Traditionally, sending money home from the UK has been a bit of a nightmare. Remittances are big business and many companies have cashed in by charging high rates and fees. Sending money across country borders is a vital lifeline for millions of people, however it has proved to be an expensive business.
With over 250 million migrant workers across the globe, sending a total of $600 Billion to families and friends, it is clear that there is money to be made in charging for remittances services. It is estimated that at least $32 billion of the total has gone on fees and charges.
However, new technology is changing the way it is possible to send money abroad, and with it massive advantages to both the senders and recipients. New financial apps are offering cheaper, faster and more convenient services. Mobile to mobile banking services means it is possible to send money directly to chosen participants. This has the added advantage of being able to pay bills directly, rather than sending money home and hoping it is being sent wisely. For example, new money transfer apps make it possible to pay bills, such as utilities or school fees directly, rather than being paid into a personal bank account or relying on a money transfer office.
Opening a bank account in the UK can take time and often family members at home don’t have access to banking services. These new apps make the business of paying bills and accessing funds much, much easier. The old way of transferring money could take at least three days, new technology means the transfers are almost instant.
Several apps have changed the face of remittances. These include Zympay, World Remit, TransferWise, and mobile banking app Revolut. Zympay specialises in sending money to South Africa, Zambia, Nigeria and India. It has teamed up with Social Enterprise Pip iT, to make it even easier for those with no bank account. It is now possible to take cash to the post office in exchange for a voucher with can be read by mobile phones to add money into their Pip iT wallet.
TransferWise and Revolut have taken the fintech market by storm by slashing transfer fees and exchange rates. It is estimated that these apps have cut costs by up to 90%. Peer to peer services such as TransferToGo has also made an enormous difference. People send money home for a huge variety of reasons and uses, it might be worth having a look at some of the apps mentioned to see which one suits you and your family the best.
You might want to consider setting up payments directly to companies or services, which makes it much easier for your family. No travelling to a money transfer office or having to pay the bills themselves. It also means you can be absolutely sure your money is going to the right place.
New money transfer apps are changing the way we send money abroad and it looks like it is going to get a whole lot easier in the future.