British fintech startup seeks U.S. licence

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Revolut, the British fintech startup is apparently planning to apply for a U.S. banking licence, according to a statement from its CEO Nikolay Storonsky.

According to Reuters, the company will apply in California by the end of this year in what is a major move for the digital bank.

Revolut launched in 2015 and has already applied for a European banking licence. The fintech startup already has two million users of its pre-paid card and a mobile app which makes it cheaper to spend money in different currencies. The company is one of the UK’s most valuable fintech startups having raised $250 million and had a $1.7 billion valuation in April.

Storonsky was attending the Money 20/20 Europe conference in Amsterdam when he made the announcement and also said that Revolut will hopefully be launching its services in the USA this summer with the help of a U.S. banking partner.

It is not the only company hoping to acquire a U.S. banking licence: others include Square Inc, the payments company launched by Twitter Inc CEO Jack Dorsey and digital bank Varo Money.

Revolut has been expanding at speed thanks to its recent round of funding. This growth includes expansion into new geographical locations as well as the development of new products and its suite of financial products includes personal loans, cryptocurrencies and small business banking.

Revolut is among a number of app-only banks that have sprung up in Europe in the past few years with the aim of taking advantage of new digital technologies to offer services that are more user-friendly and less expensive to consumers and small businesses. We will probably see Germany’s N26 and the UK’s Monzo look to the U.S. in the coming months as it is believed both these fintechs are already having talks about it.

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