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Revolut vs. PayPal: The most popular money transfer apps in Central Europe

Budapest, Hungary – Revolut or Paypal: What are the most popular money transfer and digital banking apps in Central European countries? Given the importance of remittance flows in Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Czechia, the matter is of importance.

A study by U.K.-based consultancy group NimbleFins identified the top 5 most popular money transfer apps in over 30 European countries. The ranking is based on averaged data of daily downloads of each app on the Apple App Store (note: Apple Pay was not included in the analysis).

Revolut and PayPal dominate Europe’s money transfer market

While PayPal remains the most popular money transfer app in 22 European countries, including Germany, France, the U.K. and Spain, Revolut and other newcomers are gaining ground. Revolut is the most popular app in seven European countries, including in Lithuania, Latvia, Ireland, Portugal and Romania.

Source: NimbleFins

As the map above shows, app preferences widely vary in Central Europe: while Revolut is the most popular money transfer app in Poland and the Czech Republic, according to the study, both Hungary and Slovakia remain faithful users of PayPal.

Given the significant level of remittance flows in and out Central European countries, the matter is of importance.

Central Europe’s balacing act

In the Czech Republic, Revolut stood out as the most popular money transfer app, followed by PayPal and Yandex.Money. In 2017, a total of 2.1 billion dollars were transferred out of the country (mostly to Slovakia), while 3.6 billion dollars flowed in the country (primarily from Germany, Slovakia and the U.S.), according to World Bank data. This remittance inflow accounted for 1.6% of Czech GDP.

Founded four years ago in the U.K., Revolut is also the most popular app among Poles, followed by PayPal and TransferGo. Poland recorded the highest level of remittance inflow among Central European countries: 6.9 billion dollars were transferred in the country in 2017 (mostly from the U.S., the U.K. and Germany), compared to 5.9 billion sent out of the country.

A Paypal faithful, Hungary has the highest reliance on remittance transfers in Central Europe (and fourth largest in the EU, after Croatia, Bulgaria and Latvia): 4.9 billion dollars, or 3% of its national GDP. Revolut came out as the second most popular digital banking solution, ahead of TransferWise, that completes the podium.

U.S.-based PayPal is also the most popular money transfer app in Slovakia, which recorded total remittance inflows of 2.2 billion dollars in 2017 (2.1% of GDP). Revolut came in second and Skrill at the third position.

According to the study, other money transfer apps that made it to the top 5 in European countries include TransferWise, QIWI Wallet, Western Union, WorldRemit, Skrill, Yandex.Money, TransferGo, WebMoney, Neteller, Ecopayz, MoneyGram, Payoneer and Pingit – illustration of the intense competition raging on the market of money transfer and digital banking apps.