Financial Advice: Returning Sri Lankan
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Financial Tips For Sri Lankans Returning Home

Updated on August 24, 2020 01:00 am
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Remittances to Sri Lanka are largely dependent on temporary labor migration. About 2 million Sri Lankan migrants sent remittance of $7.16 billion in 2018 which constituted 8.25 percent of the GDP, contributing a higher share of the country's total foreign exchange earnings. In 2019, an estimated $6.7 million was sent by migrants, which covered 84% of the country's trade deficit. 

With the COVID-19 pandemic, global recession including falling oil prices and job loss, the World Bank projects that the remittance to Sri Lanka will decline by 19 percent this year. However, the more pressing issue for the Sri Lankan government is to repatriate the migrant workers who have lost their jobs and without access to proper health facilities in the foreign countries amid the pandemic. 

Under normal circumstances, migrant workers do return and reintegrate back into their home communities once they can establish a favorable financial condition. The successful economic integration can only happen with good remittances management strategies that will reduce the dependence on remittance for income and makes re-migration a choice rather than a necessity. 

Particularly for Sri Lankans migrants, much of the remittances go to consumption and not to saving or investment. The knowledge of financial literacy is very crucial to manage earnings, plan for the future, and meet the challenges of life such as losing a job or other emergencies.

Financial tips of Sri Lankans returning home: 

  1. Joint Financial Planning and Goal Setting 

Migrants go to other countries in search of better economic opportunities to provide for their families. Working in foreign countries, they often have to balance personal financial needs and the needs of the family left behind. Joint financial planning is crucial for setting realistic expectations and working together to achieve financial goals.

Pre-departure planning may include the duration and the specific goals of migration, the cost of migration, and how to finance it. Participation of the family members in the decision-making process also enhances trust and builds better relationships.

It reduces family tension that can happen over the control and misuse of remittances. Understanding that remittances are hard-earned money often in harsh working conditions will promote the wise use of money.

  1. Knowledge of Financial Products

Government authorities have recognized the importance of financial literacy as part of beneficial migration. As part of long term and sustainable economic development, authorities both in the sending and receiving countries need to come with financial products and services (such as savings, loans associated with remittances, insurance and credit, and electronic payment facilities) for the migrants to help better manage their money. 

Banks and microfinance institutions can provide such facilities and at the later stage also offer a suitable framework for small-scale investments for the migrants. Understanding financial products and knowing how to take advantage of them is a priority.

Migrants will benefit from increased financial inclusion which will give access to these financial products and services and start building their financial future.   

  1. Adopting Healthy Financial Habits 

Building a saving culture especially for retirement, children's education, or for medical and other emergencies; making a budget according to the income and keeping track of expenditure are basic habits for a healthy financial life.

Such habits not only ensure short-term financial security but it also paves the way for long term financial security and breaks the reliance on remittances income. 

Read what are the best bank accounts for Sri Lankans living abroad?

  1. Establish Alternative Income Sources

Having additional sources of income through investing remittance productively like starting small scale enterprises will stop the family from being remittance dependent and eventually, create a favorable situation to return home and reintegrate economically. 

  1. Opt for inexpensive remittance channels

The cost and difficulties while sending remittances can be avoided by opting for safe and cost-effective remittance methods i.e send money online.  Sending money online through money transfer specialists is the safest and cheapest way to send money to Sri Lanka.

Digital financial products such as mobile money and e-wallets are gaining popularity which has the potential to make remittances safer, cheaper, and faster and also provide a convenient way to send money online and a secure way to store the remittances received by the migrants' family. Access to such money transfer services is crucial for migrants who want to send more money home and also save more. 

