why migrants send airtime online - reloadly

Why An Increasing Amount Of Migrants Prefer To Send Airtime Online Instead of Money



Content Marketer
3 min

According to the UN, the amount of money migrants send to their families in back home in developing countries has risen by 51 per cent over the past decade. Remittance also comprises up to a third of GDP in some countries. With remittance on the rise, migrants are increasingly looking for new ways to support their families back home. A key new trend is sending airtime online to top up mobile phones of family members rather than simply sending money or bank transfers. But what are the reasons for this phenomenon?

Why migrants send airtime online instead of money

It’s instant

Say you’re sending funds from Germany to the Philippines, even with today’s banking technology, it can take a few days for the money to appear in accounts abroad. Not to mention sending cash in the post which takes even longer and might not even arrive. That means family members have to wait to use the funds, and might need to keep checking their account to see whether the money has arrived. With a service like Reloadly that allows you to send airtime online instead, in 3 steps you can top up a family member’s phone instantly, so they can make use of the funds right away.

No bank fees

no bank fees - why migrants send airtime online - reloadly

With most banks, international transfers come with a hefty fee. In addition to exchange rates, you might need to pay a fee to make the transfer, meaning you risk losing lots of the money you’d send to family members to the bank in the process. In fact, the World Bank estimates that transaction fees average 7.45% globally. When sending airtime to families abroad, there’s no need to involve a bank or pay extensive banking fees to send money home. Of course the funds will need to be exchanged into local currency, but otherwise family members aren’t hit with high banking fees when they receive airtime sent from abroad.

No need to receive it

With bank transfers like TransferWise, the recipient often needs to go online and accept the payment or input their details to receive the money. This requires them to have a solid internet connection. That means it isn’t particularly helpful in an emergency or if you want to send funds to countries following a natural disaster or in an area where internet connections may be low quality. When sending airtime online instead of money, the only thing the recipient needs is a working phone number in order to receive airtime from family and friends abroad, making it a much more attractive option.

Use it to connect

you can use airtime to connect with others - why migrants send airtime online - reloadly

When sending money to friends or family members in another country in the form of a bank transfer, sometimes migrants can’t be sure what relatives will be spending it on. If you’ve worked hard for those dollars, you might want to make sure they’ll be used in order to stay in touch. When sending airtime, rather than money, the funds can be used to catch up with relatives, share news and stories and stay connected. It’s a gift in which everyone wins: relatives back home receive airtime but migrants also receive a call from their loved ones as a result – a pretty special gift itself when living away from home.


With remittance, or the act of sending money home to developing countries, growing year on year, migrants are increasingly seeking new ways of making the most of their income, better supporting their loved ones back home, and staying connected at the same time. Sending money comes with costly bank fees, potential delays and tiresome processes for family members to receive the funds.

Increasing numbers of migrants are therefore preferring to send airtime online and directly to loved ones’ phones using services like Reloadly, which are easier to use, instant, and don’t come with heavy fees. It’s a trend that’s keeping people connected worldwide. Simply download the Reloadly app, input a phone number and send airtime in minutes. It’s never been so easy to keep in touch with loved ones back home!

App Store - reloadly app - send airtime   google play store - reloadly app - send airtime



Content Marketer

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