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What Regulations Govern the Remittance Industry in the UK?

Updated on April 12, 2022 08:58 am
Remittance Regulations

The World Bank lists the United Kingdom as the top third remittance country in the world, after America and Canada. Its 3.8 million migrants routinely send over $20 billion USD (16bn) a year to their families and connections, although World Bank economists estimate the actual remittance flows to be far larger, since an unknown number of people bypass banks and big money-transfer companies. In 2016, the LTP report found that more than US$17 billion in remittance flows out of the UK to developing countries. These include Bangladesh, India, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, as well as China, Lithuania, the Philippines and Poland.

On the whole, the British remittance system is known for its efficacy and ease, although British migrants complain about rates, and some express concerns about the security of their money.

The Department for International Development

The Department for International Development (DFID) is Britain's independent institution for boosting third world development. One of the ways it does this is by acknowledging the value of remittance in developing countries and by guaranteeing that its remittance channels to these countries remain protected.

In 2004, the DFID started a special division called the UK Remittances Working Group to simulate remittance flow to the developing emerging markets and to regulate security and protection of the funds. Its stated goals is: "To increase the value and frequency of remittances to the developing world and encourage these flows to reach wider groups of senders and receivers."

In that same year, the committee decided to liaison with the Joint Money Laundering Steering Group (JMLSG), Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and the FSA to review existing guidelines, stimulate remittance flows and find ways to encourage firms to follow agreed guidelines.

Remittance Projects Sponsored by the UK Remittances Working Group

In 2004, the UK Remittances Working Group introduced the Action Group on Cross Border Remittances to establish partnerships between stakeholders and international government, so the DFID could improve remittance transactions. Over the past few years, projects have included the British Government's Safer Corridor Initiative which aims to assure banks and money transference companies that their funds will be transferred safely and to help the Somali authorities in protecting their financial sector.

The DFID has also launched various guidance working groups tasked with guiding money-transferring companies on how to comply with British government anti-money laundering and terrorism financing regulations. These include the Joint Money Laundering Steering Group (JMLSG), which helps money transference companies identify crime risks, and the National Crime Agency, which investigated money laundering in the Money Service Business (MSB) sector.

Over the past two years, as realities of terrorism and money laundering have increased, the DFID has tightened its surveillance, keeping an ever closer eye on suspicious activities in the region. Some migrants see Brexit as a threat to their remittance transactions. The DFID along with the World Bank and the Bank for International Settlements have developed international standards for protection and fair trade.

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It typically covers a range of unforeseen events such as trip cancellations, medical emergencies, lost baggage, flight delays, and more. By having travel insurance, travelers can embark on their journeys with peace of mind, knowing that they have financial protection in case of emergencies.What Does Travel Insurance Typically Cover? Before we explore the top credit cards offering travel insurance, it's essential to understand the various types of coverage your credit card may provide to protect your trip and yourself:1. Baggage Delay: Imagine arriving at your destination only to find that your luggage hasn't made the journey with you. In such situations, your credit card's baggage delay coverage may reimburse you for the costs of purchasing new attire and essential items. The coverage amount and required delay period vary by card.2. 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What is an EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer)?

