The best of both worlds: why sending money abroad should be about cost and convenience

By Marta Krupinska, Co-Founder and General Manager, Azimo

Today’s consumers are demanding a new level of convenience, which has led to the huge popularity of companies such as Uber and Deliveroo – and it’s the same when it comes to financial management. In February this year, HSBC announced the closure of 62 branches across the UK in light of the fact that 93 per cent of its contact with its customers is now conducted over the phone, via the internet or through the bank’s smartphone app.

The future of finance

This is a trend that’s only set to continue growing as over half of millennials (57 per cent) admit they would change their bank for a better technology platform solution that meets their needs. Unsurprisingly, therefore, online banking has never been more popular and the number of times people visit a bank branch is set to almost halve by 2020 as more and more favour using their smartphone to manage their finances.

It’s fair to say that domestic money management has never been more straightforward or convenient. Nowadays, transferring funds between bank accounts in the same country is easy, with payments made using a wide array of platforms – over the phone, from a desktop computer, or on a smartphone or tablet.

Banking pains

However, it’s not quite as simple when it comes to transferring money overseas. Historically, the idea of sending money abroad fills most consumers with dread. The words “arduous”, “expensive” and “time-consuming” tend to spring to mind.

Today, banks still dominate the international money transfer market as the mode of choice, handling 80 per cent of transfers. But in order to use them, you’ll need all sorts of information to hand:

  • Your bank details
  • Recipient’s details (name, address, name and address of bank, country they hold the account in)
  • Recipient’s International Bank Account Number (IBAN)
  • Recipient’s Bank Identifier Code (BIC)

Finding this sort of information can be a real pain, of course, as can the additional hidden fees that banks can hold you to when transferring money abroad (which can be substantial).

And if you fall into the alternative 20 per cent who opt for a specialist broker to transfer money abroad, such as Currencies Direct, Moneycorp, the Post Office, Caxton FX or HiFX? You’ll still need to provide this sort of information.

Sending made simple with Azimo

Just how much do you value the experience of sending money abroad? Does getting a good rate mean you have to sacrifice decent customer service and stand in a queue for hours or provide every tiny detail of your recipient’s financial history – not to mention wait 7-10 working days for your transfer to be processed? No! Oh, but it’s OK, because you found a great deal? Wrong!

I’m calling for a better experience for time-poor consumers when it comes to transferring money. There’s no reason why we can send money domestically at the touch of an app, and yet transferring abroad has to mean a lot of wasted time and unnecessary confusion (not to mention extortionate fees).

Happily, innovative technology is making huge inroads and can take away the painful complexity of traditional money transfer, making the process as easy as sending a text. Literally – all you’ll need is your recipient’s mobile phone number for a secure and low-cost international money transfer. Plus that good rate you used to get by standing in a queue? By cutting the value chain of traditional money transfer services, we can better it.

The only downside? You’re going to have to come up with a better excuse for Cousin Mabel in Melbourne when she asks why you haven’t sent that money you owe her…

Want to send money from your smartphone? Download our brilliant app for iOS or Android, and you’ll have instant access to the world’s largest digital money transfer network. You can transfer money to more than 195 countries across the globe with just a few simple clicks – and when you sign up, your first transfer is fee-free!