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Revolut takes on Robinhood and eToro with stock trading platform for US customers

The digital banking challenger took 16 months to secure its broker-dealer licence from US regulators.

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Ronald Oliveira/Revolut

With stock trading still on the rise, Revolut is looking to cash in on the investment boom stateside. 

The digital banking service has secured itself a US broker-dealer licence, according to CNBC—a move that will put Revolut into a position to directly challenge US trading juggernauts Robinhood and eToro.

“Launching commission-free stock trading is the next logical step in our plans for the U.S. market. We are building a single app where people can manage all aspects of their finances, from banking and foreign exchange to cryptocurrency and stock trading,” Nik Storonsky, CEO and founder of Revolut, said. 

“As a licensed broker-dealer in the U.S., we’re eager to break down common barriers to entry around stock trading such as account minimums and complex interfaces by enabling customers to invest commission-free through a user-friendly interface.”

Using its fresh pot of cash—and $33bn price tag along with it—Revolut secured its broker-dealer licence over a period of 16 months.

US CEO Ronald Oliveira told CNBC that prior to awarding the fintech its new licence, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) “took a deep dive—they asked lots of questions because they wanted to see exactly what the consumer experience was. It took them a period of time to get comfortable, but we’re very happy they got there.”

Revolut will use its European trading partner DriveWealth, a US fintech which recently raised its own  $450m Series D, to help bring its trading and investment platform to US customers.

At first, Revolut’s customers will be able to buy ETFs and shares of companies listed on the NYSE and NASDAQ and, in the coming months, the fintech will expand the offering, allowing users to buy fractional shares and invest their spare change from card transactions.

The move to introduce trading to its US customers will come as no surprise, given AltFi has previously estimated that Revolut is holding around $1bn worth of crypto on its balance sheet.

Over here in the UK, Revolut’s stock trading platform has been overshadowed by its booming crypto trade.

Launched back in 2018, Revolut has seen its trading offering attract customers across Europe but has been hit with a series of high-profile exits in its trading department—most notablyRevolut’s former head of wealth and trading André Mohamed who left the fintech in April 2020.

Just a few weeks ago, Revolut also hiked up its trading fees for the second time in six months, with the fintech restructuring how its trading commission fees are calculated.

Earlier this month, Revolut also announced that it would pay for its WeWork office space using crypto.

The digital banking service will pay for its new US hub in Dallas using largely Bitcoin, making it the first company ever to pay for its office using cryptocurrency.

UPDATE 22-09-2021 - This article has been updated to include a new quote from Nik Storonsky.

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