Transmitters focus of rule changes for overseas transfers

Millions of electronic transfers of money from Hawaii to people or businesses in foreign countries will be subject to new regulations beginning Monday.

The changes focus on the transmitters of the funds, who will be required to provide contact information to state and federal agencies and to post more information about their costs and services, a news release from the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Division of Financial Institutions said.

These new rules are part of the federal Dodd-Frank Act that was designed to provide more consumer protections, including enhanced implementation of the Electronic Funds Transfer Act.

The new rules involve “remittance transfers,” an electronic transfer of money from a consumer in the U.S. to a person or business in a foreign country, whether by a wire transfer, an automated clearinghouse transaction or another method.

In 2012, there were more than 9.6 million money transfers recorded in Hawaii that totaled more than $2.3 billion. Currently, there are 46 licensed money transmitters with the state with more than 900 delegated operators.

Under the new rules, transmitters must begin providing contact information for the state Division of Financial Institutions and the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on receipts.

The new rules also require the disclosure of:

* Fees and taxes imposed on the remittance transfer.

* Applicable exchange rate.

* Currency amount to be received by the recipient.

* Estimates on remittance transfer services.

* Error resolution rights for senders.

* Creation of standards for resolving errors and record-keeping rules.

* Creation of rules regarding appropriate cancellation and refund policies.

Emails with reminder fliers were sent to licensees earlier this month.

For more information, see the division’s website at