Sunday, July 30, 2006

Money remittance market - high opportunity for e-commerce

The Philippines is considered having the third largest money remittance market in the world following India and Mexico. As a result, it kept attracting more and more companies to get into the money remittance business. Existing companies, pawnshops, and rural banks are also getting to be more creative in this business segment. Leading banks in the money remittance business are BPI and PNB.

On the other hand, companies like Coinstar have acquired Travelex Money Transfer Limited who has partnership with banks like RCBC, Bank of Commerce, Rural Bank of the Philippines, and Cebu Lhuillier Services Corp. Remittance in 2006 is expected to hit US$13.5 billion this year.

On the online remittance side, sites like YesPinoy are expected to continue growth in this business. Portals that have high traffic and subscription also have an edge in entering into this type of business where trust is already established with its subscribers.

This fast transfer of money is also getting the US government jittery, wary that money laundering is possibly committed through these remittance systems. Another increasing concern are the hidden fees charged in these transactions. This does not only include the upfront fee or percentage, usually at 7%, but also the foreign exchange rates once the money is given to the recipient.

Money remittance growth rate is driven by overseas Filipino worker deployment. From January to July 2006, nearly 662,000 Filipinos left the country and remittance received is up to US$7 billion.

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