Exclusive interview of Azimo’s Co-founder Marta Krupinska. She tells us more about their history, strategy and services.
This article is part of the Spotlight series brought to you by TawiPay, the comparison site for international money transfers. The Spotlight series aims at helping people who send money abroad get all the information they need on key money transfer companies, and follow the latest trends of the money transfer industry. This month, we are putting the spotlight on Azimo. To find out more, you can read now our in-depth review of Azimo. We also invited the Co-founder of Azimo, Marta Krupinska, to tell us more about their service.
Tell us a bit about yourself and how you’re involved at Azimo?
I’m the General Manager and Co-founder. I oversee day-to-day operations, work closely with CEO Michael Kent to scale the business, and am responsible for all staffing processes and decisions across the UK and Poland, where we opened Azimo’s second office in Krakow in late 2013.
As a Polish expat myself, I’ve experienced first-hand just how challenging it can be to transfer money abroad. So I co-founded Azimo to drastically improve the way people send money home to family and friends. And so far, we’re winning – in the space of just a few years, we’ve created the largest network of any digital money transfer service in the world, as well as driving down the cost of fees.
Prior to joining Azimo in 2012, I launched Travelnity, a social media website for travellers and expats. I hold a Masters in Organisational Psychology from Jagiellonian University in Poland and a Management degree from Columbia Business School.
How does Azimo work?
When you use Azimo for the first time, you need to set up an account with your email address or Facebook account. You can do this via the website or our brilliant new smartphone app. It only takes a couple of minutes and your details are saved so you can send money when you want without having to re-enter your information. Then it’s just a question of selecting one of the 190+ countries we support, entering the amount you want to send and how you want the person to receive it, selecting them from your contacts and confirming payment. Simple, secure and speedy.
What makes you different from other money transfer companies?
For one thing, our transaction charges are up to 85% lower than traditional money transfer firms and high-street banks. How do we manage it? Azimo is digital-only, so this cuts the need for expensive overheads. We’re a company founded by migrants for migrants, so we understand the importance of a reliable, low-cost money transfer service. We believe that our customers should keep as much of their hard-earned money as possible, which means we should only charge a reasonable and transparent fee.
Second of all, we have the largest digital only network of all global players – we can deliver the money in 80 currencies to bank accounts, cash, mobile wallets, mobile top up as well as home delivery. 2.6 billion adults globally don’t have bank accounts – at Azimo we can reach as many as 5 billion people with our network, as we understand the importance of delivering money to remote parts of the globe in ways in which banks can’t.
Finally, we’ve just launched our brilliantly innovative new iOS and Android apps, which allow customers to send money across the world with just a couple of taps on their smartphone.
How can people who have never used Azimo trust that their money will be safe from start to finish?
Nothing matters more to Azimo than keeping your money safe, so we use bank-level security, we’re fully authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority and all transfers are protected by our 100% Money Back Guarantee. We’ve also added state-of-the-art biometric security to our new apps, which means customers can log in via PIN or fingerprint technology.
What is your take on the issue of the lack of transparency in the money transfer industry?
When you send money with a traditional money transfer company or bank, you and the person receiving the money get precious little information during the process. This simply isn’t good enough in 2016, when you can order a cab from the likes of Uber and see the driver’s name, photo, car and location in an instant. At Azimo, we’ve already started to create a more transparent experience in our iOS and Android apps. Now you can see the status of your transfer at any given time and share that status via any app on your phone.
What’s next for Azimo?
We’ve just received a further $15 million in funding led by Japanese e-commerce firm Rakuten. We plan to use the funds to consolidate our position in Europe and accelerate our expansion into Asia, which is a region ripe for digital disruption. Currently, more than three-quarters of Asian transactions are conducted offline through banks or money transfer operators, and as a result the cost for senders is very high. Hence the opportunity for Azimo – its mobile-first, digital approach will offer a service that dramatically drives down the cost of every transaction.
Do you have a message for TawiPay users?
As a migrant myself, I remember just how hard I’ve had to work for my money. So I never forget how hard Azimo’s customers are working too, whether they’re serving your drinks, checking your blood pressure, educating your kids or replacing your boiler. Sites like Tawipay empower migrants to make informed choices about money transfer and help them hunt out the best deal, which can only be a positive thing for migrants and their families.
Send money abroad with Azimo by going to their site.