Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA) has noted a 35 per cent decline in the demand for remittance services over the past three years. The authority recently unveiled a payments bulletin that sheds light on the shifts in the nation’s payment system over this period, in addition to the assortment of services provided by banks for payments.
The detailed data in the report showcases a year-on-year growth in the initiation of bank accounts, the volume of cash transactions via banks, and remittance services. However, it also highlighted a decline in the demand for remittance services between 2019 and 2022, with a reduction of USD 28 million from USD 80 million.
Of the total USD 49 million sent to various countries last year, outward remittances, or funds sent overseas, represented USD 36.3 million dispatched by foreign nationals living in the Maldives. Maldivians were responsible for sending the remaining USD 12.7 million abroad. This implies that foreign nationals constituted 74 per cent of those availing remittance services, with Maldivians accounting for the remaining 26 per cent.
Interestingly, over the past year, Bangladesh, Nepal, and the Philippines had the highest number of foreign nationals in the Maldives sending remittances, predominantly to India, the Philippines, and Thailand.
The report also illuminates details about inward remittances, referring to funds sent to the Maldives by individuals residing abroad. Last year, the total inward remittances amounted to USD 3 million, of which 76 per cent, or approximately USD 2.3 million, was sent to Maldivians. The UAE emerged as the leading sender, contributing 22.8 per cent, followed by China with 6 per cent and Germany at 5.5 per cent.