The Cost of Sending Remittances: June 2015 Data
Latest Issue: 
  • Issue n. 14, June 2015


Each quarter the World Bank publishes data on how much it costs to send money home. The Remittance Prices Worldwide database monitors the cost of sending remittances in major international corridors, which includes 227 country corridors -- 32 remittance sending countries to 89 remittance receiving countries. The international community, led by the World Bank, started working on reducing the cost of sending money home in 2005. These efforts are estimated to have saved migrants and their families up to $62.5 billion to date.

Here are key findings from the latest quarterly report, released in June.

Key Report Findings

  • The average global cost of sending remittances fell to 7.68% as of June 2015, from 7.72% in the first quarter of the year.
  • In three-quarters of all country corridors, it’s possible to send money for the cost of 10% or less. At the end of 2009, only half of the corridors had the cost of 10% or less.

The Cost of Sending Money from and to G20 Countries

  • The cost of sending money from G20 countries fell to 7.58%.
  • At 16.79%, South Africa remains the most costly G20 country to send money from.
  • Russia is the least expensive country, followed by Saudi Arabia at 4.06%.
  • The cost to send money to G20 countries that are included in RPW as receiving markets, increased to 8.08%.
  • It’s most expensive to send money to China, 10.38%, and Brazil, 9.38%.
  • Mexico and Indonesia are the cheapest receiving markets, at 5.30% and 6.69%, respectively.

The Cost of Sending Money to Different Regions

  • Sub-Saharan Africa remains the most expensive region to send money to. However, the cost of sending money decreased to 9.74%.
  • At 5.74%, South Asia is still the least costly region to send money to.
  • East Asia & the Pacific and South Asia remained stable at 8.11%.
  • Middle East & North Africa fell to 8.21%.
  • The cost to send remittance to East Europe and Central Asia also fell. The cost fell to 6.02%, if Russia is included in the calculation. Without Russia, the cost is 7.18%.
  • For Latin America & the Caribbean, however, the cost rose to 6.78%.

The Cost of Using Different Channels to Send Money

  • Sending money through a post office remains the least expensive, while going through a commercial bank is still the most costly.
  • Post offices’ remittance charges fell to 5.14%.
  • Using banks to send money remained most expensive at 10.96%; however, these charges have been falling and were recorded below 11% for the first time!
  • Sending money through Money Transfer Operators rose to 6.59%, from 6.36%.

Types of Products

  • Most migrants still remit cash, but various online alternatives to cash continue to gain ground.
  • The average cost to send cash was 6.94%.
  • Online products are the cheapest product type at 5.48%.
  • Account-to-account services are the most expensive at 11.20%. However, the cost of transfer within the same bank or to a partner bank in the receiving country is significantly cheaper at 7.16%.