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28.05.2024 15:30

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What is Revolut? What does it offer? What are the pros and cons?

We will not go into which bank is the best, whether Revolut is better than Slovenian banks and the like. The intention is not to denigrate one or the other, but to point out advantages that might benefit Slovenian users.
What is Revolut and who is it for?
What is Revolut and who is it for?

What is Revolut?

Simply put, Revolut is a mobile banking platform that allows users to access many banking services through a mobile application. An important fact is that Revolut is an officially registered bank in the EU, which means that they have a fund guarantee scheme and each user gets their own IBAN account number. They have been offering their services worldwide for a long time, including Slovenia. For Revolut (and N26 and similar banks) the term "neo-bank" is also used, which means that it is a digital bank without a physical presence.

Revolut appeared in 2015 and the first reservations about using online banking services disappeared quite quickly, especially when users learned that they do not incur the costs they are used to in traditional banking. Today, Revolut has a very rich user base, also in Slovenia, and especially in some other countries (Ireland, France, Spain...). Although based in London, post-Brexit European users are controlled from Lithuania.

Is Revolut free?

Revolut has a free package that will suffice for those who are only looking to top up their Slovenian account. You must register the account with FURS within eight days of opening it.

But they also have quite a few paid packages:

  • Revolut Plus: €3.99 per month
  • Revolut Premium: €8.99 per month
  • Revolut Metal: €15.99 per month
  • Revolut Ultra: €45 per month

You can see what they offer on their website, but mainly there are differences in how many withdrawals you can make per month, there are certain restrictions on currency exchange, cashback values for purchases, how many accounts you can create, what you will incur fees on any trades. With some packages, you get benefits such as access to airline lounges, travel insurance and more.

With the paid plans you also get a personalized Revolut debit card, with the free plan the first physical card is free, but you have to pay the delivery costs.

Revolut is increasingly popular in Slovenia
Revolut is increasingly popular in Slovenia

Revolut commissions for personal users with a basic account

There is no subscription fee in this package. Bank transfers are free, as is adding money via a stored card, unless it was issued outside the European Economic Area (EEA). If you add money through Paysafe, you will pay 2.5 % per transfer.

As mentioned, the first card is free, each subsequent or replacement will cost you 6 euros, plus the cost of delivery. Transfers to other Revolut users are free, including all local payments, for example sending money to a friend who has an account at NLB, NKBM... All payments within the European Payments Area (SEPA) are also free. If you have a friend in Vienna, you can send him money for beer or, for example, to forward a package from abroad for free.

For international payments outside the SEPA area, you will pay a fee, which depends on the currency and where you are sending the money. Standard users have up to 5 free ATM withdrawals or up to 200 euros per month.

Fees and some benefits are slightly different for the paid Plus, Premium, Metal and Ultra packages, you can see them at the given links (in Slovenian).

How to open a Revolut account?

It will only take a few minutes and you will need an ID or passport. You must be over 18 to open a personal or business account, a special account is available for minors.

Download the Revolut app from the Google, Apple or Huawei stores. Be careful not to confuse the Revolut personal account application with the business one. To open a personal account, select the one with a white background. Alternatively, you can visit their website and scan the QR code to automatically download the app.

Follow the instructions in the application, where you will have to enter your valid phone number and a special 6-digit code that you will receive by phone or email. In the following, you will have to fill in some personal information and confirm your identity with the help of an identity document and a photo of your face. Then all that remains is for you to choose which package you would like to have. To begin with, it makes sense to start with the standard or free plan, familiarize yourself with how to use it, and only then consider whether the premium packages offer what you need.

In most cases, Revolut confirms your identity almost immediately, but it may happen that you have to wait a day or so.

What do you need to open a Revolut business account?

The procedure for opening a business account is the same as for a personal account, except that you will need:

  • documents for the verification of the company, for example an extract from the Business Register of Slovenia,
  • a brief description of the company's operations,
  • the reason for which you will use the business account,
  • personal identification document.
Revolut Slovenia, what is Revolut, how to open an account
You must register your Revolut account with FURS

How to register a Revolut account with FURS?

