Guatemala: Competition for Remittances

$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.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

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.

For example the company AirPak / Western Union this week signed an alliance with Banco de los Trabajadores (Bantrab) in order to increase their participation in the remittance business through the promotion "Remesa del Norte” (Remittance from the North). Customers participate in a draw for a car, motorcycles and appliances with each consignment.

Another agent in the market is Divine Star SA, with the support of MasterCard, and American banks First California Bank, Bank of America and Wells Fargo, and which in Guatemala is seeking an alliance with the Crédito Hipotecario Nacional.

"Competition for the business of remittances has led to a reduction in the cost of transfers, which benefits the pockets of migrants and their families: however, banks and remittance companies are left with about $232 million, which is 5.3 percent of total shipments," reported

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