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As you may know by now, the remittance scene in Africa is quite a big topic with a bunch of startups both locally and abroad keen to disrupt this space.
After the UK-based company raised a nice US$10-million last year, online money transfer startup Azimo just announced that customers across Europe can now send money to recipients in eight West African countries.
Michael Kent, CEO of Azimo, explains that, given the increasing rates of immigration, the market is huge:
Together these eight countries have a combined population of over 100 million people and GDP of US$80-billion. The World Bank estimates that nearly US$3-billion was remitted to the region in 2012, and with more and more African migrants moving to European countries including France, Belgium, the UK and The Netherlands, the new Azimo service means more money in the hands of their families and communities back home in West Africa.
People in Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo can now have money sent directly to their bank accounts or as a cash pick-up.
Registering to use Azimo is free and takes just a few seconds from a PC or phone using your email address or your Facebook profile.
Kent believes it is important to offer hard working migrant a convenient and good value service: “As much as we’re in the money business, we’re also in the people business. We launched Azimo to help those hard-working migrants who were being ripped off by legacy players like Western Union. Today’s announcement means there’s never been a better time to send money home to your loved ones.”