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Fintech Amaiz Launches Quick Access To Banking Services For Ukrainian Refugees In UK | City & Business | Finance

Signing up for a traditional bank account in the UK has encountered hurdles as families need proof of residence. While Ukrainian payment cards can be used abroad, withdrawal and payment limits have been imposed. The hurdles have caused a cash flow crisis, leaving many people dependent on charitable donations and excluded from receiving benefits such as Universal Credit or employment payments in the future.

However, once Ukrainians are in the UK and can show a UK Border Force stamp, Amaiz conducts fast-track verification online through their current passport. Customers can use a parent’s or sponsor’s address and UK phone number.

This paves the way for them to open a checking account with a prepaid Mastercard so they can control their money, including international payments, through the app on their phone.

The Financial Conduct Authority regulates Amaiz as an e-money institution subject to UK e-money regulations. This means that there is no deposit protection on the funds, but they are held in a separate client account and cannot be loaned out.

Account fees are normally £6 per month, but the service will be free for Ukrainian refugees until the end of this year and includes a £15 welcome credit.

Ukrainian entrepreneur Sergey Dobrovolskii founded the London-based fintech five years ago.

He said: “Since the invasion I have been thinking about what steps I could take to make life a little easier for my fellow citizens coming to the UK.

“I have been told about the access challenges they face. Amaiz is well placed to help as he is nimble enough to help quickly with minimal bureaucracy required. I hope this inspires others to take action.”

The payment card can be sent to an address chosen by the family. After being available for just over a week, applications are coming in.

“We believe this service has the potential to help up to 15,000 families, both in a position to receive benefits and a means as some seek to find work,” says Steve Taklalsingh, Chief Executive of Amaiz. UK.

The company, originally set up to provide digital financial services to small businesses and sole traders, now has large international clients and employs 12 people in London.

Dobrovolskii has also donated £840,000 to help his home country with food, housing and medical supplies through a fund, Peaceful Sky of Ukraine, which he set up in Prague.

The country’s hryvnia currency is not convertible in most of Europe, posing more cash flow problems for refugees. The European Central Bank is considering introducing a conversion facility.

“It would definitely help those before coming to the UK,” adds Taklalsingh. “Using Amaiz, they could have a lot more in place and ready. But with all the necessary agreement between the countries, it’s going to take some time.

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