Alternative banking provider Revolut announced the roll out of commission-free stock trading on its app today. Starting today Revolut Metal customers in the U.K. and Europe can buy and hold shares of 300+ stocks listed on the NYSE and NASDAQ directly from the Revolut app.
The feature is powered by DriveWealth, which is registered as a full-carrying and clearing broker-dealer and will help Revolut navigate the complexities of brokerage. New Jersey-based DriveWealth offers a suite of APIs that allow companies across the globe to help their users invest in the U.S. stock market. The firm provides digital investment products for brokerages to offer clients as well as a brokerage service offering dollar-based, real-time investing.
Overall, Revolut is making stock market investing more inclusive. Trades are free, the annual custodian fee totals 0.01% (when others in the industry charge 0.25% to 1.5%), and there are no account minimums. At launch, all fees are waived for eligible customers during the beta period. The company did not specify when it plans to implement fees but said, “These will come into effect later, and we will communicate with you in advance about when that will be.”
Revolut said it is most proud of integrating the ability to buy partial shares of stock. Fractional share investing, one of DriveWealth’s flagship features, allows users to purchase a small portion of a stock. This democratizes investing by making a stock like Amazon, which trades at almost $1,900 per share, more accessible to investors with lower capital.
Another badge of honor is that trades can be made instantly, meaning users will pay the asking price of a stock when their order hits the market. And, specific to Revolut, users can fund their trading account in multiple currencies and benefit from the interbank exchange rate.
The trading feature not only helps Revolut compete with banks, but also helps the company build its user base for its Metal account. Launched last August, the Metal account offers users 100 free trades per month, along with a host of other features, for $14.99 per month.
In the future, Revolut plans to open trading to users outside of Europe, offer ETFs and other new products, and introduce European stocks. Additionally, the company will open up free trades to Premium and Standard customers, who will be able to make 8 free trades per month and three free trades per month, respectively. This variance is representative of Revolut’s tiered pricing model, which offers free Standard accounts while charging $9.99 per month for a Premium account.
Revolut debuted at FinovateEurope 2015 in London. The company’s CEO and founder Nikolay Storonsky showed off the app’s money transfer capabilities that help users avoid banking fees without actually using a bank.
Adding Revolut as a client is another notch in the belt for DriveWealth, which last month partnered with Sigma Securities and Trove Technologies to offer digital U.S. equities trading in Nigeria. Last August, DriveWealth collaborated with fellow Finovate alum Bambu to launch a white-label roboadvisory platform for U.S. wealth managers. Other DriveWealth clients include MoneyLion, Vested Finance, and INVSTR.
At FinovateAsia 2016, DriveWealth released a new API to enable partners to offer a robo advisory product suite and a self-directed equity investing platform. Robert Cortright is CEO.