International Migrants Day is on the 18th December, so we’ve spoken to some of our customers to see how they use WorldRemit, and what being an International Migrant looks like for them.
Here’s Ada’s story.
Last year, they moved out of London to Hampshire. She graduated with a business law degree, but works in a very different industry, on the administrative side of the NHS. Ada sends money home to her parents in Nigeria. She moved to the UK on her own, sponsored by her parents to study. “I send money back to my parents. My mum is quite poorly, and the situation in Nigeria means that my siblings, who are also graduates, have not been lucky enough to find work, so I send money to them when I can.”
Ada was 25 when she came to the UK, and tries to visit Nigeria fairly often, though she’s not been able to go for a couple of years, because of moving house and having children. “I miss the excitement of Christmas at home, but now I have a little boy, so we have a different kind of excitement.” She says, “I was planning to go home for Christmas this year, but we just found out that I’m pregnant again, so no Christmas trips yet!”
“In Nigeria, there are no pension funds, so parents invest in their children and hope that their children will look after them when they’re old. There are supposed to be pensions for civil servants, but, because of corruption, it’s a struggle. So when you get a salary, you have to share it. It makes a lot of difference.”
Ada’s brother is living in the UK too, with his wife and children, and he shares some of the responsibilities of looking after their family at home. “I don’t tell them what to spend the money on, but I ask their budgets for food or medication, or how much they need.” She also sends money back home to her siblings, who, though they are also graduates, have struggled to find work in Nigeria.
When Ada first lived in London and started to send money transfers, she says, “I used to go to a man in East London, he used to charge me £5 for each transaction, and it would take two days, and I had to call to see if the money had come. It was very stressful. Sometimes he would say that the money had been received but it wasn’t in the person's account. It was tough.”
She turned to the internet to find an alternative. “I thought that in this day and age there might be something out on the internet that could help and would be easier. I looked at WorldRemit, and there were good reviews, and the rates were good. I thought I would send a little bit of money, to test it out, and within twenty seconds it was done. I thought it was too good to be true.”
Ada says that using WorldRemit was “a life-changing experience.” Usually she uses the app to transfer money into her own bank account in Nigeria, and then transfers that out to her parents or her siblings depending on who needs it.
“I’ve told loads of people about WorldRemit, it's so efficient. I told my brother about it, and as soon as he used the app, he was converted.”