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Revolut halts Ukrainian refugee referral scheme after exploited by users

Just weeks after its launch in March, Revolut said the referral programme was being exploited by users and it has now stopped making payouts.

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Revolut account/ Revolut

Revolut has “paused” a referral scheme intended to help Ukrainian refugees after it was exploited by users who could make up to £250 out of the scheme.

The neobank launched the programme in March, making it easier for refugees escaping Ukraine to open a Revolut account and waiving some FX transfer fees.

Refugees of any nationality fleeing from Ukraine were able to set up accounts on the neobank’s app without needing to meet all the documentation demands, like proof of a right to reside in Europe.

Existing Revolut customers could refer as many as five people to these accounts for a referral fee of £50 in the UK.

However, just weeks after its launch, Revolut said the programme was being exploited by users and it has now stopped making payouts.

According to the Telegraph newspaper, customers tried to gain referral fees by breaking the company’s terms and conditions.

Revolut said: "Our controls flagged that a small number of accounts were being targeted by users attempting to exploit our referral campaign.

"We have therefore temporarily paused the referral aspect as a precautionary measure."

Revolut users often attempt to recruit new customers to the neobank by using anonymous message boards online.

One individual on Twitter attempted to attract customers on behalf of Revolut by promising to donate the referral fees to the Bulgarian Red Cross to help Ukrainian refugees.

Revolut's Russian-born CEO and co-founder Nik Storonsky has called Russia’s invasion of Ukraine “totally abhorrent”.

Revolut co-founder and CTO Vlad Yatsenko labelled Russia’s leader Vladimir Putin a “brazen liar”.

Like many fintechs, Revolut has set out several packages to help those in Ukraine including relocation support to all its Ukraine-based employees.

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