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Did you know that over $613 billion is transferred through money transfer services? And that it’s only growing year-over-year?

Transferring money to friends, families or relatives is a common practice in many countries. Financial institutions have spent the last few years aiming to make cross-border transfers faster, easier and more cost-efficient across borders.

In this post, you will find some insights and what the future holds for money transfers by analyzing money transfer statistics.

Editor Choice: Fascinating Money Transfer Statistics

  • The value of remittances will increase from $613 billion in 2017 to $750 billion in 2023. (Source: Statista)
  • By 2026, the global transaction value of digital remittance is projected to reach $35.8 billion with a CAGR of 13.8% between 2020 and 2026. (Source: Facts and Factors)
  • The global average cost of sending $200 remains high at 6.8 percent in the first quarter of 2020, only slightly below the previous year. (Source: World Bank, 2020a)
  • Transfers in cash or in-kind by foreigners living in the US to families abroad have doubled from $21.9 billion in 1999 to $50.9 billion in 2018. (Source: IMF)
  • The US was the leading country in remittance outflows of 68 billion USD in 2020, followed by the United Arab Emirates with 43 billion USD and Saudi Arabia with 35 billion USD. (Source: World Bank)
  • In 2020 remittance flows reached $540 billion surpassing a combined total of FDI and overseas development assistance which was 438 billion USD. (Source: World Bank)
  • Online money transfer users are projected to grow from 5,850 million in 2018 to 13 million by the end of 2023. (Source: Biteffect)
  • Global e-retail sales were valued at more than $4.2 trillion in 2020. (Source: Statista)
  • In 2020, more than 2 million people made online purchases of goods and services. (Source: Statista)

Money transfer can be done in form of remittances and online purchases of goods and services. Remittances flow from high-income countries to low-income countries. Global remittances and online purchases are expected to continue growing year in year out.

Statistics on Money Transfer Through Remittances

It is possible to describe remittances as everything that immigrants send back to their countries of origin in general terms. This includes money and commodities as well as ideas, behaviors, knowledge, identities, and social capital. The term remittances, on the other hand, refers to money or commodities that migrants send to their relatives back in their countries of origin in this article.

Although actual remittances may be higher than the remittance figures in this section because they do not include informal transfers, statistics in this region will assist you in understanding money transfer trends to watch in 2021 as well as business opportunities in this market, according to the World Bank.

1. Remittances to low and middle-income countries (LMICs) were highest in 2019 accounting for 554 billion USD.

Remittances to low and middle-income countries

(Source: KNOMAD)

In 2019, remittances to LMICs hit their highest level ever. With 83.1 billion dollars in remittances, India was the top recipient country. It was followed by China with $68.4 billion dollars and the Philippines with $35.2 billion, as well as the Arab Republic of Egypt with $26.8 billion. Other top recipients included Mexico with $38.5 billion dollars and the Philippines with $35.2 billion dollars.

2. The flow of remittances to countries with low and middle incomes was projected to decrease by 7.2% in 2020 and a further 7.5% decline in 2021.

The flow of remittances to countries with low and middle incomes

(Source: KNOMAD)

According to the World Bank, remittances to low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) would decline to 508 billion USD in 2020 from their current levels. They also predicted a further decrease in 2021, with a total of 470 billion USD predicted. As a result of the economic catastrophe that may follow the Covid-19 epidemic, such as pay and job reductions among migrant workers, these predicted declines were among the steepest ever forecasted.

3. Remittances on official records show that remittances declined from 548 billion USD in 2019 to 540 billion USD in 2020.

Remittances on official records show that remittances declined from

 (Source: World Bank)

According to the World Bank, remittances will decrease by just 1.6 percent in 2020, which is less than the anticipated decline. Remittance flows decreased to a lower extent than had been anticipated, indicating that remittances remained resilient in 2019.

4. By July 2020, remittance inflows to Mexico increased by 7% compared to 0.5% in Latin America by June 2020.

(Sources: Banco de México, 2020 and Pew Research Center, 2020)

In Mexico, there was a steady influx of remittances during the year 2020. Following the formal declaration of the Covid-19 in March, remittances to Mexico rose by a factor of 1.5. The similar pattern may be seen in Latin America, where remittances rose by 0.5 percent in the same period.

