The real costs of sending money abroad – REVEALED

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When it comes to moving hard-earned cash back to their home countries, some expatriates in the GCC enjoy the best deals in the market, according to a new report.

The World Bank has recently released the latest edition of the Remittance Prices Worldwide report, which tracks money transfer costs across the globe.

The report, which is part of an on-going campaign to make money transfers cheaper for expatriates – especially those from the developing countries, looks at the total cost of moving cash around the world, including transaction fees and other charges that remitters may not be aware of.

The World Bank works out these costs by looking at service fees and exchange rate margins for money transfers worth $200 and $500 in 48 remittance sending countries and 105 receiving countries.

The report, based on the data collected between January and March this year, showed that expatriates from the UAE incur the least amount of charges when they move funds to Sudan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India and Nepal.

Transferring cash to Sudan is estimated to cost only around Dh3.60, the lowest rate charged to remitters from the UAE. The second cheapest rate goes to expatriates forwarding cash to Pakistan, with the total cost averaging at Dh21.63, while those from Bangladesh get the third lowest rate at Dh21.73.

Rounding up the rest of the top five cheapest countries to send money to are India and Nepal, with total costs estimated to be around Dh22 and Dh23.78, respectively.

However, money transfers are pricey for those remitting to Indonesia, who may have to incur a total cost of Dh56.67 for every Dh735 sent. Sending money to South Sudan is also the second most expensive, at Dh38.59.

The World Bank report is used as a reference for measuring progress on efforts to reduce the global cost of remittances to 5 per cent. It was estimated that if the cost of money transfers could be cut down by 5 per cent relative to the value sent, money transfer beneficiaries in developing markets would receive over $16 billion more each year than they do now.

Exchange houses in the UAE have recently imposed a 7 per cent increase, equivalent to Dh1 to Dh2, on service fees for funds forwarded to bank accounts. The increase does not apply to cash-to-cash transactions, and will not impact the majority of expatriates in the UAE. (Source credit – Gulf News)



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