In conclusion, being financially educated and the ability to make sound financial decisions at different stages in the migration cycle viz. pre-departure, during service and return, and reintegration are essential, especially for temporary migration workers. Sri Lankan authorities have had to impose travel restrictions on Sri Lankan migrant workers who had planned to return home and those who were to leave the country for foreign employment. This was due to safety and security reasons as the positive cases of COVID-19 continued to rise. From 24 July, Sri Lanka is exempted from the list of countries where non-essential international travel is prohibited. Foreigners in Sri Lanka who wish to return to their respective countries are advised to contact the nearest Sri Lankan High Commission for guidance.

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10 Best International Money Transfer Services 2023
10 Best International Money Transfer Services 2023

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In addition, consider the transfer process's comfort, such as ease of use, user-friendly interfaces, and various transfer options (online, mobile app, etc.).NetworkSome companies have vast networks and relationships that enable seamless transfers to a variety of nations. Check to see if the money transfer company covers the precise places you require.Customer ServiceLook for a money transfer provider with dependable and quick customer care. This can be done via phone, email, live chat, or extensive FAQs.ReviewsRead user reviews and testimonials to learn about other customers' experiences. Their feedback can provide information on service quality, dependability, and overall client happiness. Regulatory ComplianceDetermine whether or not the service provider complies with applicable legislation and anti-money laundering procedures. This ensures that they conform to tight norms and legal regulations, providing an additional degree of protection and legality to your transfers.How to Send Money Internationally Using a Money Transfer CompanyHere are the precise steps to follow when sending money abroad via a money transfer service.Sign up for an account online at the business's main website using your name, contact details.Verify your identity. in step two. Depending on how much money you're sending, different companies have varying criteria.Enter your transfer amountProvide your recipient’s name, contact information & their bank details (account number, and branch number or bank identifier code (SWIFT BIC or IBAN).Pay the money transfer company with funds from your bank account.Track the transfer status online or through email.The transaction is finished when the money reaches the receiver's bank account.How to Get the Best Exchange Rates When Sending Money OnlineWhen transferring money online, getting the best exchange rate is critical to maximizing the value of your overseas transfer. Here are some techniques for obtaining a favorable exchange rate:Research and analyze multiple money transfer companies by comparing their currency rates and overall costs, including fees. Use money transfer comparison platforms like CompareRemit or visit providers' websites to ensure an informed decision.Get to know the mid-market rate (the interbank rate or the real exchange rate). Using comparison tools like CompareRemit, compare the mid-market rate to the rate that money transfer services are offering. Find a provider with rates that are as close to the mid-market rate as possible.Exchange rates fluctuate owing to market conditions. Consider timing your transfer when rates are lower, but be aware that predicting exchange rate movements can be challenging. Strike a balance between timing and the urgency of your transfer.Certain money transfer providers offer the option to lock in an exchange rate in advance allowing you to secure a fixed rate for a specific duration, protecting you from potential volatility.Forward contracts are useful for larger transfers or future payments. They enable you to fix the currency rate at the start of the contract, even if the actual transfer occurs later. This provides peace of mind and safeguards you against adverse currency fluctuations over time.10 Best International Money Transfer CompaniesXe Money TransferXe Money Transfer is a well-known brand in the international money transfer industry. It has several services that distinguish it from other businesses in the industry, such as easy currency conversion and same-day money transfers to more than 170 nations across all six continents.Because of its great exchange rates and lack of additional fees for sending money, Xe Money Transfer is quite popular. They are largely an internet business that offers web and mobile platforms that let users manage domestic and international money transfers from any location. On the business website, each user has the option to create a personal account that is accessible and usable around the clock.Their website receives close to 300 million visitors a year, and more than 70 million people have downloaded their app. With such a large customer base, Xe collaborates with more than 200 top worldwide companies, including Apple, Google, Walmart, and Amazon, and in 2015 alone, it