Growing Market in Intraregional Remittances

The amount of remittances from one Central American country to another now reaches $1 billion.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013 reports: "The money transfer company AirPak, representative of Western Union (WU) in Central America, has announced the start of a strategy that aims to compete in the market of remittances sent by internal migrants in the isthmus."

According to Carlos De Paredes, manager of the company in Guatemala, the local market is worth around $300 million and about $1 billion at the regional level. The firm has no presence in Panama.

12% of the population, which amounts to more than one million Guatemalans, have moved internally, generating interdepartmental remittances of over $300 million a year.

The "Lightning" strategy, is also being launched in other Central American countries, not including Panama. Insecurity in the region is one of the factors in the decision to promote this plan.

"The country's internal migration also brings with it important consequences for the culture and way of life in Guatemala. Given that there is a high rate of violence in the country, the risk to people moving their money is high," the official added.

More on this topic

Remittances in Panama: $213 million received and $374: sent

June 2014

The increasing number of foreign residents in the country and the good performance of the economy explain the 16% increase in transfers of money abroad in 2013 compared to the previous year.

Unlike other countries in Central America, in Panama there are more dollars sent out in the form of remittances than those coming in, a trend that has been consolidated in recent years, in parallel with the economic growth and the growing presence of foreigners coming to work in the country.

Remittances to Honduras Up 11.6%

August 2013

During the first seven months of 2013, remittances to Honduras added up to $1.8 billion, $187 million more than in the same period in 2012 when they were $1.613 billion.

According to the president of the Central Bank of Honduras, Maria Elena Mondragón, remittances "have increased despite the U.S. unemployment rate remaining high".

Guatemala: Competition for Remittances

May 2012

$4.5 billion a year comes from the U.S., generating a fierce battle between 22 banks and transfer companies that compete for the market.

The stiff competition for larger pieces of the cake that makes up remittances is leading banks and financial companies to sign alliances and join forces.

Remittances for $13.06 billion to Central America in 2011

March 2012

By country: Guatemala $4.37 billion; El Salvador $3.65 billion; Honduras $2.86 billion; Nicaragua $1.05 billion; Panama $592 millions; Costa Rica $530 millions.

Inter-American Development Bank Report:

Remittances to Latin America and the Caribbean rose to $61 billion in 2011

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