Azimo, the digital money transfer service, has joined forces with Vodafone Romania to integrate the mobile payment service, M-Pesa, into the Azimo iOS and Android apps.
The strategic partnership will enable anyone living in Europe, including millions of Romanians, to send money to loved ones who are Vodafone Romania users registered with M-Pesa and can collect funds in over 2,100 M-Pesa locations throughout Romania.
The majority of global money transfers to Romania still occur offline and as a result are subject to high transaction costs. With 3 million Romanian migrants living in other parts of Europe primarily Italy, Spain, Germany and the UK, over $3.4 billion is sent in remittances to Romania every year from Europe, primarily to support immediate family back home.
Vodafone Romania and Azimo are offering an alternative to traditional money transfer methods and making financial services accessible to more people across Europe, all at a fraction of the cost compared to offline services.
“We offer all Vodafone customers a new service that is secure and fast at a very competitive rate. International Money Transfer through Vodafone M-Pesa is the 1st Mobile platform on the Romanian market that enables Romanians to receive money from other European countries, with immediate and 24/7 access to funds. We also make it easy for recipients to call back and say thank you using free international minutes received as bonus with each transfer. Parents living abroad can send money to their children in Romania or to other relatives, and the list goes on. So now, receiving international remittances is even easier and more convenient with this partnership,” said Valentin Stefan, Director, Business Development, Vodafone Romania.
For customers using the service, the transaction fee will be 1.99 Euro for any amount sent up to 800 euros for the first three months and 2.99 Euro thereafter. In addition, new customers can send their first transaction for free using MPESA1.
“Launching this service with an established and trusted brand like Vodafone Romania, is a major step forward in boosting remittance flows to the country, especially to more rural parts of Romania,” said CEO & Founder of Azimo, Michael Kent. “Unfortunately, a large proportion of the world’s population is still unbanked. Mobile wallets, like M-Pesa, open the doors for people to access much-needed financial services that people in more developed countries often take for granted.”
This partnership further expands the Azimo service in Romania, which currently provides cash pick-up service in close to 600 locations in Romania via Smith & Smith and their banking partners.