Transferring Money Around The Globe
Remittance patterns across the globe tend to follow patterns of migration.
The spread of globalization has accelerated migration trends and indirectly influenced many industries, including the remittance industry. Per the United Nations, 230 million people lived abroad (outside their home countries) in 2013. Per the World Bank, “remittances sent home by migrants to developing countries are equivalent to more than three times the size of the official development assistance.”
Although many economies, globally speaking, have continued to perform weakly in light of the “Great Recession” of 2008 and 2009, the flow of remittances still increases every year. Analysts say that $552 billion flowed in remittances in 2013 and $581 billion will likely flow in 2014, by the time the year’s over. Migration not only influences where that money flows from (and flows to), but it also changes the remittance infrastructure.
For instance, in the United States, we’ve seen diverse industries blossom over the past three years to offer smart and safe ways to send money to the Philippines, send money to Mexico, allow money transfers to India, and so forth. This infrastructure for remittances in turn affects migration patterns — it’s a lot easier to move to a place where you can easily send money to your family back home. This back and forth creates a virtuous economic cycle, with migration affecting remittances and vice versa.
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