Revolut vs Airwallex: compare on fees, features and benefits

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Revolut vs Airwallex: compare on fees, features and benefits

As a business owner, choosing the right financial services partner is crucial. You need a provider that offers the features to support your growth, at a fair and transparent price. This article compares two popular choices: Airwallex and Revolut’s business accounts. Read on to discover the key differences, and decide which option best suits your business financial needs.

What is Revolut?

Revolut, established in 2015, is a UK-based financial technology company offering digital financial services to consumers and businesses. Revolut has, as of June 2023, amassed over 30 million customers across personal and business accounts.

Revolut can be a handy option for freelancers, gig workers and microl businesses for domestic payments and simple foreign exchange and global payment needs. The budget pricing plans and debit cards make Revolut an affordable choice for sole traders who need to invoice international clients.

However, Revolut may be less equipped to meet the more sophisticated cross-border financial needs of larger high-growth companies. Revolut charges monthly account fees for some plan allowances, and also charges transaction fees once plan allowances are exceeded.

What is Airwallex?

Founded in 2015, Airwallex is an all-in-one financial platform built to simplify global business management and facilitate international expansion.

The core features within an Airwallex business account include:

Multi-currency accounts (known as global accounts)

Seamlessly collect, hold and transact balances in 23+ major currencies including GBP, USD, EUR, AUD, CAD, CNY and more. Each currency account is assigned unique account details for local and international payments.  

Online payments

Accept payments from 180+ countries in 180+ currencies. Easily link Airwallex with your online store or marketplace to accept credit cards, debit cards and alternative payments from global customers in your chosen settlement currencies. Use no-code payment links, eCommerce integrations or customisable checkouts via API.

International transfers & FX conversions

Make fast, no transaction fee cross-border payments over 110+ local payment methods and bypass SWIFT. Send 11 major currencies (USD, HKD, CNY, AUD, EUR, GBP, CAD, SGD, CHF, NZD, JPY) at the interbank rate + 0.5%, and all other currencies at the interbank rate + 1.0%. Customers can send money to 150+ countries, 85 of which are same day payouts, and 65 of which are instant payouts.

Borderless cards

Issue physical and virtual Visa cards to employees and set customisable parameter-based controls around detailed aspects of company expense policies. Airwallex borderless cards can be spent directly in 10 currencies drawing from held balances, auto-converted from a designated currency, or any currency supported by Visa. 

Expenses 

Airwallex provides end-to-end tools for teams to track and control spend globally whether on cards or reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses. Teams can capture receipts, submit expenses, and put through multi-layer approval flows to ensure company funds are spent appropriately. All data is seamlessly synced with accounting platforms like Xero, Quickbooks and Netsuite.

Integrations

Sync Airwallex real-time transactional data into ecosystem apps like Shopify, WooCommerce, Xero, NetSuite and QuickBooks and more to streamline payment workflows and eliminate duplicate data entry and reconciliation work.

Bills and accounts payable

Airwallex centralises accounts payable workflows so finance teams can consolidate domestic and global supplier payments. Staff can upload or email invoices, extract all relevant data, send for approval, and pay domestic and international vendors within the Airwallex platform.  Batch payments of up to 1000 can be automated across currencies and countries through Airwallex.

Finance automation

Streamline accounts receivable/payable workflows leveraging flexible APIs to move funds, make supplier payouts and update ERPs based on predetermined logic rules. 

Compare Revolut with Airwallex

Revolut features and fees explained

Specifically designed for startups and small companies, Revolut for business offers current accounts tailored to basic financial needs(8).

Revolut uses an incremental subscription-based model for its business accounts comprised of four tiers:

  • Free 

  • Premium (£7.99/month)

  • Metal (£14.99/month)

  • Ultra (£74.99/month)   

Core capabilities include:  

Multi-currency accounts

Open currency accounts in 25+ currencies to store money in like GBP, EUR, USD and AUD(4). It is worth noting that customers receive the same IBAN for each currency(11).

Online payments

Accept payments in 25+ currencies via payment gateway and payment links from 1% + £0.20 for UK consumer cards and 2.8% + £0.20 for international cards. Accept payments in-store from 0.8% + £0.02 for UK consumer cards, and 2.6% + £0.02 for international cards(7). 

Debit cards

Provide teams with payment cards to spend account funds up to defined monthly limits based on the pricing plan. Fees apply above allocated card spending thresholds(10).

Invoicing

Simple invoicing software to send invoices from your account(5).

