Sunday, February 10, 2008

Revolution Money Exchange

I've posted an updated review
Great PayPal Alternative, Revolution Money Exchange Reviewed

*Correction note*
I previous stated the company was founded by Ted Leonsis and Steve Case. They are indeed investors and board members in the company. Jason Hogg and Patrick Graf however are the founders of Revolution Money, previously called Gratis Card.

Revolution Money Exchange is a new online payment system launched last year. The company founded by Jason Hogg and Patrick Graf and run with current investors and board members Ted Leonsis and Steve Case has placed itself in direct competition with PayPal. Offering free online money transfers and currently drumming up business by offering a $25.00 sign-up bonus. A deal that is spreading fast across sites like, and

InformationWeek and USAtoday did stories on the site back in November however until recently I hadn't heard anything about it. Of course once I heard of the $25.00 sign-up bonus I had to investigate. After reading several articles and several blog posts I saw I was just in the dark.

Revolution its self is more tied to a next-generation credit and debit card that promises to be more secure and less expensive than current cards. According to the InformationWeek article the card itself is anonymous, so it doesn't have the cardholder's name on the card nor does it contain any information about the cardholder in the magnetic stripe.

The MoneyExchange side of the business is the online money transfer. They offer FDIC insured accounts issued by First Bank & Trust. For most services there are no fees, however there do seem to be high fees for things like check withdrawals, check stop payments, paper statements, ACH returns, and overdrafts. You will also need to be prepared to enter your SSN, a step that can not be avoided to sign-up.

In addition to the $25.00 sign-up bonus they offer $10 refer a friend bonuses (up to 50/yr). The only draw back I've seen there is you can't simply refer people, you have to directly email them from within your account on the site. Personalized referral links would be helpful, but I guess that cuts down on the some spam issues.

Follow up 4/7/08

Having used the service now for a couple months, I can report no issues. I received my $25 instantly, attached my bank account and withdrew my funds. The only real drawback I've ran into is that eBay does not currently allow the service. I have seen a few questions regarding its use on eBay and from what I can gather it won't be approved, or endorsed by eBay because it doesn't allow buyers to dispute payments. (not to mention eBay doesn't want to loose out on Pay-Pal fees)

According to eBay's Accepted Payments Policy as a seller you can only accept payments through approved methods. So at least for now I won't be able to fully rid myself of Pay-Pal.


  1. Anyone looking for more information on Revolution Money Exchange should check out Ted's Take.

    Its Ted Leonsis' blog and he has several great links including a few to stories I missed out on mentioning.

    Ted seems like a great guy, he was nice enough to let me know that i made a couple errors (which have been corrected) and gave me kudos for the corrections.

    I'm sure if anyone has any questions regarding the company you'll be able to find answer there or he might be nice enough to answer your questions personally.

  2. Anonymous8:36 AM

    You can use Revolution MoneyExchange on eBay.

  3. If whomever posted that said you can use R.M.E. on eBay could follow up with more info that would be greatly appreciated.

    Obviously you can use any payment method that both the buyer and seller agree to however according to eBay's own policies they don't back them as an accepted payment.

  4. I am not going to touch this one... I just had to close a bank account because of those scammers connected to GreenZap... Paypal and Google Checkout are both respected companies and more than anybody needs.

  5. Anonymous7:45 PM

    I emailed Griff from Ebay Radio about two weeks ago, re whether Ebay would accept RME as a valid form of payment; his email reply to me was an emphatic NO! I agree that part of this is that Ebay / Paypal knows they will lose a huge ton of cash if RME gets used because they wont' get the transaction fee ... still, RME owners and their financial backers need to put some pressure on Ebay Execs to make this a viable option. They're going to have to align themself with some major online player if they want to compete against Paypal and survive.

