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Comparing Traditional VS Digital Remittance Services - A Guide for OFWs in Italy

25 Mar 2024


According to a Pilot Guides report, the Filipino diaspora consists of over 10 million migrants. Over 100,000 Filipino migrants are working in Italy for work. They earn a living and offer financial support back home through offline and online money transfer from Italy to Philippines.      

But have you ever compared different means of transferring funds across borders?

Yes. The answer is easy if seen from the perspective of technological advancement. But then, don’t you think several Filipino migrants may be technology-averse and rather still believe in the traditional means to transfer funds from one place to another? 

This blog will shed light on the advantages and disadvantages of different methods of transferring funds, mainly traditional and digital.  

Online Money Transfers – Journeying from Traditional to Digital Ways

There was a time, not too long ago, when online money transfers were the forte and strict domain of the banks because banks had gained the customers' trust. Banks have been safekeeping funds and other financial services in recent decades.    

Since online money transfers involve your hard-earned money, you are naturally inclined towards banks, given the respect they command in the financial world. Had it not been for the advent of some globally reputed and recognized online money transfer services, like ACE Money Transfer, the power and hold of banks on online money transfers would not have been diluted.

Despite this, several Filipino migrants still find it more feasible to send money to Philippines from Italy through banks.   

Look below for a better understanding and to make an informed decision.

Pros of Sending Funds Across Borders through Banks (the Conventional Way)   

Zoom out of the realm of online money transfers from anywhere to everywhere, and you will see two basic ways at play in which funds are being transferred worldwide – banks and digital services. Both have merits and demerits.   

Let’s walk through the merits of sending funds conventionally.   

Personalized Banking Assistance

One of the first advantages of transferring funds through banks is that they offer personalized assistance in your financial matters. Bank staff are trained to provide personalized financial assistance, whether about a specific transaction, overall banking services or a specific product a bank is offering.   

Trust in Proximity  

Look around, and you will realize that many people need the reassurance of visiting a bank branch they can locate. They may have trust issues, which is understandable given that the matter involves their hard-earned money. So, another pro of being a bank customer is that these financial institutions offer you satisfaction with their physical presence.  

Trust and Security     

Banks command immense respect due to their physical presence, with branches almost everywhere. This physical presence also adds security because you can visit where you have put your money. It is one of the reasons that a bank's customer base runs into millions. But the question is: will trust and security be enough even if it comes at a financial cost?    

Demerits of Sending Funds Across Borders through Banks

There are several challenges that the banks still need to grapple with in terms of offering financial services. Most of them are financial that you cannot afford given that you are working in Italy to earn money and send money online to Philippines from Italy, to offer financial support back home. Some of these challenges are discussed below.   

Long Time to Deliver Funds   

Banks still take a long time to deliver funds despite so much technological advancement and innovation in every field. The normal time to deliver funds from one country to another is 3 to 5 business days. What! Days? Yes… Days, whose number can still increase due to many factors.

High Service Charges   

Banks will charge a high fee for every money transfer and other financial services. Paying a high fee on your online money transfers becomes easier if you have to pay it regularly. And online money transfers are, well… a recurring process.   

Uncompetitive Currency Exchange Rates

A bank will hardly offer competitive currency exchange rates on online money transfers. Getting live exchange rates from a bank is a distant dream. The financial health of your online money transfers is based on the kind of rates you are offered.    

Apart from these demerits, there are several risks and challenges banks are still grappling with in their financial services.      

Pros of Using Digital Remittance Services

Apart from these digital services' demerits, their pros outweigh the disadvantages. These services are rooted in dazzling technology, and the service providers ensure that customers benefit optimally.     

Low Service Charges 

Several companies charge you a bare minimum fee for their services. Since money transfers are a regular process, finding the best way to send money to the Philippines from Italywhich charges a low fee, can help you financially.    

Speed and Efficiency

Several digital remittance transfer companies deliver funds instantly and with utmost efficiency. For example, if you choose ACE Money Transfer to send funds to the Philippines, your funds will only be delivered in a few minutes!    

Safety and Security

You are naturally concerned about your online money transfers because these involve your hard-earned money. Therefore, choosing a digital service provider is a better option because it has multiple layers of security and the speed at which funds are delivered, leaving little margin for scammers to penetrate the transaction.          

Live and Market-Competitive Currency Exchange Rates

This is an area in which digital services take the lead. You will only get live and market-competitive currency exchange rates through digital remittance services. These rates help you financially by adding to the amount you send home.  

Ease and Convenience

Another advantage of digital services is that you can access these services right from the middle of your comfort zone. No commuting is involved, and no other physical activity is required to access the services.        

24/7 Service Access and Availability    

One of the biggest advantages of digital remittance transfer service provider companies is that you can access their services 24/7 and from anywhere. Since their services are available online, you can access them easily without any working day or holiday restrictions.  

Disadvantages of Using Digital Remittance Services

The one factor that has diluted the monopoly of banks over online money transfers is the digital remittance transfer services. Several companies are already offering amazing financial services. But they also have certain demerits.  

Scams and Fraud

One of the biggest challenges in digital remittance services is the margin of scams and fraud. However, it has more to do with how careful you are while choosing your service provider. But yes, stay away from the unscrupulous elements in the industry, anyway.   

Connectivity Challenges

Since digital remittance transfer services are anchored in internet connectivity, it becomes challenging in countries like the Philippines. Power outages and poor internet connectivity can cause your transactions to be delayed or even canceled. 

Final Take On Traditional VS Digital Remittance Services

If you make money transfers from Italy to the Philippines through conventional ways, you will realize that these services are no longer at par with the current times for the above reasons.  

On the other hand, digital remittance service providers cater to customers' evolving needs while adapting to rapidly changing times. In addition, several service providers like ACE Money Transfer offer amazing services in their remittance transfer operations from just one window. These amenities are offered without compromising the quality by offering all services simultaneously, unlike certain service providers offering one feature while skipping the other for additional charges.  

FAQs

What are the two main ways of transferring funds online?

In broader terms, there are two main ways to transfer funds: traditional ones that include banks primarily and digital ones that include online money transfers.   

What are the pros of the traditional ways to transfer funds?

Some pros of transferring funds include customer trust and personalized customer services. It also involves the physical presence of the banks' branches, other financial institutions, and the institution's staff.           

What are the cons of traditional ways of transferring money?

Some disadvantages of sending money traditionally include high service charges for several days to deliver funds, which can still extend depending on several factors. It also involves a lengthy process, uncompetitive currency exchange rates, paperwork, and commuting fatigue.

What are the pros of digital ways to transfer funds?

Some pros of the digital ways to send money online include speed and efficiency, low service charges, live and market-competitive currency exchange rates, 24/7 service access and availability, safety and security, and ease and convenience.  

What are the cons of digital ways to transfer money?

Some of the disadvantages of sending money online through digital ways include the margin of online fraud and scams, connecting with an unscrupulous company in the remittance industry and issues with internet connectivity.

Resources

·      Filipino Diaspora

(The Filipino Diaspora – PILOT GUIDES)


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