Expat LifeInsider

Banks Are Still The Most Expensive Way To Transfer Money Abroad

With the average global cost of sending remittances falling to 6.84% in Q2 of 2019 from 6.94% in Q1, the latest Remittance Prices Worldwide data presents an encouraging picture as the global average steadily inches towards the global average cost of 5%committed by G20 countries 

While the global average cost has remained below 8% since Q3 of 2014, the World Bank’s latest update on global remittance costs records a steady decline of 2.83% since Q1 2009 when the average cost was recorded at 9.67%. 

Though the World Bank’s Remittance Prices Worldwide records a positive change in average remittance costs worldwide, it also shows how individuals and businesses are still losing money to banks and other traditional remittance services as they remain the most popular modes of money transfer despite being the most expensive! 

Here’s an infographic that shows how digital service providers such as InstaReM can prove to be way more cost-effective when it comes to overseas money transfers.  


The Remittance Prices Worldwide database covers a total of  

367 country corridors 

  • 48 remittance sending countries 
  • 105 remittance-receiving countries 

The steady decline in the average global cost of sending remittances: 

 Q1: 6.94% 

Q2: 6.84% 

Q3: 6.84%

Cost Of Money Transfers Via Following Channels 

  • Banks 10.34% 
  • MTO 6.08% 
  • Post Offices 8.09% 
  • Mobile Operators 3.44% 
  • InstaReM 0.25-1% 

InstaReM is a digital remittance service provider that enables individuals and businesses to transfer money overseas at better rates as compared to banks and MTOs. Their fee ranges from 0.25% to 1% only. 

82% of all service providers recorded in Remittance Prices Worldwide cost less than 10% 
  • Sub-Saharan Africa remains the most expensive region to send money to Avg. cost 9.01% 
  • South Asia remains the least costly region to send money to Avg. cost 5.02% 

The average cost of remittances via 

  • Debit/Credit Card: 5.75% 
  • Cash: 7.05% 
  • Account to account: 6.83% 
  • Mobile Money5.29 

 5 Most Expensive Sending Countries 

15.96%  South Africa 
9.99%  Japan 
7.94%  Canada 
7.64%  Germany 
7.28%  UK 

 3 Least Expensive Sending Countries 

1.59%  Russia 
4.87%  Republic Of Korea 
4.99%  Saudi Arabia 

 3 Most Expensive Countries To Remit To 

9.04  China 
7.63  Brazil 
7.54%   South Africa 

 3 Cheapest Countries To Remit To 

4.61%  Mexico 
5.38  India 
6.08%  Indonesia 

Source: https://remittanceprices.worldbank.org/sites/default/files/rpw_report_sept_2019.pdf