  6. Anonymous2:59 PM

    I used RME to accept payment for a laptop valued at $1150. I sold it for $700 plus express shipping of $55. I went to withdraw my $755 directly to my bank account and was denied and account locked. Seems that the sender had NSF and the payment from the sender's bank was returned and I'm out my $755 and a laptop. There is no seller or buyer protection with RME. I have to go after the person that I sold the laptop to. Even though a person has to add funds from their bank account and have them clear before payment can be sent the funds can come back as NSF because they don't directly clear from their bank account (does that make sense?) So I'm screwed!

  7. As I'm not familiar with the conditions of the transaction, or the process in which RME validates funds I can't comment other than to say you need to contact customer service at RME immediately. It sounds as though there is some fraudulent activity involved in which case you might also want to get in touch with the USPS and any local authorities.

  8. Anonymous4:20 PM

    Too bad the $25 promotion is over.

  9. Anonymous7:14 AM

    I am now using revolution moneyexchange at I am paying users directly to there revolution cards with no fees to send money. I also have revolution as payment option. My users are excited that they can have their earnings directly deposited to there revolution card and the can access there funds from a atm the same day received.I cant say enough about how happy I am to use this service. thanks steve admin

  10. Anonymous12:30 AM

    What is to stop an ebay buyer & seller from selecting check/money order for their transaction, and then using REM.

    I buy/sell on etsy myself and to use REM on etsy we click "other".

    Truly checking out a persons feedback might help with avoiding scams of any type.

  11. Well for starters if eBay found out you'd be in violation of eBay's TOS and their sellers policy and they could ban your account. If both sides agreed and there were no issues you'd be fine. The problem is soliciting a payment service other than those listed would be grounds for an account ban. So all it takes is a seller asking the wrong buyer and them then reporting it and you could get your account banned. So you are pretty much taking a gamble just by asking.

  12. Anonymous6:34 AM

    Revolution Money cant seem to get it right. They just sent out an email to its customer base, "Subject: Generated Monthly Statement" and the last name was wrong. Not even close. They used a bunch of constants.

    They have had three layoffs since September and no one knows if they are getting any more funding.

  13. That's too bad I actually hoped they'd take off as a competitor for PayPal.

  14. Anonymous6:40 PM

    Revolution Money is going under. They have run out of money. The Board of Directors and Executive Management are to blame. The Board tried to drive accounts with a huge marketing spend. This is typical of AOL where the business model was to drive accounts and not take care of the customer.
    One problem was they didn’t take care of the customer or look for long-term value and the user interface required an overhaul or temporary band-aids. None of which were done. The online interface was actually an AOL-esque application and not a web-based interface.

    Online issues were identified early yet there was no course correction. The senior management and directors did not have experience with an immature online business that needed to take care of the customer. Directors and VPs were hired who had little or no online experience. Several VPs was upset that they did not have a secretary to manage their schedule.

    While the business model was solid, the executive management did not have the expertise to run an integrated online and direct marketing campaign. While their response will be - failure was caused by an economic downturn, this is far from the truth. For example, the executives gold-plated the IT operation, installed it and then saw funds were low and fired all the contractors who helped install this. Worse, the Executives purchased the new Mac Air Notebooks when their PC laptops were just fine. Proven web strategies were ignored in favor of driving accounts. Priorities were ever shifting and became a running joke amongst the staff.

    This failure will be a great study for B-Schools. Also, the lessons of the Internet business in the late nineties and 2000 were ignored. For example, how to burn through 80 million dollars.

  15. I haven't had a problem with RME yet. You can use RME with the Abundant Living System providing the inviter accepts RME. I love RME despite the 2500 monthly limit. It's not a bad thing to actually have a limit in place, as I have heard horror stories from those who had been fxxked from using paypal and how some people had thousands of dollars stolen from paypal via false complaints from buyers on sites like ebay and such.

  16. Anonymous4:36 AM

    Hey, very nice site. I came across this on Google, and I am stoked that I did. I will definitely be coming back here more often. Wish I could add to the conversation and bring a bit more to the table, but am just taking in as much info as I can at the moment.
    Thank You


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