Many companies in the financial technology sector, and especially start-ups, view services for immigrants as a major potential source of revenue and expect an uninterrupted increase in cross-border transfers and other financial services among foreign-born population in the U.S. Remittances from the U.S. to Mexico, for instance, cumulated roughly $25 billion in 2015, the highest level since 2008, according to data from the World Bank. Worldwide, almost $600 billion in remittances are being transferred each year.
Studies show that the number of immigrants accessing financial services through smartphones is growing. A Pew Research study has found that 13 percent of Latinos living in the United States depend on their phones as the only source of internet access. By comparison, just 4 percent of white people use only their smartphones to go online.
As a consequence, more remittance apps have been developed in recent years and they are witnessing a constant increase among their users, up to five times higher in the first quarter of 2016 compared to the same period last year.
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