While migrants face it tough to make international fund transfers sans a bank account, a British-Polish startup SPOKO intends to simplify the same. It offers instant international money transfers targeting migrant workers who look forward to transfer money without a bank account and expensive white label API service. It is possible as this fintech enables quick and cheap money transfers from EU countries and the UK to nearly 16 countries. And, intends to operate in 51 countries and enable transfers to 86 countries.
Forays into the UK
The SPOKO app has driven its international expansion with the UK market by targeting the South Asian migrant workers in the UK and securing partnerships like the recent tie-up with Trust Payments.
The company is now transferring the same best practice to new markets. Evgeny Chamtonau, CEO and co-founder of SPOKO said, “In the UK, we want to attract immigrants from India and Pakistan who usually send money from their bank account to be received in cash via various Points of Sale. We do not insist that our UK customers necessarily associate their money transfers with our brand SPOKO. The most important thing for us is that they use it!”
Prior to the pandemic crisis, the team at SPOKO focused on Ukrainians who work in Poland. Amidst the circumstances caused by COVID-19, the team stayed committed to expansion. It expanded to Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Belarus, Brazil, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia and Uzbekistan in July this year. Currently, money can be withdrawn at 50,000 agent locations across countries including India, Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Pakistan, Moldova, and Belarus.
How does it work?
SPOKO distinguishes itself from traditional money transfer providers such as Western Union and TransferWise among others by providing an extensive payment infrastructure that supports various local payment methods. Also, it offers an open API to provide telecommunications, financial and recruitment companies the ability to operate transfer services via a white label model. It already works with Alfa Bank and PrivatBank, the two largest banks in Ukraine.
Founded by Aliaksandr Horlach and Evgeny Chamtonau in 2017, SPOKO enables users to send money from Europe to their home country in their local currency via a point-of-sale outlet, bank account or mobile number.
He added, “We have a great understanding of our users’ expectations, their habits, and which form of money transfer is most convenient for their needs. From the very beginning in 2019, we focused on local markets. We started by developing a service for Ukrainians working in Poland, under the PayUkraine brand, and recently passed the 120,000 user milestone.”
Main image picture credits: SPOKO