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They serve as intermediaries that help process and complete the electronic transactions.Electronic ChannelsEFT transactions can occur through various electronic channels, including online banking, mobile apps, point-of-sale terminals, and ATMs.Payment SystemsPayment systems are the networks and protocols that enable electronic funds transfers. Some well-known payment systems include ACH (Automated Clearing House), SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication), and card payment networks like Visa and MasterCard.Types of Electronic Funds TransfersThere are several different types of Electronic Funds Transfers, each designed for specific purposes. Here are some of the most common types:Direct DepositsThis is a common form of electronic funds transfer where funds are deposited directly into a bank account. For example, direct deposit from the employer's bank account to to employee's bank account.This EFT uses an electronic funds transfer network called the automatic clearing house (ACH). The money can be transferred instantly and automatically into the receiver's bank account.The ACH system is also used for recurring payments, such as utility bills, mortgage payments, and subscription services.Wire TransfersWire transfers involve the immediate funds transfer between two banks, often used for high-value or international transactions. The electronic transfers are handled by a network of financial institutions such as the Fedwire Funds Service, Clearing House Interbank Payments System (CHIPS) in the U.S. for domestic wire transfers, or the SWIFT network or IBAN for international payments.Debit and Credit Card TransactionsWhen you use your debit or credit card for a purchase, you're essentially conducting an EFT transaction. The funds are electronically transferred from your account to the merchant's account.The cards feature 16-digit numbers across the front, along with the expiration date and the cardholder's name. Both cards are used either by swiping through a reader, but the more common methods are the chip and PIN or contactless technology.Mobile PaymentsMobile wallets like Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay allow you to make electronic payments using your smartphone. To make a contactless payment, you hold your smartphone up to a reader like you would a credit or debit card.Bank ATM (Automated Teller Machine)Bank ATM transactions are EFT payments that use Internet banking to move money electronically between bank accounts, deposit money, or withdraw cash. The bank-issued debit or credit card and PIN are used to make the ATM transaction. 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Whereas it can take three to five days for an international wire transfer to clear.What is the Cost of EFT?The cost of an electronic funds transfer varies depending on the type of transfer you select and the total amount of money you wish to send.If you own a company and need to pay an employee's salary, using direct deposits is a cost-free option for you to consider. Or you can use a debit card or a smartphone to make a contactless payment in stores without incurring any transaction fees.Benefits of EFT PaymentsEFT provides several advantages, both for individuals and businesses.Speed: EFTs are much faster than traditional paper-based methods. Money transfers are instant, making them ideal for urgent transactions.Convenience: EFTs allow you to initiate and receive transactions from the comfort of your home or anywhere with an internet connection. You don't need to visit banks or handle checks manually.Security: EFTs are generally more secure than paper-based ones. Banks and payment service providers employ encryption, multi-factor authentication, and real-time fraud detection systems to safeguard electronic transactions.Cost-effective: EFTs are less expensive for both individuals and businesses. You can save money on postage, check printing, and transportation costs associated with paper checks.24/7 Availability: EFT systems are available 24/7, allowing you to make transactions at any time.Drawbacks of EFTsInternational wire transfers, which are a type of EFT, can be costly considering there are charges for sending and receiving money, including correspondent bank fees, and other penalties, such as investigation fees, in the event that the wire transfer is misplaced.Wire transfers are irreversible once sent. Any funds that were sent to the wrong person by mistake or at the request of a fraudster cannot be recovered.EFTs are vulnerable to fraud, hacking, and identity theft. 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Additionally, Wise offers a multicurrency account that lets you keep more than 50 different currencies and convert them at an affordable rate.RemitlyRemitly focuses on fast and affordable money transfers, catering to the needs of expatriates and those supporting loved ones abroad. Remitly provides two-speed options for money transfers: Express ensures immediate delivery with higher fees while Economy delivers funds in 3 to 5 business days.XEXE is a trusted currency converter and money transfer platform, providing real-time exchange rates and tools for individuals and businesses to make informed financial decisions in the global market. It offers international money transfers in 139 currencies to over 220 countries and territories.PandaremitPandaremit stands out for its user-friendly interface and competitive rates in the remittance market. It's a reliable choice for individuals seeking convenient and efficient international money transfers. Transfers can be completed in as little as 2 minutes, and a 100% satisfaction guarantee ensures a full refund if expectations aren't met.AboundAbound, previously named Times Club and affiliated with the Times of India group, serves as a rewards and remittance app tailored for Non-Resident Indians (NRIs). Abound enables the transfer of funds from the U.S. to India with attractive exchange rates, providing cashback and rewards. You get competitive exchange rates and no transfer fees when sending money to over 130 Indian banks from the U.S.PomeloPomelo introduces a fresh approach to seamless money transfers from the U.S. to the Philippines, integrating consumer credit with international remittance services. It offers a Family plan for global credit sharing, delivering individual cards within 10 days. Users can send money now, pay later at zero APR, and control card balances monthly at a competitive USD to PHP exchange rate.SBICFor fast money transfers from the United States to India, consider SBIC (State Bank of India-California), a subsidiary of India's State Bank of India. As a full-service bank with multiple California branches, SBIC provides various financial solutions and international services. Key features include zero-cost transfers to any Indian bank within hours, competitive USD to INR exchange rates, and flexible transfer options through the SBIC Mobile App, online, or in-person.PlacidPlacid offers a comprehensive platform for international money transfers, focusing on speed and security. It streamlines currency exchange across 25+ countries through direct affiliations with various banks. It ensures rapid transfers, allowing recipients to receive funds directly in their bank accounts or through convenient cash pickup at local agents. Notably, their spotCash! service distinguishes itself with speed, simplicity, and convenience for recipients.PassToPassto stands out for its commitment to providing cost-effective and reliable international money transfer services. It caters to expats in the UK, offering a mid-market exchange rate and transparent fees, facilitating money transfers to 60 countries and real-time airtime top-ups to 150+ countries. Users can PassTo Plus Points with each transfer, which is redeemable for fee discounts on future transactions.ConclusionElectronic Funds Transfer has revolutionized the way we handle financial transactions, providing convenience, speed, and security. EFTs continue to evolve as technology advances. The future of EFT holds the promise of even greater convenience and efficiency.As we have discussed in the blog, there are various specialized services for a seamless and efficient global money transfer. Explore these options to make informed decisions based on your specific transfer needs.To compare your options for international money transfers, use CompareRemit's comparison tool and find a provider that best fits your money transfer needs!

