In 2022, these G20 countries sent nearly $212 billion in remittances

But nearly $11.6 billion was lost to fees along the way

The reason remittance prices remain high is the lack of transparency. Today, providers can tell consumers their transfers are “free”, include “0% commission” or cost just a low fixed fee of $5. In reality, however, the biggest cost is hidden in a terrible exchange rate. This hurts remittance senders and receivers.

If more progress had been made on lowering the cost of remittances to the 3% target set by the United Nations, the people on the receiving end could have ended up with over $5 billion more.

average cost to send money

“This year’s Remittance Report demonstrates that G20 nations urgently need to take decisive action to reduce remittance costs. A decline in costs would allow migrants to send more money home to hundreds of millions of recipients around the world who rely on these funds for food, education and healthcare. Transparent pricing is crucial to lowering remittance costs, and I encourage leaders around the world to act and make this possible. This is too important to neglect.”

Dilip Ratha, Head of KNOMAD and lead economist, Migration and Remittances, Social Protection and Jobs Global Practice at the World Bank

How can countries get to the 3% target?

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 10c aims to reduce the cost of remittances to less than 3% by 2030. However, the current average in G20 countries is more than double the target, and remittance costs have only dropped by 1 percentage point since the SDG was introduced in 2015.

To lower costs in line with the UN’s 3% target, more transparency in the market is necessary. Banks and foreign exchange providers must disclose the total costs in a single upfront amount, including fees at both ends and foreign exchange rate margins. Allowing for a truly competitive market to emerge will lead to lower prices.

G20 countries

"Eleven years ago, my co-founder and I started a company out of sheer frustration. Wise was born because sending money abroad is hard, expensive, slow and riddled with hidden fees. Remittances - sending money to friends and family abroad - are no exception. They are confusing and often require complex calculations to figure out what you’re actually being charged. Unfortunately, that also means that people often get ripped off. While global momentum for transparency may indicate (regulatory) change, our analysis shows that most G20 countries don’t practice what they preach."

Kristo Käärmann, CEO and Co-founder of Wise
Wise | Report

Lowering Remittance Costs.

Can G20 sending countries achieve the UN goal of 3% costs by 2030? Join the fight against hidden fees globally here.

Read the full report