Fintech startup Revolut has been teasing Asian market expansions for more than a year, but it sounds like it might finally happen. The company has secured licenses to operate in Singapore and Japan. It now expects to launch its service in Q1 2019.
In Singapore, the company was granted a Remittance License by the Monetary Authority and a Stored Value Facility approval — these two things combined let Revolut users hold money as well as send and spend money. In Japan, the company has been authorized to operate by Japan’s Finance Service Agency.
According to Revolut, those approvals are enough to launch the service in those countries. But not all features will make their way to Singapore and Japan. Regulation varies from one country to another, so the company might not be able to provide the same limits and feature set everywhere.
At launch, Revolut will focus on the electronic wallet and the payment card. You won’t be able to buy cryptocurrencies, create business accounts and more. Limits should be more or less the same in local currency equivalent.
In Japan, Revolut says it has already signed deals with Rakuten, Sompo Japan Insurance (SJNK) and Toppan. It sounds like there will be new insurance products, special card designs and more.
Revolut plans to open its APAC office in Singapore. Let’s see if Revolut ends up convincing expats to sign up or if they can have a real impact outside of Europe.
And if you’re a potential user in the U.S. or Canada, you’ll have to wait a bit more. Revolut says there will be more news in the coming weeks.