Hugo is a writer, a conference speaker, an event producer, an inquisitive panel moderator and an opinionated consultant in cross-border services industries and a mentor with vast experience, who speaks English, Spanish, French and who loves to run, bike, swim... and walk over long distances.

The 10 Most Important Issues – 2015 Edition – 9

Hugo Cuevas-Mohr puts together every year the 10 Most important Issues for the industry. To download the PDF go to Download/IMTC Publications.

The rise of P2B, B2B, and Forex services in the industry is making the “Payments” side of the International Money Transfer & Payments Industry more dynamic and more important, overall, with new services, new entrants and new offerings. The P2P money transfer and remittance market has been historically closely linked to the Forex Market, although regulations in many countries, as well as currency controls due to AML compliance concerns, broke the bond and led to the demise of many Forex firms, most prominently, the “casas de cambio” in Latin America.

The 10 Most Important Issues – 2015 Edition – 8

Hugo Cuevas-Mohr puts together every year the 10 Most important Issues for the industry. To download the PDF go to Download/IMTC Publications.

The continued decline in the price of oil is affecting remittances worldwide, although the effects are varied, depending on the region of the world. But even if oil prices fell to their lowest levels in a decade, remittance outflows from the GCC were not heavily impacted during 2015. Remittances to Egypt, Jordan, and Yemen, with over 70% coming from the GCC, were not affected.

The 10 Most Important Issues – 2015 Edition – 7

Hugo Cuevas-Mohr puts together every year the 10 Most important Issues for the industry. To download the PDF go to Download/IMTC Publications.

It was a good year for Mergers & Acquisitions (M&As) in the IMTC&P Industry, with the most notable news coming from the U.S: The July, 2015, $890M deal for the purchase of XOOM by PayPal. You can google hundreds of news articles on PayPal’s acquisition of Xoom or read the SEC merger report.

The 10 Most Important Issues – 2015 Edition – 6

Hugo Cuevas-Mohr puts together every year the 10 Most important Issues for the industry. To download the PDF go to Download/IMTC Publications.

The digital race heats up in the U.S. with the entrance of World Remit and TransferWise into the U.S. market, while Western Union opens up online channels in Europe. SaveOnSend articles, written by Alexey Artamonov and his multinational team, are probably one of the best sources to explore the rise of TransferWise and its initial strategy in Europe.

The 10 Most Important Issues – 2015 Edition – 5

Hugo Cuevas-Mohr puts together every year the 10 Most important Issues for the industry. To download the PDF go to Download/IMTC Publications.

Digital IMT&Ps are continuing to increase their market share as investors and bankers favor online/mobile channels. At IMTC WORLD 2015’s M&A roundtables, the message was clear: Investors and bankers are favoring digital channels, overwhelmingly, and not only is the valuation of digital money transfer companies very high, but there is very small interest in the investment world for investing in traditional agent-based MTOs.

The 10 Most Important Issues – 2015 Edition – 4

Hugo Cuevas-Mohr puts together every year the 10 Most important Issues for the industry. To download the PDF go to Download/IMTC Publications.

Mobile Money Services continue to expand across the developing world with new cross-border functionalities, systems integrations, partnerships, and regulatory advances for the industry. Domestic use of mobile transfer services spreads. The Global Mobile Systems Association (GMSA) reports that mobile money industry continues to expand globally, with more than 250 live mobile money services in nearly 90 countries.

The 10 Most Important Issues – 2015 Edition – 3

Hugo Cuevas-Mohr puts together every year the 10 Most important Issues for the industry. To download the PDF go to Download/IMTC Publications.

Price to the public of industry services have been fairly stable during the year. MTOs interviewed have seen a slight upward trend even though they state that competition in every channel is fierce, more so in the exchange spread than in the fees. According to Remittance Prices Worldwide (RPW), the global average cost of sending remittances (including all fees and charges) remained basically the same in 2015 with a slight downward trend. RPW reports that the global average was 7.72% in 1Q, 7.68% in 2Q,  7.52% in 3Q and 7.37% in 4Q – a change of – 0.35% for the year).

The 10 Most Important Issues – 2015 Edition – 2

Hugo Cuevas-Mohr puts together every year the 10 Most important Issues for the industry. To download the PDF go to Download/IMTC Publications.

Bank discontinuance and de-risking of MSBs/MTOs/money transmitters is still a major global problem industry-wide, but we think there has been a slight shift in the discussion with reports, regulations, and statements being published that gives us a sense of the issue moving forward; the small positive steps might seem irrelevant to a number of companies caught with limited or no banking relationships.

The 10 Most Important Issues – 2015 Edition – 1

Hugo Cuevas-Mohr puts together every year the 10 Most important Issues for the industry. To download the PDF go to Download/IMTC Publications.

Although the volume of International Money Transfer & Payments (IMT&Ps) continues to increase, the percentage increase YTY has slowed down. According to the World Bank and Knomad, in their latest Brief #25, the growth rate of remittances to developing countries is projected to fall from 3.3% in 2014 to 2% in 2015 (down from 7% in 2010-2013). The slower growth rate is not uniform at all since the sharp decrease in remittances from Russia and slower growth in the Middle East significantly affected the global average.

