Global payments firm Western Union has announced that it will launch remittance services into Cuba.
The announcement comes after changes to US regulations and policies that allow Cubans and non-Cubans to send remittances via Western Union to the island nation.
Using Western Union payment platform, Cubans and other citizens globally will join their US counterparts to send remittances into Cuba within minutes.
The company said that it expects to launch services in a phased approach by end of second quarter of 2016.
Remittance senders can use the firm’s omni-channel send options retail, digital, mobile or bank, where available to send money, and in Cuba receivers can collect their money from over 490 agent locations across Cuba’s 16 provinces and 168 municipalities, the company said.
Western Union president of the Americas and European Union Odilon Almeida said: "As we have found in other parts of the world, expanding remittances will provide a vital opportunity to improve the standard of living for Cuban people, contribute to savings and eventually investment towards small-businesses.
"This represents a powerful catalyst for empowerment and innovation. Our current movement of remittances from the U.S. to Cuba funds regular expenses and micro businesses, driving entrepreneurism, innovation and employment opportunities."