Exclusive: London fintech Revolut launches first card reader in venture into physical retail
London fintech Revolut is making its first venture into physical devices with the launch of a card reader for shops and restaurants.
Revolut, which now caters to a global customer base of 18m and garnered a $33bn valuation in its latest funding round, told City A.M. it was launching the device in UK and Ireland.
Customers will be able to make card payments via the reader and use services such as Chip & Pin, Contactless, Google Pay and Apple Pay.
The fintech is moving into in-person payment technology as boss Nikolay Storonsky last week said he was hopeful UK regulators would green light its full banking license.
Storkonsky told Bloomberg he was optimistic the Financial Conduct Authority would approve the licence “as soon as possible” with the wait already stretching a year and a half.
The move also comes as shoppers and diners are more reticent than ever to use cash after hygiene concerns during the pandemic.
“When designing new products, our team always has customer needs in mind: a fast and easy to use solution that will not slow business down, easy access to funds, and receiving payments faster than the industry standard of two to three business days,” Maria Garcia Marti, product owner at Revolut, said.
Pricing for firms will start from 0.8 per cent + £0.02 per transaction fee and a one-off cost starting at £25 or customised pricing for firms dealing with high volumes.
Revolut’s service for businesses will be extended “in the coming months” with a point-of-sale solution that will provide larger firms with more flexibility in integrating the reader with existing systems.
Rival payments service Square, headed by Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, has started working with Apple on integrating its contactless payment feature within its own app.
“The launch of a card reader is key to penetrating the bricks and mortar retail segment,” Dan Ridsdale, managing director of TMT at Edison Group said.
“We don’t have full visibility on transaction fees but the “starting point” of 0.8 per cent + 2p looks competitive compared to 1.75 per cent for contactless payments on Square or Zettle. The faster receipt of payment should certainly be attractive in the working capital intensive retail segment if these can be delivered in a meaningful way.”