Thursday, April 06, 2006

New ways of exporting money - US to Mexico

New ways of exporting money:

Yvette Armendariz
The Arizona Republic
Apr. 5, 2006 12:00 AM

Every three months, Gabriela Escalante makes a trip to her neighborhood carneceria to wire $200 to $300 to her grandmother in Puebla, Mexico.

The cash is a commitment that her family, who immigrated to Arizona when she was 10, makes to ensure abuelita has enough money to pay for utilities, food and clothes. Escalante's grandmother, in her late 60s, doesn't earn an income of her own.

Escalante, a bookkeeper for a Phoenix accounting firm, is also aware and pleased that more choices are popping up for sending money back to Mexico.

The latest, introduced Tuesday, is a debit card tied to MasterCard that family members can load with a maximum $2,500 a week or $9,999 a month. Relatives abroad then can use the card at retailers that accept MasterCard.

The options are popping up because of the growth of the remittance market, which has expanded from $8.9 billion in 2001 to $20 billion last year. Mexican financial companies are estimating as much as $22 billion in remittances from expatriates this year.

The added choices have pushed down costs for users to less than $10 per transaction. In some cases, sending money abroad"

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