Revolut Business account review
Are you wavering on whether Revolut could be the right business account for you? We take a deep dive into the digital-only bank’s offering to help you decide...
Challenger banks have continued to proliferate over the last few years, making it easy to become immune to the promises of lower fees and greater transparency and control promised by every new market entrant.
So, what does Revolut for Business have to offer that sets it apart from the crowd?
Launched in July 2015 by former Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank investment bankers Nik Storonsky and Vlad Yatsenko, Revolut’s status as the UK’s first digital-only bank to become a Unicorn (+£1bn valuation) should give you some idea that it’s a cut above the rest.
What’s more, in its four short years of existence, Revolut has amassed more than 100,000 business customers – not to mention seven million regular users – and has facilitated £40bn worth of transactions.
In 2019, we honoured this extraordinary success by awarding Revolut top spot in the prestigious Startups 100 index – our annual celebration of the UK’s most disruptive and innovative startups.
But what does Revolut business banking offer its customers? And is it the right challenger bank account for you?
What is Revolut for Business?
Revolut for Business is a global business current account that allows you to hold, receive, and exchange 29 currencies, and spend in over 150 currencies at the interbank exchange rates.
What are interbank exchange rates? Also known as market rates, these are the official live conversion rates for a pair of currencies that banks use to trade with each other. They’re always lower than what you’d traditionally pay as a customer.
As it’s a digital-only bank, you can only access all Revolut’s services through your phone, tablet, or laptop.
You’ll also receive a multicurrency card, which helps to reduce business travel expenses by avoiding astronomical FX markups and overseas transaction fees.
That, though, barely scratches the surface of Revolut business' offering. Below, we take a more in-depth look at the challenger bank’s features.
How do I open a Revolut for Business account?
To apply for a Revolut for Business account, you just have to fill in the short online application form.
It will then take between one to seven days to review your application, during which time you might be contacted to confirm details.
Is my business eligible for a Revolut for Business account?
Revolut for Business is currently available to businesses in the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland.
There are also some types of business entities (including charities and venture capital funds) and some industries (including nuclear weapons, gambling, legal highs, and sexual services) that are not supported. Click on the links for a full list – seriously, nuclear weapons is listed.
Yes, Revolut has wisely ruled itself out of facilitating cut-price international transactions for manufacturers of WMDs and dodgy narcotics.
It should probably work on allowing charities to sign up for an account, though.
Revolut for Business features
The following table breaks down the monthly allowances/limits you’re granted as part of each business plan.
|Free||Grow £25/month||Scale £100/month||Enterprise £1,000/month|
|Free payments to Revolut accounts||Infinite||Infinite||Infinite||Infinite|
|Free team members|
(£5 per user, per month above free allowance)
|Free local transfers|
(£0.2 per transfer above free allowance)
|Free international transfers|
(£3 per transfer above free allowance)
|FX allowance at “real rate”|
(0.4% markup on FX above free allowance)
As you’ll see, it’s clear that Revolut has created its business accounts with an eye on what businesses might genuinely need from a bank account.
The following features are available with most Revolut for Business plans. We’ve indicated which ones don’t come included with the free version.
International Bank Account Number (IBAN) and multiple currencies
This is one of Revolut’s major selling points, and with good reason. With the needs of an increasingly interconnected global business ecosystem at its heart, a Revolut account allows you to hold, receive, and exchange in 29 currencies. Find the full list on its site.
Local accounts in GBP and EUR
Set up a local account in the name of your business to make and receive local payments, including BACS and Faster Payments for £ in the UK, and SEPA for € payments in the European Economic Area.
Prepaid debit cards and mobile app
Maintain full control of expenses by issuing business cards for you and your team.
You can track spending in the app, so you know exactly who is spending exactly how much on what.
ATM cash withdrawals are charged at 2%.
You can also issue virtual cards for making online payments and managing subscriptions. These cards come with a one-off or monthly charge.
Revolut syncs with a plethora of popular business services for accounting and productivity, including Slack, Sage, FreshBooks, and Zoho. This is a great way to streamline your business processes
See below for a more comprehensive description of Connect.
Revolut’s open API allows you to create complex integrations to further automate your business processes.
User permissions, payment approval, and bulk payments
(not available with free version)
Revolut gives you the power to control what your team members can see and do, helping you keep your security tight.
For example, you might want your accountant to only be able to view transactions.
And with payment approval, your team members can raise payments in the app that you can approve instantly.
You can also automatically make bulk payments of up to £1,000, approved with a single click, as well as schedule regular payments.
(not available with free version)
Capture receipts on your devices when you’re out and about to easily manage all your expenses.
The following will be added to Revolut’s offering soon, but won’t be available on all payment plans. Make sure to check Revolut’s website for details.
- Loans and overdrafts – fast and affordable loans that are tailored to your business needs
- Local accounts in other currencies – Revolut will soon be adding even more local account options, for faster and cheaper transactions
- Accepting card payments for free – this ‘plug and play’ solution will enable your business to accept card payments for free (obviously)
- Payroll – this solution will allow end-to-end management of the payment cycle for your entire workforce
- Metal cards – sturdy, robust, and impressive-looking metal cards for all the team
- Customisable card designs – never miss an opportunity to put your business front and centre by branding even your business debit cards
Revolut for Business plans
As outlined in the table above, Revolut for Business offers a range of plans. Each permits certain allowances and gives access to different features.
