The best way to get cash out in Buenos Aires
After living in Argentina for nearly 3 months one thing that I really took for granted back home in England, this may sound ridiculous but I stand by it, is the use of my debit card. The ease of not having to think twice about where I could get money out, or whether my card was going to be accepted or even if my point of interest took cards at all. The days of contactless feel far behind me. Here nearly everything is dealt in cash. Whilst you can get money exchanged carrying around a bulk of dollars on you is not practical and neither safe. With regard to cash points the hefty charge of around 180 pesos (it’s constantly changing) and the poor exchange rate isn’t preferable either. This is all before the trek to the nearest cash point which unless you are on a main street such as Avenida Santa Fe may be another 30 minute excursion. The real shock came when my landlord, like most others here, demanded that I pay my rent in cash. 1) I definitely didn’t have enough dollars with me to pay for the equivalent of 5 month’s rent and 2) cash points restrict you to take 2000 pesos out at a time, twice a day. Luckily I discovered Azimo which I now swear by and is the only way I ever get money out!
What is Azimo?
Claimed to be by the guardian ‘one of the top 10 money saving apps,’ Azimo is an international company that provides an online remittance service. They are not solely in Argentina but have branches in 195 countries (something to note for those of you travelling further afield.) Azimo allows you to receive money with a small fee charge, it can be as little as 1 pound, with a competitive exchange rate. Moreover, it is not limited to personal transactions you are able to send money to recipients in over 80 different currencies. Azimo was launched in 2012 and is starting to dominate the market over previous companies such as Western Union due to its high user ratings, cheaper fees and faster pickup times.
How easy is it to use?
At first, I was apprehensive it all seemed a bit too, well, simple. It takes, as azimo advertise, three simple steps to make a transaction. First things first you need to make an account with azimo either on their webpage or download their app. Once signed in you can choose who you want to send money too i.e. yourself and where the recipient will be picking this money up from i.e. Corrientes, Argentina. Step two, type in the amount you want to send and in which currency you would like the transaction to be made in i.e. pounds. They automatically calculate and show you how much you will receive in pesos. Then you can either make your payment via bank transfer or pay by card online. That’s it, done! Transfers made before 1pm usually have same day delivery and transfers after this time will be available for pick up the next working day (exceptions on ferrados.) You will automatically receive an email with your reference number which you can also use to check your transfer status. A second email is sent when the money has arrived and is ready to be picked up. Picking up the money is also simple although choose your time wisely. There usually is a small queue but later on in the day it tends to be larger.
Is it safe?
Yes, do not worry your money is secure with Azimo! Azimo are regulated as an electronic money provider by the UK Financial Conduct Authority *FCA) and hold all their customers funds in segregated client accounts with trusted global institutions.
Azimo is simple to use and effective: you can get large amounts of money out in one go and are charged with one small fee. For me it beats all the alternative modes available for getting your pesos here in Buenos Aires. It is my saviour. I simply make one trip a month to the Azimo branch and that’s me sorted for the month, no more stress.