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Remittances

What’s on your international money transfers paperwork?

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If you send money to other countries, you can now get more information about exchange rates and costs before you pay for the transfers. That’s because of a new federal rule that went into effect at the end of October. Here’s a closer look at the information you’ll receive before and after you send money, and how you can use it.

Learn more about the rule and how you can help spread the word.

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Send money abroad with more confidence

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Today, you have new rights if you send money to family or others outside the United States.

These protections come from a new rule that applies to electronic money transfers sent by consumers in the United States to people or businesses in other countries. In general, the rule covers transfers sent by companies – such as money transmitters, banks, credit unions, and other financial services companies – that consistently send more than 100 international money transfers each year.

Your rights

If you make transfers covered by the rule, you will receive a number of new protections, including free, upfront information about the exchange rate, fees, and taxes you will pay, and the amount to be received. Here’s an example of what you will see.

You’ll also have the right to cancel transfers, generally within 30 minutes, at no cost.

If there’s an error, you’ll have 180 days to report the problem to the company. Once you contact the company, it has 90 days to investigate the matter and tell you what it finds. In some cases, you could receive a refund or have the transfer sent again.

Getting the word out

People send tens of billions of dollars from the United States to foreign countries each year, and we are doing our best to get the word out about the new consumer protections they now have. We’re working with nonprofit organizations, state agencies, churches, consulates, and others to distribute posters, brochures and other materials to the communities they serve.

These materials will are available in English, Spanish, Chinese, French-Creole, and Tagalog. You can download these materials using the links in the table below or place orders for multiple copies in the coming weeks.

Poster English Spanish French-Creole Chinese Tagalog
Flier English Spanish French-Creole Chinese Tagalog
Brochure English Spanish French-Creole Chinese Tagalog
Consumer Factsheet English Spanish French-Creole Chinese Tagalog
Stakeholder factsheet English Spanish

We’re also adding several new questions and answers to Ask CFPB and to consumerfinance.gov/es. And, in the coming weeks, we’ll begin advertising these new consumer protections as more people begin sending money to friends and families around the holidays. You can learn more about the rule here.

Share this graphic with the people you know and help us spread the word on Facebook and Twitter.

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Updates to remittance transfer rule resources and a correction to the rule

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We strive to make financial markets work for both consumers and the entities we regulate. Critical to that goal is making sure that businesses – both small and large – have what they need to understand and comply with our new regulations, which are designed both to help consumers and make a fair playing field for companies that play by the rules.

Today, we’re releasing an update of our small business guide for our international electronic money transfers rule (also known as the remittance rule). This updated guide reflects the most recent changes to the rule and will make it easier to understand the requirements, which will take effect on October 28, 2013. Although the guide is not a substitute for the rule, it highlights issues that businesses, in particular small businesses and those that work with them, should consider while implementing the new requirements.

Along with the guide, we are releasing a video that gives an overview of the rule, the recent changes, and our responses to questions raised regarding interpretation and implementation of the rule.

These versions of the guide and video replace those versions released in late 2012 and which are now out-of-date.

We are also making a technical correction to the remittance rule to make a clarification and correct an error to the May 22, 2013 amendments.

More compliance resources

We have some more information to help industry understand and comply with the new requirements, including:

Now accepting money transfer complaints

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It’s pretty incredible that you can quickly send money to almost anywhere in the country or abroad. Many people do so on a daily basis and starting today you can submit a money transfer complaint if you have an issue such as:

  • Money was not available when promised
  • Wrong amount charged or received (Transfer amounts, fees, exchange rates, taxes, etc.)
  • Incorrect/missing disclosures or info
  • Other transaction issues (Unauthorized transaction, cancellation, refund, etc.)
  • Other service issues (Advertising or marketing, pricing, privacy, etc.)
  • Fraud or scams

Before you submit

Have this information handy:

  • Sender’s name and address
  • Recipient’s name and address
  • Date of the transfer
  • Receipt or transaction number
  • Name of the money transfer company, bank, credit union, or other entity that sent the transfer
  • The location the money transfer was sent from (for example, if you started the money transfer in a store, the name and address of that store.)

Every complaint we receive helps us understand the challenges facing consumers, and they inform and shape our priorities.

Reading your complaints about money transfers will complement work we have already started in this area, including issuing a rule on international money transfers, which will include a new set of protections for consumers who send money internationally.

Need to submit a complaint in a different language?
Call us at (855) 411-2372 (CFPB). We can help in more than 180 different languages.

Scott Pluta is the Assistant Director for Consumer Response at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Temporarily delaying the implementation of our international remittance transfer rule

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Updated on August 8, 2013: The remittance rule goes into effect October 28, 2013. Visit the remittance rule page for additional information regarding the rule including the most recent updates.

In November, we announced that we would be proposing to make some limited amendments to our new international remittance transfer rule. We also announced that we would be proposing to delay when the rule would take effect until ninety days after we finalized the amendment. Last month, we formally issued our proposal.

The remittance rule was slated to go into effect on February 7, 2013. Today, we are temporarily delaying the effective date of our remittance rule. Thus, the rule will not take effect on February 7. A new effective date will be announced later this year.

The changes in our December 31, 2012 proposal are designed to preserve the new consumer protections while helping remittance transfer providers comply with the rule. The proposal also includes a provision to extend the effective date until 90 days after we issue a revised final rule.

You may submit comments on the remainder of the proposal, including what the new effective date of the rule should be, on or before January 30, 2013. We’ll keep our remittance web page updated with the new effective date when we finalize the substantive issues in our proposal.

Proposed changes to the remittance rule and an extension of rule’s effective date

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Updated on August 8, 2013: The remittance rule goes into effect October 28, 2013. Visit the remittance rule page for additional information regarding the rule including the most recent updates.

Today we issued a bulletin explaining that we intend to propose certain limited adjustments to our rule on international money transfers, as well as a brief extension of the date the rule would become effective.

Some regulated entities identified issues that pose practical challenges in implementing the new law. To address these issues, next month we will propose a narrow set of changes to the remittance rule. We’ll work on a fast track to finalize changes to the rule. The proposed changes would improve implementation of the new law while keeping the important new protections for consumers intended by the Dodd-Frank Act.

The proposed changes will address what should happen if a consumer provides an incorrect account number for a transfer and how remittance providers must disclose certain third-party fees and foreign taxes. Read the bulletin for more detail about the proposed changes.

These proposed changes to the remittance rule are designed to help companies successfully implement the rule’s valuable new protections for consumers. We expect to propose extending the effective date of the rule until 90 days after we issue a final rule on these issues because we recognize that remittance providers may need time to make sure they’re in compliance with the rule. We’re expecting the new implementation date to be during spring 2013, and will keep you updated.

For more information, please see today’s bulletin.