Sending money abroad should be a simple and easy process. In the past it was. Today not.
For the masses, read, the poor and middle class, or the tourist, sending small amounts of money, be it for medical, emergency or travel, medical and bail needs, it is now an onerous process. Forget for a moment the stringent I.D. process that requires two photo I.D. documents. Usually a passport, social security card and a drivers license. And there are at lest two H.D. cameras aimed at the transaction point.
The developed countries continue to impose rules and sanctions in any country they can so as to make the process as difficult as a root canal.
Most people do not have a bank account.
For whatever reason they rely on trusted money sending services such as Western Union and MoneyGram.
In Belize the Central Bank of Belize now regulates money transfer services. And imposes strict rules on these services that it licenses.
As of August 2017, these rules include limitations on the funds to be transferred. The limit is U.S. $500. both to be sent or received. Any amount over this limit needs to be approved by the Ministry of Finance or the Central Bank bureaucrats in person. Not a practical solution for the public. And not a solution on weekends when these institutions are shuttered.
The MoneyGram service is the most popular in Belize. Their fees are cheaper compared to Western Union. The MoneyGram service is popular at pawn shops, beauty salons and pharmacies. They advertise that they can send money to and receive money from individuals. Up to 2016 Moneygram was available at the Belize Bank but they have now closed down this service – perhaps in the wake of tightening offshore banking restrictions.
The Western Union Service claims to be able to send and receive money to and from individuals, and also to and from bank accounts.
In Belize, the latter does not work. Western Union in Belize has two franchise operators, the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Zitro International. The former is more established with big business. The latter more with small operators such a pharmacies, hair salons and small companies.