For millions of these foreign workers, the ability to set up global money transfers creates a vital, financial lifeline for loved ones who may be living under challenging economic circumstances.
Globally, remittances are large and growing sources of financial inflows. The World Bank notes their positive social impact of promoting economic development and poverty reduction.
India and China alone represent nearly a third of total remittances to the developing world, receiving an estimated US$71 billion and US$60 billion, respectively.
Additional top recipients of officially recorded remittances for 2013 are the Philippines (US$26 billion), Mexico (US$22 billion), Nigeria (US$21 billion), and Egypt (US$20 billion). Other large recipients include Pakistan, Bangladesh, Vietnam, and Ukraine.
The World Bank estimates that formal remittances to developing countries will grow to more than half-a-trillion dollars (US$515 billion) by 2016, while global remittances are expected to reach a record US$707 billion by 2016.
Traditional challenges to remitting money include lack of access to financial services, unpredictable remittance fees, the theft and loss of cash, and language barriers.
MasterCard continues to work to meet the needs of senders and recipients of global money transfers with convenient and affordable remittance services – below are just some of the safe and secure ways to send money cross-border:
- MoneySend allows the global transfer of funds from a MasterCard payment card to a loved one’s bank account, with an instant online notification of the transfer’s completion. For many in rural areas, that means no longer having to travel long distances to a bank, waiting on line, and carrying large amounts of cash.
- A global partnership with Western Union allows MasterCard holders to send and receive money at any Western Union location worldwide.
- HomeSend, a joint venture, utilizes the explosion of global technology and enables the sending of funds to and from mobile money accounts, payment cards, bank accounts, or cash outlets – regardless of the location of the sender or recipient.
The World Bank estimates that nearly three-quarters of all people around the globe currently have mobile access, including nearly five billion in the developing world, making mobile money transfers more prevalent and an increasingly popular way to remit money home.
These latest developments support MasterCard’s commitment to enable anytime, anywhere payments on mobile and other devices, as well as helping people connect in different ways with their loved ones far away.
What is your story? How has technology enabled you to connect with loved ones beyond making a phone call?