Obtaining a US banking licence is not on Revolut’s “immediate roadmap” but becoming a US-licenced bank is its long-term ambition, according to the fintech’s US CEO.
In a podcast interview, Sid Jajodia, the US boss of the European fintech giant, revealed details of Revolut’s progress and plans in the US market, where he says it now has close to one million customers after over two years in the US market.
In the US, Revolut submitted a draft application for a banking licence with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) in March 2021, the first step to applying for a full licence.
However, it has yet to submit a formal application for an official US banking licence.
US banking licences are difficult to obtain, particularly for overseas fintechs. In 2021, Monzo withdrew its application for a US banking licence.
Responding to a question on the Fintech Nexus podcast as to whether Revolut's eventual plan was a get a US banking licence, Jajodia said: “[Our} eventual ambition absolutely is to be a bank in the US. I think that’s when you have the most control over your operations, your decisions.
“But that’s not immediate for us. So it’s not on our immediate roadmap. What we’re focused on right now is working with our existing bank partners, and scaling customer adoption and achieving product market fit and all the verticals that we choose to focus on.”
In the US, the fintech giant, which is now in 38 markets and reported 2022 annual revenues of £1.1 billion, offers services including debit card, remittance service and cross-border payments.
Jajodia, who has been US CEO since June 2020 and is also Revolut’s chief banking officer, said it was also in the early stages of launching a credit product in the US, as well as a high-yielding savings account.
He also said UK-headquartered Revolut, valued at $33 billion in its last funding round in 2021, has been testing a roboadvisor service in the US, which he says Revolut plans to roll out globally.
On its progress in the US market, he said: “Revolut is relatively new in the US and we have our work cut out, it’s a competitive market.”
He argued that one point of difference to rivals was the Revolut app was a one-stop shop with numerous financial service offerings within it.
He said while Revolut's services appealed to expats and the immigrant community in the US, it was building products for the “mainstream”.
Describing a typical Revolut US customer, Jajodia said: "In the US, because we are early in our journey, here what we have seen is the early adopters tend to be coastal, so urban, California, Texas, New York, South Florida, some of the coastal areas, urban centres, diverse populations.”
He said Revolut’s US customers skew to younger audiences, but not limited to younger audiences.
Revolut is also seeking a banking licence in the UK.
Lead image: Robert Linder.