Stefan Bogucki, Revolut for PMR: The world of services and payments has moved online

Wpis dostępny jest także w języku: polski

Consumers are seeking comfortable payments, and the coronavirus pandemic has further accelerated the move away from cash payments. Stefan Bogucki, Communications Manager Poland/CEE at Revolut, talks to PMR about what else has changed in consumer behaviour and Revolut activities in the COVID-19 era.

20,000 Revolut Junior users

The Revolut was officially launched in Poland in 2018. Today, it serves 1 million customers in the country, including 20,000 kids within the Revolut Junior app. It has 13 million customers in Europe, the USA, Japan, Singapore and Australia.

At the beginning, Revolut was a multi-currency app and payment card for globetrotters. It did not charge for currency conversions and allowed to pay with a card in 150 currencies. Then it expanded its offer with disposable virtual cards with a variable number for safe purchases on the internet, the possibility of trading in shares, cryptocurrencies and precious metals – explains Stefan Bogucki.

In 2017, it provided accounts and company cards for entrepreneurs. In this respect, Revolut currently serves 500,000 companies, 10,000 of which in Poland. – Among business clients there are many innovative companies, software producers, digital agencies, representatives of e-commerce industry, but also traditional ones, such as coffee roasters or companies dealing with international trade and transport. Generally, some industries are more visible – those where payments in foreign currencies are important – Mr Bogucki says.

Recently the company also offered the Revolut Bank service. Customers can upgrade their account and use deposit protected bank accounts. Since December, Revolut Bank customers can also apply for credit products – consumer credit and credit card.

Poles like to buy on Asian trading platforms

The average Revolut user is simply a person who has and can operate a smartphone. This is necessary to download the app. It is also necessary to have a registered bank account. Age, gender, education and place of residence are not a barrier and make no difference. Revolut is willingly used by Poles who live, work or study abroad to receive or send transfers to the country (free of charge from Revolut to Revolut).

What distinguishes Poles is the fact that they buy more willingly than other countries in Asian shopping platforms. Users from Western European countries buy more often on Amazon or eBay – explains Stefan Bogucki. The virtual disposable card, which data is automatically destroyed after each transaction, is helpful in online shopping. This helps to avoid the situation where the card data is seized by a cyber thief and used for theft or illegal transactions.

Poles are also eager to support charity goals with the Donations function. It helps to provide financial support to Polish or international charities, e.g. PCK, PAH, Rak’n’Roll or Open Cages with one click. Since July 2019, Poles have given micro-donations to Revolut charity partners for nearly PLN 1m.

Expenses on services and shopping is dominated by online payments

Not surprisingly, with the start of the pandemic, the world of payments has moved to the internet. Customers began to use online services more often: instead of restaurants – food with delivery, instead of cinema and concert – streaming platforms and VOD, instead of shopping in shopping malls – online shops. – According to the survey conducted by Revolut in May 2020, which referred to the past 12 months, the categories in which online transactions prevail over physical ones are services (72%), entertainment (62%) and shopping (51%). Pandemic only accelerated this trend  – explains Stefan Bogucki.

The drop in Revolut physical card transactions was clearly visible during the first wave of pandemic. If we assume that on 2 January 2020 it was 100%, on 7 and 10 March their number reached peaks of 145% and 132%, then on 12 April they hit the minimum of 14%.

What is interesting is that, despite restrictions on travelling in the era of the coronavirus pandemic, many Poles also managed to go on holiday abroad. Over 190,000 Polish Revolut customers went abroad between June and August. On the basis of data from card payments it can be concluded that the top destinations were Croatia, Italy, Greece and Spain. Many tourists choose to travel on their own and stay in a rented flat, instead of going on organized trips.

Comparing holidays in 2020 and 2019, museums and exhibitions, fast food chains and jewellery and watch shops abroad recorded the biggest decrease in the number of Polish Revolut customers’ expenses. Polish tourists, instead of eating in restaurants, cafés and bars, increased their grocery expenses – Mr Bogucki concludes.

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