enabled the secure and timely transfer of over $74 billion.Xe is regulated by central banks and financial regulatory agencies all over the world.Pros of Xe Money Transfer Offers competitive exchange rates, which are frequently close to the mid-market rate. Zero transfer fees for international money transfersTransparent and offers a secure platform for sending payments. Covers a wide range of currenciesAccessible via Mobile app and web platformCons of Xe Money Transfer Only offers bank-to-bank transfersIt may not be the quickest solution for urgent transfersRestricted service in particular countries or locationsLack additional services such as bill payment or mobile top-upsWiseWith a 4.5 out of 5 Trustpilot rating, Wise, formerly known as TransferWise, is a well regarded and reliable business for international money transfers. With over 16 million customers transmitting a combined amount of about £76.4 through their platform annually in more than 70 countries, they have a sizable customer base.The business has physical locations in 17 different countries. For their services, Wise charges a fee, but it's typically minimal, with some transfer fees as low as $1 plus a 1% commission on the overall transfer amount. It is a decent option for modest transactions because of its low fees.Wise doesn't charge any additional costs that aren't disclosed up front. They provide a variety of ways to send money, including direct bank transfers, debit and credit card payments, bank wire transactions up to several million dollars (or currency equivalents), and Apple Pay.Although Wise offers next-day transfers, they might not be applicable to all transactions, and the recipient could not have instant access to the funds due to their bank's availability.One of Wise's main advantages is that they use the government-established official exchange rate and adjust their own rate in accordance with it. Pros of Wise Transparent and low fees Fast and Efficient transfers (transactions completed in a few hours or even minutes for certain currency corridors)Accepts a wide selection of currenciesCons of Wise Customers must have a bank account in order to initiate transfers There are transfer limits based on the user's location and verification levelNo cash pickup services. WorldRemitOne of the first brands in the global money transfer industry, WorldRemit is currently valued at about $6 billion. WorldRemit has transformed the remittance industry in some regions, such as Asia and Africa, by offering immigrant workers easily accessible and reasonably priced money transfer services.Even though WorldRemit charges significant margins on its currency exchange rates, it is still far less expensive than conventional banks. The regular special offers and online coupons that clients can use to reduce the fees on their overall transfer amount are another area where WorldRemit excels.Online complaints concerning WorldRemit's customer service and how quickly it answers client issues are common when it comes to customer happiness. However, they make up for it by providing affordable charges, simple online resources, and excellent coverage.Pros of WorldRemit Services available in over 150 countriesOffers a variety of transfer methods, including bank transfers, cash pickups, mobile wallet transfers, and airtime top-ups.Easy-to-use internet platform and mobile app for initiating, tracking, and managing money transfers. Cons of WorldRemitTransfer fees can vary depending on factors such as the amount being transferred, the destination country, and the payment method used.Complaints of delayed verification processInstaremOne of the fintech newcomers to the international money transfer market is Instarem, which prioritizes cutting-edge solutions. Based out of Singapore since 2014, Instarem makes money transfers easy, quick, and reliable for everyone who needs to send or receive money.Instarem has a fantastic mobile app that prioritizes modern design and user experience. They lack true customer assistance and rely on AI to help consumers with their demands, like many contemporary financial businesses. Despite the fact that this is the way to go, many people lament their inability to find timely solutions to their problems.For the majority of its consumers, Instarem can be quite cost-effective. The sending and receiving countries and currencies will determine the fees and exchange rates, although generally speaking, there are no transfer fees.Instarem also offers a rewards program: for signing up, introducing other users, and donating money, customers can accrue reward points. Reward points can then be redeemed and added to the transfer amount.Pros of InstaremCharges affordable and transparent transfer fees Transfers that are quick and efficient.Supports transfers to many nations throughout the worldCons of InstaremOnly allows bank-to-bank transfersAccess restricted in some countries.Limited additional services (bill payments or mobile top-ups not available)RemitlyRemitly, a Seattle, Washington-based company, was established to provide quick international money transfers. It mostly handles remittances—sending money to friends and family who live abroad. Remitly has its own physical facilities in almost 60 countries and operates