New Canadians and temporary foreign workers who send money to family members back in their home countries are being charged exorbitant transfer service fees, says a national non-profit that representslow- and moderate-income families.
Pascal Apuwa, a spokesperson for ACORN Canada, says fees levied on remittance payments—the moneyimmigrants send to family members in their country of origin—by moneytransfer organizations such as Western Union are as high as 20–25 percent.
“For every dollar I send, Western Union gets 20 cents,” Apuwa says, regarding his own experience in sending money to family in a rural village in Kenya.
“Western Union is in the small towns and rural areas, but banks are only found in the big cities. My mom is not in the city, she is in a rural area, so that’s why I have to use Western Union.”
In addition, transfer service companies sometimes charge hidden fees and fail to pay full value for exchange rates to poverty-stricken relatives collecting the funds, says Apuwa, a Canadian citizen.