Eid-ul-Adha falls on the tenth day in the final month of the Islamic Lunar Calendar. That means that this year, it starts on Saturday (July 9), with festivities continuing for two to four days, depending on the country.
With over 2.6 million Muslims in the U.K., remittances are particularly important to this community in the run-up to the holiday, when around the world, it is traditional to exchange gifts with loved ones, especially children.
International money transfers have become a popular way for U.K. Muslims to continue this tradition when apart from friends and family in other countries.
According to data from the U.K. division of Ria Money Transfer, Eid-ul-Adha is one of their busiest remittance periods, second only to Ramadan. On average, Ria processes 15% more transactions during the holiday.
What’s more, because of the strength of the pound and the U.K.’s high wages, a large number of British Muslims support dependents abroad by sending them money.
In the aforementioned data from Ria, the company found that the real remittance spike comes not during Eid-ul-Adha itself but in the run-up to the holiday.
Many Muslim-majority countries observe national holidays during Eid, meaning that the banks and post offices that operate as pick-up points for international transfers are closed. In order to ensure their transfers are received before the seasonal closures, U.K. Muslims will often send money in advance.
“The demand for international payments services spikes up in the lead up to Eid. Driving this increase are the Muslims across the U.K. and Europe with family ties internationally,” Jose Ivars-Lopez, Ria’s U.K. and Ireland country manager, said in a press release emailed to PYMNTS.
“They will be sending money to loved ones thousands of miles away to help them acknowledge this religious holiday, and it is crucial that their gift arrives safely to its destination,” he said.
So, as Muslims the world over come together to celebrate Eid-ul-Adha this year, international payment services have an important role to play in connecting friends and family.
Read more: Is 2022 the Year Islamic FinTech Takes Off?
For all PYMNTS EMEA coverage, subscribe to the daily EMEA Newsletter.