Azimo opens doors at Brexit-proof Dutch arm

UK fintech Azimo has launched its Dutch subsidiary, which was inspired to shield the money transfer company from the damaging effects of Brexit.

All cross border transfers made from outside the UK will now go through Azimo’s Amsterdam based operation.

The cross border money transfer fintech started looking for a location for its European operation after the UK referendum on  EU membership leading to a small minority of those that voted preferring to leave. This caused uncertainty for businesses in the UK that operate across Europe.

In an interview with Computer Weekly earlier this year Azimo’s co-founder Michael Kent  said the company looked at many jurisdictions but decided the best place to expand its European operations was the Netherlands. “Outside the UK, it’s the best place to grow a fintech company in Europe.  It offers a welcoming culture open to innovation, access to talent, a thriving banking sector and a strong regulator.”

Richard Ambrose, CEO of Azimo, said: “It also guarantees that we can continue to benefit from EU passporting rights to offer our service across Europe.”

In May Azimo was given a license to operate by the Dutch central bank.

The company enables people to make cross border transactions in seconds via a smart phone app at a considerably lower cost than traditional high street money transfer shops. In the 7 to 15 seconds it typically takes for a transfer to go through the Azimo time and complexity is removed by automating a number of steps. Put simply these are: initiate the payment – take the money – trade the money – check the compliance – terminate the payment.

Traditional money transfer suppliers have retail branches on high streets, which customers need to visit and go through manual processes. The costs are much higher. After all high street money transfer companies need expensive high street premises and people. Nor can they compete with a sub 15 second transfer journey, where the sender can even do it from the comfort of wherever they want to be.

The service is heavily used by migrant workers sending money home to families., migrants account for 21% of the Dutch population, according to recent figures published by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) and the World Bank estimates that over £4bn was sent from the Netherlands to other countries in 2018.

Since launching in 2012, Azimo has served more than a million sending customers, and handled €2.3bn in transfers.

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