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Revolut wants to take on local fintech players with super app that meets every finance need

Earlier this month, payment services firm Network for Electronic Transfers (Nets) announced that contactless payments on Nets ATM as well as Visa and Mastercard debit cards with DBS/POSB, HSBC, Maybank, OCBC and UOB banks are now possible.

That means almost everyone in Singapore with a Nets-enabled card can now tap to pay with Nets.

“Consumers can now enjoy more payment options without the need to add another card to their wallets,” Nets group chief executive Lawrence Chan said.

Mr Poh noted that Revolut still has an edge over its competition: “We have rivals in every service we provide, but they are all one-trip ponies, with no-one able to offer everything in one single location yet.”

Revolut launched in Singapore in 2019 and has since been awarded with a Major Payments Institution licence and Capital Markets Services licence by the Monetary Authority of Singapore. Last year, it was granted in-principle approval to offer crypto-related services under the Payment Services Act.

Privately-held Revolut has 28 million customers worldwide and is one of Europe’s most valuable fintech companies. It has been pursuing a British banking licence since 2021.

Revolut posted its first-ever full year of profitability, recording a pre-tax profit of £59.1 million on revenue of £636.2 million for the 12 months to Dec 31, 2022.

SINGAPORE – Financial technology (Fintech) firm Revolut is responding to fierce competition in the online payments sector by ramping up its service options with the aim of building a super app to meet a wider range of consumer needs.

One initiative that launched here last week lets users link their Revolut wallets to accounts at six banks – DBS, UOB, OCBC, Standard Chartered, Maybank and Bank of China – enabling them to move cash into their e-wallets without having to leave the Revolut app.

The move will support Revolut’s cross border multi-currency service, which enables users to buy and hold foreign currencies on the app until they need to transfer the money overseas.

In February, Revolut made fractional trading of US stocks available so users here can buy and sell American shares for a minimum of US$1.

The firm now offers payments, money transfers and remittances, foreign exchange trading, fractional US stocks trading as well as commodities and crypto trading in Singapore.

As it does not have a banking licence, Revolut Singapore chief executive Raymond Poh said the firm is looking for local partnerships that will enable it to accept deposits and provide credit card services on its app. An announcement on this front could come as soon as this year.

A partnership could be similar to StanChart’s deal with FairPrice Group in establishing the digital bank joint venture called Trust.

“Singapore consumers are already well-supported by the banks and other fintech providers here but we have yet to see is a single platform allowing them to perform all their banking and finance needs without logging in and out of multiple apps,” said Mr Poh.

“This is how we are differentiating ourselves.”

Revolut rival Wise has also been launching services to retain users.

Since February, customers have been able to earn up to 3.22 per cent interest on Singapore dollar-denominated funds held in their Wise accounts if they move the holdings to any interest earning fund on the app, said Wise head of product Surendra Chaplot.

On Wednesday, Wise announced a partnership with Moomoo Singapore to allow users of the Moomoo stock trading app to deposit money in their trading accounts through their Wise accounts. Last year, Wise revealed a similar partnership with Moomoo competitor Tiger Brokers.

Wise customers in Singapore are already able to transfer money to 12 mobile wallets in Asia, including Touch n Go in Malaysia, GrabPay in the Philippines and Shopee Pay in Indonesia.

Competition is also heating up on the payments front.

On Tuesday, WhatsApp users in Singapore were told they can now make payments to some local businesses via a new in-chat feature on the instant messaging app.

Singapore residents with a WhatsApp number registered here can pay using credit cards, debit cards or PayNow through their WhatsApp chat. This lets consumers transact directly without having to leave the app. There is no limit to how much users can pay in a single transaction, and no fees will be charged.