Financial authorities and private sector announce plan promoting access to banking services for migrants
11 febrero 2021

MEXICO

On February 8, the Bank of Mexico (Banxico, in Spanish), together with the Secretary of Finance and Public Credit (SHCP, in Spanish) and the Association of Banks of Mexico (ABM, in Spanish), launched an action plan to expand financial services coverage for sending and receiving remittances from Mexican families. According to the parties, this program will encourage people to open bank accounts and use electronic payment methods to minimize transaction risks and time costs involved in sending remittances. The presentation of the plan takes place in the context of the debate of the foreign currency uptake bill in Congress and, as it has similar objectives, could have a negative impact on the progress of the bill in the short term.

Bank transfer accounts are to be opened for Mexican and U.S. families as part of the process to open up the banking sector. Such accounts may be opened from the U.S. by the Banco del Bienestar with the consular registration or passport of the Secretary of Foreign Affairs (SRE, in Spanish) and at the Financial Advisory Windows (VAF, in Spanish) of the program of the Institute of Mexicans Abroad. In turn, the funds will be transmitted through remittance companies and settled by Banco del Bienestar.

Likewise, through electronic payment funds and credit institutions, financial entities will open accounts in Mexican pesos for migrants abroad, so that they can receive electronic remittances at the same exchange rate as that applied to credit and debit cards. In addition, they will agree on the sale of prepaid cards issued by banks in Mexican pesos for those entering Mexican territory to purchase goods and services, and the SHCP together with the National Banking and Securities Commission (CNVB, in Spanish) will coordinate the regulation of the identification of migrants with documentation from the SRE and a database, so that they can be profiled by  financial institutions as appropriate.

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