BofA remittance service for sending money to Mexico grows 1500% in H1 2004

Source: Bank of America

Sales of Hispanic-related checking and savings products increased 67 percent in the first half of 2004, including 1,500 percent growth in a remittance service for customers to send money to Mexico, Bank of America announced today.

"The success of the remittance service, called SafeSend, is one indication how the growing number of Hispanics in the country want specialized banking services," said Javier Palomarez, senior vice president of Marketing and Multicultural Initiatives executive for Bank of America.

The Hispanic population in the United States grew 13 percent between the 2000 census and July 2003 - almost four times the rate of the total population increase of 3.3 percent, the U.S. Census Bureau reported in June. The U.S. Hispanic population reached 39.9 million in July 2003, the Census Bureau reported.

Bank of America maintains relationships with 3.9 million, or 57 percent, of the 6.9 million Hispanic households in the bank's territory. Hispanic customers have more than $15 billion in deposits with Bank of America.

To further address Hispanic customer demand, Bank of America:
  • Increased mass marketing in California, Texas, Florida, Arizona and Illinois to tell Hispanics about new products and services.
  • Launched in March an entry-level account called Nuevo Futuro, which bundles remittance, checking and savings. In the first half of 2004, Hispanics opened 33 percent of all net new checking accounts in the bank. Nuevo Futuro made up 72 percent of the total.
  • Maintained a Spanish-language Web site, with growth in page views at up 9.1 percent from December 2003 to June 2004. It includes a Spanish-language, online mortgage maintenance service called "Service My Mortgage."
  • Hired more Spanish-speaking banking center and call center associates. More than 30 percent of all new hires for call center and banking center associates speak Spanish.
  • Expanded voice-guided telephone support to its Spanish-language help line.

    Bank of America has more than 5,700 banking centers across the country, with more of them in predominantly Hispanic neighborhoods than any other financial institution in the country. Nearly half of the new Bank of America banking centers planned from 2003 through 2005 will be in communities with significant Hispanic populations.

    "We're thrilled but not surprised with our results," Palomarez said. "We listen to our Hispanic customers when developing products and services so we can be sure to meet their needs. This is part of the local convenience we bring to customers all over the country as one of the nation's leading retailers."
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