Reducing the Cost of Remittances
Every day, millions of dollars flow from migrant workers in developed countries to their families and friends living in less-developed countries. In 2009, global remittance flows were estimated at $316 billion, representing over $1 billion individual financial transactions. The average cost for sending a remittance can be quite high in some countries, reducing the amount available for use for those that need it most.
Citigroup tackled this challenge with an innovative remittances service called Remit as You Earn. The initiative takes advantage of Citigroups global foreign exchange and cash transfer technology to allow employees to send remittances via salary deductions to home countries. In 2008, Citigroup joined the Business Call to Action with its commitment to make Remit As You Earn available to employees of the UKs National Health Service (NHS), which employs an estimated 250,000 members of Diaspora communities. The service will enhance Citigroups exposure and reputation as an international payments provider while decreasing costs to remittance senders by an estimated 50 percent.