British fintech giant Revolut said on Thursday that it had launched in Singapore, where it has already signed up 30,000 customers.
Revolut, which already has seven million customers in Europe, said that its global expansion was a “breakthrough for cross-border payments”, noting that customers in Singapore could now send money to customers in Europe “instantly and for free”.
The company, one of Europe’s most prized challenger banks, also plans to launch in the US and Canada by the end of the year.
“The average Singapore resident travels about seven times a year, and at the same time, they are transferring up to $7bn overseas. For the most part, these are ordinary, hard-working people who are unaware that their existing providers are charging them as much as 5% in fees,” said Eddie Lee, Revolut’s head of operations for the Asia-Pacific region.
Revolut said that it would on Thursday on-board all 30,000 customers who had signed up to its waitlist in the country.
The firm’s bank accounts allow customers to receive instant payment notifications directly to their phones. The bank’s app also offers customers a breakdown of spending over categories such as grocers, restaurants, and transport.
Singapore residents will be able to hold and exchange 14 currencies in the app, including the Singapore dollar, the US dollar, the pound, euro, and Australian dollar. It said that it would add a further 14 currencies soon, including Indian rupees and the Malaysia ringgit.
Last year, Revolut chose Singapore as the location for its main Asia-Pacific base, where it now employs 20 people. The bank said on Thursday that it planned to triple its headcount at the base in the coming months.
The bank has also launched a public beta version of the app in Australia, and recently signed deals with the world’s two major payments networks. Visa (V) and Mastercard (MA) will each provide 50% of the debit cards the bank issues in Europe, while Visa will get a 75% share elsewhere, including in Singapore and the US.
The series of announcements underlines the extent to which payment networks are vying for the business of digital challenger banks. The deals are also a major coup for Visa, which is already considered the world’s undisputed market leader.
Revolut said on Thursday that it was currently valued at $1.7bn, and that it opens around one million new accounts each month. It has raised more than $336m in venture capital funding.