Revolut moves from mobile first to online model – Brokers take note

Going from mobile-first to web based should not be looked at as a retrograde step, but as a pragmatic one. Brokers should take note and not be tempted to do away with laptop/desktop PC access, as it is extremely important

At a time during which many retail financial services firms have embraced the mobile-first method of interacting with their clients, Revolut has begun to move away from this, and toward a web-based model that spans all device types.

In shifting from its mobile-only to an online model, Revolut enables its 13 million customers around the world to access their accounts from a desktop PC or laptop.

The Web-based version of the Revolut account provides customers with a complete overview of their transaction history and cards. They can also use the Web App to top up their account and contact customer support via an online chat function.

Customers can additionally go online to freeze/unfreeze their cards, block/unblock their PIN and toggle all other card security settings on or off in a few clicks.

Nik Storonsky, CEO and Founder at Revolut says: “Account access through a browser is highly requested by our customers, so we’re delighted to have built a safe and convenient web app that everyone can use when they need it. Our customers can now access their money anywhere and at any time, even if they don’t have their phone or card, or if they simply prefer checking their account from a computer.”

Looking at the analytics from most financial markets platforms, there is still a huge amount of execution and account management taking place on laptop and desktop PCs, so the move makes sense and is not retrograde at all, in fact quite the opposite as firms which exclude access via laptop and desktop PC alienate customers.
Mobile-first is a direction many firms have taken, however mobile-only is very limiting and is likely to reduce client engagement. Yes, Chinese firms operate on a mobile-only basis and the rush to go mobile-only originally came from Western firms seeking to emulate Chinese companies, heralding them as leaders in that the next generation of users will go mobile only, and the perception China’s system of operating absolutely everything from a mobile device is the way forward.
The distinction between China and the West is vast, however. The Chinese government owns the entire infrastructure in what is a communist country, and has forced its population onto mobile devices hence the China-only, firewalled internet and every aspect of life is operated from China-only operating systems on China-only devices, using China-only internet, search engines, applications and devices.
In trading and managing accounts, Chinese customers very rarely execute. They use their mobile app to see what their money manager or Introducing Broker is doing with their account, as most accounts with retail FX brokers in China are managed and not self-directed, or executed by Expert Advisors (EAs) which are trading robots. Trading from a mobile-only platform is fraught with difficulties.
In the free market world, things are not so uniform, people trade their own accounts, superior technology is selectable from multiple companies by personal choice, and more analytical methods are used, unlike China’s uniform ‘do it my way or be cut off’ system.
Thus, attempting to force users down that route in Western nations is limiting for the company attempting to do so, and therefore Revolut’s decision to go web-based should not be looked upon as a retrograde step, but as a pragmatic one.

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