International mobile banking app Revolut now supports money transfers to Ukraine, the company told the Kyiv Post on May 1.
“It was a highly awaited function by our customers and we are happy we are now able to deliver it,” the company said in a statement.
Revolut’s users can send money to Ukraine in 30 currencies, including dollars, francs and pounds with a transfer fee ranging from 3 to 5 euros. The app doesn’t support the Ukrainian national currency hryvnia yet.
Ukrainian banks receive money from Revolut accounts within 1 or 3 working days. Revolut users who tested a new service told the Kyiv Post that the payment was successful and their Ukrainian banks received money quickly.
The launch of money transfers to Ukraine is good news for Revolut users, especially freelancers who receive payments from international employers and clients. “It will be cheaper and faster to make transfers within one bank,” according to Rostyslav Dyuk, a fintech expert.
Today Ukrainian freelancers working for foreign businesses have few options. One of the world’s most popular payment services — PayPal — doesn’t operate in the country.
Revolut also has low fees on foreign exchange — users often call it “a bank for travelers.” Once the countries will open their borders, the service could become more popular in Ukraine, according to Dyuk.
Revolut offers other benefits. It allows to buy cryptocurrencies, trade stocks, buy insurance products and create accounts for children. However, these services are not available in Ukraine because the company hasn’t officially entered the country’s market.
“We are continuously looking for ways to meet our customers’ needs, but we have no additional announcements at the moment,” Revolut’s spokesman for Poland Stefan Bogucki told the Kyiv Post.
According to Bogucki, Revolut doesn’t plan to open an office or research and development center in Ukraine. However, Revolut previously hired Ukrainians to join their international remotely working team. The company confirmed that it continues to hire people in Ukraine. As of today, 18 job positions, including HR managers, front-end engineers and IT recruiters based in Kyiv, are advertised on its website.
“We are aware of top-class professionals and great talents in Ukraine. This is why we continue to hire in the country, albeit in relatively small numbers so far,” the company said.
Revolut announced that it would enter Ukraine in 2019 but changed its mind. Experts said that the pandemic could be an issue.
“In a time of uncertainty and instability, many companies have decided to suspend the launch of new products and the expansion on foreign markets,” Dyuk said.
But the Ukrainian market was risky even before that and “could bring more losses than profits,” he added. Among the main problems are the high level of political and economic instability and the low level of financial literacy, experts said.
London-based Revolut, cofounded by Ukrainian tech entrepreneur Vladyslav Yatsenko, is one of the most expansive financial technology startups in the world with 15 million customers globally. In 2020, its valuation reached nearly $5.5 billion and this year, investors expect that its value will exceed $10 billion.
Revolut is a mobile bank, meaning that it doesn’t have brick-and-mortar locations and has to partner with other banks to offer its services — just like Ukrainian Monobank does. To enter Ukraine, Revolut also needs to find a partner here. As of March 2021, the company didn’t apply for a license in the country, the National Bank of Ukraine said.
In 2018, the company obtained a banking license in the European Union, allowing it to offer more financial services like loans and deposit accounts. Last year Revolut also launched its services in the U.S., where it partnered with Metropolitan Commercial Bank.
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