Last Minute Diwali 2023
Last-Minute Gift Ideas for Diwali 2023

Diwali, the Festival of Lights, is a time of joy, celebration, and the exchange of gifts. As Diwali 2023 approaches, finding the perfect gift for your loved ones can be a delightful challenge. Whether you're running short on time or looking for thoughtful last-minute gift ideas for your sister for Bhai Dooj, we've got you covered. In this article, we'll explore the essence of Diwali, its significance, key dates, and suggest creative ways to send gifts using remittance services.What is Diwali? Diwali is a prominent Hindu festival celebrated with enthusiasm across India and among the global Indian diaspora. It symbolizes the victory of light over darkness and good over evil, with a rich cultural and spiritual heritage. A time full of vibrant rangoli, crackling firecrackers that light up the night, and aromatic food being passed around, Diwali spans five days of festivities, each with its own rituals and significance.Families illuminate their homes with diyas (oil lamps) and candles, create beautiful rangoli designs, and indulge in sweets and savories.Why is Diwali Celebrated?Diwali celebrates the victory of good over evil and light over darkness. It's a time to seek blessings for prosperity and happiness. The exchange of gifts during Diwali is a way to show love and appreciation for one another, enhancing the festive spirit.Key Dates for Diwali 2023:Dhanteras: November 10, 2023The first day of Diwali, dedicated to the worship of Lord Dhanvantari (the physician of the gods) and goddess Lakshmi. People buy gold, silver, and utensils on this day.Naraka Chaturdashi (Choti Diwali): November 11, 2023On this day, Lord Krishna defeated the demon Narakasura, signifying the victory of good over evil. It's a day of cleansing and lighting lamps.Diwali (Main Day): November 12, 2023The most important day when families come together to perform Lakshmi Puja (worship) and light oil lamps or diyas to illuminate their homes.Govardhan Puja: November 13, 2023A day to worship Lord Krishna, who lifted the Govardhan Hill to protect the villagers from torrential rain.Bhai Dooj: November 14, 2023A day to celebrate the beautiful bond between brothers and sisters, with sisters applying tilak on their brothers' foreheads.Last-Minute Diwali Gift Ideas1. Digital Gift CardsConsider sending digital gift cards from popular online retailers. These cards allow your loved ones to choose their perfect gift, ensuring they get something they truly desire. Many remittance services offer the option to send digital gift cards along with money transfers, making it a convenient choice for last-minute gifts.2. Money TransfersSending money home for Diwali is a practical and thoughtful gift. Online remittance services like Wise, Instarem, Abound, Xe Money Transfer, Wo Transfer, etc. offer quick and secure transfers, enabling your family to make Diwali purchases, decorate their homes, and prepare delicious meals. It's a versatile gift that allows your loved ones the freedom to use the funds as they see fit.To find which money transfer service is the best one for you, check out our catalog of reviews and guides, all designed to help you see the complete ins and outs of the many remittance services on the market to make the best decision for your needs. We invite you to compare remittance providers using CompareRemit’s comparison tool today to find the best rates, lowest fees, and fastest turnaround times for your specific destination and transfer amount.3. Subscription ServicesGift subscriptions to streaming platforms, magazines, or online courses. These subscriptions offer entertainment and knowledge, making them valuable and enjoyable gifts for your loved ones.4. Personalized Diwali HampersPut together a personalized Diwali hamper with traditional sweets, homemade treats, and small decorative items. Include a heartfelt Diwali card to add a personal touch. Sending a picture of the hamper along with a digital money transfer can be a delightful surprise for your family.5. Online Shopping VouchersOnline shopping vouchers from popular e-commerce platforms allow your loved ones to pick their favorite items. These vouchers can often be emailed directly, making them an excellent last-minute gift option.In the spirit of Diwali, the joy of giving is unparalleled. Embrace the true essence of the festival by spreading happiness, love, and prosperity. Even in the last minutes leading up to Diwali, these thoughtful and practical gift ideas ensure your loved ones feel cherished and valued. Utilize reliable remittance services to make these gestures of love possible, bridging the distance and connecting hearts across the globe.For all of your money transfer needs, visit our homepage for more information on how to find the best option for you and your family this Diwali. Here you will be able to compare exchange rates between the top remittance companies, find the best rates, learn how to get started, receive exclusive offers, and more. This Diwali, let your gifts illuminate the lives of your dear ones, just like the radiant glow of diyas brightens the darkest of nights. Happy Diwali!

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