Exclusive: Revolut to launch business marketplace, but will underwrite its own loans

By Ryan Weeks on Tuesday 27 March 2018

Editor's PickDigital Banking

Revolut Connect will feature integrations with a wide range of business products.

Speaking at yesterday’s AltFi London Summit, James Gibson, head of business development for Revolut for Business, revealed that the money app will soon launch a marketplace for its business customers. The banking challenger will be launching its business marketplace, Revolut Connect, in the next couple of months.

“This will be essentially a kind of marketplace where you’ll be able to connect different services to your Revolut for Business account in order to automate your money management,” explained Gibson.

Revolut already operates a curated marketplace for consumers, featuring integrations with a select group of companies, including peer-to-peer platform Lending Works and Thomas Cook Money. But its business-facing marketplace will be quite different.

“At Revolut, we probably wouldn’t describe ourselves at the moment as a marketplace, because unlike some of our competitors we’re very much pushing specific products,” said Gibson.

“On the business side we’re taking a slightly different approach.”

Rather than relying on a small group of partners, Revolut Connect will incorporate a broad range of services. It will, for example, include integrations with accounting software, payroll solutions and spending categorisation products.

“The number of vendors that you have offering these services is huge on the business side, and not something we could really ever replicate ourselves,” said Gibson.

However, Revolut will not take be taking a marketplace-based approach to offering business loans. Gibson said that the banking app will instead seek to underwrite loans to business customers itself.

He explained that the app needs to work with an underwriter on insurance, because underwriting its own insurance deals at this stage would be “biting off more than we can chew”.

“But, that said, as we grow as a business we’re hiring people who do have expertise in these areas,” he continued. “So, for example, we now have an SME underwriting team, [which] is purely focused on issuing SME credit, and we have an insurance team which is now specifically focused on insurance.”

Revolut is currently in the process of applying for a European banking licence, and expects to have it in place by the first half of 2018. If secured, the licence would allow the app to immediately begin offering deposit and credit services in select markets; Gibson’s comments would suggest that these markets will include business loans.  

“We’re essentially a bank. We have a huge amount of data on our customers and we think that a lot of our customers are underserved in the credit market today, and there’s something we can do there,” he said.

Revolut launched its business-facing service in the Summer of 2017, and by October claimed to have signed up 16,000 users. Business users of the app have three packages to choose from, with prices ranging from £25 to £1,000 per month, and the first month free.  


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