For many expats sending money back home is of primary concern with high charges to carry out the often necessary transactions.
However, the world of social media may be about to change everything with a new Facebook app allowing money to be transferred between international bank account using the social network but at market leading rates.
The global market for money transfers is estimated to be in the region of US$500 billion with established players like Western Union and Moneygram taking a large share. Azimo will be hoping to take a share of the lucrative business with its low cost and innovative product.
Azimo founder Michael Kent said, “Unlike other areas of financial services, social media is very applicable to remittances.
“With more than a billion people around the world using Facebook to keep in touch with friends and family, it seems only natural it should become a channel for sending money.
“We surveyed our UK remittance customers and found nearly three quarters regularly use Facebook – and of those, over 60% were in touch with the person they wanted to send money to.
“Azimo's aim is to charge only what is fair – between 1%-2% of the transaction – and to make it quick and easy for anyone to transfer their money overseas.
“In 2011 alone, using Azimo would have saved people in the UK a collective £200 milion. But we’ve also got our eye on the global market.”.