Research from Azimo, the social online money transfer service, has revealed that Poland and Nigeria top the list of the most generous countries at Christmas, while African countries fill three of the top five places.
Of the 198 countries which Azimo serves, Poles send the most money home to their loved ones at Christmas, with customers sending an average of five transfers each, totalling nearly £986. Nigeria was the second most generous country, sending an average of four transfers totalling £898. The USA (£819), Ghana (£692) and Kenya (£654) rounded off the top five.
Unsurprisingly, the Middle East and North Africa were the only regions not to show any considerable change in the average number of transactions or average transactional value during December.
Both Poland and Nigeria have vibrant communities in the UK, with an estimated 600,000 Poles and 200,000 Nigerians whose generosity is proving that Christmas really is the time for giving.
Nigeria and Poland, account for almost a third of the estimated $20bn that is remitted from the UK every year but, during the festive season, these hard-working men and women are sending up to six times the number of money transfers abroad compared to any other month; tellingly sending multiple smaller amounts to new recipients.
Azimo’s data shows that throughout the year over 75 per cent of the transfers being sent home are for essential family support such as bills, food and rent, usually to just one or two recipients. During December nearly 40 per cent of all transfers are ‘gifts’, with the increase in gift giving corresponding with a drop in the average transfer value from an annual figure of around £400 to a seasonal low of £200 in December.
Marta Krupińska, co-Founder of Azimo explains, “As a migrant myself I know that even when I can travel home to see family at Christmas, it’s usually only for a few days and I won’t get a chance to see everyone I want to. With Azimo, our very low fees mean that customers can easily send money to all their friends and family, regardless of where they are in the world; sharing the festive spirit, even when they can’t be there themselves.”
With average salaries in the UK almost 13 times higher than in Nigeria and 3.5 times that of Poland, research shows that nearly three quarters of migrant workers are actively saving money every month to send home.
Michael Kent, CEO of Azimo commented on the findings: “Globally, migrant populations are on the rise but, contrary to media portrayal, over 90 per cent of all Poles and Nigerians are in full or part time employment or increasingly even running their own businesses. Our research has shown that Britain’s migrants are not only amongst the most hard-working but also the most generous in our society – they send a significant portion of their income home each month to support close family, extended family and even whole local communities. They really are the heroes spreading the Christmas cheer!”