Sending money home is costly

Many Africans living in Europe and the US send money to relatives at home on a regular base. According to some estimates, yearly remittances to sub-Saharan Africa add up to about $30 billion. But sending money to Africa costs more than to any other place in the world.

For many Africans, remittances are important, as they often represent a significant income source. World Bank data show that transaction costs for sending remittances to Africa are more expensive than any other region.

Quartz reports that, in 2014, 74% of the global remittance total went to developing countries. The high costs of remittance transactions are often paid for by the people sending money home. For most of sub-Saharan Africa, these high costs are driven by factors like the low levels of financial inclusion and a lack of access to banking services. Money transfer operators are popular as they are the cheapest medium to send money, costing less than post offices. Banks are the most expensive channel to send remittances, costing almost double.

Further reading

Image by English: AMISOM Public Information, via Wikimedia Commons

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