New protections are now in place for people wiring money overseas. Consumers need to know about these safeguards, so they can exercise their rights, get the information to shop for the best prices, and make sure their hard-earned money ends up where they mean for it to go.
The Dodd-Frank financial reform law of 2010 called for these new remittance rules, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is implementing them. The rules apply to transfers of $15 or more handled by a bank, thrift, credit union, or remittance company. Payment processors will have to do three things that were not previously required:
- Provide prepayment disclosure of most fees, taxes and the exchange rate (or in some cases an estimate of the exchange rate), enabling customers to know how much the process costs, and how much the people on the other end of the transaction will actually receive – before they decide how to send the money.
- Allow most customers at least half an hour to cancel a payment without charge.
- Set up a complaint system with a timeline, and assume responsibility for abuses or mistakes committed by their agents. In short, if the money never reaches the specified destination, that simple fact will now be grounds for consumers to get a refund.