The Department for International Development (DFID) is currently working with the specialist microfinance organisation CGAP (the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to explore and demonstrate ways of using technology, such as mobile phones, to transfer remittances more cheaply, quickly and safely. We plan to conduct at least eight feasibility studies and three pilot projects by 2014.
DFID is also supporting remittances programmes in several developing countries directly. For example, DFID has supported the Bangladesh Government's Remittance Payments and Partnership (RPP) Project, which is helping to drive down transfer costs. The RPP has contributed to reductions of some 50% that have occurred on transfers between Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh. DFID is also working with the FinMark Trust to reduce the average cost of transferring remittances from South Africa to five other Southern Africa Development Community countries by at least 30% by 2014. In Pakistan, DFID supports the State Bank's Remittance Initiative which is working to facilitate the cheaper and faster transfer of remittances. Going forward, we will continue to explore opportunities to support the G8 cost reduction objective.