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Remittances 17 Jul 2019

BBVA Transfer Services: The money transfer processor with heart

If sending money is akin to a display of affection, people were showing their moms love in a big way on Mother’s Day, according to recently released results from international transfer services processor BBVA Transfer Services, or BTS.

BTS announced to employees that on the first day of the May holiday weekend, they processed hundreds of thousands of transactions, representing the single highest volume of transactions in BTS history. For the processor, the news has been more than 20 years in the making.

Garza: BTS came into the market in 1996 when there wasn’t anything like it.

“BTS came into the market in 1996 when there wasn’t anything like it,” said BTS CEO Aurora Garza. “At the time, the market was dominated by few incumbents with their extensive footprints. That, combined with the fact that money transfer is a time and money intensive endeavor in terms of ensuring compliance with anti-money laundering laws, banks generally weren’t interested.”

But what exactly is a money transfer processor, like BTS?

BTS Vice President of Risk Management Tomas Gloetzner explains that BTS is essentially a white label payments processing service provided to organizations domestically – like banks, Money Service Businesses and fintech companies – that want to offer their clients international money transfers. And while there are a myriad of ways that money can be transferred internationally, other options tend to be expensive (wires) or take days to settle. With BTS, he says, partners and their clients are assured that delivery is almost immediate, inexpensive, transparent and safe.

Gloetzner: …there are almost no obstacles or limitations on delivering the funds immediately.

“We have real-time settlement on transfers because BTS partners with many banks and retailers across  Latin America, and then agreeing on settlement as part of the partnership,” he said. “Because of this, there are almost no obstacles or limitations on delivering the funds immediately. The transfer literally happens in approximately 10 minutes or less, with the advantages of delivery of funds to the recipient and payment confirmation for the sender within that same timeframe.”

Gloetzner goes on to say that the real time nature of BTS transfers is just one of the gamechangers the processor has under its belt. He also points to processor’s business model of partnering with third party entities.

“In the countries to which our clients are remitting, we partner with ubiquitous, well-known third parties, like BBVA banks across Mexico and Latin America or retail locations with extended and weekend operating hours across Mexico and Central America, this way our network is extensive and convenient for all the parties,” he said.

With money laundering – and associated fines related to inadequate anti-money laundering controls – a big concern for those in the $689 billion remittance market, Gloetzner simply points to BTS’s two decades of history of AML compliance, saying “We’re a wholesale processor working with originator third-parties. All of their transactions go through our rails. This means, we act as a funnel for all the transactions, regardless of where they originated, so we can see what others can’t.”

Garza underscored Gloetzner’s point by saying that BTS is a purpose driven company, which means it is committed to providing the best payment processing service, with robust controls at its core, and additional value added services, which result in client relationships that are beyond transactional.

Garza: Everybody at BTS works toward the same mantra, which is to connect and empower people by providing the best experience to move money.

“It’s about serving our end user – the one who sends the money back to their family in another country – not because it’s a nice gesture, but because its a lifeline – they need it to pay for food or housing and other basic necessities, ” she said. “As a company, we want to create more opportunities to level the playing field for these people, making sure their loved ones get their money fast, in a secure and reliable manner and in a cost-effective way. Everybody at BTS works toward the same mantra, which is to connect and empower people by providing the best experience to move money. Serving people and making a difference for them gives meaning to what we do.”


For more on BBVA Transfer Services, click here.

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