This article was first published on: Insights – Ripple --

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Recent news coverage underscores the impact of high fees and poor FX rates for many expatriates in the Gulf countries sending money home. Two of the top five remitter countries are in the Gulf region – the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (#2 at US$47B pa) and the UAE (#3 at US$32B pa).1

The exchange houses in the UAE process the lion’s share of outward remittances, with fees ranging between 16-22 dirhams when sending payments to high volume corridors such as Asian countries but which can top 70 dirhams to the UK, Europe or the U.S. where volumes aren’t as high.

Why? When we examined the technologies, systems and processes being used by exchange houses, we found that high volume corridors into Asian destinations (e.g. India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, the Philippines) circumvent the conventional SWIFT messaging and batch processing used by many for cross-border payments today, and use an Application Programming Interface (API) for messaging instead. This means a redu...

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