Remittances from the U.S. to Latin America and the Caribbean: Following the Money Journey

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Apr 2019
Otsuka, Monica
This study offers insights from a large cross-sectional survey on remittances sent by 2,145 migrants living in three major cities in the United States. The migrants in this study are from Colombia, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, and Mexico, representing 67 percent of total remittances sent to LAC from the U.S. We focus specifically on the money journey of remittances: the channels and payment instruments with which individuals send and receive money. We largely do this by examining patterns of digital and brick-and-mortar sending and receiving channels, as well as cash versus noncash payment instruments, alongside the awareness, convenience, and costs of these platforms and methods. Through gaining a deeper understanding of how money makes its way from the hands of migrants in the United States to families and friends in their home countries, this study offers a new perspective on the choices that migrants make when sending money home that can be useful insights both for policymakers and for businesses seeking to serve this population.