An Ashoka US Fellow is transforming the way banks allow people to send and receive remittances in the United States! We received exciting news this week that the United States Federal Reserve Bank is collaborating with the Bank of Mexico and US Fellow Atsumasa Tochisako’s organization, the Microfinance International Corporation (MFIC), to offer remittance service to Latin America. MFIC’s money transfer system, ARIAS, is being adopted at FedGlobal as a central payment processing system. With this, MFIC’s mission to narrow the distance between Banks and unbanked people is being realized.
The new program allows funds from accounts at a “U.S. depository financial institution” (ie. bank) to be sent to unbanked receivers (those without a bank accounts) for retrieval at either a bank location or at a trusted, third-party provider in 11 Latin American countries.
The effects of this new initiative are many, but essentially, this means that the gap between banks and underbanked populations is narrowing. Furthermore, it will be easier for people to send the estimated $110 billion in individual remittances that are estimated to originate in the United States annually back to their families in these 11 countries.
Atsumasa was also recently named one of America’s most promising Social Entrepreneurs by Businessweek. To read the article click here.