I know it is interbank because I check the rate whenever I trade FX through them for my SIPP and their FX rate is live (near live). I don’t have a choice on my SIPP but to do the FX through them. Otherwise, I’d Revolut the FX.
II + Revolut:
Indeed, not a single broker does everything but to gain market share quickly you have to disrupt the incumbents, a major one is II. To attract customers, you need to target the mobile ones who are always on the lookout for a good deal. Those usually trade non-UK markets and know that FX is the big cost. You need to at least offer multi-currency account as a basic service if not interbank FX like Revolut.
On the fee schedule, everything is great but the 0.5%. On the service offering it’s the lack of multi-currency account. II are indeed the best at the moment for someone like me (trade size, market access).
As for the rest you are right, I’d like FreeTrade to improve so I can move my account and tell all my friends to do the same. Attracting big accounts would be a big earner for FreeTrade just from the cash balances…
I think the thing that got me to part with my money and invest in freetrade was the indipendant sustainability of the business model. I want the company to be able to make a profit quickly and sustainably whilst offering something that people want. The FX charges are a big part of that sustainability and personally I see the early years of freetrade needing to be independent of big partners as core elements of the business model so they have the negotiating power in the future.
If, through a competitive and transparent FX charge, they are able to grow stronger as an indipendant company and wipe out most of the other charges associated with investment they sound like a credible long term disrupter to me. Not an exciting flavour of the month trying to do too much too quickly…
With the early June Revolut announcement, FreeTrade, Revolut and II now share the same target market, same audience: “everyone” because Revolut had 2 miilion users in June, maybe 3 million end of this year.
“Built”: applies to dead companies or companies with a static offering as in not expanding their features, services, market access, etc. “Have been building” is more appropriate for Revolut with new features every other month, scary.
I’m not sure I agree, Revolut subside the cost of their rate with revenue from charges likes card delivery & the premium subscriptions so this benefit isn’t as free as it appears at first glance.
A 0.5% fee on FX is already competitive and at least the fee is directly linked to us choosing to purchase something (or not). Freetrade have to make money one way or another and this is simply one of the ways that they’ve decided to do it.
Hopefully Freetrade will add value in other ways too, through things like offering a sophisticated product & quality support etc. which will make using the service worthwhile despite this fee.
You’re absolutely right that they’re developing their product quickly, however I could be wrong but I seriously doubt that you’ll see Revolut focusing enough attention on their trading service to deliver new features for it every other month.
Well, the founder being an ex-trader (ex-Credit Suisse), you could not be more wrong because offering trading services has probably been his first intention from the start and at the beginning he found the best way to attract the widest customer base possible through payments and spot FX; very smart move.
Spot FX being also part of financial markets and trading because it is the No1 market in trading and by a big margin, Revolut is de facto a spot FX trading platform…and the June announcement just expands the choice of asset classes to equities on top of crypto (small market). In effect Revolut have just kept on focusing on the expansion of their trading service. They will only miss commodities derivatives and interest rates; maybe their next steps.
As far as I know Revolut aren’t trading currencies, they’ve simply plugged intoCurrency Cloud which enables them to offer the interbank rate (after they’ve absorbed a fairly small fee) to their users, just like Starling (who use them for international transfers), Monese & several other FinTech companies.
Indeed they use Currency Cloud but, from a user point of view, what difference does it make? Likewise, why could not Freetrade do the same?
And, it’s just a matter of time before Revolut to take this in-house the same way as their banking licence application and them ditching their supplier “Global Processing Services” to bring also internalise payment processing.
Valid point, but I guess matching is not always a solution for all. It does come down to the sustainability of the service provision. Freetrade’s vision is not about catching the users in short-term, offering “everything” for free and then introducing price increases post factum. And the Revolut’s offer is also not clear at the moment, hence inappropriate to compare just as yet. Granted, Revolut is a fintech behemoth and has grown exponentially in the past years, but I personally would do not have that trust as I have in Freetrade.
To give another comparison, Monzo’s user retention in the UK is about 30 to 40 per cent better than Revolut’s (based on weekly active users reports), and that is given the latter has more customers (although I could be a bit outdated on that fact). Having 2,000,000 users and a potential to secure 3,000,000 by the end of the year is not a representation of an utterly successful business, it should all be about happy customer retention and ability to achieve better profit margins. As it stands, Revolut is not quite there yet.
But it would most certainly be interesting to compare Revolut to Freetrade once the former comes up with a ready-to-ship product.
Also, thinking of 25bps you mentioned, I want to insert one of my favourite posts on this entire forum (guilty of quoting it too often ):
Worth noting that Revolut charge the same 0.5% FX charge on total transactions above a certain amount in a month. I believe Transferwise also offered this rate, but have lowered it to 0.35% now. 0.5% above interbank is highly competitive!
Freetrade and Revolut will build different products and have different business models (as Monzo & Revolut have). They will all do well IMO as they offer superior products and pricing than the incumbents… and are cool!!
Revolut don’t charge premium users 0.5% above any amount, it’s still free for them no matter the volume. Anyone doing serious investing/trading with Revolut will be premium users paying zero FX transaction charges on unlimited transaction amounts. The premium yearly fee is peanuts compared with the savings. That’s the Freemium principle.
Seems like multi currency accounts was raised but most of above discussion seems like on FX rates commission(0.5% or now I guess 0.45%).
Just for understanding purpose, Is freetrade considering multi currency account(effectively GBP, USD Cash) in long term(may be lower in priority now) or there are commercial implications which doesn’t work with freetrade model and is not planning to offer this service?