International Money Transfer
Immigrants commonly use money transfer to help their families in their native countries. The recent increase in both legal and undocumented immigration in the U.S. has led to an increase in money remittance at a rate of billions of dollars a year. Experts predict these numbers will continue to rise given the number of immigrants finding work in the U.S.
The average amount of money the typical immigrant sends is relatively small — only a few hundred dollars at a time. The large outgoing figures are the cumulative effect of thousands of immigrants sending money on a biweekly or monthly basis. Many of those who send money out of the country through remittance services are not citizens. Remittances are Mexico’s second largest income source, after that country’s oil industry.
The high demand for such services — and the small fees associated with each transaction – has stimulated a robust, competitive remittance market. Immigrants are less likely to bank through traditional methods, such as banks and credit unions; thus they will likely continue to use remittance services to transfer money for at least the next several years.
Statistics suggest that many immigrants living in the U.S. are homeowners; in fact, immigrants are only slightly more likely to live in poverty than native born citizens. They are also far less likely to commit crimes — and they hail from far more diverse backgrounds — than the conventional wisdom might have you believe.
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