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  • Remittances Continue to be Relevant to Hispanic Families

    Posted by on February 25, 2019

    Few things are more important to Hispanics than family. In fact, both the nuclear and extended families – las familias – are highly valued by the vast majority of Hispanics both in the U.S. and throughout Latin America.

    It comes as no surprise that remittances, those funds sent to support family and sometimes friends, are an important part of many Hispanic household budgets. Credit unions that provide remittance transfer services are discovering how important and vital those services can be, especially given the growing U.S. Hispanic population and rising number of immigrants.

    Some 58 million Hispanics live and work in the U.S. according to the Pew Research Center, comprising roughly 18 percent of the U.S. population. Add to that the growing number of immigrants and you have a very large number of people seeking to send remittances home to family members.

    After a slight downturn in recent years, remittance activity among Hispanics has spiked with even greater growth anticipated. This provides credit unions a chance to serve more Hispanics and realize greater economic opportunities. In many Latin American households, remittances constitute a primary source of income, making the transferred money vital to those families’ financial wellbeing.

    The remittance numbers are worth noting. According to a study led by the Center for Latin American Monetary Studies (CEMLA), 2017 remittances from the U.S. to Latin American and Caribbean countries totaled $77.02 billion, with an anticipated increase in 2018 to nearly $90 billion.

    Remittances are sent through a variety of merchants, from banks to cafes to convenience stores, often at a cost of 7 to 9 percent of the total remittance amount. Credit unions, can process remittances at a more economical rate, easing the financial burden on senders and putting more money into the hands of the Latin American families who need it the most.

    In recent years financial institutions have started partnering with fintechs to provide remittances. As many Hispanics are young digital natives, they use digital touchpoints to send money abroad.  It is important to develop a digital strategy for remittances.

    If you already serve or seek to serve Hispanics, consider ramping up your remittance program to help service the growing demand. As a source of transfer fee income and a member service opportunity, fulfilling this need can be unmatched among the services your credit union offers.

    It also is an effective way to increase the number of Hispanic members and their loyalty to your institution, as well as help them preserve their cultural traditions of helping la familia.

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