Even as it comes under greater scrutiny from regulators at home and abroad, one of the UK's fastest-growing startup is betting it can sustain its rapid pace in Asia.
After a run-in with Japan's financial watchdog, the fintech startup is now in talks about the regulatory approvals necessary to service small- to medium-sized businesses in the world's No. 3 economy next year.
Japanese exporters are looking to cut international money transfer fees in a country that still lags behind in cashless payments. The company wants to have a million users in Japan by the end of the century. In Japan, the company says it has 80,000 users.
Japan is a very attractive market from a competition point of view, according to the executive. The country's top banks don't offer modern services According to the Payments Japan Association, cashless payments made up 30% of all transactions in Japan in 2020.
The seven-year-old app has been off to a rocky start in a country with complex regulations.
In September, Japan's Financial Services Agency slapped the local unit with a business improvement order, saying there were serious problems with its control measures. The administrative order said that the unit was unaware that it was outsourcing many of its services to the parent company.
The company has increased its checks to make sure it complies with the rules in each country it operates in. 10 more people will be added in Japan over the next year. Half of the staff in Japan is devoted to risk and compliance.
The countries were all ad hoc. Things are being missed when things are ad hoc. Launching in a country is a lot more robust now.
The company helps customers save money with its cheaper fees and instant peer-to- peer money transfers. If you look at the trajectory in Europe, you can definitely see that the one million target is doable.
According to the company, it now has 25 million customers, with a goal to grow four-fold within three years. In the Asia-Pacific region, Revolut operates in Australia and Singapore, as well as New Zealand and India.
The business turned profitable last year and has no immediate plans to go public or raise money.