through a vast network of over 30,000 institutions all around the world. This makes sending and receiving money in a secure, dependable manner incredibly handy for everyone who utilizes them.Since Remitly isn't designed for large transfers, it is only natural that it doesn't provide hedging alternatives or professional dealers. Personal users that send little sums of money internationally make up their customer base. Over 70 different currencies are available for users to pick from, and transfers may be completed in a matter of minutes.The amazing thing about Remitly is that you can accrue perks as you utilize them more frequently. They have a fantastic referral scheme, and you can enable a greater limitation on your maximum sending capacity if you supply more official documentation.The amount of money you're transferring, the speed of the transfer, the payment method you'll use, and the destination country are all factors that affect Remitly's transfer rates.Pros of Remitly Provide rapid transfers with some transactions being processed in as little as a few minutes.Remitly's conversion rates are usually competitiveCovers a huge number of nationsMultiple payment and receiving optionsCons of Remitly Transfer Fees vary depending on the country and quantity transferred.Imposes limits on transfer amountPanda RemitPanda Remit is a digital remittance provider that specializes in money transfers between the UK and China. They provide reasonable exchange rates and cheap costs, making it an appealing option for people and businesses sending money between these two countries.Panda Remit focuses on delivering an easy-to-use internet platform and mobile app for quick and easy transfers. Panda Remit ensures that payments are sent safely and efficiently by emphasizing security and compliance.Additionally, Panda Remit offers real-time transfer notifications via SMS, WeChat, or email to keep consumers updated throughout the procedure. Various delivery alternatives, including a direct deposit to digital wallets, bank cards, or cash pickup, are available for the payment methods of bank transfers, debit cards, and ATM transfers.Customers may effortlessly transfer money overseas thanks to the company's user-friendly PandaRemit mobile app, which offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee.Pros of Panda RemitOffers competitive exchange ratesLow transfer costsA user-friendly web platform that makes it simple to initiate and track transactionsCons of Panda Remit Restricted Coverage and Destination choicesTransfer times may vary based on factors such as the destination country and the banking systems involved. It may not be the quickest solution for time-sensitive transactions.PassToPassTo is an international money transfer service that allows customers to send money to nations all over the world. They provide a variety of transfer options, such as internet transfers, mobile top-ups, bill payments, and digital vouchers.PassTo offers reliable and safe transfers through its trusted network of partners, with an emphasis on user experience and customer satisfaction.The majority of transfers using PassTo are finished in under a minute. There are numerous ways to make a payment, including debit/credit card payments and transfers between bank accounts. It provides a variety of payment options, including bank deposits, mobile wallet credits, airtime top-ups, and cash pickups.PassTo uses cutting-edge security measures to protect transactions and user data, and it is authorized and governed by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK. Depending on the nation, there may be a maximum transfer limit of GBP 3,000 per day, GBP 8,000 per month, and GBP 50,000 per year.Pros of PassToOffers a wide range of transfer options (bank transfers, mobile wallet transfers, and cash pickups). A large network and serves many countries throughout the worldEnhanced security measuresCons of PassToLimited Availability in Some RegionsReports of difficulties contacting customer support or receiving assistance PomeloPomelo is a prominent money transfer firm that offers consumers and businesses globally convenient and secure foreign transfer services. Pomelo seeks to simplify the process of moving money across borders by emphasizing convenience and competitive pricing.Pomelo's user-friendly internet platform is one of its most notable characteristics. The platform offers a simple transaction process, whether you're a first-time user or a seasoned sender.Pomelo prioritizes security, and they use advanced encryption technology to safeguard user data and financial activities. While Pomelo has numerous advantages, certain aspects must be considered. Transfer costs may apply and vary depending on criteria such as transfer amount, destination country, and payment method selected.Pomelo's availability may be limited in some areas. Before selecting Pomelo as your preferred  international money transfer company, be sure it functions in the intended location.Pros or Pomelo Offers a user-friendly online platform that allows users to easily initiate and track money transactions. Users can enjoy competitive exchange rates.Places a high priority on the protection of user data and financial transactions.Cons of