In 2016, Statistics Canada estimated that 1.6 million households sent at least $500 internationally to relatives and friends.

To date, the options to do so have been limited, expensive – due to poor exchange rates and high fees – and time-consuming.

Thanks to Central 1, it’s getting a bit easier to send money to loved ones outside of Canada.

Today Central 1 announced the nationwide launch of its newest product, ‘International Transfers’—a made-in-Canada solution for Central 1 clients that gives Canada’s credit union members the ability to move money cross-border any day, at any time.

The launch of International Transfers has the potential to immediately impact four million Canadians, and arms credit unions with a competitive advantage—enabling seamless cross-border transactions that few large financial institutions offer in Canada. Canada credit unions accounted for $18.2 billion in global transactions in 2018 alone.

“Canadians are increasing thinking globally and so is Central 1. Using proprietary technology developed by our strategic partners, Agility Forex, the International Transfers product has transformed the way that Canadians are able to move funds through a simple, digital-first product,” said Brian Raine, Product Owner and VP, Treasury of Central 1.

Stacked against the competition that charges on average $25 per transfer, the new service provides credit unions with a zero-dollar base cost for transfers above $500 CAD, a low fee of $2.50 for lower transfers, and no transfer limits.

Until today’s launch, Canadians only alternative to bank offerings has been services like TransferWise and PayPal’s Xoom.

Canadian credit unions, like Sunshine Coast Credit Union and Khalsa Credit Union, welcome the product that is set to transform the way their members move money internationally.

“International Transfers will empower our members to make streamlined international transfers 24/7 through our trusted online banking platform. As a member-focused organization, we are committed to providing innovative solutions to our members,” said Shelley McDade, CEO of Sunshine Coast Credit Union.

Hardeep Bains, COO of Khalsa Credit Union said, “Many of our members are newcomers to Canada and need to send money back home, which usually requires a visit to a branch. Being able to send funds from the convenience of your home through International Transfers is a game changer.”