Five keys to a great remittance program

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With intense growth of the Hispanic market across the country, more U.S. credit unions are looking to add money transfer programs, known as remittances, for Hispanic immigrants with family in Latin America.

And now may be an ideal time to play in the market.

U.S. remittances to developing countries reached $404 billion in 2013 and are predicted to grow to $516 billion by 2016, according to the World Bank. At the same time, an increasing number of providers have dropped their remittance programs, leaving a competitive opening for credit unions.

The shuttering of many long-time remittance providers is due to an unprecedented compliance burden. This has also led to the development of an industry that is, as this PaymentsSource article puts it, “ripe for startups.” There are now even international start-ups looking at the U.S. with aspirations of market dominance.

As the remittance industry shape-shifts to meet increased scrutiny from regulators, some credit unions are looking to find new partners who can help them compete in this important space.

Credit unions should view remittances services as a value-added tool designed to increase the depth of the membership experience. Coopera’s research (performed in conjunction with the World Council of Credit Unions) found that remittance services, when combined with an intentional Hispanic growth strategy, can earn a credit union much higher volumes as compared to those credit unions without a strategic approach.

If your credit union is looking to develop or make changes to its remittance offering, here are a few things to keep in mind.

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