Every day we hear and read news about the economic impact of remittances that come from the United States to Mexico; historical figures that exceed expectations every quarter.
Just to put it in perspective, according to the Bank of Mexico, the accumulated amount of remittance income from January to May 2023 was $24,667 million dollars, a figure that increased 10.3% annually compared to last year in the same period. .
However, we rarely stop to think that although numbers are extremely important, behind each consignment there is a life story, a family that works every day to get ahead.
It is here where we must emphasize that remittances must be seen, not only as a way for people to cover their essential needs, but also for the different entities that make up society, such as government, private initiative, civil society, to promote policies and strategies that allow the financial inclusion of all people to be developed through remittances.
Remittances are a driver for financial inclusion
One of the keys to being able to trigger financial inclusion in communities is through the digitalization of remittances, which refers to the use of technology to facilitate and speed up the process of transferring money from migrants to their families in Mexico.
The exponential technological change that has been experienced in recent years as well as the health crisis due to Covid-19 have accelerated the process of digital payments internationally.
According to the World Bank's Global Findex 2021, a decade ago, only 42% of people in developing countries had an account, while today that figure has risen to 71%.
Additionally, approximately 40% of people who made digital payments from their account did so for the first time at the start of the pandemic.
Other interesting data is shown in the research “Money travels: adoption of digital remittances 2023” by Visa, which presents the results of a survey conducted with more than 14,000 consumers in 10 countries, including Mexico, and which highlights that 66% of recipients surveyed have used digital applications to receive remittances.
Internet access changed everything
According to the National Survey on Availability and Use of Household Information Technologies (ENDUTIH) 2021, from the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI) and the Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT), in 2021 there were 88.6 million Internet users, which represented 75.6% of the population aged six years or older with a growth rate of 4.1% compared to 2020.
In addition, 91.7 million people were counted who use mobile phones, which represents 78.3% of the population studied.
The digitization of remittances is leaving a significant mark in Mexico and around the world.
Although our country has experienced modest advances in access to technology, this momentum must serve as a catalyst for us, as a society, to join forces in creating opportunities and alternatives.
It is essential that recipients of remittances, especially those belonging to the most vulnerable sectors, can enjoy quick, easy and secure access to this digital transformation, thus stimulating financial inclusion.
This is how we can build a stronger and more resilient Mexico, where technological solutions can be an engine for economic equality and sustainable development.
Jesús Maldonado: CEO of Paisamex.