In 2018, the global remittance market saw US$689 billion transferred to different parts of the world. According to data from the world bank, this represents a 10% growth from the total remittance recorded in 2017. Out of this US$528 billion was sent to developing countries. Among the top recipients of the remittances were:
- India – $79 billion
- China-$67 billion
- Mexico -$36 billion
- The Philippines – $34 billion
- Egypt -$29 billion
Apart from looking at the recipients of the remittances and the countries from which they were sent, it also helps to look at the channels through which the transfers were processed. Banks have been the traditional transfer channel preferred due to their reliability and extensive sending and disbursing infrastructure. However, banks are also on record as the most expensive money transfer channel charging 11% transfer fee on average.
The Global Unbanked
Despite a rise in financial inclusion thanks to mobiles and the internet, many people still remain excluded from the financial system. As of the first quarter of 2018, only 3.8 billion adults had signed up for an account at a bank. This leaves out about 1.7 billion adults with no access to formal banking services making it difficult for you to send money to a bank account.
The question is, how can you send money to recipients in this financial bracket? Well, there are several ways you can do that including:
- Money transfer operators
- Mobile wallets
- International Money Orders
Money Transfer Operators
Money transfer operators (MTOs) have taken advantage of the need for cheaper transfers through non-bank routes to facilitate remittances to unbanked recipients. The other obvious advantages of MTOs is that they deliver transfers almost instantly and at locations convenient to the recipient.
However, to enjoy all these benefits, you need to get a reliable and secure money transfer provider. Some of the leading money transfer operators are Western Union, MoneyGram and Ria Money Transfer. Set up in 1987 in New York, Ria has over 3 decades of experience in the money transfer industry.
You can send money conveniently through the Ria Money Transfer online platform or deposit from an agent near you. For the online money transfer option, you’ll have to signup for an account online of through the Ria Money Transfer available as a free download both on Android and iOS platforms.
You can pay for your transfer using a debit card, credit card or bank account. On the other end the beneficiary can receive the money through any of the following methods:
- Cash Pickup – Ria has a total of 389,000 agents spread in 161 countries from where recipients collect their money in cash.
- Home delivery -If you are sending money to Morocco, Hungary, Dominican Republic, Vietnam, Peru, Armenia, and the Philippines, you can choose to have the money delivered at the doorstep for your family and friends.
- Mobile wallet -When transferring money to countries like Senegal, Ria can deposit funds directly to the recipient’s Orange Money Mobile wallet.
Ria can also send money to a bank account where the recipient has access to banking services.
In countries where mobile money transfers are operational such as in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Ghana, Nigeria, Benin, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Burundi, DR Congo, Singapore, Fiji and others, recipients can have the money delivered right into their mobile phones. They can either spend the money by paying for good and services provided the merchants accept that mode of payment or they can withdraw cash from designated agents.
For instance, M-Pesa mobile money transfer in Kenya has a total of 198,234 agents and over 25.57 million subscribers. M-Pesa is powered by Safaricom, the leading telecom in Kenya.
Postal Money Transfer
Postal services in many countries offer international money order services as a way of transferring money across borders. In the US, the United States Postal Service (USPS) offers international money orders at a cost of $9.50. Despite being affordable, money orders tend to be slow and have limited coverage. The USPS international money order currently serves only 27 countries, Canada pulled out as of August 30, 2019.
Therefore, money transfer services such as Ria remain at the forefront in global remittance services to the unbanked and underbanked. They offer simple, fast, and affordable services with an extensive global reach.