Revolut, the a British financial technology startup, exclusively revealed to CNBC that it is introducing phone plans in the United Kingdom. This marks the company’s first telecom plan offering for the financial services industry in the nation and among the first in the world.
This week, eSIMs, or SIM cards that may be stored digitally rather than physically in the smartphone, will be made available by the unicorn of digital banking and payments. In the upcoming days, users will be able to access the plans.
onsumers who wish to use Revolut’s basic app experience without subscribing can obtain a regular eSIM plan, which entitles them to use the Revolut app and phone top-ups as needed. For example, in the event that a Revolut user lands at an airport and uses up all of the data on their current SIM card, they can continue to top up their data and enjoy free features on their Revolut app.
Customers who purchase Revolut’s premium Ultra subscription, which costs £55 ($69.47) per month, will receive 3GB of data that can be used anywhere in the world with a monthly rolling refresh. As a result, they won’t need to worry about unanticipated roaming fees when travelling abroad.
For British citizens, using mobile data abroad has become more expensive in recent years. After the United Kingdom exited the European Union, roaming fees were reinstated by a number of mobile providers, including BT, Vodafone, and Three. Before, roaming costs for British citizens travelling throughout the EU were nonexistent. The majority of cell providers, however, don’t include free data in non-EU nations as part of their base packages.
Applying before May 1st will grant Revolut users without an Ultra subscription an initial offer of 100MB of free data. They have seven days to take advantage of the deal before they have to switch to Ultra in order to continue utilising the eSIM.
Revolut and 1Global, the former Truphone mobile network operator in the UK, have teamed up to introduce the eSIM.
Revolut is decided to introduce eSIMs in order to become a more comprehensive “super app,” offering services like bank accounts, currency exchange, insurance, travel reservations, and airport lounge passes, according to Tara Massoudi, general manager of premium goods at Revolut.
“Our ambition is very much to be the financial super app,” Massoudi stated to CNBC. “That’s actually where this is headed.”
“We’ve always had travel as a major value proposition, and our users still find it to be really important,” Massoudi continued. Thus, it’s critical that we keep coming up with new ideas in that field.
The introduction of phone plans is an uncommon move by a financial services company. In an effort to entice customers to use their applications over rivals, several challenger banks have included additional services. The long-term goal is to attract a more loyal clientele.
Long-term profitability for Revolut could result from this approach, according to Hermann Frank, CEO of software startup Gigs, which assists companies in setting up and selling their own branded eSIM phone and data plans.
Frank emailed CNBC, saying, “This move presents an easy avenue for Revolut to unlock a lucrative new revenue stream and could play a vital part in the company’s long-term profitability.”
Neobanks like Revolut may combine two necessary services into one app, simplifying the user experience and increasing stickiness, by adding branded phone plans to their portfolio.
The roaming and connectivity industry research and consulting firm Kaleido Intelligence projects that retail expenditure on travel connection services, such as roaming packages and travel SIMs, would increase to over $30 billion by 2028.
“In the next 18 months, we anticipate many other banks introducing phone plans and travel offers,” continued Frank.
The first fintech to introduce an eSIM product is not Revolut. In August, the Indian credit card startup Zolve began offering phone plans linked to physical SIMs and eSIMs. Zolve assists immigrants in setting up banking before coming to the U.S.