Azimo, similarly to Transferwise, CurrencyFair.Lebara Money and Xendpay, is an online-only remittance platform. It has been getting a lot of positive media attention, as well as investor attention. In its last fundraising round, Azimo has raised an additional $20m, pushing it’s value to $100m.
Azimo, which was established in late 2012, was a success almost directly from the beginning. In fact, it has raised its first million in a seed round in 2013, when it was already serving 30,000 clients who signed up and made a transfer during that year.
Azimo is so exciting because unlike its peers, it allows cash pickup in some countries, and not only bank-to-bank transfers. Another exciting thing with Azimo is the ability to sign up quickly via Facebook login, and then being able to transfer up to £889 every 30 days without providing any further documentation (there’s even a Facebook app!).
Azimo has been featured on mainstream media several times, and always with a positive outlook from the reporter covering them. They were featured in the Financial times, the Guardian, Wall Street Journal and TechCrunch.
Updates – Our Experience with Them:
We were Azimo’s referral partners for a period of time. That gave us some indication on how this company operates. Here are a few takes:
1) The back-office system was a total mess. Inaccurate, buggy, and unhelpful.
2) We were not paid on time, and had to chase them on it.
3) Very few clients registered in comparison to other companies. That indicates to us that the sign-up process is not as prompt as easy as in other companies like Transferwise.
Although the people whom we worked with were pleasant and professional, we are having difficulties trusting a company which has transparency issues, and does not pay their partners on time, and we think it will reflect to how they treat clients.
Financial Conduct Authority (UK)
Best Startup, Payexpo, 2013
Finalists, Innotribe, 2013
Azimo is a financially sound company with $31.2 in investments, which has been operating successfully for the past 2 years. Their unique bank to bank and bank to cash combination, which can potentially push the large remittances companies like Western Union or Moneygram out of business, is revolutionary.
With everything we read about it in the media, plus 6,000 highly positive reviews of the company on TrustPilot, we could have concluded it’s credible and recommended, but based on our own experiences with them, we cannot recommend them.
There are 6,000reviews available on TrustPilot. Average score 9 / 10. Less than 1.5% of them are complaints.
There are sporadic reviews over other review hubs. We couldn’t locate anything with volumes, but we can say we have traced 12 positive mentions of them in forums, and found one complaint about them.
Update: There were several additional reviews by clients that were added below on our comment section. Most of which are bad, describing delays in payment, cancelled payments and the like.
The complaints we discovered about Azimo were around these topics:
Slow payment processing even to Europe
Bad exchange rate
Poor customer service
In addition, we can say that based on our partner referral experience with them, they are extremely slow on payments.
The vast majority of client reviews are highly positive hailing the company for almost every aspect concerning currency transfers. The most common adjectives used to describe the company were around their promptness and how hassle-free the entire process was.
There are meaningful complaints about the company though. Seemingly the payments are delayed in some cases, and others are being cancelled to no avail. There are also many complaints about the customer support.
From our experience with them, it is very possible that the complaints about slow payments are true. They have failed to pay us our commission on time and keep dragging it indefinitely.
Fees: Fixed fee of a Pound per transfer for a normal speed transfer (or 3 Euros from Europe); additional GBP/EUR 11 for a speedy transfer.
Exchange Rates: The exchange rates are usually very good, hovering at around 1% mark or lower. In fact, with this particular company it’s even easier to see how it fares against competition with Remittance Prices site from World Bank.
Example: On transfers of 300 GBP to Poland (exchanged into Euros), Azimo is the 3rd cheapest option with a cost of 1.48% (Transferwise is leading the list). That is remarkably cheap considering Azimo allows cash pick up as well – its direct competitor MoneyGream is charging over 7% on the same transaction!
Example (2): On transfer of 300 GBP to Romania (exchanged into Euros), you will pay 1.68% on your transfer. That is the best price on the market, besides Transferwise, but again this is much cheaper than its cash pickup alternatives (Western Union can charge up to 30% on that transfer in some cases).
Limits: From €2. In order to send €889 or more every 30 days, you need to verify your account and send appropriate documents, as dictated by
Azimo’s rates are definitely better than all its traditional competition. In terms of bank to bank transfers, Tranferwise and Currencyfair are usually a bit cheaper, and firms like World First could be a lot cheaper if you are in need of a large transfer, but in its specific segment of bank to cash, it’s the best.
Client reviews: Generally positive about the service they have received.
Our experience with them: Poor. Delayed payments. You have to chase them to get your money.
Azimo is the best in its sector of providing a true remittance solution. In fact, it has translation to many of the top-spoken European languages, and offer an almost worldwide solution, with wider global reach than any of its competitors.
The best part? The withdrawal. Whereas most companies focus on bank to bank solutions, in some countries that is not possible. This is where Azimo’s model really comes into place. Mobile money transfers for developing countries like Kenya where banking system is unstable, and cash pickups all throughout Europe.
On the other hand, the service, based on our experience with them, is poor. If they treat their referral partners poorly, it is only reasonable to believe they treat their clients in the same way.
Global Reach Score
You can only make spot transfers.
For Online Sellers:
Really good app with full functionality! Easy to transfer money on the go. It’s rated 4.5 stars out of 5 in the Google Play store. The site and the app are both integrated with Facebook, so you can use your Facebook details instead of having to retype them.
Really good app and a great sign up process, and nothing offered for businesses or large transfers, because they are simply not the target audience.
Special Features Score
Credibility Score - 60%
Client Feedback - 70%
Fees, Exchange Rates - 75%
Global Reach, Availability, Service - 70%
Added Values - 60%
Azimo offers a much cheaper solution for cash transfers than anyone else. For bank to bank transfers its rates are just about average, while for cash remittances they are definitely one of the cheapest around. We are receiving a handful of complaints about issues with the service but the customer service crew is extremely efficient and respectful, which makes use feel like there is someone there for any inquiry or issue.
Azimo is a great innovative company but for a large transfer we always recommend companies operating for 10 years, specialising at property and business transfers, and offer free currency advice through dedicated dealers:
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