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Credit Unions and Remittances: An Environmental Scan

International remittances offer an opportunity for credit unions to attract new members and offer an essential financial service at lower rates. In order to provide these services, credit unions need to leverage their high-touch member services and their willingness to innovate and embrace new technologies.

  • Derek Cameron Manager of Programs at Canadian Co-operative Association

Executive Summary

Permanent and temporary migrants make up 13.3% of the population in the United States (Zong and Batalova 2016) and 20.6% of the population in Canada (Statistics Canada 2011). They’ve traveled from their countries of origin to pursue job opportunities, increase their earning potential, or seek refuge. Some of what they earn is sent to help family members back home. In 2015 migrants sent over US$601 billion (B) from their host to home countries.

Existing options for international money transfers are reliable but can be costly and, with a few exceptions, new technology has had limited uptake. Credit unions have a unique opportunity to enter the remittance mar-ket through partnerships and new product offerings, combining the best of both approaches.


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