As we discussed in a previous post about the most popular destinations for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), over five million Filipinos have emigrated, representing more than 5% of the country’s total population. So as you can imagine, there’s a sizeable inflow of remittances back to the Philippines- just short of $30 billion according to the latest figures from the World Bank1. So if you’re an OFW and you’re looking to send money home to a loved one, here are your options.
You could arrange a bank transfer, but there are two problems with this form of remittance. Firstly, the Remittance Prices Worldwide report published by the World Bank tells us it’s one of the most expensive ways to send money internationally. Banks charge an average of 10.99% to send money to the Philippines, over 3% higher than the global average cost of 7.32%2. The other problem with bank transfers is relatively few people in the Philippines have an account- only 31% of those aged 15 and above, according to the World Bank’s Global Findex database which tracks financial inclusion around the world3. Xpress Money charges a global average of 2%, making us one of the most competitive money transfer services on the market.
Another option is to send cash through an agent. The process is simple- you give your agent the cash, and the receiver can collect it immediately from a local agent. When you choose a money transfer service, make sure to find out what size network it has in the Philippines, because it’s much more convenient if the receiver doesn’t have to travel too far to the nearest agent. Xpress Money has over 2,800 agents in Manila alone and 13,500 agents across Philippines, so in that respect we offer one of the widest networks in the city.
Mobile money is growing exponentially, so you could also use a mobile wallet for sending remittances. A mobile wallet works just like a physical wallet, but it’s an app that you download on your phone. You can store money, make payments and transfer money to another mobile wallet anywhere in the world, where the receiver can access it immediately. Smartphone ownership is increasing in the Philippines, with nearly half the population expected to own a smartphone by 20224, so expect this to become one of the most popular ways of transferring money overseas in the coming years.
To find out more about sending money with Xpress Money, click here.