Payments Report 2022

One in ten sends money abroad

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Cross-border transfers can be expensive

Published: 15 December 2022

The list prices of various payment intermediaries suggest that the cost of sending money abroad can be high. However, the cost varies depending on the payment service used and the country to which the money is sent. The cheapest options are often new services that have emerged in recent years and with these, the average cost of an international transfer is 2-3 per cent of the amount sent. Traditional options, such as bank transfers, are often more expensive. However, it is difficult to know what individuals actually pay for their transfers. This is because we do not know which payment intermediaries or payment services are used. The list prices of different payment intermediaries therefore only give an indication of the cost.

According to statistics from Money from Sweden, list prices have fallen over time, especially in the last three years. Figure 14 shows the cost of sending SEK 1,000 from Sweden to different parts of the world. The cost shown is an average of the three cheapest options per country and quarter, and is presented as the average for the continent. There may therefore be differences between what consumers actually pay and the costs shown in the figure.

According to these statistics, sending money within Europe is the cheapest. There it costs on average 1 per cent, or SEK 10, to send SEK 1,000. The figure also shows that it has become cheaper to send money to Asia, Africa and South America. One reason why it has become cheaper is that the internet, digitalisation and new common standards have made it easier for new players to set up. They often offer more efficient and cheaper services and challenge incumbents, putting downward pressure on prices.

Figure 14. The cost of sending money abroad has fallen over time Cost (in percent) to send SEK 1,000 from Sweden. The figure shows that the cost of sending money abroad has decreased over time. In 2022, sending money to Africa is most expensive.

The figure shows that the cost of sending money abroad has decreased over time. In 2022, sending money to Africa is most expensive.

Note. Three cheapest options by country and quarter presented as means by continent. Data for North America 2016 is missing. 

Download the data from the diagram.

Sources: Money From Sweden and the Riksbank.

FACT BOX - Money from Sweden and other price comparison services for cross-border payments

Money from Sweden is an independent and free price comparison service for cross border payments run by the Swedish Consumer Agency. It allows you to compare how much it costs to send money to different countries and with different payment service providers.

There are also international price comparison sites. One example is, which compares the cost of different payments to and from different countries, including Sweden. Monito has also rated the various payment service providers that offer cross border payments.