The new MONEY SERVICE BUSINESS ASSOCIATION – MSBA – is announced in the US

The organizing committee, in its first public announcement, stated: “The MSBA is a trade association focused on the non-bank money services industry, including licensed money transmitters and their agents/authorized delegates, payment card issuers and distributors, payment processors, international remittance companies, bill payment companies, mobile payment application providers, payment aggregators, virtual currency exchanges and administrators, eWallet providers…

The Periodic Table of Remittances

Faisal Khan, a Banking, Payments & Fintech Consultant in Dubai has compiled an impressive list of everything related to Money Transfers that he has collected graphically in a Periodic Table of Remittances. The impressive list of around 160 items has been divided in categories such as Comparison Sites, Influential Regulators,Platforms, Emerging Players, Incumbent Players, Payment Networks, Niche Players, Data Sources, People, Software, Airtime Transfers, Conferences, Forums, Blogs…

IMTC EMEA 2015: a huge success

IMTC EMEA 2015 ended last week with more than 160 participants beating all our expectations. We are very thankful with our great sponsors and the speakers who delivered very interesting presentations – downloads available from our IMTC site, and and shared their knowledge and opinions in the panels in our plenaries. We thank also the great…

Will Western Union Buy MoneyGram?

Even if the news were quenched, the debate lingers

The news gained momentum on May 5th when Bloomberg reported that WU was in talks with MGI. Immediately MGI shares shoot up almost 40% and WU shares also went up slightly. My phone started ringing with investment advisor asking for my opinion. I had little to say, really. But the following day…

LEBANON: Remittance Inflows & Outflows

Remittances of Lebanese expatriates increased from USD $7.86B in 2013 to $8.9B in 2014, up 13.2%. The World Bank attributed the increase in remittances in part to those sent to Syrian refugees in Lebanon by their relatives abroad. Although the data for outflows from the country has only been published until June 2014, in 2013 it reached a level very close to 5 Billion USD (same level in 2009, maximum ever recorded).

The House Financial Services Committee Letters

Just two weeks after the end of our IMTC USA 2015 Conference in Las Vegas, where we had a great panel on Bank Discontinuance entitled “Financial Access for the Money Transfer Industry – One step forward, two steps back? brilliantly moderated by Connie Fenchel with panelists Deborah Thoren-Peden from Pillsbury Law and Thomas Fleming from TF & Associates, the Republican leaders on the US House Financial Services Committee sent letters to the federal financial regulatory agencies asking to publicly disavow their “past, present, and future involvement in Operation Choke Point or any similar operation”. You can read the OCC letter here: http://bit.ly/1aP00Nu.

DEVELOPING PARTNERSHIPS WITH US LICENSED MONEY TRANSMITTERS

DEVELOPING PARTNERSHIPS WITH US LICENSED MONEY TRANSMITTERS

Inspired by Judie Rinearson’s article Surprise: State Licensing Laws Could Help Payments Innovation – http://bit.ly/1yd0FLW

We all know that technology and the creativity surrounding the tech revolution is inspiring a vast number of payment innovations. Online financial services, mobile payments, eWallets, bitcoin & the virtual currencies explosion, smarter ATMs, tools such as contactless chips, beacons, geo-location, are seeking to make payments more inclusive, easier to use, to track and to market, safer, faster, more efficient, more tailored to every user, etc.

THE TEN MOST IMPORTANT NEWS OF THE MT INDUSTRY FOR 2014

As I did for 2013, I have put together the 10 most important news stories for the Money Transfer Industry in 2014, as a way to reflect back and at the same time analyze the trends for the coming year. They are not necessarily in order of importance. They are based on my personal opinions and ideas from friends and colleagues in the industry.

If you want to read it from a PDF, view it | download it from here

If I miss something of importance or if you have any type of comment, please do it in LinkedIn. We would love to hear you opinion. Please go to our Linkedin Group following this link: http://linkd.in/WiQVFa and it will take you directly to the discussion.

Hugo Cuevas-Mohr

HOW TELCOS, MTOS AND BANKS COULD CRASH OVER REMITTANCES

Incumbents such as Western Union and MoneyGram do it. Traditional players do it. So, still, do some banks. And Telcos do too in some markets. The “it” is enable people to move money to each other in and between countries. Hugo Cuevas-Mohr shares insights gleaned from his work with money transfer professionals from all over the world about the remittance market, the role of traditional players, banks and telcos and who has the edge as this $500 billion industry evolves.

The following are the questions and answers provided by Hugo Cuevas-Mohr when interviewed by PYMNTS.com over his document “Are Telcos, Money Transfer Companies (MTOs) and Banks on a collision course over remittances?” (The document can be downloaded from there).
Click the questions below to open the answers. Please give us your comments and join the conversation here.

FINCEN Director’s Remarks 8/12/2014

FINCEN Director’s Remarks at AML Conference on August 12, 2014

Remarks of Jennifer Shasky Calvery, Director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FINCEN) at the 2014 Mid-Atlantic AML Conference in Washington, DC on August 12, 2014

I have extracted a large section of FINCEN’s Director remarks a week ago at this compliance conference, because I feel it is important that everyone in the industry reads the message that FINCEN is sending to Banks with respect to banking MSBs, in our case Money Transfer Companies. If you still have a Banking Account is important that you share this message with their Compliance Team (a formal letter with the attached pdf highlighting some parts of the remarks) and even set-up a meeting to talk about the issue and ask what else you can do, as a company, for the bank to feel confident of your ever improving compliance practices.
Hugo Cuevas-Mohr