Revolut launches in Australia as a beta release

Fintech startup Revolut is expanding beyond Europe for the first time. The service is going live for some users in Australia starting today.

Revolut isn’t opening its doors to all customers at once. The company calls this a beta release and plans to gradually on-board new users every day. There are currently 20,000 people on the waitlist in Australia.

You also don’t get the full Revolut experience for now. Cryptocurrency exchange, metal cards and business accounts aren’t available just yet. But you can open an account, get a card, send and receive money — all the basic stuff.

A new country also means a new group of users with a different currency. Families living on different continents could switch to Revolut to send money back and forth between Australia and the U.K., or Australia and Europe.

Sending money from one Revolut account to another is instant and free. Users can then choose to keep money in a foreign currency or convert it to their local currency from the app.

For instance, converting GBP to AUD is free during weekdays and below £5,000 per month (9,150 AUD, 5,600 EUR, 6,340 USD…). It costs 0.5% for bigger amounts (unless you’re a Premium or Metal customer), and you need to add 0.5% on top of that if you exchange money on the weekend.

If I try to convert 2,000 GBP in the Revolut app right now, I’d get 3,660.50 AUD. A similar transaction on TransferWise would give me 3,647.27 AUD. Of course, your mileage may vary depending on the day of the week, the amount you’re converting, etc.

Revolut currently has a team in Melbourne but doesn’t preclude putting together teams in Sydney and Perth as well. Eventually, the company plans to hire 30 people in Australia.

The startup has previously announced plans to expand to other countries, such as the U.S., Canada, Singapore, Japan and New Zealand.