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Low cost money transfers to the developing world

A problem that I understand that the Finance Director of WWF may have done some work on. Please pass this request on to him/her.

I runa an organisation called Majority World which promotes the work of photographers from the South globally. After we sell their work we have to be able to pay them. Currently we do this through the banking system which costs too much (especially as many of the transactions are for fairly small amounts) and takes money away from the photographers

A consultant friend of mine, John Ramsay has worked for the Board of WWF and he recalls hearing that WWF were trying to set up a system to overcome this same problem. If so I would be very interested to find out more, and whether it might also benefit Majority World

Many many thanks


Dr Colin Hastings
Majority World
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this problem
  • Hello Dr. Hastings,

    The system that we have set up in WWF that your colleague may be referring to is a monthly netting system. This process has significantly simplified and reduced the cost of transfers, but it is only for transfers between WWF offices.

    Unfortunately, we have not found any way to reduce the cost of payments to the final third party recipient (in your case the photographer) in the developing world, and have to rely on competition between local banks to keep the costs down.

    Given that much of your activity is around the internet (I assume) with the exchange of images digitally, is there some way you could use internet-based payment systems (like PayPal?) to get payments to the photographers?

    Let me know if I can help in any way. Good luck with your quest - it's a great cause.

    Best regards.

    Peter Dickinson (Finance Director, WWF International)
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