Latin America Advisor

Financial Services Advisor

A Publication of The Dialogue

How Are Advances in Remittances Affecting the Sector?

An increasing amount of remittances is being sent digitally, but “substantial challenges” remain, Mastercard said in a recent report. // File Photo: Mexican Government.

The “speed, simplicity and security” of sending remittances to Latin America and the Caribbean will increase this year as more of the money transfers are being sent digitally, Mastercard said in a report released March 21. However, “substantial challenges,” including trust in digital systems, poor digital user experiences and slow transaction speeds, continue to hold back progress. What are the most important advancements that senders and recipients of remittances are experiencing in Latin America and the Caribbean, and what progress will they see over the coming years? What are private companies and governments doing in order to make sending remittances quicker, safer and easier, and what more should they do? How much do regulatory differences between sending and receiving countries complicate remittance transactions?

Manuel Orozco, member of the Financial Services Advisor board and director of the Migration, Remittances and Development Program at the Inter-American Dialogue: “Remittance transfers to Latin America and the Caribbean experienced 9 percent growth last year due to increased migration. The use of online transactions (mobile payment apps, web platforms and physical cards) to send money did not increase significantly, staying below 40 percent of all senders. Physical cash and electronic transfers are treated interchangeably but are not replaceable. In the next five years, remittance originations using online or digital platforms will continue regular growth, and it is possible that 60 percent of users will primarily resort to these payment vehicles. An important step to accelerate this process depends on…”

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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 Gene Kuleta, editor of the Advisor, at

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