In any market, transparency and dissemination of information is important, because it enables individuals to make informed decisions about which services to use, and it also helps to make the market as a whole more efficient.
In the remittances market, in particular, the total cost might not always be clear to customers as there are a number of variables that go into it: In principle, all these elements must be captured in the information to the consumer; in practice, this is not always the case. Therefore, combining all these elements to calculate which service is cheapest in a comparable way is difficult for most remittance consumers. In addition, it is difficult to measure improvements in remittance markets, as there is little data on cost and efficiency.
For this reason, the World Bank has released this website, which reports comparable remittance price data and service terms. Currently, the database covers "country corridors" worldwide. The corridors studied flows from 48 remittance sending countries to receiving countries. Data is collected by researchers posing as customers and contacting firms within each corridor. Researchers collected data within each corridor on the same day, in order to control for fluctuations in exchange rates and other changes in fee structures.
It should be noted that data this database is intended to serve as a snapshot of a moment in time, and that pricing may vary over time. Additional details on the methodology used for collecting data are as follows: The pricing data provided in this database are intended to serve as a snapshot of the cost of remittances on specific dates and time. Actual costs may vary. The World Bank provides no warranty, expressed or implied, as to the accuracy or completeness of the data furnished. The data and information provided herein should not be used as a substitute for actual pricing information that consumers should obtain directly from service providers.
Skip to main content. Methodology In any market, transparency and dissemination of information is important, because it enables individuals to make informed decisions about which services to use, and it also helps to make the market as a whole more efficient.
Data Collection Data is collected by researchers posing as customers and contacting firms within each corridor. Surveyed firms are selected aiming to provide a representative sample of the market in each corridor. Companies surveyed within each corridor are selected to cover the maximum remittance market share possible, aiming at a minimum aggregated market share of 80 percent. Two amounts are surveyed for each corridor: The amounts were set in and subsequently adjusted to reflect foreign exchange fluctuations in the third quarter of , the local currency equivalent amounts of USD and were ajusted in order to reflect foreign exchange fluctuations.
The local currency amounts were then kept stable to ensure consistency of the price points througout time. As a result, amounts in local currency may differ from the current USD equivalent.
This is the most visible cost component, and can differ significantly among market players. This fee usually represents the charge the sender pays at the initiation point, and usually varies with the amount sent, within set bands.
In some cases, there may be fees and taxes charged at the destination that have not been detected in this database. An important portion of the remittance cost is the exchange rate spread, which is not quoted in the transfer fee. Even though remittances can be paid in US dollars in some countries, the majority of remittance transactions are paid in local currencies, and, thus, an exchange operation is required.
In this database, where remittances are paid in dollars, or where exchange rate information was not provided, this information may not be available. In these cases, the actual total costs might be higher than indicated in the database. The database covers different forms of transactions.
For each firm the type of product s offered was noted within the following categories: Similarly, as of Q2 , RPW captures the way the transaction is received by the sender under Receiving method , using as categories cash, bank account either hold at any bank or within the same or a partner bank as the one used by the sender , mobile wallet.
When transaction is disbursed in cash, the type of location where money can be picked up is also recorded agent, bank branch, Post Office, home delivery. As of Q2 , RPW captures the type of access point where transaction can be initiated by the sender. The speed of transfer is the time needed for the remittance to be available for the receiver. The transfer speed is noted for each product. Since the First Quarter the speed of transfer has been standardized in six broad categories: Since the Q1 the database also includes, for each company surveyed, a description of the network coverage in the receiving country.
This additional variable complements the overall picture for price and convenience of the service offered by each RSP. The following categories were used to describe RSP coverage: Since the Q2 , network coverage is captured both for the sending and receiving network and ranked as high, medium, low.
Disclaimer The pricing data provided in this database are intended to serve as a snapshot of the cost of remittances on specific dates and time.More...