With the immigration crackdown proposed by the Trump administration, remittance companies are figuring out ways to address this social issue as it relates to their core business, which allows foreigners working in the United States to send money abroad to their families.
Remitly, a company based in Seattle, allows immigrants to make remittances and international wire transfers with the help of a smartphone app. In late February, the company launched a new social media campaign that appeals to the human side of remittances. The campaign is being promoted through the hash tag #WhyISend, and it consists of social media stories that show the reasons why immigrants send money home.
As part of the social media campaign, the company conducted a survey among thousands of immigrants working in the United States to highlight their motives for sending remittances back to their country of origin. The survey revealed that most of the money sent is used to cover household expenses such as rent payments, utility bills and meals. More than 10 percent of those who were surveyed explained that the money is used for paying tuition and school materials. Three percent said that they use the remittances received to pay for medical expenses.
The CEO of Remitly explained that the stories highlighted by the social media campaign should be humbling for all Americans. He added that immigrants who work in the United States provide an important contribution to the national economy. Remitly does not support the idea of imposing additional taxes to remittances because this measure would result in financial hardships for the immigrant workers as well as for their families abroad.
Remitly currently processes about $2 billion in remittances per year. Customers who use the service can send money to 10 countries in Latin America as well as to India and the Philippines.