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> Some Latin American immigrants say they regularly send three remittances a week to pay for last-minute school supplies or rent.

One solution is making up for rising transaction costs with lending. Someone reliably transferring money can just as reliably service a loan.

Suppose an American is sending $100 three times a week to Mexico. You lend the American $1 200 at the beginning of the month. This is sent to a Mexican bank with instructions to disburse, in $100 installments three times a week, to a beneficiary. The American, instead of sending money to Mexico, services the domestic loan. You retain a lien on the funds deposited in the Mexican bank, which would revert to you in the event the American defaults on their loan. Similar cash flows, one international wire.

Or you just put a $100 bill in an envelope and put a stamp on it.

I had always heard this was illegal, but it turns out it is ok as long as you are conducting a legal transaction. It is discouraged, but legal.

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