Updated Feb 14, 2022

What is Remittance?

What is Remittance?



Remittance transactions are a popular means of payment for overseas money transfers. The increase of cross-border business in the global economy creates a big demand for remittance payments all over the world. According to the Pew Research Center, approximately $148 billion in remittances were sent from the United States to overseas countries in 2017. The requirements for remittance are numerous, as are the techniques for carrying them out. Understanding the nuances of remittance payments is beneficial because each case is different.



What is the meaning of Remittance?


A money transfer is referred to as a payment remittance. One party will transmit money to another person or company, usually via electronic transfer or wire transfer. This type of transaction is frequently done worldwide and can be completed almost instantly. Many people use remittance to transfer money back to their native country to help support their families. Remittances are also used to help developing countries and account for a component of their GDP (GDP). Fees do apply to remittance activity, which is convenient and not always done through commercial transactions.



What is a payment remittance transaction and how does it work?


A remittance payment can be made in a variety of ways. Bank account access, payment preferences, a need for a speedy transaction, or the cost of the transaction are all factors to consider when choosing a payment method. Regardless of the method, all transactions follow the same basic path to complete the payment cycle.


When sending a remittance, the sender's bank account must have funds in the amount of the payment. The monies will be sent to the recipient's bank for processing after the transaction has been issued. When the money arrives at the bank, it is subjected to a foreign exchange rate and a banking fee. The monies are now available to the recipient in local currency, minus the fees.


Is it possible to tax remittances?


Yes, albeit the rules vary depending on the country. This is especially true for businesses remitting payments, though individuals are also taxed, which the OECD refers to as "non-business tax remittance." The remittance must be reported on federal tax returns since it is a kind of income, whether remuneration or a gift. The percentage and conditions differ in each country, so whether you're transferring money or taking it, both parties are required for recording the transaction. To file properly, it's critical to stay up with current tax legislation for countries engaged in possible remittance.



How can I make a payment and send money to someone else in another country?


Wire transfers are used for the majority of remittance transactions, however, electronic transfers are also frequent. Wire transfers can be made in a variety of ways, but Western Union and the Society for Worldwide International Financial Telecommunications are two popular options (SWIFT). Senders of remittances must make sure that their bank uses the same transfer businesses as the recipient's bank. On rare occasions, a transfer cannot be received directly by the recipient's bank. In this situation, an intermediary bank will collect the funds and deliver them to the recipient's bank, as well as charge a fee for their services. Wire transfers can take up to 5 business days to complete due to this process.


Depending on the provider you choose and the nations involved in the transaction, money transfer services may offer reduced rates and faster transfer periods. According to the US Federal Trade Commission, this is an option best used for someone you know, as scammers frequently use this system.


You might send money internationally for the following reasons:

There are a variety of reasons why a person or company might desire to send money internationally. Financial support for relatives in one's native country is a typical requirement. Individuals will work abroad seeking better job chances to provide for their families in today's global economy. Remittance payments are used to send money to loved ones. Fees for these transactions might be rather significant.

Hiring a contractor from another country is another reason. Because today's industry is often global, many organizations will hire a foreign specialist to help on a temporary or project basis, and the easiest approach to compensate the contractor is through a remittance transfer. In most cases, a firm sends a remittance to an individual.


A person may desire to send money to a company via international remittance. This situation usually takes the shape of a charitable gift or a gift for a specific purpose, such as a disaster fund. Remittance payments are frequently made in the form of financial aid to underdeveloped countries.



Which remittance payment alternatives are available?


A remittance payment can be sent in a variety of ways. Traditional bank transfers are the most common way. This straightforward procedure necessitates the use of two bank accounts. A third party or partner bank may be required for the transfer, in which case an additional fee may be charged to compensate for their involvement. ACH payments and wire transfers are the most common methods of bank remittance.


Checks and money orders are frequent remittance methods. The procedure is lengthy and requires banks to fulfill numerous phases. Currency exchange rates and fees will apply with this kind of transaction. Outside of direct cash remittance, this is possibly the cheapest money transfer.


Money transfer services, as previously said, are an excellent way to pay for a remittance electronically. Funds are transferred across linked accounts, which include credit card and debit card payment alternatives. Credit cards are an expensive but dependable means of remittance. If preferred, you can pay the service provider in person with cash or a credit card. For those who do not have access to a bank account, this is a viable option.


Blockchain and remittance apps are two other choices. Paying through an app is simple and likely to become the norm in the future. Electronic trades have a security risk; however, the processing is instantaneous and can be validated via text message or other immediate confirmation means.



The five most popular B2B payment methods


1. Checks

While checks are becoming increasingly obsolete in B2C transactions, they remain a popular method of payment in B2B purchases. Checks offer several advantages, the first of which is a clear paper trail throughout the payment cycle, which is one of the reasons why businesses like them. There are, however, drawbacks. When a check is written incorrectly, it may be necessary to cut a new check. Bounced checks produce a system of repercussions that must be dealt with. The greater the number of people involved in the process, the higher the overhead. Finally, clearing checks is time-consuming.


2. The ACH

An ACH is a computerized equivalent of writing a check. The payment is taken from the buyer's account and placed into the seller's account in this transaction. This works nicely with business-to-business recurring payments. However, to set up this system, authorization from the buyer is required, and not many firms are prepared to share their bank information. However, this is a one-time setup, and subsequent payments are made with little to no work on either party's behalf. Companies that do not desire scheduled payments but want to make regular purchases on an as-needed basis might use ACH.


3. Debit and Credit Cards

Using a credit card to make a payment has been around for a long time. This payment option is usually a safe bet for getting your payment processed, however, credit cards are known for charging large fees on both ends of the transaction. Expenses limits on credit cards might be a concern for high-amount of business transactions.


4. Wire Transfer

This common payment method has been around for a long time. Money is sent from one bank account to another using a "wire" transfer. Wire transfers are safe in terms of ensuring adequate funds are accessible, but they take a long time to set up and execute. Currency limitations on transaction exchanges are not common in wire transfers.


5. Electronic Funds Transfers (EFTs)

Electronic funds transfer (EFT) is a digital payment technique that is becoming more popular. The function is identical to that of an ACH or wire transfer both of these payment methods are EFTs. Because it is digital, EFT is a payment solution that efficiently transfers payments at a cheaper cost and a faster rate than wire or ACH transactions. Payment solution vendors choose EFT as automation grows. According to stats, 59 percent of payments in 2018 were done electronically across three worldwide areas.



What Is the Impact of Remittances on the Global Economy?


Because of technological advancements, remittances have surged in recent years. International aid was the major source of funds for many developing countries until the late 1990s. Remittances have surpassed that amount since then.


Furthermore, in low- and middle-income nations, money transferred by abroad workers may account for a significant amount of the country's GDP. In 2015, these funds amounted to nearly 10% of the economies of the Philippines and Guatemala, as well as around 7% of the economy of Vietnam.

Remittances totaled $574 billion (USD) in 2016, according to estimates. This statistic includes $136 billion in aid from the United States to a wide range of Latin American and international recipients.





Remittances can help family members who have been left behind as well as strengthen the economies of receiving countries. They can also foster a culture of dependency in the recipient country, resulting in lower labor force participation, increased conspicuous consumerism, and slowed economic progress.

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