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In October 2018, multi-currency card Revolut launched in Singapore, allowing users to spend in over 150 foreign currencies at the interbank exchange rate, and enabling them to exchange and store 28 currencies in their wallet.
In recent years, many fintech firms and even the established banks in Singapore have begun introducing much-needed solutions for transactions in foreign currencies. These include reducing foreign currency transaction fees, offering more competitive and transparent foreign currency exchange rates, introducing innovative banking tools for budgeting and saving, and delivering a cross-border digital banking solution.
Among them, Revolut is at the forefront of the global multi-currency industry with over 9 million customers in close to 36 countries, now, including Singapore.
How Does The Revolut Card Work?
First, you need to install the Revolut app on your phone. Via the app, you can manage various functions on your account, as well as apply for the Revolut card.
As you are effectively using a mobile wallet to pay for your transactions, online and with your physical Revolut card, you first need to make a top-up to your account with either you credit or debit card.
Revolut stands alone in offering a free and paid service, with value-added solutions for those who need to make more frequent or larger foreign currency transactions. In its app, you will see that Revolut offers three tiers of services for its users – Standard (free), Premium ($9.99/month) and Metal ($19.99/month).
Once you become a standard user, you already gain access to using your Revolut card to pay in over 150 currencies, at a transparent interbank exchange rate and make foreign currency exchange worth up to $9,000 a month. You also get to withdraw up to $350 of your money at international ATMs without any fees.
What’s more, you can also send money locally and internationally, in 28 different currencies. This international currency transfers feature is essential a remittance service, and not readily available for majority of the other multi-currency accounts in Singapore.
Note that as Revolut is not a Deposit Insurance (DI) Scheme member in Singapore, deposits into your Revolut account is not covered under the Singapore Deposit Insurance Scheme (SDIC).
What Do I Get On The Different Revolut Accounts?
As you can see, on its most basic plan, the Standard account, you can already start spending in over 150 currencies, enjoy access to its interbank exchange rate, make up to $9,000 in foreign currency exchange every month, pay no fees on your first $350 ATM withdrawals and send money in Singapore and internationally in 28 currencies. This free plan is already on par or better than other cards in the market.
You can consider its Premium and Metal accounts if you regularly require to make foreign currency exchange of more than $9,000 each month, want greater access to ATM withdrawals, receive extensive lounge access, and upgraded security features such as creating disposable virtual cards to make one-time transactions, this is especially useful if you’re unsure of the source you are purchasing from or want to allow someone else to make a purchase on your behalf.
On its Metal card, you receive even more value with (of course!) the metal card, extensive insurance, dedicated concierge service and a 1% cashback on all your spending abroad.
What Foreign Currencies Can I Exchange On My Revolut Account?
You can exchange up to 28 currencies on your Revolut card. They include:
|# 1 Singapore Dollar (SGD)||# 2 Hong Kong Dollar (HKD)||# 3 US Dollar (USD)||# 4 Australian Dollar (AUD)|
|# 5 New Zealand Dollar (NZD)||# 6 Euro (EUR)||# 7 British Pound (GBP)||# 8 Japanese Yen (JPY)|
|# 9 Canadian Dollar (CAD)||# 10 Thai Baht (THB)||# 11 United Arab Emirates Dirham (AED)||# 12 Bulgarian Lev (BGN)|
|# 13 Swiss Francs (CHF)||# 14 Czech Koruna (CZK)||# 15 Danish Krone (DKK)||# 16 Croatian Kuna (HRK)|
|# 17 Hungarian Forint (HUF)||# 18 Israeli New Shekel (ILS)||# 19 Mexican Peso (MXN)||# 20 Norwegian Krone (NOK)|
|# 21 Polish Zloty (PLN)||# 22 Qatari Rial (QAR)||# 23 Romanian Leu (RON)||# 24 Russian Ruble (RUB)|
|# 25 Saudi Riyal (SAR)||# 26 Swedish Krona (SEK)||# 27 Turkish Lira (TRY)||# 28 South African Rand (ZAR)|
How To Apply For The Revolut Card In Singapore?
Applying for the Revolut card is simple:
Step 1: On the Revolut website, insert your phone number.
Step 2: Download the Revolut app that will sent to your phone number via text.
Step 3: To verify your Revolut account, you need to submit a picture of your photo ID. This is a nice alternative to having to go down to the bank branch and wait in line (for an unknown amount of time) to open a new account with the institution.
Step 4: Once your identity has been verified, you can order your free Revolut physical card and/or virtual card. You can also decide if you want to subscribe for either the Premium or Metal accounts.
Step 5: As you can see in the screenshot below, you Revolut card will come in a unique blend of blue and purple. You can choose to personalise the colour of your plastic card by subscribing to the Premium account. You can also receive the metal card by subscribing to the Metal account.
As you finalise your order for your card, you will land on an account top-up page, which requires you to top up a minimum of $20 before being able to complete the application.
Once you do this, your card will arrive in approximately one week. When we tried this, it didn’t make a great deal of difference whether we opted for the Standard delivery or Express Delivery, which would cost $19.99 more.
Step 6: When you receive your Revolut card, open the Revolut app to link your card.
Exchanging Money At The Interbank Exchange Rate And Without Any Transaction Charges
Central to using a multi-currency card and account is knowing how you get the best possible exchange rates and how much you’re being charged for making the currency exchange and/or foreign currency transaction.
Revolut uses the interbank exchange rate, which is a dynamic rate that is changing all the time, without any markups. This is also why the real-time exchange rates on the app is always constantly updating.
Revolut also does not charge any fees for transactions made via its cards.
If you are a standard account holder, your limit is SGD $9,000 a month, and if you make transactions above this limit, you may be charged a fee.
Revolut Has Pretty Revolutionary Security Functions
Your Revolut card will come equipped with strong and innovative security features.
There are a number of functions you can freeze and unfreeze on your card from your Revolut app, including disabling your card’s magnetic stripe, contactless payments function, online payments function and/or ATM withdrawals function to protect yourself and your money.
You can choose to turn them on as well, and use it for specific purposes when you need to. This could be for security reasons, but also for convenience if you are going out for a night that will likely see you being intoxicated at some point or if you happen to misplace your card, and don’t want to call the company to cancel it while trying to look for it.
You can also use the location security feature that will determine if your card has been compromised based on your phone’s GPS location.
The one we were most impressed with, but wasn’t able to sample, was the disposable virtual cards function. This enables you to create up to 5 daily card payments using disposable virtual cards. This allows you to let people use your card for one-off transactions as well as protect you from online sites you aren’t quite sure of.
There’s also a split the bill function, and while it’s not technically a security function, you can include other Revolut users in your contact list to split a bill with. This means they will instantaneously pay for it, and you don’t have to worry about collecting money from them afterwards.
What Does The Budgeting And Vault Functions Do?
There is also an analytics function that helps you keep track of your expenses and stay on path of any budgets you may have set for yourself. After setting a budget on certain types of expenses, you will be alerted when you’re nearing your limit each day as well as whenever you have overspent.
In the Vault, you start stashing away your spare change from your transactions to build up a savings pot, either for a specific reason or just to keep aside your “loose change” to see how much you may end up with. The one drawback is that you do not receive interest on your deposits, so you should not use Revolut like your bank, just yet anway.
More To Come?
We spoke to the folks at Revolut, and the features introduced to Singapore are only the beginning. The plan is to incrementally offer their full suite of service, including brokerage service, insurance, get credit loans, and even buy and sell cryptocurrencies.