Washington, D.C., April 22, 2010—The
World Bank Group published the fourth update of the Remittance
Prices Worldwide database,
that tracks what migrant workers pay to send money to their family at home,
showing that global average total cost for sending $200 is down to 8.72
percent but that average costs for some country corridors are still as
high as 22 percent, with some providers offering services at a cost that
exceeds 40 percent.
The database benefits migrant workers and households in developing countries
by making prices more transparent, putting pressure on national authorities
to make their payment systems more efficient, and on providers to improve
services and reduce prices. It is more costly to remit through banks than
money transfer operators and non bank operators such as post offices, the
data shows. Moreover, high costs are not just in countries with poorly
developed retail payment systems.
From a country perspective, remittances from Malaysia, Russia, Saudi Arabia,
Singapore and the United Arab Emirates are the least costly, while Australia,
Brazil, Japan, South Africa and Tanzania are among the most costly.
A concerted effort to offer more competitive services can significantly
reduce fees. Both public authorities and service providers can work to
ensure low costs and efficient provision of remittance services.
Janamitra Devan, World Bank Group Vice President for Financial and Private
Sector Development and Chairman of the Global Remittances Working Group,
said “Any reduction in remittance prices will enable more money to remain
in the pockets of migrants and their families. We are committed to achieving
a reduction of 5 percentage points in 5 years, an objective endorsed by
the G8, that would enable recipients in developing countries to receive
up to $16 billion more each year.”
“Transparency in pricing is one big issue for migrants. Shedding light
on prices also creates opportunities for new operators to enter the market
and offer services at lower prices, which will benefit migrants and their
families,” said Peer Stein, IFC Global Business Line Leader for Access
“However, transparency and competition are not the only factors affecting
the cost of remittance services. An efficient payment system infrastructure
and a sound legal framework also play a critical role in the global effort
for cost reduction” claims Massimo Cirasino, Head of the Payment Systems
Development Group at the World Bank and Chairman of the Task Force that
produced the existing international standards in the field of remittances.
For more information and to view the database, please visit: http://remittanceprices.worldbank.org.
About the World Bank Group
The World Bank Group is one of the world’s largest sources of funding
and knowledge for developing countries. It comprises five closely associated
institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development
(IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA); the International
Finance Corporation (IFC); the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency
(MIGA); and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes
(ICSID). Each institution plays a distinct role in the mission to fight
poverty and improve living standards for people in the developing world.
For more information, please visit www.worldbank.org,