Today’s International Day of Family Remittances recognises the fundamental contribution made by migrant workers to the wellbeing of their families and communities back home through hard work, sacrifice and generosity. Here at Azimo, we’re showing our support by cutting transfer fees to zero all day.

Whether they’re a Nigerian banker, Polish bricklayer, Brazilian teacher or Filipino nurse, the one thing that binds all migrants together is that they’ve taken the brave decision to pack a bag and move to a different country to try and improve the lives of loved ones back home.

But the sad truth is that ‘migrant’ has often become a dirty word in the 21st century, and that’s precisely why today’s International Day of Family Remittances is such an inspiring and essential force for global good. By focusing attention on financial inclusion and the need to lower the cost of money transfer, it aims to make every pound, dollar, euro or peso sent home count even more.

Here at Azimo, we fully support the IDFR’s mission to increase the impact of remittance funds in the developing world. We already offer transfer fees from just £1, but we’ve pledged to charge nothing at all for transfers to any country on 16th June 2016.

As a company built by migrants for migrants, we’re determined to make international money transfer cheaper, faster and simpler, and help our customers build a better world in the process. Happy International Day of Family Remittances 2016!

A remittance is a transfer of money by a foreign worker to an individual in their home country


The positive individual impact of remittances is too often overlooked. But just consider this statistic: the $600 billion sent home annually by the world’s migrants is equivalent to three times the total global aid budget, and the money they transfer often accounts for more than half the family income.

The number one reason people send remittances is for family support


Hundreds of millions of families globally rely on these critical money flows to raise their standard of living above the most basic subsistence level and address essential needs such as food, housing, health and education.

It’s estimated that remittances touch 1 in 7 people worldwide


More than 247 million people, or 3.4 per cent of the world’s population, live outside their country of birth in 2016, and it’s estimated that the money they send home has a social and economic impact on more than one billion people across the globe.

The global average cost of sending money home is 8%


The average cost of remittances remains around eight per cent – far above the three per cent target set in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. But Azimo believes there’s a better way: our fees are significantly lower than those of banks or other money transfer services – in some cases up to 80% lower.

Two billion people around the world don’t have access to bank accounts


Bringing financial inclusion to the world’s two billion ‘unbanked’ is crucial in the fight to end global poverty, and Bill and Melinda Gates believe mobile money is the future. In their 2015 Annual Letter, they stated: ‘By 2030, two billion people who don’t have a bank account today will be storing money and making payments with their phones.’ We agree: mobile transactions – which make up half of our remittances – increased by 300 per cent in 2015.

Half a trillion dollars is sent to developing countries every year


Just so the message is clear: that’s 500,000,000,000 dollars, which is roughly twice the size of the World Bank. The top remittance-receiving countries in 2015 were India, China, the Philippines and Mexico.

90% of remittances are still being sent offline


The traditional remittances market still operates almost completely offline, making it difficult for people without access to basic financial services to receive funds, but things are changing. Azimo now has more than half a million people on its platform, enabling customers to send money to over 190 countries from any internet-connected device.