MADISON, Wis. (8/14/09)--Remittances to Latin American countries are expected to decline this year, making pricing for the services more competitive, according to the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU). The Wall Street Journal Wednesday reported that remittances are expected to drop 11%, to $62 billion. WOCCU offers remittance services through IRNet, a remittance service operated by WOCCU Services Group. It is doing its best to adjust to declining remittance volume, according to Saul Wolf, WOCCU remittances manager. “As total volumes drop, pricing is becoming more competitive,” Wolf told News Now. “Today, IRNet’s 1,000-plus credit union members in the U.S. and internationally are increasingly able to deliver the same quality service at lower costs to our members due to the fact our intermediary costs are dropping as well. “This is important because remittances generally fund daily necessities like food and shelter,” he continued. “Thus, lower intermediary costs mean more money for necessities for both remittance senders and receivers, people who need it most.” About 108 U.S. credit unions participate in WOCCU's IRNet. The service sends remittances in eight countries and has sent 157,000 transactions, valued at $86 million, since its inception in 2001, Wolf said. The Wall Street Journal article noted that last year, immigrants averaged 15 money transfers per year. This year, the expected figure is 12. The amount sent in transfers is expected to average $230, down from $241.