Integrating Remittance Recipients into the Financial Sector

Providing remittance recipients access to affordable financial services
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This brief focuses on a FIELD pilot program that linked remittance recipients to credit union financial services in Guatemala. The program aimed to examine factors that would help integrate unbanked recipients into the formal financial sector.World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) and the Guatemalan National Credit Union Federation (FENACOAC) also partnered in the project. Working in partnership with five Guatemalan credit unions, the program involved product development, back-end systems development and marketing and communications. It developed a platform that encourages unbanked remittance recipients to become credit union members. Program accomplishments include:

  • Increased awareness of credit union products and services among remittance recipients and senders;
  • Availability of a new product that linked savings to direct deposits of remittances;
  • Improved credit union capacity to assess credit worthiness of remittance recipients;
  • Increased outreach to remittance recipients through targeted, more personal campaigns.

The pilot had a comprehensive approach that went beyond merely banking remittances to building relationships. Specific lessons that emerged from the project include:

  • Establish a relationship of trust, reliability and efficiency with recipients;
  • Build client profiles slowly to avoid alienating or frustrating clients.

About this Publication

By Azar, S.