Revolut, a UK-based financial services company, earlier this month launched a new online investing platform. The company’s app, which already provided support for payments and access to savings accounts, cryptocurrency trading and budgeting resources, now features a commission-free stock trading platform with access to 1,100 securities and more than 200 ETFs listed on the NYSE and Nasdaq. Revolut also announced it will allow US customers to transfer money to bank accounts in Mexico, without fees and in as little as 30 minutes.
Part of the new breed of “neobanks,” which conduct business primarily online and without physical branches, Revolut and its initial competitors — including Chime, Current and Varo — typically offer customers a range of financial services via an app and website.
With its expansion into stock trading, Revolut’s offering positions it to now also compete with upstarts such as Robinhood and Webull as well as stalwarts including Fidelity, Charles Schwab and TD Ameritrade. Revolut, which operates in more than 35 countries, launched its business in the US in 2020 and was granted its broker-dealer license in June of last year.
Revolut’s stock-trading platform features more or less what you’d expect: access to real-time stock charts, price alerts, graphs, performance data and global market news. Customers can trade full and fractional shares directly on the app, and queue orders after closing times. However, you won’t be able to trade on margin — a riskier maneuver, which involves borrowing money to buy and trade securities.
Robinhood, which has come under fire for gamifying investing for a corps of new, inexperienced investors, has generated controversy for offering margin trading. In 2020, a college student killed himself after seeing a negative balance of more than $700,000 in his account, though some of his trades were incomplete. It’s worth noting that many other players in the field, including Webull, Fidelity and Schwab, support margin trading — though some require brokerage customers to apply for access.
Revolut offers a range of service plans for individuals (as well as services for businesses). The free tier of personal service provides access to a basic set of features including a checking account with ATM access and a savings account — with a laggardly 0.05% APY — as well support for some more unusual benefits: access to a Revolut junior account for kids, foreign exchange services and commission-free crypto trading.
The Premium tier ($10 per month) and Metal tier ($17 per month) each add benefits that will chiefly appeal to international travelers: overseas medical insurance, delayed baggage and flight insurance and access to some exclusive airport lounges.
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