African Immigrant to Loved Ones

by Winngie

18 December 2019

General

0 comments

People are working overseas, just for sustaining income for their family back home and waiting their savings to keep their family happy. Especially in African countries, just for creating a better life for their families, millions and millions African are working in another country.
Fees for remitting money vary wildly between providers and countries. African migrants, who sent almost $60bn (£38bn) in remittances last year, pay the most, according to the World Bank. On average migrants sending money home to Africa lose 12% to fees. Moving money between African countries can cost much more – sending money to Tanzania from neighboring Kenya or Rwanda, for example, costs an average of 22% (or a $44 cut on $200 transferred).


Many experts would say how it is incredible that in a competitive environment there’s no reason these things should be more than 4%. It is not something justifiable.

According to Ismail Ahmed, founder of World Remit, an online transfer service said that the true cost of sending or receiving remittances in Africa was much higher than figures may suggest. “There are costs associated with going to a branch. In Africa, in many cases banks are in the cities, so people have to travel there, queue up, wait and then collect small amounts of money.”

The widespread utilization of mobile phone in Africa could make it cheaper to transfer money and easier for migrants to get to emergencies at home, said Ahmed. “Particularly in Africa, new technological changes are likely to have the biggest impact. Imagine somebody gets a text message in the middle of the night, saying that mum needs to go to the hospital, and they can send $10 instantly. In the long term, these things will transform money to transfer in Africa.”

Several firms have come up lately to face the dominance of major platforms, such as Western Union, considered to control 18% of the worldwide remittance market with roughly 500,000 outlets in 200 countries.

In 2011, Western Union handled $81bn in remittances roughly $1 in every $5 sent. It made 80% of its revenue from remittances that year, including almost $3.6bn in transaction fees and $1bn in foreign exchange income. In Africa, exclusive deals with several banks saved it to a share of the market above 70% in countries, such as, Mali and Rwanda.

Western Union said its average cost to users was roughly 5%. “Our pricing varies from country to county depending on a number of factors, such as security and local regulatory compliance. On the amount of money being sent,” it said, adding costs was affected by factors, including national laws and the amount being sent. “Western Union has acknowledged the increasing consumer which need to send money from one African country to another. However, in Africa there is a new trend that Winngie is the new one that has been well received and became so common for many immigrants in Africa. Winngie goes in a high demand in Africa and gets a high level attention for many immigrant workers.

Winngie has an easy interface and sustainable client background that many immigrants use this platform as a transfer way to their loved ones back in their country. Winngie is a new trend according to data has been published in a Rwandan local university. It is the fact that Winngie has very cheap, no fee and no cost at all. Calling free as cheap might not sound good, but Winngie has a good way to change all African immigrants’ perspective.

Western Union is losing its grand to Winngie as booking.com whereas Expedia loses its own to Airbnb. In Africa, especially Saharan Africa and East Africa, the business itself is ongoing to Winngie. The platform itself became a phenomenon in Africa.

It changes the system and makes transfer small amount to overseas to love ones easier than ever. Not anymore high costly transfer fees and killing exchange rates are the issue for African immigrants. African immigrants are happy to use Winngie for their well worked hardly earned money.

Reference:
Why do Africans pay the most to send money home?
https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2013/jan/30/africans-pay-most-send-money

Read more

Exchange Money and Lose on the Spot

by Winngie

16 October 2019

Exchange Currency

Financial Service

General

Peer to Peer

Share Stories

0 comments

Anyone who travels as often as me or lives in several different countries as I do may know that he/she needs to exchange money all the time. Each time, you will see how much the banks are charging and cutting from your money.

All payments and transfer fees are not so unclear, and you don’t know how much it costs you. In the information era, there is some information that has been covered but not opened to us. If you transfer a huge amount of money from your country to another country, you will feel amazed how much it may cost you and you will not be even sure how much you pay for each specific reason.

You will be battered to realize that the fees are as much as 13%. That’s on a round-trip exchange currency. It means if you exchange the money then change it back, you may lose 13% of the exchange amount. Of course you’re not going do a double exchange, but it gives you a clear idea of how much the banks can make out of you. The average fees are roughly 7% of the total exchange amount for a round-trip or 3.5% for one way.

Interbank rate is the rate the banks pay when exchanging money. This is the rate the banks pay when they are trading with each other. This is the “genuine” exchange rate. The banks make a margin on top of this, and give you their exchange rate with the fees covered. Mostly they do not open out the fee, and they just disclose the rate that you have exchanged. The reason why they charge that much is because this is a hidden fee. You don’t see the fee because you just see how much foreign currency you received when exchanging.

