Revolut, the free-to-use digital payment firm, has been granted a licence to operate in Europe from 2019, reducing its dependence on the UK after Brexit. 

The app-based challenger bank has unveiled plans to offer a range of current accounts, consumer lending and commission-free share trading in Continental Europe. 

Nik Storonsky, founder and chief executive of Revolut, said:  “With the banking licence now secured, commission-free stock trading progressing well and five new international markets at final stages of launch, we are living up to  our reputation as the 'Amazon of banking'."

The company sought an additional a full banking licence in Lithuania earlier this year as a result of Brexit uncertainty, which it plans to passport across Europe in 2019.

In September, Mr Storonsky told the Financial Times that there are no plans for Revolut to leave its London base and additional applications were "just to be on the safe side".

A spokesman for Revolut said that securing an EU and UK banking licence has always been a part of the business plan.

He said Revolut will passport the licence across Europe in 2019, prioritising key markets such as the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Poland.

In three to six months' time, European customers in those countries will be able to deposit their salaries through the app, and have protection of up to €100,000 through the European Deposit Insurance Scheme.

The company also plans to break into lending, confirming plans to offer standard overdraft facilities as well as business loans at competitive rates.

In April, Revolut became a UK technology unicorn, a term given to private companies that reach a $1bn valuation, after completing one of the biggest rounds for a fintech start-up, raising $250m (£179m) at a valuation of $1.7bn

The company has cited ambitions to expand to the US, Canada, Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia since the start of 2018, and confirmed that these launches are also likely to happen in early 2019. 

Revolut's spokesman said the company is in the final stages of testing in the majority of those countries. 

He said: "It's incredibly difficult to launch an e-money company, which provides a multicurrency account, in markets where neither of these things are known. We always aim to be transparent as possible on our expansion roadmap, but delays can often be inevitable."