What is Revolut? How does the banking app work and is my money safe?

REVOLUT is a banking app which lets you manage your money online and comes with a card for spending.

Like Monzo, Starling and Tandem, Revolut is one of a new bunch of digital "challengers" taking on traditional high street banks.

Revolut is now worth even more than Natwest, because its valuation has just soared to £24billion.

Revolut was started in 2015 by Nikolay Storonsky and Vlad Yatsenko and it is a private company – that means it doesn't have a share price because it's not publicly listed on a stock exchange.

Mr Storonsky and Mr Yatsenko own part of the company along with other investors like Japanese company SoftBank and private equity firm Tiger Global Management.

Both these companies have just invested millions of pounds in Revolut and that has made the banking app the most valuable private tech company in the UK.

But what is Revolut, how does the banking app work and is your money safe? We explain all you need to know.

What is Revolut?

Revolut is a banking app which you can use to manage your money and it has more than eight million users.

There's no branch of Revolut like you get with a traditional bank. Instead you can do everything online, using the Revolut app on your phone.

You can open an account and get a card to pay with, either as a physical card which you will get sent in the post, or a virtual card on your phone, or both.

You can also send money abroad, save money and buy and sell cryptocurrency and stocks.

Revolut also has features that tell you about your spending and you can set savings goals.

The app also lets you connect other bank accounts you have so that you can see all your spending insights, not just those made with your Revolut card.

You can also get cashback when you spend at certain retailers and use your Revolut card to pay.

How does the Revolut banking app work?

To get the app you can download it from the Apple App Store if you have an iPhone, or the Google Play Store if you have an Android phone.

Once you have the app, you follow the instructions on screen to set up your account.

You will need to provide some information like your name, address , date of birth and contact details

The app will also ask you to verify your identity by taking a picture of your passport or other photo ID.

You will also be asked to set a security passcode to access that you have to enter each time you open the app.

Then when you're up and running, you can add cash to your account via bank transfer.

You can start spending straight away with a virtual card on your phone, or wait for your physical card in the post.

You can also set up getting your salary paid straight into your Revolut account.

You'll also be able to use the other features available, like sending money abroad.

Is there a fee with Revolut?

You can download the Revolut app for free.

There's a free plan where you won't pay anything, except fees for sending money abroad or getting a replacement card.

There's also a fee if you go over the monthly ATM withdrawal limit, and for using your Revolut card abroad in some countries.

There are also fees involved in buying and selling cryptocurrencies on Revolut.

There are three other plans where you'll pay a monthly fee for access to more features, like interest on savings, insurance and a card made of metal instead of plastic.

Revolut Plus costs £2.99 a month, Revolut Premium costs £6.99 a month, and Revolut Metal is priced at £12.99 a month

You can compare the price of plans and the features you get with each on Revolut's website.

Is my money safe?

Revolut is not a bank but is allowed to hold on to your money as something known as an "e-money" instituon.

That means is has permission from the financial regulator to offer banking-like services in the UK.

In some other countries is a full bank, but not in the UK and that means the way your cash is protected is different compared to high street banks and other digital banks like Monzo.

Money held with a bank is covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) and if the bank goes under then your cash is protected up to £85,000.

E-money institutions must safeguard your cash, but there is not FSCS protection in the event that the company goes under.

Revolut holds customers money with another bank, and that cash is ring-fenced. That means your money isn't used by the bank to lend or invest your money.

Cash in one of Revolut's saving "vaults" is held at a bank, and this will be protected as that bank is part of the FSCS.

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