A new global report published at the Global Remittances Conference in New York shows sending remittances to Africa is more expensive than anywhere else in the world.
The reports state that more than 1 million migrants in the U.K. are paying on average £80 a year more than they should send remittances to friends and families in Africa.
“The absence or weakness of a digital payments infrastructure and acceptance network, a financially included population, and/or an identification system means that many of the traditional acceptance services, such as terminating into a bank account or mobile wallet, are not always available,” the report says.
The average cost of sending money to Africa is almost 10 percent, compared to the global average of just over 7 percent, the report reveals.
The report, prepared by Developing Markets Associates (DMA), indicates that nine out of 10 money transfer dealings from the U.K. to Africa are in cash and only one in 20 transactions is initiated online.
According to the CEO of DMA Leon Isaac “sending money to Africa is very expensive compared to the relatively low incomes of migrant workers and the small amounts they typically send.
Isaac also explains that there is the need to develop a holistic approach to lowering the cost instead of concentrating on just new technology.
He is further asking for new regulations for the new technology and a change in consumer behaviour through the digitisation of the entire process of sending money to Africa.
Although Africa is known for high remittance cost, the World Bank reports that African migrants are now sending remittances back to their families at levels above $441 billion, a figure that is three times the volume of official aid that flows to developing countries.
The Breton Wood institution states that these inflows of cash constitute more than 10 percent of the GDP in some 25 developing countries, enabling governments to provide important services, such as health and education.