LONDON – Revolut, the European financial technology giant, launches into the travel industry.
The London-based firm on Tuesday launched a new feature called Stays, which allows users to book hotels and other accommodation through its app.
Customers can receive up to 10% cash back on reservations made through Revolut, the company said.
The move marks a challenge for travel industry giants such as Booking Holdings, Expedia and TripAdvisor. It is also the company’s first product to be launched outside of the finance realm.
“As the world begins to cautiously open up, we know that everyone is desperate to escape whenever they can, whether to Margate or Mallorca,” said Marsel Nikaj, Revolut’s director of savings and lifestyle.
“We have created Stays for people to easily find and book their perfect break at their ideal destination. After 18 months of endless restrictions and lockdowns, we want to give people more and make their money travel further. “
Revolut started life in 2015 as a digital-only banking and payments platform to spend abroad without paying high currency exchange fees. Since then, the company has expanded its offering, implementing new features for trading stocks and cryptocurrencies.
The firm is one of several popular “neobanks” that have sprung up in Europe and other parts of the world, attracting primarily younger clients with a stylish user experience and colorful bank cards.
Rivals include Monzo and Starling in the UK, N26 in Germany, and Chime in the US.
Last week, Revolut was valued at $ 33 billion in a monster funding round, making it Britain’s first fintech company and Europe’s second-largest fintech. The company has 16 million users worldwide.
Revolut aims to become what is known as a “super application”, offering multiple services through one interface. The trend has gained traction in Asia, popularized by companies like Grab and GoTo in Southeast Asia and Alibaba and Tencent in China.
Revolut’s Stays feature will first launch in the UK on Tuesday before rolling out in Europe and the US in the coming months. It will only offer accommodation for now, but there are plans to include flights, car rentals, and other travel options later.
It comes as some European countries are tightening restrictions on public life due to fears about a resurgence of Covid cases. In stark contrast, England lifted nearly all of its remaining coronavirus restrictions on Monday.