Alternative Finances

Western Union: Women Move Half of Global Remittances

Not only do women move half of global remittances, they send a greater percentage of their wages than men.

In a press release related to this year’s International Women’s Day on March 8, Western Union has shared statistics revealing the economic impact that international migrant women have on the global economy as well as the economies of their home countries.

The global money transfer company states that nearly 51 percent of its customers sending cross-border money transfers are women. Additionally, women — who comprise nearly 50 percent of international migrants — are responsible for half of the World Bank’s estimated $582 billion in global remittances.

Having analyzed global trends, Western Union has determined that while women and men send the same amounts of money to their home countries, women send a larger percentage of their wages. The study also shows that both men and women primarily send to women, who constitute about two-thirds of global remittance; this, according to Western Union, illustrates that women are predominately at the center of home financial management.

“Women have emerged from the margins of the international migration equation to become decision makers and essential contributors to the financial well-being of their families and communities,” said Hikmet Ersek, Western Union’s President and CEO.

“As women significantly influence the use of remittances for education,” continued Ersek, “women’s international remittances contribute to human capital-building globally while also reinforcing the backbone of so many remittance-receiving economies. We see it every day across the world, more than half of the remittances we move are made by women.”

In addition to sending a higher portion of their income despite generally earning lower wages than men, the International Organization of Migration (IOM), as relayed by Western Union, reports that women usually send money more regularly and for longer periods of time than do their male counterparts.



The pressure on banks to modernize their payments capabilities to support initiatives such as ISO 20022 and instant/real time payments has been exacerbated by the emergence of COVID-19 and the compelling need to quickly scale operations due to the rapid growth of contactless payments, and subsequent increase in digitization. Given this new normal, the need for agility and optimization across the payments processing value chain is imperative.

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