Top up Revolut on local bank accounts to avoid SWIFT

Dear community,

Revolut recently introduced CHF and PLN as a new currency which is great for me as a Swiss (I thought at first…). However, the big problem are still the Swiss banks. I explain you why…

Firstly, they charge a lot for using their credit cards abroad. I usually pay a mark-up of about 4% on normal foreign currencies (1.75% officially and the rest over made up exchange rates).
=> Revolut solves this problem!

Secondly, they charge you a lot when transferring money to the EU or outside. Even when doing bank transfers in EUR (SEPA), they charge. When topping up Revolut in CHF (just because it’s to an IBAN in GB), they charge even more (since it is SWIFT and not SEPA).
=> Revolut should target this problem fast before introducing all other currencies. Why not opening bank accounts in the respective countries (CHF account in Switzerland, PLN account in Poland etc.)? Or what about teaming up with Transferwise (like N26 already does)?

Let’s see if this idea is well received by the community and the staff here :wink: I really like Revolut a lot and I see great potential launching CHF when the SWIFT/SEPA problem is solved!



proper is PLN, not PLK.

My fault, just edited it. :slight_smile:

SEPA (EUR): free
SWIFT (GBP, CHF, etc): CHF 2.-

Revolut claims that transfers are free from their side, but I’m afraid that the bank they are working with (Lloyds) charges GBP 2.- per SWIFT transfer.
Since Lloyds is chosen by Revolut, Revolut should make their customers aware of this fee.

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Thanks for your answer. It seems that I am not the first Swiss in the community. :wink:

Well, theoretically, any transfer from Postfinance to Revolut then costs 2 CHF plus 2 GBP or no charges but some random exchange rate. Still not the best possible option.

Moreover, I currently don’t have a bank account at Postfinance. UBS and other competitors charge massively for SWIFT (up to 12 CHF per transaction) and even for SEPA (at least 0.30 CHF or more).

Thus, I would love to have the opportunity to top up:

  • via Transferwise or any similar solution
  • PayPal top up
    - or, the best solution, local bank accounts in the respective countries

@Bauli: How do you top up then?


Hi @Bauli, Revolut explains in their FAQs what the best option would be and mentions potential costs of intermediate banks.

The sender can control how costs of a SWIFT transfer are divided between banks. There are three options in most cases: BEN, SHA, OUR.

BEN: Beneficiary deducts all fees (in this case: Lloyds)
SHA: fees are divided
OUR: Your bank would deduct all fees

If you would send a SWIFT transfer with the OUR option, Lloyds should not charge anything.

This is explained in the FAQs:

With SWIFT transfers there are a few things to bare in mind:

Your bank is likely to charge a fee to make a SWIFT transfer to Revolut.
When your money is in transit, it may be processed by an intermediary bank. They may also deduct a handling fee.

The amount you receive in your Revolut account therefore may be less money than you sent.

Depending on which fee option (SHA, BEN, OUR, REM) you choose while doing a SWIFT transfer to Revolut, intermediary, originating bank and beneficiary bank (namely Lloyds) can apply a handling fee for that transfer.

As banks charge different amounts and are not always transparent, we cannot provide an accurate amount you would be charged.

If your top up is in a currency other than GBP, EUR or USD, CHF or PLN your bank will convert the money using their exchange rate. This is unlikely to be the interbank rate, and you may also incur a currency-conversion fee.

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From the FAQ:

Will I be charged to top up my Revolut account via bank transfer?

Revolut does not charge a fee to top up your account via bank transfer. However, it is important to watch out for third-party fees:

Topping up from a UK bank in GBP is free. If your transfer is in EUR or CHF and your bank is located in a country participating in SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area) then a transfer to Revolut will cost the same as a domestic transfer. SEPA includes the 28 E.U. member states as well as Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco and San Marino. *If your transfer is in PLN, USD or any other currency then it will likely be sent via SWIFT. This means that your bank (and/or an intermediary bank) could charge you an international transfer fee.

