Revolut Seeks to Join U.S. Online Banking Rush With New License

Revolut Ltd., one of Europe’s largest startups, has asked U.S. regulators for a banking license in a effort to capture more of the country’s switch to online financial services.

The company aims to provide more traditional products such as loans and deposit accounts as well as business banking alongside its basic services, which it launched in the U.S. a year ago.

A license would let Revolut offer American customers “all the essential financial products and services they can expect from their primary bank,” said Nikolay Storonsky, who founded the company in 2015.

“Revolut has 200,000 clients today in the U.S. and our goal is to hit a million, that’s our first goal,” Storonsky said in an interview.

The group’s app offers a growing number of features globally including a prepaid debit card, foreign currency transfers, budgeting tools and cryptocurrency trading. The company was valued at $5.5 billion in a private fundraising round last year.

In the U.S., the firm is delving into an increasingly competitive market for online financial services, with companies from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to Walmart Inc. introducing products. JPMorgan Chase & Co. recently pulled the plug on its Chase Pay digital wallet after struggling to sign up merchants.

The startup said it has sent a draft application to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation. Revolut has also asked U.K. regulators for a full banking license, adding to its European Union permit.

Storonsky said the company is looking to expand in many areas including Latin America, the Philippines, Indonesia, South Korea and India. But Revolut’s geographic expansion is not without hiccups: the company exited Canada this month after launching a trial in late 2019.

Revolut is not planning to IPO in the immediate future, Storonsky added. “We don’t really have a clear timeline or deadline we want to give. We just need to become a more mature company. It’s a bit premature,” he said.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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