Monday, 20 December 2010 4:46 PM

Saving Pacific Migrants Money

www.sendmoneypacific.org has re-launched this week, to provide even more information on the costs involved in sending money back to the Pacific from Australia and New Zealand.

www.sendmoneypacific.org is a leading remittance price comparison website, jointly funded by the Australian and New Zealand governments and managed by Developing Markets Associates (DMA). The site, visited by thousands of Pacific Island migrants every month, now provides more information than ever before, and remains easy to understand. The re-launched website proudly carries the endorsement of the World Bank, having met World Bank standards for remittance databases. Visitors to the website can be assured that the information listed on www.sendmoneypacific.org is current and objective.

The website has now been updated to include exchange rates offered by banks and money transfer operators (MTOs), coverage of remittance receiving locations in the Pacific, and outlet information in Australia and New Zealand will be expanded.

SendMoneyPacific now also features key financial and budgeting tips for Pacific communities developed by MoneyPACIFIC. The core MoneyPACIFIC financial education messages can now be viewed online, ensuring that visitors, as well as saving money when they send money back home, can also find out how they can better manage their personal finances throughout the year.

The cost of sending money to the Pacific Islands through banks and MTOs has traditionally been very high compared to other world transfer zones, significantly reducing the amounts eventually received by those who need it most in the Pacific. After only two years, SendMoneyPacific has helped to play a crucial role in the reduction of these transfer costs. Costs continue to fall and new money transfer products are coming onto the market bringing more choice and the potential for greater savings than ever before.

Jonathan Capal of DMA, says that the recent Pacific Islands Forum Economic Ministers? Meeting (FEMM) report on 'Trends in remittance fees and charges?' (dated October 2010) has ensured that the need to encourage reduced costs in the Pacific remains high on the agenda of the region?s Central Banks and Finance Ministries.

2010 has seen a substantial increase in the number of people visiting SendMoneyPacific and greater interaction with the banks and MTOs featured on the website. Costs have continued to fall during the second half of this year with total costs now at 21.3% (21.7% in June 2010) from Australia and 14.8% (15.2%, June 2010) from New Zealand - a fall of 1.9% and 3.9% respectively since January 2009.

This is clearly still too high and above the World Bank goal of reducing global remittance prices to just 5% of the amount being sent by 2014 (the '5 x 5'? objective).

"Extra information now available on the website will help those sending money back home this Christmas. Access to more information enables families to make smarter choices and enables them to compare transfer costs, ensuring more money is received by their loved ones at home in the Pacific." (Jonathan Capal, DMA)

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