Azimo provides a simple and convenient platform for everyday transfers. However, the service suffers from a lack of phone support and sluggish customer service.
|Transfer speed:||1-3 days|
|Trustpilot score:||4 stars|
|Our score:||2 stars|
What we like
- Simple user interface
- Large selection of receiving countries
- Flexible delivery, such as cash pickup
What we don’t
- No phone support
- Sluggish customer service
- Only available for residents of the UK and Europe
The explosion of the mobile internet has allowed Azimo to assist millions of people with their mobile payments. Focusing on those living abroad, the service is trying to reduce the costs of sending money back home.
Azimo has developed a sleek product with the intention of making online payments safer, simpler, and cheaper than traditional banks. But if customers come for the price, will they stay for the experience?
To learn more about this service and see if it’s right for you, read on for our in-depth Azimo review.
Affiliate disclosure: If you sign up with a service after being referred from our website, we might earn a referral fee. Learn more.
About Azimo Money Transfer
What is Azimo all about? Let’s begin our Azimo review with some general information about the service.
Azimo was co-founded by Michael Kent, Marta Krupinska, Ricky Knox and Marek Wawro in late 2012. Marta, Marek, and Ricky have since left the company to pursue other projects, leaving only Michael. Richard Ambrose is Azimo CEO, and is joined by Tatiana Okhotina as Chief Financial Officer and Dora Ziambra as Chief Operating Officer.
It would hard to think of a better-qualified person to guide a payments service than Michael Kent. It is his second business in this space, after having founded Small World in 2005. He was personally involved in the development of Small World from inception to become one of Europe’s largest independent remittance services.
Azimo is headquartered in London, with customer service offices in Kraków, Poland. The company intends to open an office in Hong Kong and Ireland – the latter to assist with facilitating European business in the aftermath of Brexit. Azimo has raised $88m of venture capital to date, and employs approximately 100 people.
Azimo is headquartered at the following address:
173 Upper Street
London N1 1RG
Azimo has established local offices in the following countries:
Supported countries and currencies
Azimo supports the transfer of funds to approximately 200 countries. For the most part, the service facilitates its transfers using the SWIFT network, which allows it to deliver funds to all corners of the globe. The downside to this network is that there may be additional charges incurred by the recipient, of which Azimo has little control of.
Azimo has a minimum transfer value of £10, which is excellent news if you only need to transfer a small amount. The maximum transfer value is $250,000, which means that the service is also suitable for larger personal transfers and also for small business.
Azimo fees and exchange rates
What are Azimo fees and exchange rates? It will take a few minutes to explore the foreign exchange market, so we can properly consider this question.
How the foreign exchange market works
Let’s begin with how the foreign exchange market works. Banks and other money transfer services will buy foreign currency at a price very close to the mid-market rate. They will then sell this currency to you, the customer, for a higher rate than they bought it for, taking a margin in between – known as “the spread”.
The spread is essentially a hidden cost that is not disclosed to you during the transaction. Then, in addition to the spread, some services will charge a transaction fee on top – which is typically the fee that they quote to you. In any case, the total cost of the transfer for you, the customer, is the combination of the two; the spread + transaction fee.
Q. Does the Azimo rate include a spread?
A. Yes, there is a spread.
Q. What about Azimo fees?
A. Yes, there is a transaction fee of up to £11.99.
But for the moment, don’t pay too much attention to the details. Rather, for the purpose of our Azimo review, let’s consider the overall cost.
Why focus on overall cost?
If you focus on the spread or transaction fee in isolation, it is easy to become lost in marketing gimmicks. Instead, it is more helpful to consider the overall cost when these factors are combined. For example, a typical bank will charge up to 5% of the overall transfer value in spread and transaction fee to complete a transfer on your behalf. Not great.
But what about Azimo Money Transfer? To determine its overall cost we need to compare a transfer with a benchmark – in this case, the mid-market rate – which in theory has no cost. Practically speaking, it is unlikely that you will ever receive the equivalent of the mid-market rate, however, your goal should be to get as close as possible.
