Save money this Christmas via digital remittances

Alison Banney 20 December 2017 NEWS

WorldRemit Mobile Money 738

Migrant workers in Australia to be hit with high fees when sending money back home this Christmas.

December is one of the busiest months of the year for the remittance sector, as migrant workers in Australia send money back home to their families ahead of the holiday season. However by using traditional offline cash-remittance services they could be stung by high fees and poor exchange rates resulting in less money being sent to their families than planned.

Research by digital money transfer provider WorldRemit reveals these migrant workers could be paying up to $39 more for each transfer of $256 sent using offline remittance services, compared to using an online provider. This may seem like an insignificant amount on the surface, but WorldRemit's data shows most of its customers send money home at least three times a month. With migrants potentially sending money home even more than this throughout the festive season, collectively this cost could be huge.

WolrdRemit's Australia Head Michael Liu said the huge majority of migrants in Australia are still relying on offline remittance services, and urges Australians to consider online options this Christmas to save on avoidable fees.

"Many of Australia’s diverse migrant population will be supporting extended family at home during the Christmas period. In the weeks leading up to Christmas we generally see a spike in remittances to countries where people celebrate the holiday so we know this is an important factor for migrants in staying connected with their families at a special time of year while they are working abroad."

“Ninety percent of global remittances are still sent offline, via cash-based methods. These methods are usually expensive and very time consuming, especially in an age where we have fast and cost effective online channels. With the right provider, you could save up to AUD$39 for every AUD$256 you send – and that’s either money in your pocket or an extra gift under the Christmas tree,” he said.

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Image source: WorldRemit

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