 

Country

Bank name Example currency

Round-trip fees

International

PayPal AUD/USD 3-9%

U.S.A.

Wells Fargo USD/EUR

2%

U.S.A.

Citibank AUD/USD

2.1%

Australia NAB AUD/EUR

10%

Australia

Westpac AUD/EUR 11%
United Kingdom Barclays GBP/EUR

13%

United Kingdom

Lloyds GBP/EUR

5%

Canada

Toronto Bank CAD/USD

6%

Canada RBC CAD/EUR

8%

The table above indicates the rates you receive if you wire money into your bank account in another currency. This is probably what will happen if you sale a house in one country and purchase another house in another country. It’s not the rates you receive when exchanging cash over the counter in the bank (although rates for both situations are usually very high). I include PayPal in the table above. Although they are not a bank, they are a popular option for international transfers. You will notice that the fees in the US are a bit more reasonable than the UK, Australia and Canada. But still, even the Wells Fargo currency exchange rates of 2% round-trip (1% one-way) cost some money to pay when there is no other lower cost option.

There are several options to avoid these fees, but it depends on how much money you are exchanging and which currencies you are exchanging. If you’re transferring $5k to $100k, you can avoid the fees and pay only around 0.5% by using any one of these currency exchange companies:

  • TransferWise – charges 0.5% one way or 1% round trip. They seem to be able to facilitate a transfer even if you do not have a bank account in both countries (but I have not confirmed this). The other alternatives on this list will need you to have a bank account in your name in both countries. TransferWise will definitely need the sender to have bank account and will need the sender to verify their identity with a copy of a passport or similar documentation.
  • OFX – charges usually 0.5% one way or 1% round trip.
  • CurrencyFair – charges usually 0.5% one way, and they also have a marketplace where you can trade with other people directly. (Note: Five free transfers with CurrencyFair if you use the link)
  • xe.com – fee varies depending on the currency.
  • Winngie-it gives you the best rate and best option. It is the best I have used.
  • Curexe – offers a transparent 1% cost on currency exchanges and goes down to 4% on higher volume transactions. They have awesome customer service because you can get a direct line to the founder 24/7.

 

The way for these services to work is that you transfer (via wire transfer usually or ACH in the US) to their bank account and then they will wire or direct transfer to you in the exchange currency. Usually this means you need a bank account in the two different currencies. You can get a bank account with multiple currencies which will solve this issue, for example, by setting up an account with HSBC in Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia or the UK.

There is also an option for using a foreign exchange broker to directly exchange money and pay the same rates that banks pay. This is something I have personally done, but it’s a little tricky to set it up. I would not recommend it unless you have over $500k to transfer. In other words, brokers don’t want you to set up an account. Just to exchange some money! They are looking for you to trade, and transacting hundreds of times, so that they make something on brokerage fees. One company you may use is Interactivebrokers. There will be a monthly fee and a minimum to open the account if you do this.

All of these previous options are more for transferring larger amounts of money. If you’re traveling overseas and just need some cash during your trip, there are basically two options: local currency exchange (cash to cash) or simply using your credit card. The best option depends on which country you are traveling to. Some countries have a local economy that relies heavily on exchanging to US dollars and you will find in these countries that the exchange rates for cash to cash can be quite reasonable (around 1% fees one way). Some examples are: The Philippines, Hong Kong or Ukraine. If you have US dollars, then the best option for these countries is to bring US dollar cash and exchange it when you arrive. Mostly you will not want to exchange at the airport as the rates are likely to be a lot worse than in the city center.

Credit cards are another option for getting your money when traveling. This can be either paying via the card or withdrawing from an ATM.

You want to be careful as most cards will double-charge you, not only for the currency conversion, but also an extra fee for withdrawing from ATMs and then on top of this an additional charge for foreign currency withdrawals.

So you can end up being charged in three separate ways for the same transaction: 1) The ATM fee 2) A percentage charge for cash advance or for foreign currency transactions 3) Another hidden fee on the exchange rate (again banks do not declare this fee to you they just tell you that this the “rate” they are giving you, but of course that “rate” includes their undisclosed fee.

There are some credit card options without additional fees whilst traveling, but all of them as far as I am aware will still have the hidden fee that they take when converting currencies.

 

Read more