Migrant Workers


Migrant workers are individuals who move from their home country to another country to find employment. They often send remittances back to their home countries, contributing significantly to their families’ livelihoods and their countries’ economies.

Usage Context

In the banking and financial industry, migrant workers are typically involved in scenarios requiring cross-border payments, remittances, accessing banking services without a local banking history, and navigating compliance and AML regulations in multiple jurisdictions.


Migrant workers are crucial in the financial sector for several reasons:

  • They are a significant source of cross-border money transfers, supporting the global remittance industry.
  • They contribute to the diversity and inclusivity of the financial system.
  • Their need for financial services drives innovation in payment solutions and financial technologies, especially in mobile banking and digital payments.


The primary users interacting with services catering to migrant workers include:

  • Migrant workers themselves, seeking to access financial services.
  • Their families and communities that receive remittances.
  • Financial institutions that serve migrant workers, including banks, credit unions, and fintech companies.
  • Regulatory bodies and government agencies overseeing compliance and AML efforts.


Migrant workers use financial services through:

  • Remittance services for sending money home.
  • Banking services, including opening accounts with minimal documentation.
  • Prepaid and debit cards for transactions and money management.
  • Mobile banking and digital payment platforms for accessing financial services remotely.

Different Names

Migrant workers may also be referred to as expatriate workers, guest workers, overseas workers, or international workers.

Moral Issues

Moral issues related to migrant workers in the financial sector include:

  • Ensuring fair access to financial services without discrimination.
  • Protecting them from exploitation by unscrupulous employers or financial services providers.
  • The high costs associated with remittances and financial transactions.

Pros and Cons


  • Support economic growth in host and home countries.
  • Encourage financial sector innovation and inclusivity.
  • Provide essential labor in sectors experiencing local workforce shortages.


  • Vulnerability to financial exploitation and fraud.
  • Regulatory challenges related to AML and KYC (Know Your Customer) compliance.
  • Potential for social and economic disruption in home countries due to dependency on remittances.

Real-World Examples

  1. Remittance Services: Companies like Western Union and MoneyGram offer specialized services for migrant workers, allowing them to send money home efficiently and securely.
  2. Mobile Banking: Apps like Revolut and Wise offer borderless banking solutions, enabling migrant workers to manage their finances, exchange currency at favorable rates, and send remittances directly from their mobile devices.
  3. Cryptocurrency Transactions: Blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies are emerging as alternative methods for migrant workers to send remittances, reducing transaction fees and increasing transaction speed.


Comparing the role of migrant workers in the financial sector to the function of bees in pollination might help in understanding their importance. Just as bees play a critical role in the reproduction of many plants and crops by transferring pollen, migrant workers facilitate the flow of money across borders, contributing to the economic vitality of their home and host countries.

This comprehensive overview illustrates the pivotal role of migrant workers in the financial services sector, highlighting their contributions, challenges, and the innovative solutions developed to serve their needs.

This page was last updated on February 21, 2024.

Share with others...