The Revolut 'Stays' feature

Revolut ‘super app’ could “threaten leading travel brands’ profitability”

Worldwide: Fintech Revolut’s new super app‘Stays’ – could threaten the profitability of leading travel brands across Europe and the USA, says data analytics and consulting firm, GlobalData.

The company notes that the app has overtaken leading brands in the move towards end-to-end booking solutions, which comes right at home with travel-hungry customers looking for deals online.

Johanna Bonhill-Smith, travel and tourism analyst at GlobalData, said: “Revolut’s app allows travellers to book accommodation ranging from B&Bs to luxury lodges, as well as offering payment end solutions and currency exchange rates without fees. The online travel space is dominated by large industry brands such as Booking Holdings, Expedia Group and TripAdvisor.

“Booking Holdings has been working towards its end-to-end booking solution as a ‘connected trip’ for some time but it has not yet come to fruition. Revolut may have seized a market opportunity at the right time,” she added.

Various factors are likely to aid the app’s success, with the most important factor being the high demand for travel.

GlobalData’s poll found that demand is highest for domestic trips [43 per cent] in 2021. However, travelling to a different continent [37 per cent] and other countries in the same continent [29 per cent] is also high.

Even though restrictions threaten international travel’s recovery in 2021, the domestic market will continue to prosper. Since the app covers all market bases, this is not likely to interfere with Revolut’s popularity.

Bonhill-Smith continued: “Revolut already has a large existing customer base. It currently has 16 million global users and was recently valued at $33 billion in its last funding round, demonstrating its competitive stance within the marketplace.”

After booking through Stays, customers will be awarded up to 10 per cent cashback. Price and value currently play the largest role in booking hotel / accommodation for 47 per cent of respondents, according to a survey by GlobalData, therefore, any form of saving and ‘value for money’ will be welcomed by consumers, and could make booking through Revolut more attractive.

Bonhill-Smith said: “Throughout the pandemic, consumers have been spending more time online. GlobalData’s Q2 2021 consumer survey revealed 35 per cent of respondents are more frequently spending time online and 12 per cent have started doing this over the last three months as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“This means consumers are more confident in making transactions online and may be more inclined to use a server that holds end-to-end solutions in the booking process, which bodes well for Revolut’s new venture,” she added.

Two weeks ago, Revolut was valued at $33 billion in a “monster” funding round to become the UK’s number one fintech startup and second largest of its type in Europe, as it seeks to challenge travel industry giants such as Booking Holdings, Expedia and TripAdvisor. It has already accrued 16 million users around the world.

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