Saturday, May 21, 2022

Revolut speeds up US-to-Mexico remittances to less than 30 minutes

Challenger bank Revolut announced Friday that it is speeding up transfers sent from the US to Mexico to less than 30 minutes — fee-free.

The transfer speed is among the fastest advertised among top currency exchange providers in the corridor today, and Revolut is offering zero fees on transfers up to the monthly allowance, which is $1,000 for Americans using the app’s free tier.

Users can transfer more and pay a 0.5% fee on every dollar over the allowance or pay a monthly subscription to eliminate the allowance (up to $100 million). The new offering could expand Revolut’s US presence, which it recently pegged at “more than 300,000 users,” though it has more than 18 million internationally.

The London-based company, which has its US headquarters in San Francisco, so far has tried to stand out by offering a large number of features to users in the US market, where it has looked to expand in recent years. Marco Salazar, the director of payment practices at consulting firm Javelin, said Friday’s announcement represented an incremental step in an industry-wide trend.

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“This is more of a delighter, not a revolutionary product launch,” Salazar said of the faster international payments.

Personal finance company NerdWallet, in a 2021 overview of methods to transfer money to Mexico, highlighted Xoom and MoneyGram as the fastest methods available at the time. When Revolut’s new feature launched on Friday, both had higher markups on their exchange rates and slower delivery.

Xoom, which is a PayPal service, says bank deposits “typically arrive in hours to all major banks in Mexico.” MoneyGram says “many account deposits are completed within a few hours.”

Revolut launched transfers from the US to Mexico in August, which followed its launch of travel booking in June. Today’s rollout follows another last week, when the company enabled US stock trading in its app. Given all the action around adding features, an analyst said earlier this month that Revolut would need to find a way to differentiate itself beyond merely offering a multitude of features.

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“You can’t come into the market and be a superapp and grab everyone’s attention if you are a jack of all trades,” Higdon said last week after the company launched stock trading for US customers. “Today, Revolut is very much becoming a jack of all trades and a master of none.”

In response to the announcement of 30-minute transfers to Mexico, Higdon said the improved feature was “a pretty powerful thing” but added that Revolut was still apparently trying things just to “see what sticks” and did not yet offer one must-have functionality.

“The main problem Revolut has here is that they need to figure out what they want to be when they grow up,” Higdon said.

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Nation World News Desk
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