This article is the latest in our popular new series in association with Tito’s Handmade Vodka, which examines travel retail and airport sector ‘disruptors’ – focusing on companies and individuals challenging established models through innovation.
UK/INTERNATIONAL. An app-based banking alternative called Revolut is being rolled out in the global duty free and airlines market.
Advanced Software Systems will begin distributing the Revolut cards with immediate effect. Premier Portfolio International will handle sales to travel retailers.
Revolut allows users to open a prepaid current account in 60 seconds. There they will receive instant spending notifications, spending categorisation and can set weekly or monthly budgets.
The app also allows users to hold and exchange up to 25 currencies with the real exchange rate. They can also send free domestic and international money transfers and spend abroad in over 130 currencies with no fees via a contactless MasterCard.
London-based Revolut has already launched in Middle East travel retail. The launch was planned to coincide with the original date of the MEADFA Conference (now postponed until January).
Airport or airline customers can receive their Revolut card instantly upon purchase. Revolut aims to partner with additional airlines in the coming months, providing cards to travellers looking to spend money abroad without fees.
The company plans to expand into North America in early 2018, followed by launches in Australia and Asia in the near future.
Revolut is also launching a pay-per-day travel insurance service. It will use a customer’s geo-location to provide instant medical and dental cover, starting at less than £1 per day. Pay-per-day travel insurance will sit alongside Revolut’s new device insurance as the company looks to assemble a suite of smart insurance products.
“We are excited to be able to help even more customers save money abroad by entering the global duty free and airlines market,” said Revolut Founder & CEO Nikolay Storonsky. “By distributing our cards to airline passengers and duty free store consumers, we can help them avoid rip-off fees whenever they try to transfer, spend or withdraw money abroad.”
Advanced Software CEO Howard Amor, a well-known figure in the travel retail sector, commented: “As a software house with 40 years of management experience of the airlines and duty free market, we wanted to find new and traveller-specific ideas with real financial and logistical benefits for the market.
“Revolut stood out as a market leader compared to currently available travel money cards, so we are delighted to partner with such an innovative company. Revolut takes up no space in the duty free bar and is a new and exciting product area for airlines and duty free. Its FX rates and fee-free card will save travellers a huge amount.”