Remittance Service Toolkit & Deployment Strategy

Client: Remás Date: December 20, 2010 Category: , , , ,

Brief

Social change, financial literacy and community development are the three goals of Remás. They envisioned a digital kiosk as the best way to enact these goals. We were tasked with designing a kiosk that would be abe to provide the client’s services in the best manner.

Context

Remittances are big business. In 2009 over $414 billion was sent across borders. These funds often go directly to families to help increase their quality of life. However, this direct family aid is bittersweet. While helping one family, it creates an economic gap wihtin a community which can only be resolved by sending more community members abroad. This vicious cycle can destroy communities. Remás was founded to address this issue.

My Role

  • Strategist
  • Design Researcher
  • Focus Group Facilitator
  • Graphic Illustrator
  • Project Book Developer

Poverty

Remás’ research in El Salvador found stark differences in the wealth of families with people remitting versus those without.

The Remás Way

The proposed solution would collect a small amount from each remitter and use that to support community development projects.

The Remás Way

The proposed solution would collect a small amount from each remitter and use that to support community development projects.

The Remás Concept Paper Visualized

Remás has a broad spectrum of goals.

The Remás Concept Paper Visualized

Remás has a broad spectrum of goals.

The U.S. Has Mostly Mexican Immigrants

Though the long term goal for Remás is to be available to all immigrants nationwide, we chose to begin our focus with the Mexican community.

The U.S. Has Mostly Mexican Immigrants

Though the long term goal for Remás is to be available to all immigrants nationwide, we chose to begin our focus with the Mexican community.

The Money Maze

We mapped out the most common ways of sending money south, to Mexico. Even with so many options, the potentially more costly high touch method was preferred.

The Money Maze

We mapped out the most common ways of sending money south, to Mexico. Even with so many options, the potentially more costly high touch method was preferred.

Mexican Market in Philadelphia

In the market in South Philly we observed remittances happening and found out what is required to send money.

Mexican Market in Philadelphia

In the market in South Philly we observed remittances happening and found out what is required to send money.

Imposing and Intense Structures

At banks we got a sense for the fear that can be instilled by the “official-ness” of their power and discovered what is required to open a bank account and send money using wire transfers.

Imposing and Intense Structures

At banks we got a sense for the fear that can be instilled by the “official-ness” of their power and discovered what is required to open a bank account and send money using wire transfers.

Focus Group Discussion of Wants and Needs

We held four focus groups where we learned how  local immigrants get information and use technology, as well as what they thought could be improved with the current remitting options.

Focus Group Discussion of Wants and Needs

We held four focus groups where we learned how  local immigrants get information and use technology, as well as what they thought could be improved with the current remitting options.

A Local Bodega Owner

Talking with local bodega owners who offered money transfer services we learned why stores offer the service and what some of the differences are between them besides the price.

A Local Bodega Owner

Talking with local bodega owners who offered money transfer services we learned why stores offer the service and what some of the differences are between them besides the price.

Questionnaire Statistics

Compiling and visualizing our discoveries helped refine our focus within the project.

Our Resolution

We determined that a kiosk alone would not enable Remás to meet their goals and designed a more comprehensive system to address their customers desires while accounting for their culture.

Our Deliverable & Case Study

Read more about the project below. A full version of our deliverable is included in Appendix 1, beginning on page 104.