Accounting sync

Sync Revolut transaction descriptors into leading platforms like Xero, QuickBooks and Zoho to eliminate manual data entry(11). 

While base features are usually available for free, limitations apply per month on complementary transactions, cross-border transfer amounts, withdrawal sums and currency – negating the initial zero cost.

Once usage allowances are exceeded, further fees incurred span:  

  • Currency exchanges

  • Overseas transfers  

  • Cash withdrawals

  • Accepting client invoice payments  

Airwallex features and fees explained

Enabling smooth international expansion and multi-region operations, key aspects of Airwallex for business encompass tools for:  

Multi-currency accounts

Create accounts with local bank details in 23+ widely-traded currencies like EUR, GBP, USD, AUD, HKD and more.

Getting paid online

Accept customer multi-currency payments including cards and 160+ local payment methods in 180+ countries via no-code payment links, through integrations with Shopify, WooCommerce and Magento, or a customisable checkout via API.

Paying worldwide & FX conversion

Make large volume batch transfers to staff, contractors and overseas vendors to 150+ countries. Pay zero transaction fees when sending via 110+ countries using Airwallex’s local payment rails: pay out to 85 countries same-day, and pay out to 65 countries instantly. For major currencies, including USD, HKD, CNY, AUD, EUR, GBP, CAD, SGD, CHF, NZD, JPY, Airwallex charges 0.5% above the interbank rate, and for all other currencies they charge 1.0%.

Controlling spend

Create physical and virtual debit cards restricting employee expenses through granular policy guardrails. Rather than a multi-tiered monthly subscription model common among fintech competitors, Airwallex only charges a transparent FX conversion margin of 0.5-1% when actively trading currencies in-app. So, robust core cross-border money management capabilities are bundled for free – only paying a fraction above interbank rates when explicitly needing currency swaps. This frequent-flyer pricing approach makes growing internationally with Airwallex cost-efficient. 

Revolut vs Airwallex additional features compared

Expenses

Both platforms allow businesses to issue cards and report on team expenditure. Revolut provides limited custom accounting system integration, configurable spend policy creation and flexible real-time analytics. Airwallex provides automation to eliminate manual expense oversight.  

Support

All Airwallex customers receive customer support and hands-on account managers can be assigned to eligible Airwallex customers for personalised assistance navigating the global finance intricacies enterprises face daily. Revolut offers in-app chatbots during business hours with some limited human escalation.  

Global growth

Beyond basic multi-currency transactions, Revolut supplies a narrow set of expansionary financial services tailored to global markets. Airwallex offers specialised solutions around revenue stream management, optimised global fund flows, multi-entity account grouping and centralised reporting.

Regulation

Airwallex UK accounts are secured under Electronic Money Institution (EMI) directives mandating stringent safeguarding and FCA governance. Both firms are authorised EMIs in the UK and subject to the safeguarding requirements, as detailed in the E-Money Regulations 2011.  

Final thoughts 

For scaling companies targeting worldwide clients and opportunities overseas, Airwallex has a clear edge over Revolut in sophistication of international capabilities.

While Revolut sufficiently services starter sole proprietorships, critical constraints emerge hampering sophisticated global organisations who need robust, configurable and extensible financial systems.

Conversely, Airwallex has been uniquely constructed since its inception to solve complex multi-currency transaction challenges innovative enterprises face expanding worldwide. 

From holding balances globally to moving money instantly with real-time oversight – Airwallex unlocks the hybrid human and software-supported capabilities necessary to confidently accelerate cross-border at enterprise pace.

Sources

For more information on Airwallex, visit Airwallex Business Account and Airwallex pricing.

  1. https://www.revolut.com/business/

  2. https://www.revolut.com/business/expenses/

  3. https://www.revolut.com/business/accept-payments/

  4. https://www.revolut.com/business/multi-currency-accounts/

  5. https://www.revolut.com/business/invoices/

  6. https://www.revolut.com/business/savings/

  7. https://www.revolut.com/business/accept-payments-pricing/

  8. https://www.revolut.com/business/business-account-plans/

  9. https://help.revolut.com/business/help/receiving-payments/transfers-info/international-iban

  10. https://www.revolut.com/business/cards/

  11. https://www.revolut.com/business/partner-apps/

  12. https://www.revolut.com/business/money-transfers/

Disclaimer: We wrote this article in Q1 2024. The information was based on our own online research and we were not able to manually test each tool or provider. The information is provided for educational purposes only and a reader should consider the specific requirements of their business when evaluating providers. This research is reviewed every six months. If you would like to request an update, feel free to contact us at [email protected].

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