The resilience of global remittances
Today marks the UN International Day of Family Remittances (IDFR), a day that recognizes the remarkable resilience of migrant workers and their fundamental contribution to families and communities back home. Over 200 million migrant workers and 800 million family members in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) rely on remittances for essential needs.
While the global pandemic has proven to be a formidable test for global remittances, recent data published by the World Bank demonstrated the resilience and dependability that remittances represent for families during crises. Defying projections of a severe contraction, remittance flows to low- and middle-income countries recorded a total of US$540 billion in 2020, only 1.6 percent below the 2019 figure of US$548 billion.
One of the biggest drivers behind the resilience of remittances was the migrant workers’ desire to help their families tide through challenges amidst the economic slowdown, even if that means cutting down on their own consumption or drawing on their personal savings.
Accelerated adoption of digital technology
Another catalyst that sustained the momentum for remittances was the accelerated adoption of digital technology by migrant workers and their families. Lockdowns and physical distancing protocols have made traditional remittance challenging. This has, in turn, fueled the use of digital remittance channels and enabled migrant workers to continue sending money back home in times of need.
While this has been a silver lining, the way forward towards continued recovery and resilience of the industry as well as the migrant workers is through better digital and financial inclusion, and that begins with education and expanding the useability of mobile money.
Increasing digital and financial inclusion through education and expanding practical use cases
As a leading organization in this growing industry, UniTeller remains deeply committed to enabling companies and consumers to fully leverage money transfer services by ensuring user-friendly and secure solutions. We also recognize our responsibility in generating greater awareness surrounding the technologies in the industry and how they can make a difference in the lives of the migrant workers and their families.
With almost 1.7 billion adults in the world who remain unbanked and operate solely on a cash basis, digital remittance solutions would also have to continue pushing out initiatives to boost the adoption of digital transactions for both the senders and receivers of remittances.
At our end, remittance players need to ensure that the shift towards digital payments is supported with robust and integrated payment systems. Our Turnkey White Label and API digital solutions empower our business partners worldwide to implement solutions that can allow them to offer easy-to-use applications for cross-border payments. On this day, we want to take this opportunity to recognize the efforts of migrant workers around the world and reaffirm our commitment to increasing the accessibility of digital financial solutions for the migrant population. By expanding access to a broader set of financial services, we believe we can emerge stronger together as an industry and make a more significant impact on the lives of migrant workers and their families.