London-based Revolut has applied for a European banking licence as it prepares to start offering deposit and credit services.
App-based Revolut launched in 2015, initially focusing on prepaid current accounts before opening up to companies this year. The firm claims 900,000 users across Europe and has bagged $90 million from investors including Index Ventures and Ribbit Capital.
As it bids for its European banking licence, the firm has been building up its relationship with the central bank in Lithuania - a country which has been aggressively pushing itself as a fintech-friendly destination.
Revolut expects to have the licence in the first half of next year when it will immediately begin offering overdrafts, personal loans and term deposits in select markets. The banking licence will also enable Revolut to protect customers funds up to €100,000.
Meanwhile, the startup also says that it has begun building its own payment processor.
Nikolay Storonsky, CEO, Revolut, says: "We delayed applying for a banking licence because we wanted to focus all of our resources on product innovation from day one. Even without a banking licence, we have attracted over 950,000 users across Europe, many of whom consider Revolut as their primary current account and spending card.
"With our European banking license, Revolut will offer enhanced consumer protection through the European Deposit Protection Scheme and will offer interest bearing deposit and credit products. We’re building out a mobile-first, global financial platform to serve the needs of our unique international customers for the 21st century."