Visa Inc. (NYSE: V - News), the world's largest retail payments network1, and Bancomer Transfer Services, Inc. (BTS), a subsidiary of BBVA Bancomer, S.A., today announced the launch of a money transfer service that will provide an additional alternative for consumers that send money from the United States to friends and family living abroad.
Starting this month, consumers will be able to initiate a Visa money transfer transaction at any BTS location in the United States. The Visa money transfer transaction can reach any eligible Visa account in the world, including all key remittance destination countries; however, the initial deployment of the service will enable consumers to send funds from the United States to select countries such as El Salvador, Brazil, China and The Philippines, with plans to extend the program to allow remittances from BTS locations to any country within the Visa network.
The new program offered by BTS is an enhancement to its recognized service offering that enables U.S. consumers to safely and securely send remittances worldwide. BTS is an integral part of BBVA Bancomer, the banking subsidiary of BBVA Group (BBVA), one of the most successful financial groups in the world. The alliance with Visa combines the reliability, scale and security of Visa's global payment network, with BTS' leading-edge money transfer platform that emphasizes efficiency and advanced anti-money laundering detection capabilities and its vast commercial industry-leading experience, bringing the convenience, speed and security of Visa money transfer to consumers in the U.S.
"The expansion of Visa money transfer to enable remittances from the U.S. to eligible Visa accounts in Latin America is a significant milestone for Visa and our clients," said Jim McCarthy, Global Head of Product at Visa Inc. "Our alliance with BTS is a great example of how Visa is expanding its business network to bring the convenience and security of Visa digital currency to more consumers in more countries around the world."
Largest Remittances Corridor in the World
According to the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Latin America corridor is one of the largest money transfer markets in the world, with a total of USD $58.8 billion transferred in 2009. In 2009, BTS alone accounted for USD $10 billion in consumer funds transferred to Latin America, making BTS one of the largest processor of remittances for this region2. Other large remittances markets served by BTS from the U.S. include Asia, Europe and Africa.
"As a member of the BBVA Group, we are always working to help people simplify their lives via sound, innovative products and services," said Moises Jaimes, President and CEO of BTS. "This goes far beyond being a complement to our traditional money transfer services. Our work with Visa strengthens our commitment to the evolution of the remittances industry, and, by providing our consumers with a wider array of safe and secure services and channels, it gets us one step further in our quest towards serving this important segment in the financial services industry."
Visa money transfers initiated at a BTS location in the U.S. are processed through Visa's secure network and will become available to Visa cardholders, who won't need to go to a physical location to receive the money. Funds can be transferred to eligible Visa debit, credit or prepaid accounts. The agreement with Visa provides BTS with access to Visa's global network and has the potential for BTS to reach more consumers in more countries.
"The Visa money transfer and BTS agreement is a serious endorsement of Visa's ability to become an alternative channel for money transfer companies and banks," said Gwenn Bezard, Research Director at Aite Group. "Money transfer companies' desire to enable remittance transfers directly into bank accounts has grown in recent years, and Visa is positioned to become the go-to utility for that service."
For the launch of this new service, Visa worked closely with BTS and Visa Debit Processing Services (DPS), to securely connect BTS' money transfer platform to VisaNet, Visa's global processing network. DPS is Visa's issuer processing service in North America that connects outside parties, such as issuing financial institutions and merchants to VisaNet.