Thursday, January 5, 2006
During the holiday season, US banks were reminded of the potentials for their industry when they realized that remittances to Latin America and the Caribbean alone are estimated to be $45 billion. In recent years, banks have leaped into the industry seeking a share ofthe dollars immigrants sesnd to their native countries, especially around the holiday season. But immigrants are reluctant to shift their business from the smaller mom-and-pop stores they are accustomed to using.
In the last year alone, a number of major banks have unveiled an array of services to court immigrants away from the more than 100 money transfer services operating in the US. For example, Wachovia Bank unveiled a card that allows families in Latin America to withdraw money from an ATM linked to US bank accounts. Wells Fargo expanded its money transfer service to El Salvador and Guatemala and Bank of America announced it was offering free money transfers to Mexico.
source: AP, Dec. 15, 2005