International Remittances Network (IRnet®)
| For more information, contact:
Remittances Program Staff
World Council of Credit Unions
of Credit Unions, along with its providers, strives to assist
credit unions in reaching emerging markets by providing
credit unions with safe and affordable money transfer products and
technologies. By offering high-demand remittance products, credit unions are able to attract and effectively
serve potential members in this evolving financial marketplace.
expertise of our money transfer partners and World Council’s credit union knowledge
results in customized solutions, better service to emerging markets, an
expansive network with convenient points of service, tailored products to
attract new members and the ability to go above and beyond by offering other financial products
and services to attract new members into the financial mainstream.
IRnet was developed
in response to credit union members and potential members’ demand for money
transfer services and to counter the exorbitant fees being charged to use these
By offering strategic relationships that
provide the best overall value for quality products at more competitive prices
than a credit union could negotiate individually, credit unions that join IRnet are better positioned to effectively compete in this vast market.
Effective June 2012, IRnet is no longer accepting new credit union applications in the United States.
Credit unions outside the United States may offer
the following remittance products:
IRnet is not limited to credit union-to-credit union
transfers. People have the option
of making a transfer from a credit union to a credit union, from a credit union
to a non-credit union (for example, to a retail outlet providing money transfers),
or from a non-credit union to a credit union. The current overall network
provides service to countries in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and Latin America.
By offering access to
remittance services, credit unions around the world are able to serve unbanked
and underserved populations, providing access to additional financial products
and services that may ultimately help them improve their lives.
Remittances — A Transactional Financial Service in High Demand
As the foreign-born
population in the United States
continues to rise, so does the need for access to safe and affordable financial
services — including remittances. Over the past few years, there has been a
tremendous growth in money transfers, especially to Latin
America and the Caribbean (LAC). According to the Inter-American
Development Bank, remittances totaling US$67.5 billion were sent to LAC in 2008,
of which over US$25 billion went to Mexico alone.
For many countries,
remittances have become a highly dependable source of household income and
often a significant percentage of the country’s gross national product. For family and friends back home, these funds are vital to help cover the costs of
food, housing, education and new businesses and to save for the future. World Council’s program provides a safe, rapid and economical
means for credit union members and potential members to send and receive these
Credit unions as
agents/payers: Unlike other remittance providers operating out of
convenience stores or check-cashing outlets, credit unions offer core
financial services such as savings and checking accounts, loans and
educational seminars, in addition to remittances. Credit unions in
the United States
are also regulated and insured financial institutions
Lower fees and
disclosure of exchange rate: For as little as US$10, credit union
members and potential members can send up to US$1,000 to Mexico. Senders
are guaranteed the rate of exchange and informed of the amount the
beneficiary will receive at the time of the transfer.
No fee to the beneficiary: The beneficiary abroad will not be charged any fee for receiving transfers.