PomeloVariable transfer fees based on transfer amount, destination country, and payment method used.Coverage may be limited in certain locations or nations.PlacidPlacid Money Transfer is a well-known and trustworthy international money transfer company that enables individuals and organizations to send and receive money across borders. Placid attempts to deliver a smooth experience for its users by emphasizing accessibility, cheap rates, and comprehensive services.Placid Money Transfer's extensive network coverage is one of its most noticeable qualities. The program offers transfers to multiple countries throughout the world, allowing users to send money to a variety of locations. Placid also provides competitive exchange rates, allowing consumers to get the most out of their money transfers. Placid provides a variety of helpful features in addition to its main money transfer services. In some nations, they include cash pickups, mobile wallet transfers, and even home delivery of funds. Such adaptability provides consumers with a variety of options to meet their individual preferences and circumstances.While Placid Money Transfer has various advantages, certain concerns must be considered. Transfer costs may apply and vary depending on criteria such as transfer amount, destination country, and payment method selected. To understand the fees associated with their transactions, users should check the price structure.Furthermore, the availability of Placid's services may vary by region. Before deciding on an international money transfer service, it is a good idea to see if Placid operates in the chosen location.Pros of PlacidPlacid has extensive network coverageProvide competitive exchange ratesHas a variety of transfer alternatives to accommodate a wide range of user requirements. Multiple delivery options: cash pickups, mobile wallet transfers, and even home delivery of money. Cons of Placidits availability in particular places may be limited.Does not provide a broad variety of ancillary services like bill payment or mobile top-ups. SkrillSkrill Money Transfer is a well-known online payment and international money transfer service that enables individuals and organizations to send and receive money from across the world. One of the primary benefits of Skrill Money Transfer is its simplicity. The platform is designed to be simple and easy to use, making it suitable for users of all levels of experience. Users may quickly create an account, add their bank accounts or credit cards, and begin sending money to others all around the world.Skrill Money Transfer also provides competitive exchange rates, guaranteeing that users receive the best possible rates when transferring currencies. This may result in cost savings when compared to traditional banks or other money transfer services. You can compare the top money transfer companies side by side on CompareRemit. Pros of SkrillA user-friendly site that is simple to access and comprehend, making it accessible to users of all skill levels.Offers competitive exchange ratesEnables transfers to over 180 countries, providing extensive global coverage.Cons of SkrillReports of difficulties contacting Skrill's customer service or receiving assistance on time. Limited Payment Options (may not support all local payment methods in every country) Frequently Asked QuestionsHow long does it take to send money internationally?The time it takes to send money internationally varies based on the service provider and the destination country. It can take anywhere from a few minutes to several business days.How safe are international money transfers?Yes, respectable money transfer firms use advanced security methods to safeguard your financial information and assure safe transactions. It is critical to select a reputable and licensed provider.Are there any fees involved with international money transfers?The rates for international money transfers vary depending on the supplier. Transaction costs, exchange rate fees, and receiving fees are all possible. Before initiating a transfer, it is critical to review the pricing structure of each service.Is there a limit to how much money I can send internationally?Yes, there are normally limits on how much money you can send abroad. These restrictions may differ depending on the service provider, the destination country, and local regulations. It is critical to review the particular limits for each provider.ConclusionWhen you want to send money overseas quickly, reliably, and affordably, specialist  international money transfer services are a fantastic alternative to banks.While sending money overseas, selecting the correct money transfer service is critical. Make an informed decision by examining factors such as exchange rates, costs, transfer speed, security, and customer service. Compare multiple service providers to find the ideal alternative that provides competitive pricing, low fees, and a flawless user experience. We recommend that you visit CompareRemit to make the process of comparing money transfer services easier. Don't settle for subpar rates or high fees.Use CompareRemit today to find the best international money transfer service for your needs!

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