5.   Bangladesh registered a  53.5 percent year-on-year increase in remittance inflows in the third quarter of 2020.

Bangladesh registered a

(Source: KNOMAD)

This month, the amount of money sent to Pakistan and Bangladesh rose significantly. (Source: World Bank) It is possible that this increase is related to the “Haj effect,” which occurs when Pakistani and Bangladeshi migrants return home with money they might have spent on the Mecca pilgrimage during this time owing to travel restrictions imposed as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Regional Remittance Trends

The following statistics reveal the trends in regional money transfers.

6.   Although the inflow of remittances to the East Asia and Pacific region increased by 2.6% billion in 2019, they were expected to decline by 13% in 2020.

(Source: The World Bank)

Remittances from the United States, which is the region’s most important source of funds, are expected to decrease in 2020, according to the projections made at the time of publication. This has the potential to put dependent families in a financial bind. It was predicted that remittance earnings will rebound by about 7.5 percent in 2021.

7.  Remittance inflows to Europe and Central Asia fell by about 9.7 percent to $56 billion in 2020 compared to nearly 6% growth to $65 billion in 2019.

(Source: The World Bank)

The worldwide Covid-19 epidemic, as well as low oil costs, were also factors contributing to the decline. Almost all of the nations in this area have seen a decrease in remittances in the last year alone. This, however, was in contrast to previous projections, which predicted a 28 percent decrease in 2020. Despite the fact that the influx of remittances to Europe and Central Asia did not reduce by nearly as much as expected, they did fell by about 9.7 percent.

The previous economic crises of 2009 and 2015 resulted in a decrease of 11 percent and 15 percent, respectively, in remittances from abroad. Because of the anticipated sluggish pace of recovery in the region’s economy, it is expected that remittance inflows would drop by another 3.2 percent in 2021.

8.  In 2020, remittance inflows to Latin America and the Caribbean were estimated to fall by 19.3 percent but they grew an estimated 6.5 percent to $103 billion in 2020.

(Source: The World Bank)

In 2019 remittances to this region grew by 7.4 percent to $96 billion. Remittances to this region also defied the predicted 19.3% fall and instead increased by 6.5%. In the second quarter of 2020, the was a sudden decrease in remittances but in the third and fourth quarter, there was a remarkable rebound. This was a result of the improved employment in the US which contributed to increased inflows to countries such as Guatemala, Mexico, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, El Salvador, and Honduras.

However, in 2020, there was a decrease in remittances to some countries in this region such as Bolivia which had a16 percent decrease, Paraguay -12.4 percent, and Peru -11.7 percent. This could be attributed to the weak economic situation in Spain.

Remittance inflows to the region are projected to recover by 4.9 percent in 2021.

9.  In 2019 remittance to the Middle East and North Africa region increased by 2.6%, compared to 2.3 percent to about $56 billion in 2020.

(Source: The World Bank)

Remittances to this area increased by 7.4 percent in 2019, reaching $96 billion. It is also worth noting that remittances to this area bucked the anticipated 19.3 percent decline and rose by 6.5 percent. A sharp drop in remittances occurred in the second quarter of 2020, but a spectacular recovery occurred in the third and fourth quarters of the same year. This was a consequence of increasing job opportunities in the United States, which resulted in higher inflows to nations such as Guatemala, Mexico, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, El Salvador, and Honduras, among others.

However, there was a drop in remittances to several nations in this area in 2020, including Bolivia, which saw a 16 percent decrease, Paraguay, which saw a 12.4 percent decrease, and Peru, which saw an 11.7 percent decrease. Because of Spain’s poor economic condition, this might be ascribed to the country.

According to projections, remittance inflows to the area would increase by 4.9 percent in 2021.

10. In the South Asia region, remittance inflows increased by nearly 5.2% to $147 billion in 2020 compared to 6.1% in 2019.

(Source: The World Bank)

Despite predictions that remittances would decrease by 22 percent to 109 billion USD in 2020 as a result of the Covid-19 epidemic, the area had a 5.2 percent rise in the same year. Remittances to Pakistan increased by about 17 percent in the first quarter of 2018, with the biggest inflows coming from Saudi Arabia, the European Union, and the United Arab Emirates. India’s remittances dropped by 0.2 percent in 2020, despite the fact that it had previously been the world’s biggest receiver of remittances. In part, this was due to a 17 percent decline in remittances from the United Arab Emirates to India, which more than offset robust inflows from the United States and other host nations.

11. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, remittance flows to Sub-Saharan Africa were expected to decline by 23.1% to reach $37 billion in 2020 but they declined by 12.5% to $42 billion.

(Source: The World Bank)

Because Nigeria accounts for more than 40% of remittance inflows into the area, the 27.7% drop in remittances to Nigeria contributed to the overall decline in the region. If Nigeria had been removed from the calculations, remittances to the area would have risen by 2.3 percentage points. Zambia saw the greatest rise in remittances in the area, with a 37 percent increase, followed by Mozambique with a 16 percent increase, Kenya with a 9 percent increase, and Ghana with a 5 percent increase.

It is possible that remittance flow statistics in this area is not trustworthy. This is due to the fact that some nations continue to rely on the obsolete Fourth International Monetary Fund Balance of Payments Manual rather than the Sixth. Others do not provide any information at all.

Because of the expectations for development in high-income nations, it is anticipated that remittance flows in the area would increase by 2.6 percent in 2021.

Digital Money Transfer Statistics

In recent years, there has been a movement away from conventional remittance channels and toward digital remittance channels (electronic transmission of money), which offers a potentially profitable business opportunity. The statistics in this area will show the most recent developments in the field of digital money transfer.

12. By 2026, the projected growth of the Digital Remittance Market is $33.9 billion.

(Source: Kbv research)

The cumulative annual growth rate of the digital remittance market is 17.2 percent over the projected period. In the near future, digital remittances will fundamentally alter the global economic environment. It is expected to grow in the future as a result of the growing need for cross-border money transactions that are simpler, more reliable, and faster.

13. In 2018, 5,850 users transferred money online and it is expected that they will be 13 million by 2023.

(Source: biteffect)

A growing number of individuals are making online money transfers, as they want the convenience and security that online money transfers provide them.

14. Digital money transfer transactions are projected to reach a total of 143,096 million USD by 2023 up from $64,173 million in 2018 globally.

(Source: biteffect)

This is an increase of 15.9 percent on a yearly basis. The use of digital money transmission is anticipated to increase at an astounding pace in the future. In 2018, it is projected to grow to reach more than double its current size. This implies that a greater number of individuals will carry out digital money transfers in the near future.

15. In 2018 PayPal recorded a total of 578 billion USD in payments with the company generating an income of 15.45 billion USD.

(Source: biteffect)

In the corporate sector, online cash transfers for the purchase of products and services, as well as quick money transfers, are becoming increasingly common place. When it comes to online money transfers, PayPal is one of the most widely used services.

16. According to 2018 data, 78% of the UK population made online purchases compared to 11% in Egypt

(Source: biteffect)

There are differences in the rate of growth of online money transfers in different parts of the world. It varies from one location to another whether or not internet services are available. By 2018, the internet had reached its peak in Northern and Western Europe, while the expansion of the internet had just recently begun to expand in Central Africa. This explains why there was such a large disparity between the number of individuals who made online purchases in the United Kingdom and those who did so in Egypt.

17. In North America, Apple Pay is preferred by 50% of all retailers compared to 45% who use Masterpass and 43% Visa.

(Source: biteffect)

Sellers in various parts of the world have different payment options they rely on. Apple Pay, Masterpass, and Visa are the most trusted payment methods in North America, according to a recent survey.

18. Only 36% of merchants who accept online payments accepted PayPal in 2018.

(Source: Statista)

Less than half of online sellers accepted payments through PayPal in 2018.

19. In 2020, 79% of the people who use smartphones Used their mobile or tablet to make an online purchase.

Source: OuterBox

Mobile phones are an essential part of online money transfer by most online consumers.

20. In the first quarter of 2019, the volume of mobile payments using PayPal grew by 52 percent with only 34.9% of all the US mobile users using the eBay app.

(Source: CLX)

Mobile devices and accessories were the most popular items sold on eBay, accounting for 16.4 percent of all sales.

21. The 2021 Statista Global Consumer survey in the US showed that 56% of Americans had done online payments using a credit card compared to 56% who used other online methods such as PayPal and Amazon Pay in 2020.

