Legal, Rapid and Reasonably Priced? A Survey of Remittance Services in Norway

PRIO Report

Carling, Jørgen; Marta Bivand Erdal; Cindy Horst & Hilde Wallacher (2007) Legal, Rapid and Reasonably Priced? A Survey of Remittance Services in Norway. PRIO Report: 3. Oslo: PRIO.

What opportunities do immigrants in Norway have for sending money to their countries of origin? To answer that question, this report examines the various services on offer in the Norwegian market. Focusing on transfers to twelve specific countries, the report compares the availability of different services, as well as their price and quality. The countries covered are Bosnia and Herzegovina, Chile, Iraq, Kenya, Lithuania, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, Poland, Somalia and Vietnam. The services examined include regular bank transfers, money-transfer services, web-based transfers and so-called hawala services. In recent years, research on remittances has highlighted the importance of transfer mechanisms. The way in which money is sent determines how much of the original amount reaches the recipients, and affects how the money enters the local economy. For some immigrants, the lack of regular remittance services to their country of origin compels them to use services that may be illegal. The research presented here has various audiences. First, it is intended to inform government policy in the field of remittances. Second, the report may help remittance senders understand their options and make well-informed choices. Third, the analysis can assist private-sector businesses to develop better remittance services. The report has been funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad). The research it contains is linked with PRIO’s broader research activity in the fields of migrant remittances and transnationalism. The findings of this report are also presented at the website

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