British unicorn bank Revolut launches in Singapore

British challenger bank Revolut has launched its app and services in Asia for the first time, after a year-long trial in Singapore.

The bank, which alongside rivals such as Monzo and Starling is taking on the traditional high street banks, has already gathered 30,000 customers in the city state.

But the general launch on Thursday will open the bank to most of Singapore’s more than 5.6 million people, bringing its services to a major new market.

It comes after Revolut announced a deal on Tuesday to take its cards to the US for the first time before the end of the year.

The bank is pairing with Mastercard to expand in the market. However state-by-state regulation differences could present more challenges for the bank.

Customers in Singapore who sign up to the bank will be able to exchange 14 currencies using the app, and withdraw up to 350 Singapore dollars (£198) at international cashpoints.

“The average Singapore resident travels about seven times a year, and at the same time, they are transferring up to seven billion dollars (£4 billion) overseas.

“For the most part, these are ordinary, hardworking people who are unaware that their existing providers are charging them as much as 5% in fees,” said Eddie Lee, who heads Revolut’s operations in Asia.

Since being founded in 2015 by former Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank employees, the bank has expanded into the UK and Europe, and attracted seven million customers.

It was valued at 1.7 billion US dollars (£1.3 billion) the last time its founders raised money in April last year.

However, the company’s growing pains have meant it was investigated by the authorities over allegations it can be a “toxic” place to work.

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