(Source: Statista)

During the previous twelve months, internet payment was the most popular way of making a purchase. Cash payments were the least popular, with cash on delivery accounting for 7 percent of all payments, invoicing accounting for 6 percent, and cash in advance accounting for 6 percent.

22. Personal transfer payment sent by migrants to their families abroad grew from $21.9 billion in 1999 to $50.9 billion in 2018

(Source: IMF)

In the past two decades, the number of personal transfer payments from the United States to other countries has more than doubled. As a result, the United States has surpassed all other countries in terms of money transferred across the world.

23. The leading digital market globally is Apple Pay with 227 million users followed by Sumsang pay and Google pay with 100 million users each.

(Source: Statista)

According to industry estimates, Apple Pay will be the leading digital market in 2020, having grown from 140 million users in 2018 to an anticipated 227 million worldwide users in 2020. Apple Pay is predicted to be the leading digital market in 2020. It is followed by Samsung Pay and Google Pay, both of which were predicted to have 100 million users apiece by 2020, according to projections.

24. In quarter one of 2021, the total payment volume of venom increased by 60% year on year with more than 50 million total payment volume.

(Source: Statista)

Venmo is a digital payment service headquartered in the United States that is owned by PayPal. It was rated #1 in the United States with an audience reach of 89 percent. According to a study conducted in March 2019, 20 percent of Americans have used Venmo in the previous twelve months.

25. Mobile payment users in the US were 58.7 million in 2018 and they were estimated at 69.4 million in 2020.

(Source: Statista)

In this statistic, the number of proximity mobile payment users in the United States is shown from 2018 to 2020 for the period of time specified. Up to 2023, the numbers are projected to continue to rise on a consistent basis.

Final Thought

Remittances are the most popular method of foreign money transmission. As a result, they constitute a significant source of revenue in underdeveloped nations. In the aftermath of the Covid-19 epidemic, the World Bank decided to keep the remittance lines open in 2020 to ensure that the poorest people could continue to get their basic necessities.

Despite the fact that they are private money, remittances take precedence over government development assistance. Global estimates of money transfers include transactions that are not often considered remittances, such as remittances to other countries. According to the statistical criteria employed in the gathering of statistics on remittances by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), 2009.

The World Bank provides assistance to member countries in order to monitor the flow of remittances. By limiting the cost of transferring money and providing rules to preserve financial integrity, it accomplishes this goal. It collaborates with the G20 nations in order to lower remittance costs and increase the participation of the underprivileged in financial development.

Covid-19 was anticipated to have a negative impact on remittances, but as the data showed, the amount of money sent home defied expectations. With the exception of the African area, where remittances fell as a result of a reduction in remittance inflows to Nigeria, most regions saw a rise in remittances.

Money transfers are mostly accomplished via digital remittances and online payments across the world. Because of increasing worldwide access to the internet, there has been a steady rise in the number of people transferring money online throughout the years.


Q: What are Remittances?

Answer: According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), remittances are money or commodities that migrants send back to their family and friends in their home countries. They are the most important link in the chain between migration and development. Remittances may also have a social purpose. Migrants’ views and behaviors, as well as their social capital, identities, and expertise, may all be influenced by their experiences in other nations.

Q: What is the size of the digital remittance market?

It is predicted that the worldwide digital remittance industry will reach about 16.3 billion USD by the end of 2021, and that it will reach roughly 17.7 billion USD by the end of 2022.

Q: What the meaning of money transfer?

Answer: Money transfer refers to the act of transferring money from one account or person to another, either electronically or physically, from another account or person. Transferring funds between banks or across countries is an option for many people. It is possible to transfer money through online bank transfers or in-branch bank transfers.

Q: What is the definition of digital money transfer?

Answer: Digital money transfer is the act of transferring money from one person to another via the use of electronic platforms. Using this method, you may transfer money swiftly and remotely in a contemporary and easy manner. Transactions such as credit and debit card purchases, direct deposits, wire transfers, and online bill payments are all examples of electronic fund transfers (EFTs).

Q: What is the safest way to transfer money from one person to another?

Answer: Sending money through wire transfer is the most secure and safest method of doing it. This is due to the fact that money are moved straight from one financial institution to another. There is no involvement of a third-party service in the processing of your information.



Facts and Factors

World Bank, 2020a


World Bank





World Bank

Banco de México, 2020

Pew Research Center, 2020

The World Bank

Kbv research









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