Remittances are one of the most important means for developing countries to obtain funds in the form of foreign exchange. It competes closely with international aids and in some cases even far exceeds it. Global remittance flow to developing country is close to 600 billion dollars. Developing countries like India and China take up a large chunk of this amount amounting to tens of billions of dollars. In 2014 itself, India received 70 billion dollars in foreign exchange while the amount was 64 billion dollars for the Chinese nation.
Thus, remittances form a large and significant part of nations’ economies and hence, various channels have been designed which are fine tuned to aid foreign workers in sending remittances to their home state. Various rules and regulations have been framed so as to avoid laundering of this hard earned money and also to protect these channels from being used for nefarious designs by shady groups or people.
Since 2008, when Greece suffered from an enormous financial meltdown repercussions of which are being felt to this day, many Greeks left their homeland in search of better prospects outside. Quite a sizeable number of them went to Australia which already has a large fraction of its population of Greek descent. This outflow of workers from Greece assumed large proportions during and after 2013-14. Hence the number of people who remit money to Greece has increased tremendously. Other than Australia, European nations offer a choicest option for labour since European Union rules give flexibility to nationals of all European countries to work in any other nation in the continent. This labour population has the distinction of being highly qualified with most of them holding tertiary qualifications. Thus, this is skilled labour force which becomes an asset to any nation whose shores it chooses to set foot on.
Remittances to Greece stand at 80 million euros as of May, 2017.
In order to send in remittances, we may have to choose one of two possible agents. The first is a banking agent and the second is non-banking agent. A banking agent is one which has the distinction of holding a bank account in the pay-out country. Banking agents ask one to open two accounts- one in the local currency of the pay-out country and the other in the foreign currency.
A non bank agent is one which does not have a bank in the pay-out country but only accounts in local currencies which need to be kept funded in order to ensure pay-outs in the recipient country.
There have been several changes in financial structuring in Greece after their financial meltdown. This has had a direct bearing on remittance flows too. Money transfer from foreign banks to Greek banks is permitted but transfer of money from Greece to foreign nations is not permitted except under special circumstances where the Approval Committee for Bank Transactions grants special permit pursuant to specifically provided types of transactions, which are expressly exempted from this restrictive regime. Money remitted from abroad may be remitted outside in full except that a daily/weekly limit has been put which stands at 60 euros per day or 420 euros per week. Transfer of cash money abroad is permitted within the limits of 2000 euros per individual or per voyage.
There are various companies offering sending remittances to Greece. They have slightly differentiating features and some trade-offs might have to be involved while choosing one over the other.
Instarem, WorldFirst, OFX, HiFX, TransferWise, torfx are among a few. While comparing money transfer services one must always look for exchange rates involved, fee being asked for, processes and expected time duration for transfer process completion. Only after a thorough analysis must one go for a service.
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