Revolut wants to be the next Robinhood, promising commission-free stock trading as it hits 2m users

Emily Nicolle
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CEO Nikolay Storonsky's global ambitions have been put on hold
CEO Nikolay Storonsky's global ambitions have been put on hold (Source: Getty)

Challenger banking app Revolut has reached 2m registered users, as it prepares to launch a commission-free stock trading feature and pushes back its journey across the pond.

The new feature will allow users to explore and invest in UK and US listed companies, as well as other instruments such as exchange traded funds and options.

As a result, City A.M. has learned from staff within Revolut that it is in the process of seeking a brokerage licence from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which it expects to be granted in time for a product release by the end of 2018.

The so-called fintech unicorn, a term reserved for startups which achieve a $1bn (£873.7m) valuation or higher, has already applied for separate UK and European banking licences with the FCA and in Lithuania.

Read more: Revolut smashes into unicorn ranks with $250m fundraising

City A.M. also understands that the UK banking licence is expected to be approved within the next few months, indicating that Revolut’s European licence is imminent.

In a statement made to the press, Revolut CEO and co-founder Nikolay Storonsky said:

To put it bluntly, we are going to cause the same disruption in investments as we have done in banking. Brokers are charging people as much as £5.00 per trade and the user interfaces are typically clunky, slow and confusing for consumers. The pain points are clear for us and the room for improvement is massive.

Currently only available in Europe, Revolut previously said that it hoped to launch in the US by the end of the first quarter. Due to regulatory difficulties, City A.M. has learned that this has now been pushed back to secure a launch date in August or September of this year.

Other countries on its radar are Canada, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand, with less public discussions also underway in Japan as well. The app also launched in Russia today, via a partnership with local player Qiwi Bank.

Once live, Revolut’s new feature will see competition from current commission-free trading heavyweight Robinhood, which permits its American users to trade in US stocks, options and cryptocurrencies with zero fees.

Read more: Revolut hits back at Google over 'heavy-handed' crypto ads ban

In the last year, Revolut says it has increased its customer numbers by over 300 per cent, with approximately 900,000 of those users based within the UK as its largest market. Following the UK are France and Poland, in second and third place respectively.

The company says that its users now make more than 100m individual transactions per month, resulting in a monthly transaction volume of $2bn.

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