Digital money transfer service Azimo, based in London, announced today that it has extended its reach to Romania and Moldova with a 30-minute cash pick-up service in close to 600 locations including Idea Bank, BCR Smith & Smith branches in Romania and Victoria Bank branches in Moldova. The service is available in both Romanian RON and EUR currency, at a flat fee of GBP 2.99 or EUR 2.99, the company announced in a press conference.
According to IFAD and World Bank data, over USD 5.4 billion are sent in remittances to Romania and Moldova every year, the majority of which comes from other European countries. With 3 million Romanian migrants living in other parts of Europe primarily Italy, Spain, Germany and the UK, family support remains the number one reason money is sent back to the country, says the company in a press release.
Michael Kent, CEO and Founder of Azimo estimates the value of the global money transfer market at around USD 600 billion, with approximately USD 4 billion being money transfers made by Romanians.
“There are about 1 million remittance transactions sent to Romania every month, so it is a vital lifeline for families, especially during this time of economic instability. Unfortunately, Romanians are still being over-charged to send and receive funds, whether it is via bank transfer or via a traditional offline money transfer service,” said Michael Kent, CEO and Founder of Azimo. “Through our digital mobile platform, we are fixing that and are ensuring that more of Romanian and Moldovan migrants’ hard-earned money makes it home,” he said.
Azimo provides a fast, secure and low-cost alternative to legacy offline remittance services. As a leader in online and smartphone-based money transfers, the company has built the most comprehensive network of any digital player, sending money to over 190 countries in 70+ different currencies.
“We will be adding a mobile wallet soon, this has worked in Kenya and hope it will work in Europe, too,” said Kent.
In addition to cash-pick up via the Idea Bank, BCR and Smith & Smith retail networks, Azimo also enables its customers to send money to any bank account in either local currency or EUR / USD and to top-up any Orange, Vodafone, Telecom Romania and Moldcell mobile phone. There are over 700 Smith&Smith locations across the country
The company plans to continue extending its footprint to additional Eastern European countries before the end of the year.
Read a comprehensive interview with Michael Kent, CEO and founder of Azimo, in the next issue of Business Review magazine.