If you can achieve a total cost of less than 1% of the overall transaction value then you are on the right track. However, it really depends on what your needs are and if you are willing to pay a little bit extra for additional features, advice, or research. To find out the mid-market rate of any currency pairing, use this calculator at xe.com.
What is the cost of Azimo?
To calculate the cost of Azimo, we received three quotes to exchange British Pounds (GBP) into Australian Dollars (AUD) – for low, medium, and high values. The overall cost of each transaction was then compared against the mid-market rate and represented as a percentage of the transfer value.
Here is the calculation:
|Transfer value||Overall cost|
An average cost of 0.89% means that for every £1,000 sent, on average £8.90 will be lost in spread + fees. By using this figure, we can make a general representation of Azimo across a range of transfer values. Of course, it is not a perfect representation by any means, but it is helpful for comparative purposes.
Important note on SWIFT: You should be aware that any transfer conducted via the SWIFT network may incur additional hidden charges by correspondent banks; the exact cost depending on the amount of the transfer and the recipient bank. In my experience, these fees can be as high as £25 per transaction.
Azimo review: Market comparison
So, how does Azimo compare to other services in the market? To help you determine its relative competitiveness, we have prepared a chart. Beside the name of each service, we have listed its average cost, speed of transfer, receiving countries, and our review score – sorted from highest to lowest.
To sort this chart by column, click its respective headings. If you are reading on mobile, you may need to scroll horizontally to view all fields.
|wdt_ID||Service||Ave. cost||Speed||Countries||Our score||Review|
|1||CurrencyFair||0.45%||2-4 days||157||5 stars||Read review|
|2||OrbitRemit||0.43%||1-3 days||43||4 stars||Read review|
|3||Azimo||0.89%||1-3 days||200||2 stars|
|4||Currencies Direct||1.79%||2-4 days||188||3 stars||Read review|
|5||MoneyGram||3.50%||1-3 days||194||2 stars||Read review|
|6||OFX||1.20%||3-5 days||226||4 stars||Read review|
|7||Paysera||0.97%||3-5 days||174||3 stars||Read review|
|8||RationalFX||1.16%||1-3 days||201||3 stars||Read review|
|9||Remitly||0.77%||1-3 days||58||2 stars||Read review|
|10||Ria Money Transfer||3.06%||1-3 days||158||2 stars||Read review|
If you would like to learn more about the rationale of our Azimo review, take a look at our review methodology.
A typical transfer with Azimo takes 1-3 business days, from sending to receipt. The exact duration will depend on a few factors, including the currency pairings involved, the transfer value, as well as the particular systems of the sending and receiving bank.
Key payment features
How do payment features affect our Azimo review? Let’s take a look at its capabilities.
A spot contract consists of a single payment from one currency to another at the current available rate. If you need to send money right away, simply login to the Azimo app or website and with a couple of clicks a spot payment can be arranged.
Azimo cash pickup
An Azimo cash pickup payment allows you to transfer money to a person in another location, whereby they can pick up the payment in cash – typically from a physical branch. It is the easiest way to send money to family or friends who need fast and flexible delivery.
Azimo support and customer service
Azimo support and customer service can be contacted through a chat-based messaging system on its website, or by email. Here is its email address:
Unfortunately, there is no direct Azimo contact phone number available. This is an important consideration if you are not comfortable with relying on chat-based messaging alone. In our experience, we found the lack of phone support quite frustrating.
Is Azimo safe?
As a customer, is Azimo safe to use? Let’s take a look at some of its security measures.
Azimo is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK and is licensed as an Electronic Money Institution under reference 900220. In Europe, the service is regulated by De Nederlandsche Bank.
Customer funds are held in trust
In accordance with the standards imposed by government regulators, the funds of Azimo customers are held in segregated accounts and are kept apart from the company’s own operating accounts. This ensures the security of customer funds, should Azimo encounter financial difficulty.
Website is securely protected
The Azimo website is protected with TLS encryption, which prevents sensitive data from being intercepted during your visit. You can confirm that this is in place by recognising a green padlock next to the website’s URL on your browser.
