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Is Adyen the new Revolut?

A recent development in the UK fintech banking space will have surely left Revolut red-faced. After Revolut's own many failed attempts to acquire a UK banking license, a new rival has surpassed it. That rival is, of course, Adyen, the $22.8bn payments fintech based in the Netherlands. Adyen announced this week that it has a UK banking license. It's a much-needed win after Adyen's 50% drop in stock price following the announcement of disappointing H1 results last month. 

So why did Adyen succeed where Revolut failed? The UK banking license is a notoriously difficult one to capture, and there are a number of cultural and logistical differences between the two firms which might explain things.

The first and perhaps most likely is that Adyen is publicly traded. The excessive transparency demanded of companies on the market is a stark contrast to Revolut, which has yet to release financial results beyond 2021. Pair that with a fiasco involving those 2021 accounts, which had their "completeness" questioned, and Adyen would surely seem the more safe and stable choice for regulators.

Speaking of stability, Revolut is known to have an environment that facilitates short tenures at the company. "No one will stay in the team forever," Nik Storonsky, Revolut founder, has previously said. “Everyone understands and accepts it.” Data suggests that the median tenure at Revolut is just 1.1 years, while Adyen's is 1.6 years.

UK based reviews for Adyen on Glassdoor are a wildly impressive 4.8 while Revolut's admittedly far larger sample size gives the company an average rating of 3.6. 2023 reviews for the former praise the work-life balance but criticize a lack of progression. Revolut reviews meanwhile said "they recognized and rewarded hard work," but offered "very little clarity" on how progression is achieved. 

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AUTHORAlex McMurray Editor

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