Interview

After a rewarding 2021, Revolut will continue to focus on strengthening its position in Romania

Wednesday 19 January 2022 09:47 CET | Editor: Alin Popa | Interview

The Paypers has sat with Gabriela Simion and Madalina Stoica from Revolut, Romania to find out more about the payment habits of the local market and the company's plans for 2022

Gabriela Simion:

Revolut is undoubtedly a love brand in Romania. Our services have been largely embraced by the local customers since our launch in May 2018, while our clients discovered Revolut advantages thanks to simple, easy to use in-app features, especially for FX, instant payments, savings opportunities, and functionalities conceived to improve their financial health and offer more transparency on the financial situation. We have evolved our services by launching the Revolut Bank services in Romania in March 2021 in order to offer deposit protection for our customers and, so far, over 20% of the customers have already accepted our invitation to join the bank.

What do you think are the strengths that enabled the company to expand its services in this region? 

Madalina Stoica: #allthingsmoney

Revolut’s main strength is to be a very easy to use financial app allowing users to create an account (only ID, smartphone, and internet connection needed) in few minutes for exchanging currencies (30+), hosting debit cards, virtual cards, smartphone payments, cryptocurrencies, and more financial assets. 

The USP is centred on minimal fees, a versatile, and transparent approach to banking functionality, and the use of cutting-edge technology. Revolut’s focus is to have the best UX and fast product development in all markets where Revolut is present (35+) and this approach attracted Romanian customers, too. It is said that Romanian people are early adopters when it comes to new technologies. A proof is the fact that Romania is ranking in the top 3 Revolut markets, after the United Kingdom and Ireland, with more than 1.5 million customers. 

Strictly referring to the Romanian market, can you portray the average Romanian consumer? 

Madalina Stoica: #digitalgeneration

We are building the next generation of financial services and this mission fits with the new generation of digital users (Millennials, Generation Z), who have grown with the internet and smartphones as tech-savvy consumers. 

Aged between 18-44 years in a proportion of 75%, Romanian users are living mainly in large cities (over 250,000 inhabitants). The most important concentration is in Bucharest (390,000 users, 26% from total clients base, in December 2021), positioning our capital on the 2nd place after London in the cities hierarchy of Revolut. Other cities counting a high number of Revolut users are Cluj, Iasi, Timisoara, Brasov, Constanta.

What about the local banking landscape, how does collaboration/competition among market participants unfold? How do Romanian regulators see Revolut? 

Gabriela Simion: 

Revolut has become a member of the Romanian Association of Banks, in 2021, and we have constant and positive interactions with the banking environment. In our view, collaboration is the way to bring in the market the best services for the clients and all parties involved should embrace partnerships in order to satisfy the customers’ needs. We can learn from each other by building a safer and richer financial environment together. The partnership between Revolut and Libra Bank for IBAN accounts to the local customers is proof. In the last few months, we have developed good relationships with the local authorities, and we cooperate with them in all aspects related to the safety, security, and sustainability of our services. 

In September 2021, Revolut announced plans to introduce the BNPL feature. How have these initiatives developed so far? Can you tell us more about Revolut’s lending services in terms of the market’s reaction and challenges for your company to offer these services? 

Gabriela Simion:

Revolut has always had at its forefront the vision of delivering relevant functionalities for all things money. We continue to build on that vision and come up with innovative and practical products and services that simplify the financial world and make it accessible and easy to use for any customer, irrespective of age or geography.  As we are rolling out our Revolut Bank services across Europe, we are aiming to offer lending products to our customers, including to Romanian customers in the course of 2022. 

What’s in pipeline for 2022 for Revolut Romania? 

Gabriela Simion:

After a rewarding 2021, with +43% increase of our customer base, we will continue to focus on strengthening our position on the Romanian market by increasing the competitiveness and attractiveness of our services and launching credit products, planned to be live this year. 

Mădălina Stoica: #financialwellbeing

The pandemic made us understand that we live in a VUCA environment, and we have to adapt, change old behaviour and start to take back control in a step-by-step approach and by integrating more and more digital technologies.

Being ‘at the wheels’ of our finances is easy when it comes to digital. 

In 2022, Revolut will focus on improving the financial wellbeing of both Retail consumers and Businesses in Romania. By completing the existing range of products and services with new ones (e.g.: credit, BNPL), in a democratised access to all financial needs in one secure app, complying with all regulatory requirements for a bank. This scope will definitely be reached.

About Gabriela Simion 

Gabriela Simion, Revolut Branch Head, joined the Revolut Romania team in March 2021, having as main responsibility the development of the super-app banking services on the local market, including the launch of the credit offer. She has a degree in economics and is a graduate of the Executive MBA program at KENNESAW State University - Coles College of Business, Atlanta-Georgia, USA Executive MBA (ASEBUSS Romania).

Gabriela’s professional experience covers over 20 years in the financial-banking industry, holding C-level positions in multinational banks such as ABN AMRO, RBS, Citibank, and BRD - Societe Generale. Her career in banking started at ABN AMRO, in 1999, in the corporate field and continued mainly in retail banking, marketing and business development. Prior to joining Revolut, she was Deputy General Manager at Intesa San Paolo.

About Mădălina Stoica

Mădălina Stoica, Head of EWA Sales, joined Revolut Romania in September 2021, being in charge of the development of corporate customer services and the B2B customer network on the local market. With over 15 years of experience in the banking field, Madalina has contributed to the development of the business through strategic approach and planning, C-level negotiations, demonstrating a strong entrepreneurial spirit, doubled by a creative and collaborative approach. Her professional career covers an important experience as Head of Marketing within BRD Finance - GSG, as Deputy Director and Key Account Director and New Business Director within the same company.

Madalina has an MBA degree from the Romanian-French Executive MBA program Bucharest Business School (ASE) - Conservatoire National des Arts et Metiers (CNAM), a master's degree in Philosophy and another in Online Marketing - ASE, being a graduate in Philosophy of Culture (University of Bucharest).

About Revolut

We are building the world’s first truly global financial superapp. In 2015, Revolut launched in the UK offering money transfer and exchange. Today, over 18 million customers around the world, of which above 1.5 million in Romania, use dozens of Revolut’s innovative products to make more than 150 million transactions a month. Across our personal and business accounts, we help customers improve their financial health, give them more control, and connect people seamlessly across the world.


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Keywords: Revolut, digital banking, instant payments, mobile banking
Categories: Banking & Fintech
Companies:
Countries: Romania
This article is part of category

Banking & Fintech






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