UK and Swiss authorities issued a plea for countries across the globe to ease access to international money transfers and support the scaling of digital channels to ensure funds keep flowing to developing markets during the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

In a joint call to action, the UK government and Swiss Confederation highlighted the urgent nature of these transfers and called for remittances to be deemed essential financial services.

Among the policies the two nations encourage are greater global collaboration; ensuring money transfers remain accessible under lockdown; state interventions to ensure funds are reaching recipients; and reducing costs levied by service providers.

Regarding digital remittances, often delivered through mobile money platforms, the nations called on policymakers to back development of relevent channels. They also encouraged regulators to provide guidance for proportionate know-your-customer requirements, enabling swifter scaling of digital financial services.

Echoing a warning issued by The World Bank in April, the two noted remittances account for more than 5 per cent of GDP for at least 60 developing countries, but noted “life in lockdown is making it harder to send and receive funds.”

The call to action was backed by a number of countries including Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria and Pakistan.

Organisations the World Bank, UN Capital Development Fund, UN Development Programme and the International Organisation for Migration also support the positon.