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

  • Anneke Kosse
  • Robert Vermeulen

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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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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Web page: http://www.dnb.nl/en/

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  1. Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes & Susan Pozo, 2004. "On the Use of Differing Money Transmission Methods by Mexican Immigrants," Economic Working Papers at Centro de Estudios Andaluces E2004/06, Centro de Estudios Andaluces.
  2. Michel Beine & Elisabetta Lodigiani & Robert Vermeulen, 2009. "Remittances and Financial Openness," CREA Discussion Paper Series 09-09, Center for Research in Economic Analysis, University of Luxembourg.
  3. Demirgüç-Kunt, Asli & Córdova, Ernesto López & Pería, María Soledad Martínez & Woodruff, Christopher, 2011. "Remittances and banking sector breadth and depth: Evidence from Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(2), pages 229-241, July.
  4. Rapoport, Hillel & Docquier, Frederic, 2006. "The Economics of Migrants' Remittances," Handbook on the Economics of Giving, Reciprocity and Altruism, Elsevier.
  5. Albert Bollard & David McKenzie & Melanie Morten & Hillel Rapoport, 2009. "Remittances and the Brain Drain Revisited: The microdata show that more educated migrants remit more," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0926, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Pablo A. Acosta & Emmanuel K.K. Lartey & Federico S. Mandelman, 2007. "Remittances and the Dutch disease," FRB Atlanta Working Paper No. 2007-08, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  9. Bilin Neyapti & Kivilcim Metin-Ozcan & Osman Tuncay Aydas, 2004. "Determinants of Workers Remittances : The Case of Turkey," Working Papers 0405, Department of Economics, Bilkent University.
  10. Devesh KAPUR, 2004. "Remittances: The New Development Mantra?," G-24 Discussion Papers 29, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
  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. 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.
  13. Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina & Pozo, Susan, 2013. "Remittances and Portfolio Values: An Inquiry using Immigrants from Africa, Europe, and the Americas," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 83-95.
  14. Elke Holst & Andrea Schäfer & Mechthild Schrooten, 2008. "Gender, Migration, Remittances: Evidence from Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 800, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. Freund, Caroline & Spatafora, Nikola, 2008. "Remittances, transaction costs, and informality," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 356-366, June.
  18. Russell, Sharon Stanton, 1986. "Remittances from international migration: A review in perspective," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 14(6), pages 677-696, June.
  19. Jørgen Carling, 2008. "The determinants of migrant remittances," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(3), pages 582-599, Autumn.
  20. Thorsten Beck & Maria Soledad Martinez Peria, 2011. "What Explains the Price of Remittances? An Examination Across 119 Country Corridors," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 25(1), pages 105-131, May.
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