European digital money transfer service Azimo has announced a strategic partnership with leading African payments company, Interswitch Group.

The deal will enable instant money transfers from 23 countries in Europe to any customer in Nigeria - Azimo’s biggest market.

Michael Kent, Founder and CEO of Azimo, said, “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.”

“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.

Mitchell Elegbe, Group Managing Director and CEO of Interswitch, commented, “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.”

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.

Azimo is part of a business delegation with UK Prime Minister Theresa May to tour three African countries. The firm will use the opportunity to promote FinTech innovation in South  Africa, Nigeria and Kenya.

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