International money transfer service Sharemoney has expanded its offerings to Colombia. This online service from Omnex Group allows people in the United States to send up to $2,999 for pickup at Bancolombia and Pagos Internationales branches in the Andean nation. It also allows bank deposits through Bancolombia, with fees starting at $3.99 and no cost for the recipient.
By adding Colombia to its portfolio, the company now allows those in the United States to send money almost anywhere in Latin America. Sharemoney also operates in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay.
“Providing secure, reliable money transfer services is our priority,” said Anastasia Rzhevskaya, marketing manager at Sharemoney. “We’re happy to serve the Colombian community by expanding our wire transfer services.”
While transfers can be used for various purposes, remittances sent home to family members are among the most common. And across the region, especially in Colombia, this has been a growth area over the past two years.
Family remittances to Latin America and the Caribbean reached $65 billion USD last year, a jump of 6% growth over 2014, according to Inter-American Dialogue. Roughly $4.64 billion USD of that sum came into Colombia compared to $4.09 billion USD in 2014. That 13.3% spike was the second largest in the region behind only Guatemala, which saw a 15.2% increase.
The bulk of growth in remittances has been coming from the United States, where a strong dollar means sending money back home gives recipients a lot more bang for the buck.
“From August 2014 to August 2015, the Colombian peso was the most depreciated currency in Latin America with 36% depreciation against the dollar,” states the Inter-American Dialogue report. “The impact of the exchange rate, in terms of remittances, is that those receiving money get an extra 55% of Colombia pesos, in comparison to the previous year, for the same amount of dollar originally sent.”