European digital money transfer service Azimo today announced a strategic partnership with leading African payments business Interswitch Group.
The deal will further enable instant money transfers from 23 countries in Europe to any customer in Nigeria- Azimo’s biggest market.
"A huge and rapidly growing population coupled with the explosion of smartphone ownership mean that Africa and in particular Nigeria is one of the most exciting fintech markets on the planet,” said Michael Kent, Founder and CEO of Azimo. “We look forward to working with fintech leader Interswitch to build new digital low-cost financial services that drive inclusion and transform the financial lives of our customers in both the UK and Africa.”
Digital money transfers play a significant role in the growth of Nigeria’s economy – the largest in Africa. Remittances to the nation were worth $22 billion in 2017 - the equivalent of 5.6% of Nigeria’s GDP and higher than the country’s oil revenues. *
By reaching millions of more customers in Nigeria, Azimo’s partnership with Interswitch will also help to tackle the problem of financial exclusion in a country where 40% of the population is unbanked. **
“We formed this partnership with Azimo as they are a global leader in cross border payments with great tech capability and a strong knowledge of our core markets. This agreement is a key milestone in our common strategy to better serve the Nigerians where ever they are located around the world,” commented Mitchell Elegbe, Group Managing Director and CEO at Interswitch.
In the longer term the deal will see the two companies build new mobile based financial services for Interswitch’s rapidly expanding customer base of over 25 million people in Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.
Nigeria is among the top 5 countries for inbound remittances with over $20bn received every year according to the World Bank.
Azimo is in Africa this week as a part of trade delegation with UK Prime Minister Theresa May. During the state visit, the CEO will be visiting South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya to promote FinTech innovation.
Prime Minister Teresa May said: “The scale of opportunity for the capital’s businesses across Africa is huge. 111 African companies have already come to London to raise the funds they need to invest and grow, and now we want to go further to ensure that the UK is the partner of choice for African nations."
The London business representatives accompanying me on this visit are a fantastic showcase of the depth of world-class expertise and breadth of innovation which the capital is home to.”