Lenders eye international revenue as immigration debate continues

Remittances: Big business, big politics

Business collides with politics as lenders strive to grab more international remittance revenue just as lawmakers grapple with how to stop illegal immigration.

The 33 million immigrants in the United States represent at once an opportunity and a problem, as fully one-third are “illegal” or “undocumented.” Yet, all represent a nearly untapped market for financial institutions here.

Estimates peg the piece of remittance business now going through U.S. banks at a measly 3 percent.