Is Azimo legit? A look at its reputation
Are there any Azimo complaints – or is Azimo legit? Let’s take a look at its reputation.
As of publication, Azimo has received 40,000 reviews on Trustpilot with an average rating of 4 out of 5 stars; representing a positive experience in 92 percent of interactions with its customers.
Here are our observations of the feedback posted:
- Quick, same-day payments
- Low fees
- Satisfied customers sending to African nations
- Lack of phone support
- Poor customer service
- Unexpected delays with some transfers
Upon viewing the Twitter and Facebook feed of Azimo, we can see a range of interactions between the service and its customers. There appear to be occasional complaints of inconsistent service, however, it is difficult to determine if this is justified or not. We also see prompt responses from Azimo, so it can rectify any issue as quickly as possible.
The mainstream media reporting of Azimo is generally positive. Many articles highlight the benefits of using money transfer services over traditional banks.
The future of money transfers.CNN
An explosion of start-ups is changing finance for the better.The Economist
Azimo: One of the top 10 money saving apps.The Guardian
Azimo app and user experience
How does product design affect our Azimo review? Let’s take a look at its user experience.
The Azimo website has been designed thoughtfully, with special attention being paid to user experience and simplicity. It is available in 9 languages; English, French, German, Italian, Russian, Spanish, Polish, Portuguese, and Romanian.
An Azimo app has been developed for Apple and Android devices. By using the Azimo app you can access your account at any time and use its core features, such as initiating new payments or tracking the status of in-progress transfers.
The registration process takes around 5 minutes and is relatively straight-forward. You begin by entering your first and last name, along with an email address and password. Alternatively, you can sign up with your Facebook or Google account.
Before you can commence transferring funds with Azimo, you will first need to verify your identity. This will typically require providing two types of documents:
- Photo identification, such as a passport or drivers licence
- Proof of address, such as a bank or utility statement
How does Azimo work?
As a part of our Azimo review, we will take you through an example transaction. If you would like some guidance in navigating your own account, you can follow along below.
Step 1 – Sign up and login
Visit azimo.com, sign up and login. To begin a transfer, click Get Started.
Step 2 – Select receiving country
First, select the country of your recipient and the currency denomination of their account. You will also need to select the delivery method. Click Continue.
Step 3 – Enter recipient details
Enter the personal information of your recipient, including their bank details if that is the delivery method chosen. Click Continue.
Step 4 – Select transfer amount
To formalise your quote, enter the value of either the sending or receiving currency. Click Pay by Card or Other Payment Methods.
Step 5 – Select payment method
If you clicked to view other payment methods in the last screen, now is the time to select your desired method. Click Proceed to Payment.
Step 6 – Confirm transfer
The terms of the quote are presented, and a reason for the payment is requested. Once you are happy to proceed, click Send Money.
Step 7 – Make payment
You are provided with instructions to proceed with your part of the payment. Now is the time to transfer your funds into the local bank account of Azimo.
Step 8 – Azimo track transfer
When your funds are received by Azimo, it will complete the final leg of the transfer. You can track its status online or with the Azimo app. You will also receive email updates throughout the process.
Finally, once the transfer is complete its status will be updated accordingly. The funds should arrive in your recipient’s bank account shortly.
In our experience, the Azimo platform was simple to use and we were satisfied with the instructions provided along the way. The entire process took 1 business day – which is impressive. However, because Azimo uses the SWIFT network, our transaction incurred a short payment of $25. Not ideal.
Azimo review: Final thoughts
Azimo enables fast payments from the UK and Europe to almost anywhere else in the world. The service focuses on ease of use, rather than overwhelming its users with complex functionality. While this may be beneficial, in some respect, its greatest strength may also be its greatest weakness.
While Azimo may be suitable for many of its customers, the service suffers from poor customer service. The lack of phone support means that if you encounter issues, it’s likely that you’ll become frustrated further before the issue is finally resolved. If you have the choice, you might like to consider alternatives such as TransferGo and Wise.
If you have any questions or feedback about our Azimo review, let us know in the comments below.