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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.

201310_cfpb_share_money-transfers

  • Betsy Cavendis

    Congratulations. This rule, your publicity, the complaints process and your enforcement efforts will make an important contribution to the finances of immigrants and all those who send money abroad. It will help level the playing field between isolated individuals and large companies.

  • Compliance person

    I see that my comment that pointed out some of the harmful effects of this new rule still hasn’t been posted. I should have known.

  • Compliance person

    So much of this rule is not only unnecessary but is proving to be burdensome for consumers. If the CFPB had only included this little item in the definition of “remittance transfer” – that the recipient is controlled by the remittance provider either by ownership, affiliation or contract – then the wire transfer services offered by banks and credit unions would not be affected.

    I know a small institution that provides accounts to a number of ex-pats who live abroad as well as aerospace employees who are overseas. Those folks regularly request funds to be transferred to their accounts overseas where they are living – typically for living expenses, and the client is now experiencing time delays in getting the consent, and their customers are not happy. In some cases, this is causing financial hardship.

    So – well done CFPB in providing a “protection” where it was not needed!

  • Compliance Cluster

    Most everything from the CFPB is burdensome.

  • Veronica Cisneros

    I think is great. I send money overseas often and I would value to have a break down of all fees. Thank you, I look forward to benefiting from these rights

  • Compliance person

    Veronica – If you try doing that from a small community bank or local credit union, you will now find one of three things has happened:
    1. The institution no longer offers the service because it is too costly to comply with the complicated new rules.
    2. The institution is going to charge a lot more than it did before.
    3. The institution will refer you to a “private” remitter such as Western Union, Money Gram, etc., because those private systems have complete control over the receiving end and can disclose all of the fees because they control them.

    What a lot of people don’t realize is that most small banks and credit unions have NO CONTROL over what happens at the foreign bank that receives a wire. But this new regulation MAKES them responsible for what happens. It makes no sense to force small banks and credit unions to be responsible for what a foreign bank does. Meanwhile, the private remitters such as Western Union, Money Gram, and some the PREDATORY private remitters are free to charge whatever they want because they have LESS COMPETITION.

    If the regulation has LIMITED the disclosures and responsibilities to the private remitters who created this problem in the first place, I would be the FIRST to applaud the new regulation.

    If you want to see small banks and credit unions driven out of the market, then your goal has been accomplished. All of the new Dodd-Frank rules are having a much heavier negative impact on the small institutions that have the least amount of resources to deal with them, were never the problem in the first place, AND would be the BEST places for local consumers to turn to for products and services except the regulations have strangled them. Meanwhile, the large institutions, and the non-bank providers who WERE the problem, are able to skate on by without much cramp in their style.

    Why does everyone HATE small banks and credit unions so much??????

  • Concerned Banker

    Good intentions, I’m sure, but bad policy. I have customers who request “remittance transfers” to Japan. Knowing that Japanese banks all charge a 1-yen spread when they do the FX trade (a razor-thin spread compared to what most domestic banks charge), I used to advise them to send the money in dollars. Now, I have to force customers to do the FX trade with us, and clients are economically worse off than before. They don’t have a choice (unless they are sending money to a foreign currency account in Japan). I thought CFPB’s mission was to protect consumers!

  • Concerned Canadian Immigrant

    Congratulations. Why is Wells Fargo taking hours to do international wire transfers at their branches? Two visits this week to their branches cost me 2 hours with a branch banker waiting on another phone banker. While I waited at the branch I noticed that their remittance service to Mexico and the Philippines was working just fine. Why are wire transfers to Canada so difficult now at Wells Fargo? How are the protections going to be enforced?

The CFPB blog aims to facilitate conversations about our work. We want your comments to drive this conversation. Please be courteous, constructive, and on-topic. To help make the conversation productive, we encourage you to read our comment policy before posting. Comments on any post remain open for seven days from the date it was posted.