US-based Latin Americans keen on mobile money transfer - survey

Source: Upaid

Latin Americans living in the USA are keen to adopt money transfer using the less traditional method of a mobile phone, according to a survey commissioned by Upaid, the leading mobile payments provider.

During tough economic times, consumers are looking to cost-effective ways of continuing money transfer to friends, family and loved ones. The majority of those questioned (61%) are spending over US$75 a month on fees and commission associated with cross-border payments, with many considering their current method of money transfer "expensive". Two thirds of those who transfer money via a shop find it expensive, particularly those sending money to Uruguay, Haiti, Belize and Aruba, with a unanimous 100% of respondents thinking transferring money this way was costly. Many more respondents found other methods of transfer more affordable, with less than half believing money transfer via cheque or telephone is expensive (44% and 46% respectively).

The more traditional methods of transferring money are currently most popular, with the majority (80%) having visited a shop. However, nearly three quarters of those surveyed were keen to use mobile as a method for transfer in the future. The majority (70%) of those that currently use mobile phones to transfer money are males aged 25 to 34.

All respondents thought that the most beneficial aspects of money transfer via mobile was instantaneous transfer of funds, no commission on money transfer, the ability to transfer money directly to a family member's bank account, and the ability to directly pay for a family member's phone credit or to utility bill.

The most popular countries for Latin Americans living in the USA to send money are Mexico (41%), Puerto Rico (12%) and the Dominican Republic (6%).

Stephen Gibb, Upaid CIO, comments on the research, "As the global economic crisis continues and more and more money is transferred from US citizens looking to send funds to Latin American countries, people are looking to a cost effective, easy-to-use method that is safe and timely. The mobile phone is a perfect fit for money transfer due to its ubiquitous nature and the fact that it is carried with a usser nearly all the time."

He continued: "Just over half of respondents believed using a mobile to transfer money was currently expensive, though the willingness to adopt this method of transfer shows that consumers either expect the cost of money transfer to come down or that the cost is not prohibitive for the benefits it provides."

Upaid commissioned Research Now to survey US citizens transferring money to countries across Latin America.

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