On September 08, 2020, the UK-based FinTech startup Revolut launched its banking app in Japan, as per a report from the Asian Nikkie. The platform, which currently has over 13 million users globally, expands into Japan after obtaining authorization from Japan’s Finance Service Agency back in 2018.
Revolut was initially created in 2015 to help travelers pay less in foreign exchange fees during their travels. The FinTech firm offers a mobile phone app and card that allows users to exchange their funds into over 30 different currencies.
Users in Crypto-Friendly Japan will now access the innovative banking app to implement convenient international transfers and manage money in 23 currencies. They will also get a Revolut-branded Visa debit card to top up their account and spend money.
Once funded, the app facilitates the easy transfer of money to other Revolut users or a bank account. The user can also create vaults to act as a reserve for recurring transactions. Revolut’s expansion into Japan comes as the country steps up efforts to revamp its financial sector and promote digital payments.
The Demand for Cashless Payments Surges
Revolut trading app’s launch highlights a growing demand for online payment services in the wake of Covid-19. While the pandemic has decimated many global economic sectors, demand for online services is rising as more people opt for cashless payments.
According to Haegwan Kim, head of growth at Revolut’s Japanese unit, this new app varies from others currently in Japan’s overcrowded digital payments sector.
Kim noted that unlike rivals such as SoftBank Group-backed PayPay, his firm’s banking platform delivers all users’ money needs in one app. Before expanding its digital banking service to Japan, the Fintech company ventured into other non-European markets such as Australia, Singapore, and the U.S.
Despite this growth, Revolut posted losses of about $139.6M, attributed to the expenses incurred from its expansion into new markets and the roll-out of new products. The firm now seems to have set its sights on its first non-English speaking market as it continues its aggressive global expansion.
Japanese Banking App Offers Limited Features
The Japanese Revolut app comes with limited features. Unlike in the U.K. and Europe, users in the Asian country aren’t currently able to procure crypto on their Revolut app. Other features, such as the capacity to trade stocks, buy insurance products, and open junior accounts for kids, aren’t included.
After the official twitter announcement, some users complained of Revolut’s poor customer service and missing funds from their accounts. The platform promised to improve its services continually. They also plan to roll out features such as purchases of digital assets and stock trading to all markets globally.