• Demand for remittance services is higher than ever with UK adults increasingly transferring money across borders
  • The average UK family size is shrinking yet our connections with those overseas are stronger than ever

The average UK family may be shrinking in size[1] but our connections with friends and loved ones overseas are stronger than ever.  According to the ONS, the number of visits abroad to see friends or family grew 7.8% in 2014 on the previous year whilst vists to the UK for the same reason, grew by 4.8%[2].  Meanwhile, emigration remains steady since 2009 with an estimated 323,000 people emigrating during last year[3].  Many of these emigrants are British people leaving the country for a life elsewhere.

International money transfer, a consumer market worth an estimated £400 billion globally, continues to grow and is now a routine utility for many.

With a sharp increase in the number of businesses offering money transfer overseas, traditional banks are facing a backlash from consumers unwilling to tolerate high fees.  Banks typically charge between 5-8% in remittance fees which can equate to huge sums of money.

According to the global money transfer firm, Xpress Money, thousands of UK adults have transferred funds overseas, typically between family members.  Xpress Money has compiled the top six reasons for international money transfer – a financial stream worth an estimated £15billion in the UK.

Top 6 reasons for international money transfer (UK market):

  • Family & friends – With our friends and family increasingly spread out across the globe – international money transfers are hugely valuable in a variety of situations – from emergencies to one-off gifts and regular financial support.
  • Property – Due to the large sums involved when buying or selling property abroad, fees and exchange rates are a serious consideration. Whether you’re investing in a home away from home or making a fresh start, shop around for the best deal and be sure not to lose out.
  • Paying bills – Fixing the exchange rate and setting up a scheduled payment can be an easy way to make sure utility bills or other regular fees are paid on time whilst you’re abroad.
  • Salary transfers – Whether it’s on a regular basis or just when you need it, international money transfers can be a simple way to send money home if you work overseas.
  • Pension transfers – Making full use of your retirement is easier than ever when you can use international money transfer services to get access to your pension whilst you are out of the country.
  • Emigration – Life can take you anywhere but if you are looking to relocate overseas, ensuring your money travels with you is a priority.

Recent findings from Juniper Research found the number of mobile money transfers is set to increase by 150 per cent in 2015 to more than 15 billion.  Innovation is driving the global remittance market with new mobile platforms such as XOPO delivering convenient and secure methods of transfer via social channels.

XOPO, available from December, is a global platform which will enable payments across social networks and messaging apps. The UK will be the first market in the world from which users can send money internationally, across popular social networks.  The app charges a flat fee of £2.99 on money transfers, no matter if you are sending £300 or £3000.

Social integration of money transfer will enable family and friends to transfer money to anyone from anywhere and at any time of the day, creating a global money transfer service that eclipses the versatility of banks.

Sudhesh Giriyan, Chief Operating Officer at Xpress Money said, “Money transfer is a vital utility for families across the globe and the banks have failed to keep pace with demand.  Our current range of services includes Cash Payouts, Account Credits and Mobile Money across a variety of channels.  We are one of the most competitive when it comes to rates and fees. The global industry average of sending remittances is 7.6%, while the global average remittance costs of Xpress Money stands at 2.09%, way below the industry average.”

He added: “In many cases, funds being transferred are sent by low-paid workers seeking to assist family members in their native countries.  Sums transferred are often relatively small and it is extraordinary that some businesses in our sector should be able to charge the fees that they do.  It’s time for change.”

Established in 1999 in the United Kingdom, Xpress Money is one of the fastest growing money transfer brands in the world.  The business has spread its geographical presence across 150 countries over the last 15 years.

Xpress Money currently offers money transfer services through 170,000 locations worldwide.  The UK is the fourth largest international ‘send’ market, after the US, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, with cash outflows estimated at over US$25 billion a year, including US$3.7 billion to Nigeria and US$3.6 billion to India (Source: World Bank Report 2014).

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