Remittances are a lifeline for many people in Asia and the Pacific.
For a number of Asian countries, remittances account for a significant proportion of gross domestic product (GDP), including Tonga (40%), Tajikistan (26%), the Kyrgyz Republic (25%), Nepal (23%), and Samoa (17%) (KNOMAD 2020). While the importance of remittances has been recognized globally, several challenges remain, some of which can be addressed by digitzation. The coronavirus disease (CO VID-19) pandemic has demonstrated the importance of a comprehensive and efficient digital remittance environment.
This publication provides background on the importance of remittances to Asia, the challenges of remittances, the impact that the COVID-19 has had on remittances to Asia, two case studies of successful digitization programs in Asia, and recommendations for the way forward to digitize remittances.