the mif blog

Stories of inspiring entrepreneurs and organizations, discussion and commentary of new trends in private sector development, and the latest events and publications.

Getting on the grid

By Rebecca Rouse

Sitting down for dinner last night with a group of colleagues, I took out my cell phone and placed it on the table next to my plate.  It was practically an unconscious reflex (let’s ignore for a moment my gross mealtime etiquette violation here), and it took me a second to realize I had done it. “Why did I just take my phone out,” I finally said. “I don’t get any cell service or Wi-Fi signal here.”

Seven tips for successful money transfer partnerships

By Rebecca Rouse



Versión en español

Success in the money transfer space depends on successful partnerships, due to the multiple actors involved in moving money from one country to another. At this year’s Foromic, which took place in Guayaquil, Ecuador from November 4-6, executives from three major money transmitters sat down with banks and client behavior experts to discuss the ingredients for a healthy remittances ecosystem.  Panelists Diego Balanovsky (Banco Familiar), Juan Carlos Blanco (Western Union), Paul Dwyer (Viamericas), Barbara Magnoni (EA Consultants), and Gene Nigro (Xoom) shared these seven tips for creating successful partnerships.

The importance of a client-based approach to designing products for remittance recipients in Paraguay

By Rebecca Rouse

 Versión en español

When Paraguayan bank Banco Familiar (“Family Bank”) set out to design a savings product for its remittance clients in 2012, it did not expect that they would use the accounts to accumulate savings. In that year, the bank was handling nearly 54,000 remittance payments each month through its network of branch offices, and imagined the clients would use the new accounts to receive and then quickly spend their remittances. 

Remittances and Savings: Where’s the On-Ramp?

By Rebecca Rouse

 

This blog post was originally posted In the ProSavings blog. Click here to read the Spanish version.

We talk about remittances as being the perfect on-ramp for savings, in part because recipients can choose to move part of their electronic funds to a savings account before the remittance becomes cash, creating opportunities to avoid impulse spending and automate behaviors (see my blog post on defaults from last spring).  But what happens to the equation when the remittance sender is only transacting in cash?

Latin American and Caribbean migrants are saving—but why not in a bank?

By Rebecca Rouse

 

According to our new report on the economic situation and remittance behavior of Latin American and Caribbean migrants in the United States, 60% of migrants hold a bank account in the U.S. Banking rates among migrants appear to have steadily increased in the last decade; for example, in 2005, 29% of Mexican migrants in the United States held bank accounts, and in 2013, that number had grown to 54%. That is good news. Financial institutions are clearly making inroads within remittance sending communities, though it’s hard to point to one specific reason this is happening.

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