Q: Who is a remittance transfer provider?
A: A remittance transfer provider is any person that provides remittance transfers for a consumer in the normal course of its business, regardless of whether the consumer holds an account with that person. Money transmitters, depository institutions, credit unions, and broker-dealers can be remittance transfer providers.
Whether you provide remittance transfers in the normal course of business depends on the facts and circumstances, such as the total number and frequency of transfers that you provide. To make this determination easier, the rule provides a safe harbor. If you provided 100 or fewer remittance transfers in the previous calendar year, and you have provided 100 or fewer remittance transfers in the current calendar year, then you will not be considered to be providing remittance transfers in the normal course of your business.
If you exceed the 100-transfer safe harbor in a given year, you could still be exempt under a facts and circumstances test. See § 1005.30(f) to find out more. Otherwise, if you were eligible for the safe harbor but then exceed it in a given year, you have up to six months to come into compliance with the rule.
With regard to transfers provided prior to the October 28, 2013, effective date, the Bureau expects that providers who did not distinguish remittance transfers from other electronic transfers of funds sent to recipients in other countries can use reasonable means to identify what subset of these transfers were remittance transfers, based on available information. For example, to determine the number of transfers in the present calendar year, a bank might conclude that every outbound international wire transfer initiated by a consumer is a remittance transfer for purposes of determining whether the safe harbor applies.
This is addressed in the CFPB "International Fund Transfers" guide, which can be found here: