For people like Mehret Haile, who regularly sends money back home to Ethiopia, the website geldtransfair.de is extremely useful.
'The problem is that the market isn't very transparent. It takes a lot of time to research things like hidden costs, timescales for a remittance, and the payment destination. geldtransfair.de shows me everything at a glance,' says Haile, a nutritionist and development worker. The new mobile version also works on smartphones and tablets.
The geldtransfair.de portal currently provides an overview of the fastest and least expensive providers of money transfer services to 27 countries. Run by the Centre for International Migration and Development (CIM) on behalf of the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the comparison portal is free of charge and carries the World Bank’s certified logo for price comparison websites.
Migrants all over the world like Mehret Haile make significant financial contributions to support their families’ wellbeing and thus to promote the long-term development of their countries of origin. According to the World Bank, foreign remittances totalling an estimated 466 billion U.S. Dollar were sent to developing countries in 2017 alone. In the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the United Nations set the goal of reducing the cost of remittances to less than three percent in order to improve the conditions for this financial support. However, in the third quarter of 2017, the fees worldwide were still around seven percent of the amount transferred.
According to estimates, only five percent of worldwide remittances to home countries are made online. Experts believe that there is a lot of potential to make innovative financial technologies easier, cheaper and safer. The independent portal geldtransfair.de has around 2,500 and 3,000 users each month and is continually updated. It enables users to find the best providers quickly and thus improves transparency – so that more money reaches people abroad.