Published on June 15, 2017

Reducing Costs and Scaling Up UK to Africa Remittances Through Technology


Sending money to Africa is more expensive than anywhere else in the world, according to new research due to be published at this week’s Global Remittance Conference in New York. The report argues that existing technology – like regional automated clearing houses, remittance payment processing hubs and aggregators – could all make sending money from the UK to Africa much, much cheaper.

In Kenya, £334 million is sent each year by 151,073 Kenyans living in the UK. The average cost of sending £120 from the UK to Kenya is 7%, but to send it to neighbouring Tanzania the cost is twice as much (14%).The report shows that the average cost of sending money to Africa is almost 10%, compared to the global average of just over 7%. Yet the UN Sustainable Development Goals say that by 2030 the global average price for remittances should not exceed 3% of face value, with even the most expensive countries not being more than 5%. The report shows that one and a half million people in the UK send over four billion pounds to Africa every year. But it reveals that nine out of ten of these transactions are carried out using cash and only one in twenty is initiated online.

The report was commissioned by Financial Sector Deepening Africa (FSD Africa) and written by Developing Markets Associates (DMA).

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