Revolut is the most successful neobank, shifting the paradigm in the financial industry and making it harder and harder for traditional banks to catch up. By offering all the core functions you’d expect from traditional banks with a twist, they create significantly better user experiences that customers love.
Though it’s only been on the market for nearly 5 years, Revolut has rocketed – reaching more than 10 million users and over $800 million in venture capital. And Revolut is not the only neobank shaking things up. Monzo in the UK, n26 in Germany, and Volt in Australia are also walking the same path (at a different speed, though).
How did Revolut grow from an e-money services provider into a billion-dollar digital-only bank? To fully understand their success, we need to look at how they built their pillars of innovation – product, people, promotion, and profit – and what makes them so strong.
Our 4-part series uncovers the Revolut innovation, starting with the product and including a video walk-through the analysis. Check in the following weeks for the upcoming parts, and you will get a full picture of what makes Revolut so insanely popular. Or discover the full Revolut case study on BottomUp Skills – our e-learning platform for busy innovators, who want to sharpen their skills in innovation, design thinking, and technology.
Innovation happens when products relieve big customer pains through experiences that create measurable gains for all their users. In this survival kit for business innovation, QUALITANCE CEO Mike Parsons, delivers a straightforward definition of an innovative product or service, identifying it as something that:
- is 10x times better than what is on offer today;
- tackles huge problems;
- offers a radical solution;
- relies on breakthrough, emerging technology.
Here’s how Revolut checks all the right boxes.
#1 Huge value in just five dollars
Revolut built its magic through a lot of AHA moments. One of the first ones you get is when you transfer money, even if it’s just 5 dollars, to a friend. This simple transaction is when you realize the value of Revolut.
From the very beginning, Revolut understood they needed to keep building as many experiences as possible to get you into that AHA moment. Because when you get that feeling, you naturally share it with your friends and family. Before you know it, you start campaigning for Revolut – recruiting new users among close people, teammates and collaborators, because you want them to live the same product experience.
#2 Liberated data through search
Whenever we use a banking service, we generate massive data. And Revolut knows that data is only useful if users can find it easily. That’s why they built a ‘search’ function to makes data available within the actual interface, allowing users to really dig down into their results.
Not many bank apps out there let you use common sense features such as predictive search and real-time filtering of results while typing. Let alone export data to 3-rd parties or access an embedded budgeting feature – which Revolut makes possible in a blink.
#3 Mastering the cross-sell
By simplifying the user experience, Revolut has rightfully earned the user’s permission to be cross-sold.
Even though the crypto product is a separate offer to users, it follows all the design patterns of the other Revolut features. Because of this, products move inside the app so effortlessly, it’s barely noticeable to users.
How far away are traditional banks from that? If you want to buy stocks with your current bank, you’re most likely forced to download one of their companion apps that in most cases look quite different than the app you’re familiar with.
In the defense of traditional banks, in most cases, the app/separate product challenge is not necessarily a question of choice – it’s rather the result of antiquated legacy systems that inhibit their digital transformation.
#4 Handcrafting the tech stack
“The reality is what we’re trying to achieve is [to] build a 10x better financial services company that is 10x cheaper as well. The only way to do it is not building only one product, but building a platform with many products on top of it.”
– Nikolay Storonsky, CEO and Founder of Revolut
For quite some time now, Revolut has been doing more than developing checking accounts, savings accounts, or wire transfers. They want to cover everything in finance – not just the core bank stuff, but right up into insurance and beyond.
Sherlock is an example of their ‘end to end’ approach. This ML-based card fraud detection system, which was built in just nine months, has very few dependencies. What’s more, its fraud prediction engine uses Machine Learning algorithms to identify fraud transactions, and 30% of the time its predictions prove to be right -remarkably higher than the industry standard. More info on the amazing stuff Sherlock does in this comprehensive article.
Don’t forget to check in for the second part of our series, where we cover the Revolut innovation at the level of people and culture.
About BottomUp Skills
The BottomUp Skills platform is created and supported by the QUALITANCE global thought-leadership team for innovators, makers, and creatives who want to sharpen their skills in innovation, design thinking, and technology. Usually, such courses are exclusive to our clients such as Ford Motor Company, News Corp Australia, Breville, and many others around the world. Now, we have opened the paid subscription courses and made them available to everyone for life.