Latin America Advisor

Financial Services Advisor

A Daily Publication of The Dialogue

How Big a Role Will Remittances Play in Economic Recovery

Remittances to Latin America and the Caribbean rose last year, despite the Covid-19 pandemic. // File Photo: Spatial Information Design Lab via Creative Commons.

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, remittances to Latin America rose 8.3 percent in 2020, according to a March report by the Center for Monetary Studies in Latin America and the Caribbean. However, some parts of the region saw declines, such as the Andean nations, where remittances fell 4.2 percent last year, according to the report. How much has the Covid-19 pandemic changed the way remittances are being sent to Latin America and the Caribbean? How much will remittances be responsible for the speed at which countries in the region recover from the economic shock of the pandemic? How much will Latin America’s governments be able to leverage remittances in order to foster long-term development?

Chad Harper, global payments fellow at the Visa Economic Empowerment Institute: “Remittances are monetary lifelines, crucial for hundreds of millions of families. World Bank data shows that remittance flows account for 10 percent or more of GDP in several countries of Latin America and the Caribbean: Haiti, El Salvador, Honduras, Jamaica, Guatemala and Nicaragua. It also indicates that Mexico is one of the biggest global receivers, recently averaging more than $35 billion a year. These flows go to families who support their communities and who often use these funds to start and maintain small businesses. So making them efficient will help the recovery. A recent Visa Economic Empowerment Institute study found that digital remittances (those that are initiated and paid for digitally) are increasing in prevalence and are significantly lowering the cost of sending money. Looking at 28 corridors across the globe, we found that digital remittances cost about 4…”

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About the Financial Services Advisor

Covering Latin America’s banking and insurance sectors, remittances trends and data, micro lending issues, new technologies in the industry, anti-money laundering regulations, and much more, the Inter-American Dialogue’s biweekly Financial Services Advisor, a sister publication of the Latin America Advisor, gives readers fresh insight and diverse viewpoints from financial sector leaders. To subscribe or for more information, contact Erik Brand, publisher of the Advisor, at

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Erik Brand

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Gene Kuleta

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Anastasia Chacón González

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Diana Roy

Editorial Intern