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  • Dec. 25 Popular Day for Remittance Transfers

    Posted by on December 18, 2012

    Second only to Mother’s Day, Christmas is a busy day for remittance transfer providers. With many issues complicating the availability of these services, U.S. Hispanics may be looking for a new provider this December 25.

    Could this be an opportunity for your credit union?

    Once the domain of Latin mom-and-pop shops, remittance services have in recent years become accessible to Hispanic and other consumers through their local credit unions.

    Beyond simply allowing consumers another choice, providing remittance services also gives credit unions the chance to deliver more-comprehensive financial services to a largely underserved population. In fact, remittance services are so successful that Coopera has made it a best-practice solution for credit unions looking to invest in the youngest, largest and fastest-growing segment of the U.S. population.

    Yet, it’s important to understand remittances aren’t necessarily a tool for attracting new Hispanic members. Credit unions should view these services more as a value-added tool to increase the depth of their product suites. Credit unions with comprehensive programs ultimately complete more remittances than those without a similarly robust program.

    To be truly successful, credit unions often partner with a trusted provider to bring remittance transfer services to their communities. Even though regulations have been delayed, there are still serious concerns facing the industry (I recently wrote about these issues for the Credit Union Times).

    Before settling on a partner, first endeavor to understand your typical member’s need, their country of origin and the available locations within the typical recipient’s country. As well, examine your local market competition to provide the most competitive offering. What other local organizations are providing remittance services? What are they charging? What are their hours of operation, etc.?

    Although complicated, an international money transfer tool will continue to be a best-practice for credit unions’ Hispanic outreach and service strategies. Therefore, it’s vital for these cooperatives to prioritize the research, due diligence and formation of strategic partnerships to continue (or to begin) providing this crucial service.

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