Over the past several months, the influx of refugees into Europe has dominated the headlines. Many of the news stories concerning migrants entering Europe focus on the negatives and as such only tell part of the story.
The Role of Migrants in Europe and the UK
The reasons for people choosing to migrate to other countries are as varied as the individuals. Europe’s migrant population numbers more than 30 million and is constantly increasing. Some left to escape horrors and atrocities at home, others left due to financial crises that have decimated entire industries and left large numbers of people without work.
The Huffington Post recently profiled a migrant worker in the UK who is a perfect example of the later. Elena Nebunelea was an insurance trader in Romania and was a team leader for her company. She told the Huffington Post that she “had a well-established career and a lot of responsibility, but unexpected legislative changes during the crisis lead to the absolute chaos and forced the company out of the market leaving thousands of well-respected and hard-working people jobless.” She and her spouse migrated to the UK in order to escape poor economic conditions. Elena works as a cleaner while studying to obtain accounting certificates in the UK. Elena and her spouse send money back home to their family, including their daughter, monthly.
Elena is an example of the migrant workers who dominate mid-level jobs in the UK. They pay UK taxes and have National Insurance Numbers. A majority of these workers also send money back home monthly.
The Impact of Remittances
The average migrant worker sends about $12,000 USD back home annually. These remittances make up between 5 and 7% of Europe’s GDP. The average annual income in most of the workers home countries is about $20,000, so the amount roughly equals having another wage earner in the household and makes it possible for the family to substantially improve their standard of living.
For years the remittance market was dominated by two large corporations, MoneyGram and Western Union. The companies provided a semi convenient method of transferring money and the service had less red tape than dealing with banks. The service was also expensive with fees often equal to 29% of the total transaction. It does not take a mathematical genius to see that exorbitant fees greatly diminished the impact on the recipient and made it more difficult for the sender to achieve their goals for those back home. The biggest winners in the remittance arena were the duopoly of MoneyGram and Western Union.
The importance of remittances cannot be overlooked. Banking experts estimate that global remittances will total $681 billion USD by the end of this year. In a TED talk KNOMAD CEO Dilip Ratha noted that ““Remittances fund education, healthcare, business investments, surgery, weddings and funerals that senders cannot attend.”
A New Player offers an Easier, Less Expensive Alternative
About three years ago a group of friends, after facing high fees and banking problems with remittances while running their import export business decided to find a better way. They founded TransferGo.
TransferGo offers users a fast, secure, and inexpensive method of sending money back home. By employing the latest technology and a unique “local in local out” payment system set up with partner banks in more than 30 countries, TransferGo enables users to make and receive payments from anywhere at any time along with same day purchasing power.
CEO and co-founder of TransferGo, Daumantas Dvilinskas said: “This money that people send home is the difference between barely making ends meet and entering a middle-class lifestyle. Only a couple of years after our journey began, blue-collar migrants can now save more than 90 percent on their transfer costs and can deliver money to their families on the same business day, which is a huge step forward.”
In its short history, TransferGo has attracted an impressive number of individual users as well as a number of new and established business users who were looking for less expensive and reliable payment solutions. TransferGo’s innovation and business model has earned them an impressive number of awards and recognition worldwide by technology and financial organisations.