The majority of people in the Philippines, 52.8 million, do not have bank accounts. For them, it is essential that their expat relatives are able to send money home in the form of cash remittances.
This begs the question, what would making a country cashless mean for the families of its expat workers?
Dubai: Filipino expatriates in the UAE have managed to save and send home nearly $2 billion in cash so far this year, according to the latest data. That’s more than the amount of money that the Philippines’ overseas workers living in most Gulf states are able to transfer to their country.
If remittances were used as a gauge to determine how much money expats are able to save, Filipinos in the UAE manage to set aside Dh5.5 billion in nine months
The Philippines depends heavily on cash transfers made by its citizens living abroad
Most of the funds, however, aren't sitting idly in bank accounts, and nor are they being invested. A huge part of the money transfers are being used as a source of sustenance for dependent families in the Philippines.
From January to September 2018, remittances made by Filipinos across the emirates reached more than $1.5 billion (Dh5.5 billion), making the UAE one of the Philippines’ biggest sources of money transfers...