In 2022, World Bank data showed remittances surged to an estimated $794 billion globally and accounted for over 15% of the gross domestic product in 25 low and middle-income countries (LMICs) around the world. Per household, these remittances can usually increase the family’s disposable income by more than 50%, according to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Despite the pivotal role of increased remittances in developing the economy of LMICs, the cost of transferring money remains high.
WorldRemit, a leading digital remittance service, addresses this gap by making quick, secure, and cost-efficient services more available around the Philippines, Asia’s largest recipient market for WorldRemit and one of the largest in the world.
Robert Mitchell, WorldRemit Chief Financial Officer, expressed his confidence in the brand’s growth amidst global and local headwinds.
“We have not seen any pullback in demand with the global turbulence in the economic markets. If anything, remittances continue to play a much stronger role in people’s lives, particularly in the market in the Philippines,” he said.
The London-based digital remittance service has steadily grown to power over 20 million money transfers to the Philippines since 2011.
In addition, remittances have been resilient against the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and mass displacement of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) by bringing traditional offline services into the digital age and catering to the ever-changing needs and situations of Filipinos. For WorldRemit, this resulted in a 50% growth of users in 2020.
Earl Melivo, Head of APAC at WorldRemit, credited the brand’s quick adoption of mobile money channels and the ability to maintain a network of over 25,000 pickup locations.
“Our agility and capacity to offer essential services ensured that transfers were still made available to senders despite strict restrictions and lockdowns in many host countries,” Melivo said.
Despite turbulent economic conditions both in the Philippines and in many countries where OFWs reside and work, alongside a weaker peso, the courage and resilience of OFWs to keep sending remittances to friends and loved ones remains strong. Mitchell said remittances are essential for everyday usage like medical and utility bills, so they will not go away because of recessions and will remain vital to recovering economies.
“If anything, it [remittances] becomes more urgent,” Mitchell said.
In 2022, the personal remittance market showed continued growth at 2% to 3% in annual revenues and an estimated worth of $1.5 trillion globally. As of last October, it has returned to pre-pandemic levels with a 4% to 5% growth rate.
“Looking back gives us a better understanding of how digital platforms adapt and develop with the times. This helps WorldRemit build trust among migrant workers as a longtime partner in global remittances,” Melivo said.
WorldRemit’s expansion in the Philippines entails a lot of investments to further enhance customer experience and partnerships across the payment ecosystem—challenges that executives like Melivo and Mitchell are gearing up for. With its focus on empowering people financially and socially, WorldRemit is poised for a bright future in the digital age.