UK / Europe: British fintech company Revolut has unveiled a new holiday home rental feature offering cashback to expand its range of travel services and take market share away from industry giants such as Airbnb.
The so-called “financial super app”, which is valued at a reported $33 billion, announced that the new Homes feature will enable Revolut users to book any of hundreds of thousands of listed holiday Homs around the world directly through the company’s app and earn up to four per cent cashback in the process.
Homes is an extension of Revolut’s accommodation booking feature Stays, which launched last July to take on the likes of Expedia and Booking.com, as well as travel insurance and currency exchange providers. Since the product launch, the firm’s first venture outside of the finance and insurance sectors, Revolut claims to have given out more than $1.69 million [£1.5 million] in cashback.
Initially rolling out in the UK and Europe, users will be able to access Homes by opening up Stays in the Revolut app from the home screen or hub, before selecting their chosen dates and location and browsing available options. The service also provides filters, such as pet-friendly homes or workstation provisions, in order to make searches as seamless and efficient as possible.
With more than 20 million customers worldwide, Revolut believes it is positioned to challenge Airbnb – a company which reported having four million hosts and six million listings back in March – by taking away some of its market share and aligning with shifting travel trends and preferences.
Christopher Guttridge, general manager of lifestyle products at Revolut, said: “When it comes to travel, we know that our customers’ needs are changing more and more. Big or small, budget or bougie, local homes or chic-hotels – our customers want to book any kind of place, all in one place.”
The launch of Homes is another direct indication of Revolut’s desire to become a “super app”, acting as a one-stop shop for the needs of its customers, including travel services.
It also reflects the growing role fintech is playing in the short-term rental sector and wider travel verticals.
Online payment platform Stripe now allows users to accept payments for direct bookings and bookings through major online travel agencies such as Airbnb, Vrbo and Booking.com, as well as to collect additional changes such as security deposits. Earlier this year, the company also partnered with all-in-one technology platform Jetstream Hospitality Solutions to power an automated payment platform for property managers operating in the space.
Meanwhile, Gen Z- and millennial-focused online travel agency, Hopper, expanded into the short-term rental vertical in January with the launch of Hopper Homes.
Seeking to bring price transparency and flexibility to the home rental category, Hopper Homes offers a number of advanced filters and instant booking capabilities through its mobile-first app, as well as fintech features such as Price Prediction and Cancel for Any Reason to make travel more flexible to align with all traveller needs, and credit system Carrot Cash to increase loyalty, drive repeat purchases and ultimately save its customers money.
Earlier this month, ShortTermRentalz hosted a webinar in collaboration with Hopper Homes called “Tech conundrum – early adopter or late to the party?” discussing its fintech features and how the company is seeking to take market share away from Airbnb. View the recording in full at this link.