Who would have thought that a pharmacy, a hardware store, a book store, or any other business would one day offer many of the financial services that have been exclusive to banks for decades?
"I never imagined it, but now I am happy because, not only will it help a lot of people, but it will also help my business to get more clients; I'm happy." This is the way Irma Medrano, the owner of J&M Bookstore, described her new role as a banker. Medrano has her business in Jalpatagua, Jutiapa. Her bookstore has been converted to a branch of the G&T Continental Bank and offers a variety of services such as reception of payments (telephone, water, and electricity), remittances and checks, as well as deposits.
For every $100 that migrants send to their families between $30 and $35 are in some way related to banking services.
Prensalibre.com reports: "If you take into account that from January to September this year family remittances, according to the Bank of Guatemala, totaled $3.801 billion, the amount that passed through banks was between $1.1403 billion and $1.3303 billion" .
In Guatemala, 10% of banking operations are currently handled by banking agents.
Fernando Quiñónez interviewed Herbert Hernández from G&T Continental for Siglo21.com.gt on the importance of banking agents to the Guatemalan economy, which have handled transactions worth more than $700 million since their inception in 2003.
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