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Acquisition of UK fintech Azimo will address home-working challenges for enterprises

UK fintech acquired by Papaya Global is looking to improve cross-border employee payments

UK cross-border payments fintech Azimo has been acquired by payroll specialist Papaya Global, which plans to use the takeover to ease the move to remote working for its enterprise customers.

Using Azimo’s technology Papaya customers will be able to make instant payments to employees regardless of their geographic location.

Azimo was set up in 2012 to enable people to make cross-border transactions in seconds via a smartphone app, at a considerably lower cost than traditional high street money transfer shops. Its global digital payments network covers 150 countries, and includes payment licences in the UK, Netherlands, Canada, Australia and Hong Kong.

Eynat Guez, Papaya Global CEO and co-founder, said: “Payroll payments made easy regardless of geography are what set us apart from other technology vendors, and this acquisition will make it possible for companies to make instant payments to their global teams.

“Azimo’s global digital payment network, multiple payment licences, and deep fintech expertise will also enable us to build new payroll-related services for our business customers and their employees.”

All Azimo staff – including at locations in London, Amsterdam and at its tech hub in Kraków – will join Papaya.

Azimo chairman and founder Michael Kent, said: “Combining Azimo’s assets and expertise with an emerging global leader in remote working enablement like Papaya will allow them to deliver even more value for their business customers, especially those increasingly paying and managing remote employees.”

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the introduction of home working as businesses strived to reduce the spread of coronavirus. The success of these emergency measures led to people reconsidering how employees work.

Many businesses have invested in the technologies required to enable staff to work from home effectively and securely and have formalised policies.

Azimo is the latest UK fintech to be acquired in an increasingly important sector for the country’s economy. Investment in UK fintechs was seven times higher in 2021 than in the previous year, boosted by a record number of deals.

According to a recent report from KPMG, UK fintech investment increased from $5.2bn in 2020 to a “staggering” $37.3bn (£27.5bn) last year.

Azimo was incorporated in January 2012 and by October the same year the first transfers through the platform were made. “We were beta testing it with friends and family before that, but the first customers we had never met coming through the stack was October 2012,” Kent told Computer Weekly in a 2019 interview.

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