You can register your Revolut account via eDavkov (select the DR-Account form), by mail or in person at any financial office (in this case, select the DR-02 form).

You will need to provide the opening date, account number, name of the bank, etc. You must also attach a copy of the document from which the account information can be seen to the form. In this case, it is enough to make a screenshot showing the IBAN account.

What are the most useful features of Revolut?

Revolut wants to become a jack of all trades, a bank where the user can get everything they are looking for in one place. The application is not the most transparent, it has been greatly improved with corrections, but you can still quickly get lost in the maze of many functions.

Adding money to the card is extremely easy, as is sending to others, where the recipient does not have to be a Revolut user. There is no burden on such transactions, which is a very important advantage. The easiest way to top up your Revolut account is through your personal bank account. You can send requests for transfer and exchange between currencies, you can create several sub-accounts, you can create a savings account where you can decide to round up the value to a whole number with each purchase, and any cents short of it are automatically transferred to the savings account. For certain purchases, you are also entitled to a refund of a certain percentage of the purchase value (depending on the Revolut package), through Revolut you can also arrange travel insurance, access airline lounges, free of charge or at a reduced price...

Withdrawing cash abroad is free (up to a limit), and you can create multiple virtual cards in the app for secure online shopping. Disposable virtual cards are very convenient and can be used to make purchases on websites where you have doubts about their credibility. However, they do not work everywhere - for Temu, for example, we have information that payment in this way is not possible.

You can create a joint account with your partner on Revolut or start trading on stock exchanges, including the American one. Commissions are relatively low, so "day trading" is not possible. Cryptocurrencies are also one of the options for investment. You can buy familiar currencies like Bitcoin as well as more exotic coins.

Even independent entrepreneurs are increasingly choosing Revolut as their primary account, as there are no account management costs like with a traditional bank.

If we had to highlight the main advantages for the average Slovenian user, we would put free use, easy paying and withdrawing money abroad, easy sending of money to friends (similar to Flik), secure and fast online payments and paying money orders without interest. . What we miss is the ability to pay bills by scanning a QR code. The scanning function is available, but it does not recognize the data in the QR code.

Among the most useful features of Revolut are the payment of money orders without commissions and easy payments abroad and online
Among the most useful features of Revolut are paying money orders without commissions and easy payments abroad and online

Is Revolut safe?

Revolut is a bank, so deposits are guaranteed up to 100,000 euros. You can only access the application using a code or biometric data. If you will be using Revolut online, you will also need to authorize each transaction in the app. In case of (attempted) misuse, you will be notified in the application and you will be able to block the card with just a few clicks. Single-use virtual cards are an excellent solution for online use, as only the unique code is visible, and your real financial information remains hidden from fraudsters. If Revolut detects suspicious transactions, it automatically stops them and waits for your verification.

Does Revolut have disadvantages?

Everything we have listed so far sounds very encouraging. Transactions are free, use is safe, there are no hidden costs, we can pay money orders without fees...

We did not find any major defects. The app could be more transparent (on the web the layout is much better), but you get used to it over time. The limit of 200 euros for ATM withdrawals in the free package may not be enough for some. What's more: if you make contactless payments too often, this feature will be temporarily disabled and you will have to re-enable it in the app.

Its biggest advantage is also its biggest disadvantage. An exclusively digital presence means that in case of problems you will have to talk via email with a person (or at first a robot) thousands of kilometers away. After several years of use in the editorial office, we have yet to need their help, but if a problem does arise, the solution may not be as simple as calling or visiting the local branch.

A reader confided in us that in his case the support was excellent. At the beginning you have to get past the robot speaker, which shouldn't be difficult, and then with the help of support, within minutes he reactivated the account that he had accidentally closed. (Added 30/05/2024)

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