Unfortunately, this is not true. Swiss banks charge for SEPA and usually CHF transfers abroad are not handled like domestic, but like foreign transfers (SWIFT)


My experience with Postfinance and choosing “Shared costs” (the default option) is that Postfinance charges 2 CHF, and Lloyds doesn’t charge anything on top of that. At least I sent myself 50 CHF, and got 50 CHF on my Revolut wallet.

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It is still true. The SEPA regulation only says that a international SEPA transfer must not cost more than a local SEPA transfer. If they charge for local SEPA transfers, they can also for international.

Free national CHF transfers are not SEPA transfers, I believe.

Interesting! Maybe Postfinance does not use intermediaries and UBS does?

Thanks for your replay but I think you did not get my point:

The Lloyds account is a Revolut account - according to the Revolut app I have no choice, I have to send the money to this account if I want to make a bank transfer.
The best thing would be that Revolut negotiates with Lloyds in order to eliminate the fee. At least Revolut should inform their users that this fee applies if money is sent to it.

Under this light the following quote from the Revolut FAQ is not really nice/correct:
Revolut does not charge a fee to top up your account via bank transfer. However, it is important to watch out for third-party fees:
Revolut should help to watch out because they must (should) know how much the bank they have a contract with charges for a transaction.
I have that information from my bank…


Hey @Bauli, another guy from Switzerland just confirmed here in this forum that neither Revolut nor Lloyds seem to charge anything. He transfers money via Postfinance and uses the shared cost option which is standard. He says that all he has to pay are the fees from Postfinance (2 CHF).

With SWIFT one never knows how many intermediates are involved. It could be possible that the fees you are seeing are from a third party. Revolut does explain this uncertainty.



I double checked with Postfinance and they confirmed (now) that their intermediate bank charges GBP 2.
Unfortunately they do neither mention that charge when sending the money nor did they mention it when I first asked.
Strange enough that Nonown was not charged from the intermediate Bank. Maybe it was the case he sent CHF, not GBP.

This was not the case for me. I used postfinance to send by giro international with shared costs. Postfinance charged me with 2chf and I got 992chf in my revolut. At the end it got 1% which is double of what transferwise charges.

Until revolut opens a local account in switzerland to transfer the funds to, this solution is not so good.


Wow, thanks a lot for letting us know. I sent 50 CHF and I got charged 2.- by Postfinance, and got 50 on my Revolut wallet. Your experience seems to indicate that after some threshold there are indeed more fees charged by either Lloyds or some intermediary…

Thus, the current state of affairs is that there is no way to top up without paying at least a 1% fee in Switzerland. This makes Revolut in Switzerland pointless, I guess :-(. @AndreasK @edward ?

It probably won´t help you, but I can´t help myself as I find this quite sad - I´ve topped up in CHF several minutes ago using my debit card for free as Raiffeisen bank in Czech Republic has multi-currency accounts linked to debit card, CHF included, so I could top-up leftover CHF cash to Revolut… But this probably isn´t a solution for you as you have to pay for this account (aprox. 5 EUR per month) as long as you aren´t student. @Nonown

Why is it pointless to pay 1% for top ups if you can benefit from better rates for card payments in foreign currencies? Or would it be cheaper just to use a Swiss CHF card abroad?

Well, I hate fees. And unfortunately, if I top up my Revolut via credit card, I have these fees that don’t even support the great idea of the Revolut start-up. I rather pay 1% to Revolut than 1% to some random intermediary.

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Good point @elmarconi. Unfortunately, providing local accounts in countries outside UK also does generate costs for Revolut. All their accounts for top-ups incl. the EUR/SEPA accounts are with banks in the UK. It is a unique benefit for customers in the SEPA area where technical standards and regulations help to keep fees low for customers. Let’s see where this is going when they become available worldwide.

Sure, but so does it for Transferwise. And I am very willing to pay some little fee to Revolut for a amazing service. :wink: