Migrant Workers Said to Gain as U.S. Money Transfer Business Revamps, by Ulysses de la Torre

Friday, May 27, 2005

The cost of transferring money across borders continues to fall, giving millions of migrant workers in the United States new options for sending home billions of dollars in earnings.

The entry of a variety of new businesses providing money transfer services — commonly referred to as ’’remittances’’ — threatens to shake up an industry long dominated by such household names as Western Union and Moneygram through a variety of strategies involving convenience, price, and product tie-ins both here and in the developing countries where the migrant workers send money to support family or friends.

Since December, two such organisations have broken new ground by offering remittances for free, although on a limited scale.

No Borders, Inc., a Nevada-based provider of prepaid stored-value cards, established partnerships with microfinance institutions in Mexico, El Salvador, and Ecuador allowing migrant workers in the United States one monthly free remittance of up to 350 dollars. Bank of America announced in January that its account holders could send money from Chicago to Mexico for free, with plans to roll out the initiative nationwide by the end of the year
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Source: IPS