Obviously, the more you pay, the better your allowances, and the more features you can use.
In fact, opting for one of the higher end plans could be a far more efficient use of the Revolut for Business service.
Once you have exhausted your allowances, you can simply pay a fee for each transaction, or upgrade to a better plan.
To upgrade or downgrade your plan, you just need to log into your account and choose a different plan within Settings.
Revolut’s free plan is a good option if you’re a new customer, and want to try it before you commit to coughing up the cash.
However, if you’re a trading business, you’ll very quickly find yourself restricted by its meagre allowances: just two free team members, five free local transfers, and no free international transfers.
That’s why it’s best to opt for a paid plan from the off, so your business can hit the ground running and make free transfers immediately.
Grow is Revolut’s most popular plan. It’s a good option for smaller businesses.
Your allowances are 100 free local transfers, 10 international transfers, and up to £10,000 of foreign exchange at the interbank exchange rate.
A great option for scaling businesses, Scale allows 1,000 free local transfers, 50 international transfers, and £50,000 worth of currency exchanges at the interbank exchange rate.
It may cost 10x more than the previous plan, but Enterprise also has numerous advantages that can make it a much more efficient option for very active businesses.
For example, your monthly allowances are infinite, meaning you can make as many free local transfers, free international transfers, and payments to other Revolut accounts as you like – and there’s no limit to the number of team members you can add, either.
You can also make as many currency exchanges as you want at the interbank exchange rate.
And on top of that, Enterprise also gives you access to the widest range of features.
Revolut’s Freelancer plan allows you to open an account under your own name.
- Unlimited free payments to other Revolut accounts
- 20 free local transfers
- 5 free international payments
- £5,000 of currency exchange at the interbank exchange rate
Revolut integrates with a range of essential business apps for small businesses, allowing you to create streamlined and automated processes.
- Integrate with Slack to receive instant notifications about what’s happening in your Revolut for Business account.
- Integrate with the likes of Xero and FreeAgent to automatically sync your Revolut account data directly with the accounting app.
- Automate your workflow through Zapier by connecting to thousands of other apps.
Revolut is soon to add many more apps to Connect, including accounting software ClearBooks, Sage, Freshbooks, and Kashflow, as well as tax calculation services like Quaderno.
Revolut is currently working on a developer platform that will allow anyone to use its Open API (see below) to build services for business.
What is Revolut’s Open API?
If you’re unfamiliar with the term, API stands for Application Programming Interface.
Essentially, it allows an application to access the features of an operating system, a platform, or another application, and combine it with your own software or processes.
Revolut’s Open API allows you to integrate your Revolut business account with your existing software.
This streamlines your business processes, and enables you to automate the following:
- Adding counterparties
- Making payments
- Scheduling payments
- Cancelling payments
- Creating transaction reports
For example, if you’re a delivery company, you can integrate Revolut so that a payment is automatically sent to the driver following a successful payment.
Revolut Business loans
As well as its bevy of essential features, Revolut offers unsecured business loans of between £1,000 and £25,000 to help you manage cashflow and grow your business.
To be eligible, you must:
- Be a UK registered business with UK-based founders
- Have been trading for 18 months or more
- Have filed at least one set of financial accounts with Companies House, covering at least 12 months
Interest rates for loans vary from 12.5% to 25% depending on your credit history and financial performance. It’s free to sign up, and there are no other fees.
Revolut Perks gives your business selected discounts and perks from its partners, to help you save money on essential services.
They are only available to customers on paid plans.
To give you an idea of the kind of discounts you could benefit from, the following are currently on offer:
- 10% discount with Apple
- £150 free driving credit with Zipcar
- £150 off with Expensify
- Up to £120 ads credit with Google ads
Visit the website to learn more about Revolut Perks.
What do the experts say about Revolut?
Jon Ostler, CEO of finder.com – a UK-based personal finance comparison site – gives us his verdict on Revolut:
“Revolut’s business account uses an online banking login and a mobile app. You currently need to use the online login for many banking features but they are planning to add more features to the mobile app over the year.
“Revolut has recently added expense tracking via the app where staff can photograph receipts and classify expenses for approval. Although I personally had issues connecting to our Xero accounting software I was trying to do it the day the feature was launched, so maybe this was just a teething issue.
“Revolut’s business account also works particularly well if you are an international business as you can instantly create new currency accounts and transfer between them at an extremely good exchange rate. These excellent exchange rates can also be accessed when using cards overseas.
“The only downside with Revolut’s digital-only banking is that if you have cash or cheques you cannot pay them into your account. Similarly, if you want to take out any cash there are ATM fees on all withdrawals.”
Should I choose Revolut for Business?
In an increasingly globalised world, any business that deals with foreign currency transactions, has a presence across multiple countries, or trades internationally in any way would benefit from Revolut.
Being able to make currency exchanges at the interbank rate – as well as free and easy international payments – is a huge advantage for small businesses with big ambitions.
It has a plethora of other features designed specifically for businesses. Whether that’s tracking employee expenses on your dashboard, or syncing with popular business software, Revolut can help to streamline your day-to-day activities.
The only other thing to say is that you aren’t able to deposit cash into your account. In our increasingly cashless world, this shouldn’t be too much of an issue for most businesses. But if you do deal with a lot of cash, then this could present a problem.
If you’re convinced that Revolut is the business bank account for you then why not get started setting up an account?