Tuesday, 22 March 2011
Jump in money transfers to Japan
Western Union tells me it is "seeing a significant increase in transactions being sent into Japan since the earthquake and tsunami on March 11".
Traditionally it handles more money being sent out of Japan in the form of remittances from people working in the country to family members elsewhere.
But since the disaster the traffic has gone the other way, as people try to get money into the country to help loved ones who have run out of cash.
Online money transfer companies, like PayPal, have relatively small operations. Their activities are limited by Japanese rules on moving funds.
Western Union uses local agents as pick-up points for cash. Often the money is to help with travel costs as more people try to leave the country.