One of the marquee names in fintech, Revolut, has announced the launch of its service in Japan.
According to a tweet posted on Sep 8, the cryptocurrency-friendly application is expanding into another significant market.
The announcement came after Revolut conducted beta testing on 10,000 users. Now, anyone in Japan can sign up and use the service.
According to a report by Japanese outlet Nikkei, Japan will be the first non-English speaking market that Revolut has entered. The company reportedly has more than 13 million users worldwide, with most of them residing in Europe or North America.
The London-based company, which gained traction by offering low-cost banking services via a slick mobile app, will initially roll out a limited number of functions in Japan. These include “international transfers and the ability to manage money in 23 different currencies.”
The launch comes despite a pandemic-fueled drop in tourism and business travel, primary use cases for Revolut. According to Nikkei’s report, Revolut plans to target ex-pats already living in the country and accumulate more Japanese users by offering loyalty incentives and a better experience.
As Haegwan Kim, the head of growth for Revolut Japan put it,
Foreign finance apps are specialized, but Revolut will offer them all in one app.
Revolut is the runaway leader of European neo-banks, but according to a piece in Forbes last month, things may be less rosy than they appear,
Revolut has a cash-burning problem. Staff numbers rising from 633 at the end of 2018 to 2,261 by 2019 is extreme, and with costs of $352 million, up from $120 million the year previous, Revolut has simply trebled the size of a loss-making business.
The company is cutting costs, has received an injection of capital, and has aggressive revenue growth plans — of which Japan may simply be the latest example. Japan is a coveted market for crypto-related firms, and Revolut is entering the country alongside Kraken, which is resuming service after a two-year break.
Back in July, Revolut launched services to buy and store crypto for US-based customers. It is not immediately clear whether this functionality will also be available to Japanese users.
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