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A “remittance transfer’’ broadly refers to electronic transfers of funds sent by U.S. consumers to recipients in foreign countries, including consumer-to-consumer (C2C) low-value money transfers greater than $15 and consumer-to-business (C2B) transfers.
Remittance transfers may be virtually any electronic payment vehicle, whether via automated clearing house (ACH), international wire transfers, prepaid cards, and the like. Any entity that offers remittance transfer services, such as banks, thrifts, credit unions, and money transmitters, is considered a “remittance transfer provider.”
Many foreign-born who send money back to their home countries include a significant proportion of the estimated 63 million unbanked and underbanked in the U.S.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s remittance transfer rule in Regulation E, while designed to protect consumers who send money back to their home countries, contains onerous compliance requirements that create a regulatory burden for customers and community banks.
Consequently, fewer community banks offer remittance products, reducing consumer choice and hurting the very group that the rule was intended to protect. Conditions that thwart consumer access to financial services also impede financial inclusion.