Latino Community CU Sends Transfers Straight to Mexico

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DURHAM, N.C. (06/09/06) - Latino Community CU has become the first credit union in the country to offer discounted international money transfers under the Federal Reserve's new Directo de Mexico program, the community development credit union announced Thursday.

The credit union officially unveiled the program Wednesday and will charge a flat fee of $3 per transfer-a fraction of the regular costs of international transfers-regardless of the amount. At least one other credit union, FirstStar CU, in Houston, has launched a pilot of the Director de Mexico program.

The program is a joint project between the Fed and the Central Bank of Mexico, which links the Latino credit union and its five branches to BANSEFI, one of Mexico's largest banks with 548 branches.

The service cuts out the middleman, so there's no additional step in which another provider-for a fee, of course-would transfer the funds for credit unions.

To use the service a person must join the credit union, which costs $20, and create a savings account with BANSEFI.

Members of Latino Community CU can open accounts with BANSEFI at any of the credit union's five branches. The low-cost remittance program is being marketed especially to credit unions and banks in Mexican border states, like Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California.

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