Revolut's support no better than PayPal's?

I signed up for Revolut because I travel a lot and deal with several currencies. (Getting paid in euros; 100% owner of a business in Singapore; currently living in Hungary.)

As most business owners, I get paid through dividends.

On March 19th, I transferred S$500 from the Singapore business’ bank account to my personal Revolut account. I wanted to make sure everything worked fine before transferring bigger amounts; and it did: within 24 hours the money was showing up on my Revolut wallet.

On March 22nd, I then proceeded to transfer S$11500 the same way. But then the money did not arrive. Four days later, nothing. So I decided to contact support and this is where the nonsense begins:

  • First they tell me the “wallet reference” is missing.
    • While it’s clearly showing in the transaction history of the emitting bank.
  • Then they tell me it’s recognized as a thid-party transfer.
    • The first transfer a few days earlier went fine.
    • In any case, I sent them the documents they asked for: a copy of a recent bank statement showing the operation; details of the transfer.
  • Then they tell me they have two different amounts for the same transfer and need confirmation.
    • I think they were just confused. Asking for claryifying questions did not help (see below.)
  • Then they tell me they need confirmation I’m not using Revolut for business purposes.
    • Already told them this is a payment of dividends! i.e.: I’m not using Revolut for business; I’m going to use that money to pay for rent and groceries!
  • Then they tell me they cannot accept the payment, and that I should get a Revolut Business account with them…
    • A Revolut business account? To pay for rent and groceries?
  • As I highlight the total lack of logic here, they tell me they want the “divided” (sic) document.
    • They mean a statement from the company authorizing the dividend payment (AKA dividend voucher.)

Thank goodness, that finally did it. But then tell me from the get-go what you need!

Would also have made sense to contact me saying there was an issue with the transfer.

While S$11500 might sound like a lot of money, it’s actually not. This was a quarterly payment, which amounts to just about €2400 per month. Really not much compared to a London salary. And compared to “[free currency exchanges of] £5,000/€5,000 per month” or “Cash withdrawals from ATMs are limited to €5,000 or equivalent per day” or “The daily limit is £75k combined, meaning that you cannot transfer more than £75k in or out of the account per 24 hours. The weekly limit is £125k combined”, that you can read on the official site, this is actually peanuts!

In total, I spent 146 minutes with the Revolut support! Just to get the payment to go through.

Overall, the support was bad:

  • Very confused answers. They had to keep asking management. Felt like a game of Chinese whispers.
  • Not answering any of my questions directly – like they either don’t want to or don’t know how.
  • Very slow response times.
  • Lack of a clear verification process for entrepreneurs.

Trying to top up my limit was no better: as the help section says nothing about my use case (payment of dividends), I ask and suggest documents they might want… only to get fed back a very generic answer. Then what’s the point of support?

Sure, they were super polite (felt just like talking to a robot!), but I don’t care how polite support is on the surface level, if they’re gonna waste my time and not answer my questions.

A few takeaways from this:

  • Support and its management: clarify the process for entrepreneurs and dividends. Create a check-list of documents you need. You’re supposed to appeal to digital nomads and the like, but it really did not show. The whole experience reminded me of this – “your bank(ing alternative) is your nanny”:

"You should always tell your bank where you are flying to"

Wait, what? Is your bank your nanny?!

— Pieter Levels 🏝 (@levelsio) August 21, 2017
  • Users: be safe. Don’t rely on Revolut exclusively. You can’t be sure if the money’s gonna go through. Support is remote, but that doesn’t mean it’s better. This reminded me of this tweet:

When your bank asks you to visit your local branch...

— Revolut (@RevolutApp) March 2, 2018

Well, at least when you go to the bank, you might have to wait for an hour, but then they’re forced to listen to you. Can’t say the same of support who’s multitasking and has you wait ten minutes between every two answers. Didn’t feel like they valued my time – at all.

I might not even care so much if I was dealing with PayPal and its dreaded (well-deserved) reputation for a terrible support. But this is Revolut we’re talking about there – a company who claims to challenge the status quo and make things better.


Well written critique.