[[ Oct 21 - para 2, 13 - added in details of service standard for premium members, tldr - a bit slower than promised ]]
[[ Removed older changelog due to post length limit ]]
1. Part of initial rollout for Revolut card in Singapore.
2. Got email and doing initial set up Tuesday Sep 17th, identity testing went quite smooth and after pic of ID card and selfie - There was a small wait (systems looking up databases?) but less than 10 minutes, I have access to app.
3. Unfortunately, a lot of functionality is locked until address verified (via posting of physical card) - so aside from topup, can't really do anything lol. Need to top up S$20 minimum before can proceed. The card itself took around a week to arrive.
Also, tried out ordering one of the cards with special design as part of the premium membership. The initial promised TAT was quite ambitious - ordered 11am on 16th and app said would receive on 18th! Unfortunately, was a little too optimistic, and ended up only receiving in 21st. To be fair given production of card and actual delivery, the TAT wasn't too shabby, but just need to disregard TAT given by app.
In other markets, it is possible to add value in various currencies; but no dice for SG based cards, currently, only adding value in SGD is supported.
4. Card arrived late 23rd and doing testing on 24th (for ref, it is a Visa as compared with YouTrip/Transferwise which use Mastercard). First transaction supposed to be card-and-PIN but trying out local self-serve supermarket; PIN never asked for; transaction went through. Afterwards, also tried contactless (paywave) and it went through as like any other card. So POS transactions work well.
Tried Revolut in parallel with local bank Visa on overseas transaction. FX rate charged by local bank after their fees is 3% worse than Revolut's rate (that's a lot - props to Revolut on great deal). Note this was during weekday "FX market hours" so no additional surcharge from Revolut and show them in the best light; but still a great saving compared regular cards.
5. No ATM withdrawal functionality in Singapore so couldn't try that but did try PIN change. Unfortunately a FAIL - no ATM could do it (tried Citi, POSB, OCBC). In fact, none of the ATMs could even give card balance - so no use at all with ATMs. This is actually a bit dumb since initial PIN setup is via app but PIN change is via ATMs which means essentially it is a non-reversible choice until Revolut fix this.
6. Virtual card set up is instant (just click relevant section in the app) but on attempt to use card - had issue; counterparty insisted for a card that can do SMS 2 factor verification and said Revolut virtual card doesn't qualify - so can't work there. Tried on other website with less restrictive security setup and it was accepted with no issues. On Revolut's side, virtual card is working fine but isn't fool proof to peculiarities of service provider requirements (to be fair, this would apply to regular credit cards issued by banks as well).
7. Transfer to other Revolut users - did a small FX exchange and sending across amount to relative in Europe (Sweden); payment link went ok and was told that transaction went through ok immediately on app; but for counterparty to actually get money face the same (slow) process to transfer out as described below.
Also did a comparison of FX rates (after fees) on a moderate sized nominal amount, converting 9k AUD to SGD. Revolut's rate is very competitive! The net FX rate was about 45-60 basis points better than Transferwise and CurrencyFair (both based out of UK as well and my two go-to places for high value remittances).
Note this is about the upper bound on what is the monthly allowance for Revolut before a 1% surcharge kicks in - so if transferring higher amounts then would need to consider the premium/metal plans to avoid the surcharge.
8. Transfers to bank account - initiated transfer account in Singapore (in this case own account). Do note need to have SWIFT code of target bank which isn't common place so a bit of a hassle. Despite using the bespoke transfer system, the transfers does not attract a fee from local receiving bank (tested with HSBC, DBS and Citibank).
Other downside is the transfers are promised TAT is very slow. For the free transfers the quoted TAT is 1 week (!!!) vs the instant that is paynow. Even when doing the "turbo transfer" at an cost of S$9 per transactions - TAT is 3 days (Tues -> Friday). The delays seem related to issues with Singapore banks as a similar transfer to bank in HK was quoted as next day (turbo) / 3 days (regular) (but didn't actually try for the latter).
In the end, there is quite a lot of variability in the actual TAT. Actual performance over a series of transfers below (original TAT promised was 1 week).
Total transfers - 6
Cleared by 3 days - 3
Cleared by 6 days - 2
Cleared by 9 days - 1
(for this last, Revolut had some system issues and had emailed halfway through that it was affected by some partner 'technical issues' - thanks for explanation but didn't really help speed up the turnaround)
9. Analytics - didn't actually try out but if you have difficulty controlling spend and/or interested in some breakdowns on where money is going - there is some functionality in the app.
10. Other observations:
11. In other markets, Revolut comes with bank account details (eg UK will have current account) which can be handy for European SEPA users but nothing of the sort in SG initial rollout (no UK details nor Singapore details) (as yet - there is some "coming soon" in the app).
12. The app security is a bit over-the-top and intrusive; need to enter passcode/fingerprint on every app open and phone unlock --- once is fine but then the security not being 'kept' for a period of time is annoying. Even a brief lock-phone-to-lookup-bank-details-from-card-elsewhere will need a fingerprint unlock even if 15 seconds. In the course of writing this review, had to unlock the app ~10 times. The UX guys really need to look at this.
The IT team being a bit hyper sensitive about asking for fingerprint (or passcode) seems a bit of a pattern, as of last update (17 Oct) the credit card numbers are masked requiring a fingerprint to reveal... even if you had just logged in with fingerprint and had done nothing else!
13. Customer Support - needed some CS support on an account setup issue. Looked on website and took a while to find out the best way if through app (I should have known!) with the chat facility. Initially got a robot which could not help but a simple "speak to live agent" got me someone real. Overall interaction was fine, the guy was working off a script (had confirmation questions which either repeated what we had talked around before or were nonsensical - he recognized that and noted he needed to ask for record purpose). It did feel like the guy was multitasking as there was a long delay getting someone assigned and then on-and-off gaps in replies. Overall about 1hr and 15 mins to resolve - a bit slow considering a very straightforward issue but was good that it got resolve in 1 round.
As part of the premium membership, apparently have access to "priority" access to the help channel. Unfortunately, in reality, didn't really speed up things - when asked for live agent on card delivery question, was told "agent with you in 1 min" - but did take 30 minutes before anyone was assigned and another 10 minutes before support really got going. Similar to previously, the support team is empowered to solve problems which is good but does take time.
14. Overall - core functionality seems fine, with extremely good FX rates for remittances involving currency exchange; but service is much emasculated compared to overseas offering and hope Revolut will be refining the offering post-rollout