Investment by Revolut helps build fintech IP and skills in Australia
Revolut is a startup superstar. The London-based fintech was founded in 2015 and is now worth US$33 billion.
The company launched in Australia in mid-2019 as part of its wider global expansion strategy. In this (Austrade) case study, the CEO of Revolut Australia, Matt Baxby (pictured) describes Revolut’s journey down under, including:
- why Revolut chose Australia as a pilot for international expansion
- the emerging fintech landscape and opportunities in Australia
- how Austrade helped Revolut enter and launch in Australia.
Australia is a great learning ground for global fintechs
Revolut has built a financial super-app that helps customers manage multiple areas of personal finance in one place. By mid-2021, Revolut had gained 16 million customers and had become the UK’s most valuable fintech.
Baxby says that consumer appetite for digital technology makes Australia a great place to pilot and develop a fintech business. Additionally, he points out that Australia’s regulatory environment is very encouraging. It is open to fintech innovation, he says.
‘It took us 9 months to obtain an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL),’ says Baxby. ‘But during the application process we were permitted to use our UK e-money licence as part of a temporary licence exemption.’
The exemption enabled Revolut to beta test their product in Australia. It also enabled Revolut to build and tweak features to meet the needs of our Australian users before the official launch.
‘Australia has a familiar regulatory regime and high quality fintech talent. This makes Australia an attractive market for Revolut’s expansion outside of Europe.’
COVID-19 has accelerated the shift towards digital banking
The CEO observes that COVID-19 has had a drastic impact on consumers’ habits and behaviours. It has accelerated the shift towards digital banking. He says this trend exists in Australia as much as it does elsewhere.
‘An uncertain economic environment has made people more aware of their financial security,’ he says. ‘As an offshoot, this has led to a spike in demand for innovative financial products such as commodities and cryptocurrencies.’
‘This diversification is happening at the same time as a rapid digitisation of Australians’ lives,’ he adds. ‘This leads us to believe that Australians want to manage financial transactions in one place.’
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Source: Investment by Revolut helps build fintech IP and skills in Australia – Austrade