FAST-growing money app Revolut will start offering personal loans and credit cards after getting a full banking license.
he Lithuania-based company says it now has 1.7 million customers in that market as it expands rapidly with the impending closure of Ulster and KBC banks.
Revolut also plans to take deposits in this market in the coming months.
The fintech said it has been approved for a full banking license by the European Central Bank.
It operated in the Republic under a UK e-money license, but Brexit meant it had to move its regulations to Lithuania. It now has a full European Central Bank license through its Lithuanian operation.
Deposits held in Revolut Bank will now enjoy deposit guarantee protection of up to €100,000 per user, backed by the Lithuanian Deposit Guarantee Scheme.
He is expected to replace his Lithuanian IBAN with an Irish one this year. IBAN is an international bank account number.
Some providers have rejected payment arrangements for customers here because they are unfamiliar with the IBAN used by Revolut.
Revolut said customers can apply for the loans without filling in any forms and will receive a quick response to their application.
He started accepting applications to a waiting list. But as of now, no details on loan interest rates are available.
No mention was made of the launch of an overdraft product.
The imminent launch of a personal loan product marks the fintech’s first steps to launch its Revolut Bank services to Irish customers.
To apply for a personal loan, Revolut said its customers can apply instantly without having to fill out detailed forms, and will receive a response to their loan request within seconds.
Revolut Loans are also available for new customers, meaning even users who sign up will be able to apply for a loan.
Other loan products such as credit cards will follow later this year, he said.
The decision to launch Revolut Bank in Ireland follows the imminent withdrawal of Ulster Bank and KBC from the market.
Revolut Bank credit products and eventually additional services will be available to all new or existing Revolut customers.
Revolut Europe Managing Director Joe Heneghan said: “With the imminent exit of KBC and Ulster Bank from the market, it is clear that a new bank is needed to compete with traditional banks on price and service. “.
Revolut had applied for an electronic money license from the Central Bank of Ireland. He was granted this, but decided to use his full ECB banking license instead.
Daragh Cassidy of price comparison site Bonkers.ie said the move was good news for consumers.
He said Revolut had revolutionized banking since its inception less than a decade ago.
Revolut’s lack of credit products and its lack of a banking license in Ireland meant people were likely reluctant to consider fintech for all of their banking needs.
But that should start to change and he said it would be interesting to see how AIB, Bank of Ireland and Permanent TSB react.