Digital banking app Revolut launches travel booking service

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A Revolut logo is seen in this illustration taken January 6, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

By Anna Irrera

LONDON (Reuters) – British-based digital banking app Revolut is launching a new service allowing users to book travel accommodation and receive up to 10% in cashback in its first non-financial or insurance product launch.

Revolut, which was valued at about $33 billion through a new investment round last week, will allocate 70 million pounds ($95.24 million) to cashback for customers using the new service, Stays, it said on Wednesday.

Stays is part of Revolut’s wider goal to help users spend “more smartly” when travelling, it said. It comes as coronavirus travel restrictions start to ease in some regions.

“After 18 months of endless restrictions and lockdowns, we want to give people more and make their money travel further,” said Marsel Nikaj, head of savings and lifestyle at Revolut.

The digital banking provider raised around $800 million in a funding round led by Softbank’s Vision Fund and Tiger Global Management last week. The cash injection made Revolut Britain’s most valuable fintech firm.

Launched in 2015, Revolut has more than 16 million customers and is aiming to become a leading financial super app. It gained popularity with travellers in its early days by offering cheaper and easier foreign exchange services than mainstream banks and now provides a range of products including trading and insurance. It has yet to become profitable.

The new booking product, which pits Revolut against online travel booking giants such as Booking (NASDAQ:) Holdings Inc, will allow users to make reservations for flights, car rentals, and other travel needs.

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It will go live in the UK on Wednesday, with EU and U.S. launches coming in the next few weeks.

($1 = 0.7350 pounds)

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