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Migrants' Choice of Remittance Channel: Do General Payment Habits Play a Role?

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  • Anneke Kosse
  • Robert Vermeulen

Abstract

This paper investigates the determinants in migrants' choice of payment channel when transferring money to relatives abroad. We surveyed 1,680 migrants in the Netherlands, identifying five remittance channels: bank services, money transfer operator (MTO) services, in-cash transfers via informal intermediaries, ATM cash withdrawals abroad and carrying cash when travelling back home. To the best of our knowledge, we are the first to present evidence of the role played by general payment habits: migrants who regularly use internet banking for other purposes are more likely to use bank services for remittances as well. However, we also demonstrate that other important drivers exist in determining the choice of payment channels, such as personal characteristics and country-specific factors, (perceived) costs, ease of use and the availability of remittance options. Based on our findings, we suggest that financial education, cost reduction and new (mobile) remittance solutions may serve a valuable role.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department in its series DNB Working Papers with number 375.

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Date of creation: Mar 2013
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Handle: RePEc:dnb:dnbwpp:375

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Keywords: Remittances; payment instruments; qualitative choice models;

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  1. Albert Bollard & David McKenzie & Melanie Morten & Hillel Rapoport, 2009. "Remittances and the Brain Drain Revisited: The Microdata Show That More Educated Migrants Remit More," Working Papers 2009-26, Department of Economics, Bar-Ilan University.
  2. Rapoport, Hillel & Docquier, Frédéric, 2005. "The Economics of Migrants’ Remittances," IZA Discussion Papers 1531, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Jørgen Carling, 2008. "The determinants of migrant remittances," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(3), pages 582-599, Autumn.
  4. Michel Beine & Elisabetta Lodigiani & Robert Vermeulen, 2010. "Remittances and Financial Openness," CESifo Working Paper Series 3090, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Lopez Cordova, Ernesto & Martinez Peria, Maria Soledad & Woodruff, Christopher, 2009. "Remittances and banking sector breadth and depth : evidence from Mexico," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4983, The World Bank.
  6. Russell, Sharon Stanton, 1986. "Remittances from international migration: A review in perspective," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 14(6), pages 677-696, June.
  7. Simeon Karafolas & Nikolaos Sariannidis, 2009. "The Banking Network as a Transmission Channel of Migrant Remittances: The Case of Greek and Italian Banks in Albania," Transition Studies Review, Springer, vol. 15(4), pages 674-684, February.
  8. Devesh KAPUR, 2004. "Remittances: The New Development Mantra?," G-24 Discussion Papers 29, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
  9. Pablo A. Acosta & Emmanuel K.K. Lartey & Federico S. Mandelman, 2007. "Remittances and the Dutch disease," Working Paper 2007-08, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  10. Elbadawi, Ibrahim & de Rezende Rocha, Robert, 1992. "Determinants of expatriate workers'remittances in North Africa and Europe," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1038, The World Bank.
  11. Thorsten Beck & Asli Demirgüç-Kunt & Patrick Honohan, 2009. "Access to Financial Services: Measurement, Impact, and Policies," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 24(1), pages 119-145, February.
  12. Simeon Karafolas & George Konteos, 2010. "Choice of Money Transfer Methods in the Case of Albanian Immigrants in Greece," Transition Studies Review, Springer, vol. 16(4), pages 962-978, February.
  13. Nicole Jonker & Anneke Kosse, 2013. "Estimating Cash Usage: The Impact of Survey Design on Research Outcomes," De Economist, Springer, vol. 161(1), pages 19-44, March.
  14. Freund, Caroline & Spatafora, Nikola, 2008. "Remittances, transaction costs, and informality," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 356-366, June.
  15. Anneke Kosse & David-Jan Jansen, 2011. "Choosing how to pay: the influence of home country habits," DNB Working Papers 328, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
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