send it to someone else, because Revolut Support are not accepting his completely legal “legitimation card” as a residency permit.
What can he do now to get the money out, assuming that Revolut won’t verify his account and that the original payment method is no longer available (has been cancelled).

I’ve heard maybe @AndreasK can help?

By the way, we are talking of an ammount of 45 Swiss Francs (~40€), it’s really a small ammount that didn’t even reach verification limits. He is already ready to lose that money, but isn’t there a fail-safe from revolut? I mean, right now Revolut has his money, so how can it be refunded without using the original payment method?

@AndreasK might be actually able to help.

But I still would like to point out that is somewhat beyond me why someone would have just signed up for service, when he is already aware of the fact he wont be eligible anymore (or maybe event wasnt to begin with *) ) for that very service in a few weeks time, wires money to that account even though it is not verified yet, and on top of that cancels the original source of payment. I could understand having a single of those issues, but all three of them combined is somewhat of a feat :wink:

I am sorry, I do realise that does not help you in that situation but it amazes me how one can pull all of that at once.

Anyhow, basically what you want to achieve is have the account closed and the funds transferred to an account of your friend’s choice? Not sure what Revolut’s internal policies are on that but as mentioned initially AndreasK might be able to sort that out for you. Though, I think requests like that (not only your case) should possibly come with an administrative fee covering the unnessary extra hassle.

On the other hand, Revolut should also finally stop accepting top-ups for unverified accounts. That would fix a lot.

*) International organisations often have very special agreements and your permit might allow you to stay there but might not constitute an EEA residency

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@alessandro, it has been a chain of unfortunate events, and I’m affraid I’m partially at fault for that.

First let me add that we had no idea that he would not be eligible. I thought Revolut was a worlwide service that would cover him in his home country as well. We figured it out too late.

Here is how this all happened:
He needed to close his bank account, but he still had some money to spend in his bank’s prepaid card. He asked the bank and they said “Sure, we will give you your money back, if you pay a fee of 20CHF” (because switzerland)… so I told him: “Why don’t you use Revolut: it’s free, and charges no fees”.

And so he did, he created a Revolut account for the sole purpose of him topping up the remaining money in his card to Revolut. He would then transfer to his bank account, or transfer to my revolut account.
So, you see, It’s not incorrect to say he created the Revolut account precisely BECAUSE he was leaving and had some unfinished money transactions to take care of.

It didn’t even cross my mind that for some 40€ he would have to verify his account to get the money out.

He submitted the information for the verification process, because the legitimation card is still valid, but maybe he pulled the trigger on closing the original account too soon.

So now we have this situation. He is living in Europe legally, can circulate (somewhat) freely in Europe because these permits give us jurisdictional immunity, but we wouldn’t have thought they wouldn’t actually be considered a “Residence permit” even though they give us the same rights (or more) than a residence permit.

I do agree with you, there seems to be a lot of people with this same issue: they top up and then they can’t verify the account and it get difficult to take the money out. I agree that maybe in the future people should verify their account first before being allowed to top up, thus preventing precisely these kind of situations.

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Yes, Revolut might be partially at fault because they allow people to wire funds without being verified. This is a recurrent issue and I believe Revolut is either not aware or has this deliberately in place in order not to scare off new customers (they might never get hooked if the first thing is a “boring” verification - but that is pure speculcation from my side).

Anyhow, maybe your original recommendation in this case was not the best but it was still your friend’s responsibility to check what he signed up for. It is quite clear that the service is only available for legal EEA residents for the time being - considering he shortly wont have the status anymore it probably wasnt the wisest decision to go that route in the first place.

But whatever, mistakes were made and I do reckon that you did not rampage through the forum accusing all of Revolut and half of London as scammers and fraudsters :smiley: (you’d be surprised what people already pulled here :wink: ) but instead explained the situation in a civilised fashion.

Again, I dont know what policies Revolut has but I’d assume there should be some fallback and maybe Andreas will be able to pull some strings and can get these 40 francs sent to your friend somehow aside from the “original source”.

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Sure. If possible Revolut can refund this money to another credit card he has in his name, or to wire it to his bank account in his home country, or through whatever other means that would work best for Revolut.

Hi there, could your friend please get in touch with us directly? I can chase this with our compliance team for an update.

I just sent you the information @JessicaZ .

My friend told me the compliance team just replied. It seems they would’ve accepted the card, but because it expires on May 12th it’s not acceptable because it has to be at least 3 months until the expiry date… it’s 2.5 months until expiration from today :frowning:

Ok, now I think there are three options:

  • It’s possible that in the future (one year from now, but it’s a big ‘maybe’) he comes back to Europe to work, in which case he will have a new card that will meet the requirements. Until then this money stays frozen in Revolut.

  • Revolut can refund his money through another payment method that is not the original one since that one is cancelled. Is this a possibility?

  • Assuming number 1 or 2 don’t happen, he loses the money.

Can I get some information on number 2?

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It is his money. He won’t lose it.

He sent the following message to the compliance agent in the chat:

“Is it possible to get a refund on the money that I topped up? Because I’m leaving Europe in a few weeks (that’s the reason why my permit is expiring soon), I already canceled the original payment method that I used to top up my account. Can you refund me the money to a different card or bank account in my name?”

Can you guess what happened next? The agent replies:

“Of course, we have reverted it to your card”.

I guess the agent didn’t read the full message and refunded it to the original card even though he had just warned that everything was cancelled.

Only after the reversal, the agent then replies that it’s not possible to refund through any other way. If the agent had waited and said this first, my friend would’ve kept the money in Revolut. At least there there was a chance he might get it in the future if he ever came back to Europe.

So now… if the reversal bounces and goes back to Revolut, good.
Otherwise, it will go back to the bank, and I’m sure it would be a super pain to get it back since the account is closed and the card cancelled, and my friend simply does not have the time or the energy to take care of this with the bank, not even speaking about the hefty fee they would certainly charge to get that money back.

This situation started with a chain of unfortunate decisions made by my friend while being influenced by me, and now includes an agent not reading the full message properly and acting too quickly without waiting for proper confirmation from the user.

Personally, so far I’ve had nothing but good experiences with Revolut, including from Support. But the conclusion of this particular situation was very disappointing.
Honestly I wished the agent was a bit less proactive and confirmed an action with the user before actually pulling the trigger on it, specially when the user is clearly looking for a different alternative. Sometimes doing nothing is preferable to do something, and this was one of those situations.