UK payments group Azimo lands €20 million loan to hire more programmers in Krakow

Azimo will receive a €20m loan, which it intends to spend on job creation and especially on software engineers.

British international money transfer firm Azimo has received a large loan from the European Investment Bank.

The firm has picked up a €20m loan, which is equivalent to almost £17m or $22m US dollars, to enhance its smartphone-based payments offer within the European bloc.

It is understood that the firm will spend the cash on hiring software engineers, and that there will be a particular focus on users who are based in the European Union.

According to reports, it has been reaching out to firms such as Azimo to float with them the possibilities of loans as part of attempts to improve payments services in the bloc.

It has also lent money to other big European online money transfer names, such as N26 – a German bank.

Azimo, which is powered by a smartphone app, said that part of the aim was “job creation”.

In a statement, the firm’s co-founder and CEO Michael Kent said that the firm was “very pleased” with the development – and described it as a moment of “validation” for the company, which maintains an EU headquarters in Amsterdam.

“The EIB’s focus here was to build critical payments infrastructure in the EU to support job creation”, he said.

“We were very pleased to get the money from the EIB. It is validation for us because the EIB wants to build European champions in the digital space, with N26 in banking, izettle in point of sale and us in cross-border payments. It’s a good gang to be in.”

For the European Commission, Valdis Dombrovskis – who is its vice-president for an economy that works for people – described Azimo as “successful”.

“People need to be able to transfer money as quickly and safely as possible”, he said.

“This is a priority of the EC and we will continue to support successful companies such as Azimo to boost the European fintech sector and improve the experience of millions of customers.”

Perhaps the elephant in the room when it comes to this development is Brexit.

The European Investment Bank is of course associated with the European Union, which Britain – where Azimo is based – has just days ago quit.

Under the surface, the decision to award Azimo this loan makes sense.

That’s because Azimo actually locates its technology centre in Krakow.

The majority of its workforce is there – and presumably the new employees hired as a result of this loan are likely to be based there too.

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