Over the last years research and analysis have led to a better understanding of the actual flows and mechanisms of remittances. The pricing of remittances at the supply side, and the customer needs at the sender side are much better understood, and consensus has emerged with regard to the following aspects:
- prices paid for remitting money are (too) high;
- there is a high level of informality (50% via informal channels);
- the productive use of remittances is less than it could be, in majority it is paid out in cash and a large part is spend on direct consumption needs
The e-MFP Remittances Action Group gathers together members that believe microfinance institutions are relevant channels to deliver more fairly priced remittance services (dependent on the money transfer organization (MTO) they operate with) and more adapted financial products, particularly when remittances can be linked to savings or loan products. Action Group members focus their activity on making fairly priced and reliable remittances flows happen via MFIs, with the objective of reaching the bottom of the pyramid and encouraging remittances to be used productively, thus contributing to development.
The Action Group's main objectives are:
- Building the Knowledge: based on our experience identify the best ways for MFIs (and other parties if applicable) to become successful actors in the remittance business ;
- Disseminate the best practices: ensure that lessons learned, best practices, toolkits, market information (ie prices and conditions) and financial education are effectively shared with MFIs, the senders and the receivers (and other parties if applicable);
- Partner on any relevant activities.
Ms. Gabriela Erice