Cheaper Way To Send Money Back Home

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Jan 02 2007
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If you are an immigrant, chances are you are paying huge fees in the process of wire-transfer your hard-earned money back to your home country.

In the worldwide remittance industry worth about $ 268 billion, the major player is none other than Western Union which made almost $ 1 billion on sales. It is estimated that about 12.6 million Latin American immigrants in U.S. will send home $45 billion in remittances in 2006. But companies such as Western Union (NYSE : WU, quote) and Moneygram International Inc. (NYSE : MGI, quote) which profit margins are estimated at 30% are being criticized for charging exorbitant fees and not having customer’s best interests at heart.

Now, you have another alternative with Washington (D.C.)-based Microfinance which can helps the sender and receiver avoid the traditionally high costs of sending money overseas. As comparison MFIC charges $7 for up to $200 and $10 for $200 to $1,500 in remittances while Western Union charges $50 if you wish to send $1,000 from Colorado to Mexico.

MFIC’s ARIAS, a licensable platform to process remittances directly through a network of microfinance institutions, requires the institution to have a simple computer and an Internet connection to operate. MFIC partners with UAE Exchange, a powerful finance company headquartered in the United Arab Emirates with real-time remittance transfer capabilities in 75 countries.

MFIC, started by Atsumasa Tochisako, a 53-year-old former Japanese banker is determined to prove to the world that a financial services company can benefit poor people and make money by adapting traditional microfinance models to serve immigrant populations in the U.S.

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