[Reportage] Money transfer is an important practice for Canadians of Latin American descent

[Reportage] Money transfer is an important practice for Canadians of Latin American descent

My parents were modest people of their age, with no salary , Explains Canadians of Mexican descent.

The man, 38, is the eldest of his brothers. For this reason, he felt great responsibility when he left Mexico and immigrated to Canada.

In a way, even at my little brother’s school I felt I had to help them. My father had to retire at a very young age due to a knee injury. He worked for the National Railway Company of Mexico. My mom could not retire because she had her own business. I help them with some expenses. I want to help them as much as I can.

Oswaldo Milanus

Oswaldo Milanez (Center) sends funds to his parents once or twice a month.

Photo: Courtesy of Oswaldo Milanus

Chokero Dominguez agrees that the money their son sends them is important because they are able to meet their basic expenses with these funds.

We receive financial assistance on a monthly basis [de la part d’Oswaldo]. With this help, we can pay for services such as water, electricity and a portion of food.

Sokoro Dominguez, mother of Oscaldo Milanes

Oswaldo’s case is not unique. Overseas Canadian residents send an average of $ 5,200 million a year to their home countries.

International remittances from Canada Recent remittances range from $ 1,825 to Canadians born in the United States to $ 4,755 to those born in the United States, according to a Canadian study. East Asia.

Export to Latin America

Facade of the Eche and Facade of Import of Food, Retail and Distribution Store on Saint-Hubert Street in Montreal.  On the window, several boxes of pots and canned goods are stacked, and stickers announce that you can find many services in the store, such as Rhea money transfer.

Latin American Store Importations H et Phils has been providing a wide range of products and services to Latin Americans in Montreal for nearly a decade. Money transfers are one of the benefits of this company.

Photo: Radio Canada International / Paloma Martinez Mundes

Ana Guzman has known Escorsa Montreal’s Latin American customers for over 25 years. The dealer is the owner of a Latin American product store in Rio Saint-Hubert, central Montreal’s Latin Quarter. Called the shop Echi import And son.

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Three years ago, he decided to offer money transfer services to meet the needs of his customers who come to the store for food or other items from Latin America.

Unlike money transfer companies that close doors at 5pm, our customers have asked us to provide the service because we are very flexible during our working hours. Until before the epidemic, we were open until 10pm, but unfortunately we had to reduce our time to 8pm. We are still open longer than other stores in the area. We now make 100 to 120 transactions per week.

Ana Guzman Escorsa, a Montreal merchant of Peruvian descent

Three masked women stand near the cash register of the Importation's Eat Fills store.  Around them, shelves and cashier counters are full of Latin American goods and dishes.

Teresa Escorsa Zara (center), Ana Guzman Escorsa (right) and her mother (left). Ana Guzman Escarza is today the owner of the Importationians H et Phils store located at Rs 7217, Saint-Hubert.

Photo: Radio Canada International / Paloma Martinez Mundes

The Peruvian-born businessman explains that the main countries where remittances are sent are Mexico, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, the Dominican Republic and Chile. There are others like Haiti, Morocco and Spain, but it is less so, She says.

Ana Guzman Escorsa says regular customers send remittances of $ 100 to $ 300. Less frequent fund changers send $ 300 to $ 1,000.

The trader said payments on paydays, holidays and Mother’s Day would be more common and substantial.

However, since the onset of the epidemic, Guzman has noticed significant variations in Escarza money transfers.

People have been sending more and more money since the epidemic started. The people in their country have got a lot of support from the people here. Despite the circumstances, people felt they needed help because things were going better here.

Ana Guzman Escorsa, a Montreal merchant

Self-portrait of Oswaldo Milanese wearing a mask and headphones at Lafontaine Park in Montreal.

Oswaldo Milanez now wants to use mobile money transfer sites offered by many companies in order to save time when sending money.

Photo: courtesy Oswaldo Milanez

Apart from shops like Ms. Guzman Escorsa, there are other methods of making money transfers abroad. Oswaldo Milanus sends funds from his cell phone.

Previously, I used Western Union, but for a few months I have been using Rhea, which takes money directly from your bank account or from your credit or debit card through an application. Switching from one app to another is easier for me than going to a store. In addition, the costs are lower.

Oswaldo Milanus

Transfer fee

In an email to Radio Canada International (RCI), the authors of Canada’s study of international money transactions conducted their survey of statistics Canada, but global affairs were commissioned and funded by Canada, explaining the need for people living in Canada to know the way. According to the Federal Government of Canada, solutions to international money transfers and tariff reductions may be proposed.

Regarding the magnitudes and goals of transfers, Zachary Salah Timbuin and Martin Durkot explain that the factors involved are many and complex.

Canadian residents in many countries in Latin America and the Caribbean (Guatemala, El Salvador, Dominican Republic) pay more than average. However, the average amount sent is lower than those living in countries such as China, the Philippines or India. This has an impact on the total quantities shipped to these countries.

Zachary Salah Timbuwin and Martin Durkot, Statistics of Canada.

A Western Union identity.

Western Union is well known around the world for foreign exchange. Depending on the target, the average payment associated with traditional payments is 10% to 70% higher than the charges associated with electronic payments.

Photo: Radio-Canada

Worldwide, 200 million immigrants routinely send money to 800 million relatives. This money is important for their life and their livelihood.

In June 2020, the International Monetary Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) reported that people living in remote rural areas in many countries had limited access to banking services or limited mobile connectivity.

This means that millions of underprivileged people in these rural areas will be able to collect money sent by their immigrant relatives electronically and travel long distances at high cost.

Note: This report is also available in Spanish

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About the Author: Cory Weinberg

Cory Weinberg covers the intersection of tech and cities. That means digging into how startups and big tech companies are trying to reshape real estate, transportation, urban planning, and travel. Previously, he reported on Bay Area housing and commercial real estate for the San Francisco Business Times. He received a "best young journalist" award from the National Association of Real Estate Editors.

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