How is technology changing the remittance industry?

In the process of building the RemTECH Awards http://bit.ly/RemAwards1 and asking ourselves what innovation in the remittances industry meant, I searched the internet and talked to colleagues, both in the traditional financial services sector, bank and non-bank, as well as in fintech start-ups.

I began with fintech and what is truly interesting is that there is a broad understanding of what fintech is but almost everyone doesn’t see eye-to-eye in the details. With no boundaries of how much technology has to change a financial service or a product or how much disruptive the company – or the idea is, to be labeled a “fintech”, almost anyone could call themselves a fintech nowadays if it applies technology, in a large measure, to all its processes.

How is technology changing the remittance industry?

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Ant Financial’s & Euronet’s Bids for MoneyGram

I am going to assume that you are an industry colleague that needs much more information about the sale of our industry’s number two international money transfer company., MoneyGram. I decided to review all the news and give you an in-depth view of the information we have on the two suitors that have expressed their interest in MGI, Hangzhou, China-based Ant Financial and Leawood, Kansas US-based Euronet Worldwide.

We know much more MGI & Euronet (and more specifically its subsidiary RIA Money Transfer) since they have been present in our conferences, as participants, speakers and sponsors, but we are yet to meet our colleagues from Ant & Alibaba at an IMTC and we are extending our cordial invitation.

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IMTC LATAM 2017 Afterthoughts

Never before in an IMTC Conference we have had so many representatives from such a large number of sectors of society: politicians, ex-politicians, researchers, academics, pollsters, migration specialists, opinion makers, journalists, social workers, representatives of NGOs, cooperatives, “Cajas” (community banks), workers’ banks, entrepreneurs, remittance companies directives and commercial bank executives.

I think that three factors contributed to this outcome. The first…

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Reinventing Remittances with Bitcoin

Stories from the startups on the front lines from Luis Buenaventura

Luis Buenaventura and his team at Bloom are passionate pioneers of the Bitcoin remittance industry as well as its most enthusiastic observers, and this book is their contribution back to this growing community.
Luis has spent the last few years focusing exclusively on cryptocurrency as a mechanism for cross-border money transfer, and he has managed to meet and learn from many of the other Bitcoin remittance players out there. Reinventing Remittances is a collection of conversations, essays, and real data from the field, and is illustrated with tons of graphics and photos.
The digital edition can be downloaded for free!

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The Taxing of Remittances in the US

Georgia & Iowa move to leverage a tax on remittances – Financial Institutions are reacting

In a previous blog (in Spanish), posted in the midst of the many reporter calls, especially from Latinamerica (driven by the anxiety over the migration policies of the new US Trump administration), I mentioned the US legislators drive to tax remittances in the US. The State of Oklahoma is taxing remittances for some years now ($5 up to $500 and 1% after that). Several other States such as Georgia and Iowa are moving on this direction and the industry is watching. In the federal level there are also some initiatives being proposed. in an effort to fund the border wall.

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ANNOUNCING THE REMTECH AWARDS

THE FIRST AWARDS TO BRING FINTECH INNOVATION ON REMITTANCES FORWARD

Selection is now open to the RemTECH Awards!. Nominees will be announced at the IMTC USA 2017 in San Francisco on June 13 and winners will be announced and awarded at the Global Forum on Remittances, Investment and Development at the GFRID2017 in New York on June 15. The GFRID2017 is organized by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the World Bank and the United Nations Department for Economic and Social Affairs (UN-DESA) in New York City. The International Day of Family Remittances (IDFR) will be celebrated on June 16 in the context of the GFRID, at the United Nations headquarters. See Press Release

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Vamos llegando (We are arriving) – poema & canción

Hace casi 10 años escribí este poema titulado “encontrando espacio” que fue publicado en mi libro de poesía “más allá del mar” de 2008. El compositor italiano Massimiliano Agelao creó una canción titulada “vamos llegando” que fue grabada y presentada por un grupo joven de músicos y cantantes en Colombia llamado Grupo Musicalizando.

La canción y el poema son un homenaje a todos los hombres y mujeres que desafían valientemente las fronteras en busca de un futuro mejor para ellos y sus familias … un homenaje a los migrantes del mundo entero. En estos tiempos preocupantes de muros masivos y deportaciones, sentí que era un buen momento para compartirlo contigo.

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El cambio en la percepción pública de las remesas familiares

Después de una serie de entrevistas a los medios un par de semanas atrás, en un viaje a Guatemala, me di cuenta en un momento que estaba siendo testigo de un cambio en la percepción pública de las remesas que no había captado antes. Respondiendo una por una las preguntas de los periodistas, era incuestionable que estaba presenciando un cambio que no había notado con anterioridad. Después de pensarlo detenidamente, podría afirmar que el cambio es global, aunque eso no signifique que el cambio esté sucediendo de la misma manera o al mismo tiempo en todas las regiones o países del mundo. Sin embargo, después de haber sido parte de la industria de remesas por tres décadas, de repente lo vi claramente. No quiero adelantarme, así que retrocedamos un poco.

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Remittances, Migration & the Trump Effect: The Press Asks Questions

“It is the migrant, most of the time forgotten, who is sustaining the economy”
Diario La Hora – Guatemala – Jan 20, 2017

Hugo Cuevas Mohr, director of IMTC (International Money Transfer Conferences), has worked for years advising bank and non-bank institutions on international money transfers, payments and remittances. In preparation for the IMTC regional forum that will be held in Antigua, Guatemala in March 8-10, he visited the country to talk about migration and remittances, in a moment where the appointment of Donald Trump as President of the United States has brought the subject to the foreground.

Cuevas-Mohr warned that countries in the Central American region and Mexico should not wait to take preventive measures that could protect migrants should US authorities push for legal changes that affect them.

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