Each year, individuals in the United States send billions of dollars abroad. Most of these remittances are sent by immigrants to their home countries, and the majority of them flow through a handful of service providers who dominate this highly profitable business. As the immigrant population in the United States continues to grow, the volume of remittances climbs each year, reaching nearly $35 billion in 2004. Bankers and other financial professionals are taking notice, and financial institutions around the country are investigating ways to enter the market and capture a share of this growing source of revenue. To aid New England's financial institutions in their exploration of the remittance market, the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston has developed this report, intended to enhance the overall understanding of remittances and to highlight the potential costs and benefits of establishing a remittance program.