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OFWs warned vs. costly hidden charges when remitting from UAE


Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) sending money to their families in the Philippines should be wary of hidden fees that can significantly reduce their remittances.
 
A report on Gulf News said some remittance services profit from a “back-end“ fee, which can cost up to 40 percent of the transaction charge.

Sudhesh Girivan, vice president and business head of Xpress Money, said the senders usually miss this because the fee is broken up into two parts: "fees charged in dirham and back-end fees charges in pesos in the Philippines."
 
Under the scheme, a Filipino sending money home may be asked to pay Dh15 for the transaction in the UAE. However, once the money is delivered, an additional Dh10 is collected.

The Gulf News report said transfer agents, currency brokers and banks make money also from the exchange rate margins.
 
An exchange rate margin is the amount added to the interbank exchange rate.
 
The Philippines is one of the popular recipient countries of remittances from the UAE but is known to charge back-end fees, the report said.
 
Girivan said back-end fees alone can affect the actual remitted funds, adding the beneficiary "receives (a) lesser amount than what is intended.”
 
Xpress Money recently said it does not charge any back-end fee on customers transferring money from the UAE to the Philippines. - VVP, GMA News
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