September 16, 2009

Yesterday I went to OSU Federal Credit Union to wire funds to the Philippines. Marethel Guinsayao will start college next month and we’re sending money to cover tuition, school uniforms and her boarding room.

In the past, when I sent funds for Leah’s tuition, we used a wire transfer…and the fees added up fast. $25 for the credit union. Another fee for the middleman, usually JP Morgan Chase in Manhattan. And then one more fee from Allied Bank in the Philippines.

I was dismayed because I realized the fees represented a substantial percentage of the money we were sending. That’s money I’d rather use for women’s college educations.

Louise Barker, my financial consultant, suggested a new approach: Vigo, a phone-based system. With Vigo, we can send money directly from our account in Oregon to an account in the Philippines for one low fee: $10. That’s a much better use of our funds.

I’m a now a big fan of Vigo (not to be confused with Viggo Mortensen, although I’m also a fan of his work.)


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