The banking challenger has already confirmed that it will underwrite its own business loans.
Few partnerships in fintech have garnered more fanfare than the deal between peer-to-peer platform Lending Works and digital banking challenger Revolut, struck in March 2017.
The plan was, and is, to offer instant credit to Revolut’s rapidly growing customer base via a seamless integration. The loans on offer range from £500 to £5,000 in size, and applicants simply need to key in their monthly income and residential status to apply.
But Revolut is also eyeing the launch of its own consumer loan offering.
Last night, the firm held its latest ‘RevRally’ – the first to be hosted at its trendy new offices in Canary Wharf. These regular events give customers and professionals a chance to catch up on the latest developments at the rapidly expanding money app. At last night’s event, commission-free trading, compliance technology and international expansion were the key talking points.
After a series of presentations, the floor was opened to further questions. Revolut’s head of marketing and communications Chad West was asked about the firm’s business lending plans.
West said that a banking licence – which the firm is currently in the process of applying for – will allow Revolut to bring business lending in-house. AltFi first broke this news in March this year, based on the comments of James Gibson, head of business development for Revolut for Business.
But West went on to say that a banking licence will also allow Revolut to bring consumer loans in-house. He then went further, suggesting that Revolut will look to bring as much as possible in-house over time.
This flies in the face of the ‘marketplace’ to approach to product expansion hitherto adopted by Revolut and its rivals in the digital banking space.
Perhaps, as has previously been warned, third-party marketplaces were only ever a temporary phenomenon – convenient in the short-term but suboptimal from a business standpoint in the long run.
Then again, the fact that Revolut is planning to underwrite consumer loans itself does not necessarily spell the end of its partnership with P2P firm Lending Works. Leading German neo-bank N26, for example, lends directly to creditworthy employees, but has also partnered with fintech lenders Auxmoney and Younited Credit to expand the range of loans on offer to its customers.
Perhaps Revolut will go the same way. Time, and a European banking licence, will tell.
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