Search

Tech City: Digital money transfer service helping migrants

PUBLISHED: 17:36 06 August 2015 | UPDATED: 17:36 06 August 2015

Azimo Founders

Azimo Founders

2015 Wojtek Kogut

The chief executive of a digital money transfer service, which has been recognised by the United Nations as one of the most comprehensive and best value transfer companies in the UK, has spoken about how technology is streamlining the money transfer sector.

Michael Kent, 40, co-founder of Islington-based Azimo, said: “I saw the huge number of people still sending money traditionally on the high street and all the problems around that process, the inconvenience and high costs as

well as having to go to retail locations.

“And most customers are having problems receiving money as you have to deal with a third party.

“So rather than going to Western Union for example, and paying anywhere up to 10 per cent for the privilege, you can transfer money on your phone using a bank card or bank deposit.

“It is more instant and much cheaper. We charge 0.5 per cent to 1.5 per cent whereas the average here is about seven or eight per cent and in Europe it is 10.”

He added: “East London is really relevant to the market of people we address who are sending remittances, given the multicultural make-up of the area.

“We send money from any internet connected device to about 200 countries now.”

Money can be received in a number of ways, including cash payout locations, bank account to bank account, via courier, mobile wallets and adding airtime minutes to mobiles.

At Azimo, which means “to lend” in Swahili, customers are primarily working migrants who are sending regular transfers back home to support communities. By lowering the cost of transferring money overseas, the service is having a positive impact on many of the poorest parts of the world.

Michael said: “If you take the fact that global remittances are about $200billion a year from Europe and if you take the cost down from 10 per cent to five percent or even two per cent, there is a huge release of money which is going from big listed companies into people’s pockets, mainly hard working migrants.

“That has its own impact immediately in terms of people’s spending power and investment into their local economy.

The second thing is you are seeing people recognise the problem of financial inclusion in areas where people don’t have bank accounts and people receiving money can start on that journey to becoming financially included and that is really big.

“It allows them to educate themselves, to hold themselves high.

“Digital gives you that power – that’s why it’s exciting and that’s why we get up every morning to do this.”

He continued: “There used to be a travel agent on every high street but now literally everyone books everything online.

“Financial services are going the same way; in five to 10 years you will be able to do everything on your phone and there are people in the space who are trying to make the future happen faster.”

Azimo recently announced a $20million Series B funding round and is expanding its team.

To find out more, visit azimo.com with the code MKVIP for a free transfer.

Latest East London News Stories

15:47

The jury went out today in the murder trial of the alleged killers of Luther Edwards, who was fatally stabbed in Bethnal Green.

14:00

Kate Hatcher likes company when she cycles down to the south coast—so the 30-year-old from Millwall, on the Isle of Dogs, joined 16,000 others who saddled up to ride with her on Sunday.

11:00

A heritage walk to commemorate 130 years since the famous east London matchgirls strike at Bow is planned next month by historians and a descendant of one of the women.

09:00

The controversial planning framework for the Isle of Dogs and South Poplar setting out the Mayor of London’s vision to 2041 are up for public consultation.

07:00

There has been a drop in the number of women in Tower Hamlets being screened for cervical cancer, according to NHS data.

Yesterday, 17:48

An “extremely violent” man who stabbed a fellow party-goer to death has been found guilty of murder.

Yesterday, 17:00

Summer activities begin at the end of the month with a packed family programme by Tower Hamlets Council running until September.

Yesterday, 15:14

Campaigners have won a victory today in their long fight for low-cost homes with the Mayor of London announcing that a disused railway depot in Shadwell is to be used for non-profit community land trust housing.

Newsletter Sign Up

East London Advertiser twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now