//Home / Solutions / Transaction Products / Remittances

International Remittances – Latino Community

Credit Union :Latino Community
Assets :$82,000,000
Address :P.O. Box 25360 | Durham, NC 27702-5360

Details :

User Qualifications:

  • Must be a Latino Community Credit Union (LCCU) member

Rates, Fees, and Terms:

  • Money transfers through IRnet can be sent to El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala for $10 up to $1,500.
  • IRnet transfers to Mexico are $10 up to $1,000
  • IRnet transfers can be sent to more than 30 countries; the cost varies by country
  • Directo a México remittance transfers to Mexico are $5

Vendors/Systems/Technology Used:

  • The credit union collaborates with the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) and IRnet to provide wire transfers to over 30 countries and to locations within the U.S.
  • A $.40 per transaction fee is paid to WOCCU as part of the IRnet agreement.
  • It also offers Directo a México through the Federal Reserve to the Bank of Mexico, where it is delivered to the beneficiary bank on the next banking day through the Bansefi network.
  • A $.67 per transaction fee is paid to the Federal Reserve as part of the Directo a México agreement.

Target Market:

  • LCCU’s target market for all its products is low-income and/or Latino individuals in North Carolina. LCCU was created to provide a safe place for Latinos and the unbanked to keep their money.

Marketing Strategy:

  • Remittance services are listed on the credit union website at: http://www.latinoccu.org/en/products/services/remittances
  • Internal marketing at branch locations and through community newspapers and brochures help to initiate word-of-mouth advertising.

Program Results/Statistics:

  • Through the end of October 2009, LCCU members sent 2,918 IRnet remittances for $1.97 million, an average transfer of $676
  • LCCU’s net income from IRnet remittances through October 2009 was $17,000
  • Since Directo a México’s launch in June 2006 through September 2009, LCCU’s members have sent 5,440 transfers for over $9 million
  • The average Directo a México transfer in 2009 was $1,588
  • LCCU’s net income through September 2009 for the Directo a México program was $6,000

Member Benefits:

  • Affordable money transfer services that save members money and their families in their countries of origin, thereby increasing wealth
  • The IRnet Vigo Money Transfer Service is offered by Western Union Financial Services, Inc. in more than 47 U.S. states and 50 countries worldwide. The beneficiary receives the money in about one hour. With the receipt, the LCCU member can use a phone PIN number to call the beneficiary for three minutes to inform the person about the money transfer.
  • With Directo a México, all fees are paid by the member sending the money. There are no deductions or fees for the beneficiary in Mexico. The payment is initiated in U.S. dollars and converted into Mexican pesos using a highly competitive foreign exchange rate. The same fee and foreign exchange rate is used regardless of the amount transferred. The funds are available to the beneficiary in Mexico on the next banking day.

Additional Information:

LCCU serves members of Latino Community Development Center (LCDC), a statewide non-profit organization, which is dedicated to promoting financial literacy, access to financial services, and economic development for the low income immigrant Latino/Hispanic population in North Carolina. LCDC partners with the credit union to bring financial services to low income Hispanics, providing savings, money transfers, financial education and low interest loans in the largest metropolitan areas of the state.

According to WOCCU, Latino Community CU is its highest Vigo remitter into Latin America, comprising 20% of its IRnet transactions as compared to the entire U.S. network. The cost of remittances to different countries is determined by Vigo. WOCCU has negotiated a price package with Vigo to make international remittances a viable program for credit unions.

“However,” notes Vicky Garcia, VP of operations at LCCU, “a remittance program alone will not generate a lot of extra income, nor attract new members. But if the product is a part of a comprehensive package of services targeted toward the immigrant market, together they can surely attract new members.”

Garcia explains both programs are easy and very affordable services to implement. The software is web-based. She notes the primary cost to implementation is staff training and creating the operational procedures. The first transaction can take up to 10 minutes to set up the destination information. But once the transfer information is in the system, subsequent transfers take only a few minutes and can be done over the phone, an additional convenience for the member.

Garcia concludes, “The goal of LCCU is to increase convenience that will help to retain our members’ loyalty, as well as help members feel more comfortable using additional financial products and services to save money and increase wealth. The remittance service complements our deposit and loan services. When members receive their paycheck each week, they come to the credit union, cash their check, deposit part of it and send their remittance all in one place. We add convenience with the remittance service.”

The credit union also helps those members who don’t qualify for social security numbers to apply for Individual Tax Identification Numbers (ITINs). An ITIN enables members to earn dividend interest, apply for loans, build a credit history and obtain or renew a driver’s license or identification card in North Carolina. ITIN processing is just part of the credit union’s comprehensive package of financial services to attract and retain members.