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Chile, Spain, Uruguay Join Money Transfer Service

Chile, Spain and Uruguay join United Nations-backed electronic money transfer service

28 July 2008 - Chile, Spain and Uruguay are today launching a new electronic money transfer service which links their countries, using technology developed by the United Nations Universal Postal Union (UPU).

The UPU says that people in all three countries will now be able to use a fast and secure service, with money transfers being executed and delivered in 15 minutes. The service relies on the International Financial System (IFS) application developed by the UPU, and will be available in 2,300 post offices in Spain, 110 in Chile and 60 in Uruguay.

The launch of the new service between Spain and Latin America is part of the UPU's global effort to modernize the outdated paper postal money order and to meet the challenges of international migration.

According to World Bank data, more than 220 million migrant workers send over $300 billion annually through formal channels, but officials believe that just as many remittances are sent through informal channels, promoting money-laundering and potentially financing terrorist-related activities. The service announced today is designed to improve access for migrant workers to formal channels, such as the 660,000 post offices around the globe.

Spain is home to 4.5 million immigrants, including 1.6 million from Latin America. In 2006 these immigrants sent nearly $10 billion to their families in their countries of origin. By joining the new network, the UPU says, Spain can better meet the needs of its Latin American population and also has the potential to open exchanges with countries in North Africa.

Using the IFS application, the UPU has opened 150 corridors connecting 36 countries, while some 60 other countries are currently testing the technology with the aim of joining the international financial network.

Last Friday in Geneva, where the UPU is holding its Universal Postal Congress, postal leaders from Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Qatar, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen signed an agreement to work together to facilitate electronic money transfers among themselves.


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