August 2023
6 minutes

The rise of cross-border money transfers

Key Points

  • Wise’s remittance service addresses a growing demand for people to transfer money internationally to support dependents and others
  • The amount of such fund transfers has risen by more than 35 per cent since 2015
  • Wise’s low-cost, high-quality service gives it a competitive advantage, and it has the potential to grow further by providing services to businesses

As with any investment, your capital is at risk.

The remittance industry has experienced consistent growth recently, solidifying its position as a key component of the global financial landscape. Defined as the transfer of money from one country to another, usually to support a dependent, remittances play a pivotal role in providing food, healthcare and education.

In this article, we delve into the growth of the remittance industry and the key factors propelling its success.


Powered by Immigration

With over 280 million immigrants worldwide, the remittance industry has an important place in our global society.

By exporting billions of dollars annually back to their starting nations, immigrants can greatly improve the livelihoods of their families and communities.

This is particularly true for low- and middle-income countries. In 2022, they received 79 per cent of all remittance payments, according to the World Bank’s initiative Knomad.

Year Low/Middle Income (US$ Billion) World Total (US$ Billion)
2015 $447B $602B
2016 $440B $596B
2017 $477B $638B
2018 $524B $694B
2019 $546B $722B
2020 $542B $711B
2021 $597B $781B
2022 $626B $794B
2023 $639B $815B

India is one of the global leaders in receiving remittance payments. In 2022 alone, over $100bn in remittances were sent to India, supporting many families. 


Enter Wise

As the global remittance industry continues to grow, it is important to acknowledge the role played by the innovative money transfer operator Wise.

With an inclusive, user-centric platform and competitive exchange rates, Wise makes it easy and cost-effective for millions of individuals to send money home, worldwide.

But Wise doesn’t just offer remittance solutions, the company offers a host of account services and a payment infrastructure that has helped over 6.1 million active customers move over $30bn in the first quarter of 2023 alone. Perhaps the most exciting growth avenue for Wise over the coming years will be offering its services to businesses.

As one of Scottish Mortgage’s pioneers of digitisation, Wise has the potential to revolutionise the international money transfer industry with its mission of making it cheaper and fairer for everyone. By harnessing technology and transparency, Wise empowers individuals and businesses to take control of their money and send it across borders with ease.

Find out more about the companies in the Scottish Mortgage portfolio on our holdings page.


This infographic was produced in collaboration with Visual Capitalist.

Important information

This communication was produced and approved at the time stated and may not have been updated subsequently. It represents views held at the time of production and may not reflect current thinking.

This content does not constitute, and is not subject to the protections afforded to, independent research. Baillie Gifford and its staff may have dealt in the investments concerned. The views expressed are not statements of fact and should not be considered as advice or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a particular investment.

Baillie Gifford & Co and Baillie Gifford & Co Limited are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The investment trusts managed by Baillie Gifford & Co Limited are listed on the London Stock Exchange and are not authorised or regulated by the FCA.

A Key Information Document is available by visiting our Documents page.

Any images used in this content are for illustrative purposes only.

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