Azimo, the U.K. money transfer startup that has the backing of Rakuten, is reportedly launching a new feature that enables users to easily send money via the app.
According to a report in TechCrunch, the new feature enables Azimo users to request, send and receive money all around the globe from just a mobile phone number. The report noted the new feature is like PayPal’s Venmo mobile app, whichenables people to send money to friends. Barclay’s Pingit is another service that is also similar to Azimo because users can send money with a phone number. What sets Azimo apart is that it is going after the international market and remittance payments, noted the report.
In order to send and receive money via a phone number, the Azimo sender picks a person from their phone contacts in the Azimo app, and the recipient will get a SMS text message with a link to download the Azimo app and then claim the money.
“Across the U.K. and eurozone, customers have access to the full functionality to send, request and receive money. We’ve rolled out a more limited function across Poland, U.S and Canada so that customers there can request and receive money from friends/family in the U.K. and the eurozone. This is just for our initial launch. The team are already working on adding more markets — we expect the big remittance markets India, Philippines, China and Nigeria to be turned on in the coming month,” Azimo cofounder and Chief Executive Michael Kent said in an interview with TechCrunch.
The new feature in Azimo also will enable it to be more viral because by asking permission to access phone contacts the app is morphing into a payments-based social network. What’s more, Kent said that once users are comfortable sending money through the app, the usage for Azimo tends to increase.