One of the things that put me off investing in Euro-based P2P lending platforms like Twino or Mintos were the high costs to try them out. Many banks charge transfer fees of £12+. Yes, there are low-cost transfer services like Transferwise, but most European P2P platforms need your first transfer from a bank account to satisfy KYC (know your customer) checks.
After being recommended Revolut from some commentators on a previous post, I stumbled upon a excellent way to transfer money to Euro accounts. This allows almost fee-free transfers to European P2P sites!
What is Revolut?
Revolut is a new type of smart-phone based bank. I’ve done a more in depth review of their competitor Monzo here, and to be honest they both function in a similar way. In short, you download the app onto your smartphone, do some verification, and then you have many of the facilities of a traditional bank.
Some of the differences between Revolut and Monzo for me:
- Monzo send you a physical card straight after registering, but you have to request one from Revolut at a cost of £5.
- Revolut excels with in-app currency exchange and bank transfers out, which I was never able to get working with Monzo.
- Revolut also seem to offer more premium services like insurance, and charge a £6.99 monthly fee for the privilege.
How I used it to invest in Euro-P2P lending sites
I’ve now used Revolut with 4 different sites:
- Coinbase (a cryptocurrency exchange, denominated in Euros)
I’ve made a deposit and withdrawal from Robocash, and just deposits for the other ones.
A critical first-time step
After making my first test investment with Bondora, I waited a week but still had no funds show up in my account. I got in touch with their support who told me:
We received €2 from “THE CURRENCY CLOUD LTD” with a Finnish IBAN and not UK. Kindly send us a screenshot of the transaction from your own online banking bage where we can see the transaction itself, your own personal IBAN, bank name and BIC/SWIFT code.
So, I had to go back to Revolut and ask them to set me up with a personal IBAN, which they kindly added for free. After setting this up for the one time it allowed me to send funds to all the others platforms too.
The Typical Process
- Deposit GBP funds to the Revolut app using a card or bank transfer
- Exchange from GBP to Euros
- Swipe right from your GBP to your Euro Account on the app, then transfer out to a bank account
Useful Things to Know
- Revolut have a 0.5% fee for money exchanges on the weekend, but none during the week. It is not obvious and caught me out. I read somewhere that it’s to do with them not having certainty of the exchange rate over the weekend.
- It is not easy to see the place to add a reference on bank transfers out, be really careful to scroll down and add this, since most services need this to match your deposit to your account.
- After using the app for a good few transfers, I started to have a strange problem where the app always locked up on the final stage of a transfer. I contacted support, they told me to delete and reinstall the app. When that didn’t work they told me to add the recipient bank account again. When that didn’t work I found a trick to skip the SMS code stage: instead of making a 1000 euro transfer, just make 5 individual sub-200 euro transfers which go through instantly.
- There is a limit of £20,000 worth of top-ups before you have to prove a source of wealth.