Gulf region cheapest for remittances

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A new report on the global average remittance costs has ranked Gulf region as the cheapest for remitting money to other countries.

The Remittance Prices Worldwide data suggests that the global average remittance costs of US $200 are 8.96 percent. Even though the costs slightly increased last year, the report notes that the entire Gulf region remains the best and cheapest globally for remitting money to other countries. On the other hand, nations in South Asia remain the cheapest to send money to, with an average of 6.54 percent.

The World Bank statement points out that, “whilst the costs in these markets can vary from month to month, their competitiveness in comparison to other sending markets in the sample reflects the fact that the Gulf region is amongst the cheapest for remittances globally thanks to the high level of competition achieved in these markets”.

A country-wise analysis shows that the world’s most economical country for remitting money to India is Singapore (4.16 percent). In the Gulf region, the most economical Gulf country to remit money to India is Saudi Arabia, with 4.40 percent of the total transaction cost to remit USD 200 to India. Some of the other cheapest destination countries to send USD 200 from Saudi Arabia are Pakistan (2.82 percent), Yemen (2.96 percent) and Nepal (4.32 percent).

At the same time, remittances from UAE to Pakistan are also among the world’s cheapest with on an average only 4.92 percent of the money transferred incurred as cost. The UAE was also ranked as the world’s cheapest country from which money could be remitted. As around 80 percent of the emirate’s population is expat, this lower average is very attractive and forms a large part of the monthly financial dealing.

The report also highlights that the most expensive corridor in the world for a USD 200 remittance is South Africa to Zambia, costing almost 23 percent of the transaction. This is followed by Ghana to Nigeria, South Africa to Malawi and South Africa to Botswana.

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