Preparing for IMTC ASIA 2018 in September

Last week, May 2-5, myself, Hugo Cuevas-Mohr and Olivia Chow, from Yokip Consulting, our partner in the RemTech Awards and The Blockchain Series Coordinator,  were in Manila in a round of visits with local authorities, money transfer companies, banks and associations. The main objective was to prepare the program for our coming IMTC ASIA 2018 in Manila in September 19-21. We not only wanted to make everybody aware of the event, but make sure we understood the issues that all the stakeholders in the country found important to discuss at the coming event, to make it relevant for all, local & international participants.

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WOMEN IN THE MONEY TRANSFER INDUSTRY

In the last months we have seen a great movement by women to raise their voices and demand that institutions, companies and society in general, pays attention to their demands, needs and their equal place in the decisions that we as humans are taking with respect to the world we want to live in and the future we want.

We started to reflect in this with respect to the Monet Transfer & Cross-Border Payments Industry and we have decided to create the Women in the Money Transfer Industry Awards, to be given at the IMTC WORLD conference in Miami which is held every November. This will not be a contest but a nomination-by-peers type of Awards, highlighting women by regions of the world, to bring forward their names and their personal histories.

To start, I have decided to highlight a few of these pioneer women. Please forgive my ignorance if I am missing some of you, it is not on purpose. Please let us know the ones we are missing! You can download the PDF from here.

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THE FUTURE OF PAYMENTS: MTOs, PIs, REMTECH & THE BLOCKCHAIN

PART ONE: Cash:  Is the payments king dying? or is the king creating its own separate kingdom?

Although is not exactly clear how the payments industry will evolve in the near future, we agree that 2018 is likely to be a significant year for the financial services industry: banks, eCommerce, fintechs, payment institutions and other alternative payment providers. We will cover cash first (cash is still king!), then we will discuss the opening of banking rails to NBFIs in some jurisdictions (Europe, US & other countries) and then we will end with a view on fintechs and the blockchain, mostly those engaged in X-Border Payments. We are planning the 3 articles in the following three issues, as we embark in our Blockchain Series event in Sao Paulo on March 21, the European Payment Opportunities Forum on May 16 and the IMTC Forum San Juan in June 5 & 6.

You can download the 9 page PDF file from here: http://bit.ly/future-cash

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CHILE: WHERE MIGRANTS BECOME AN EVERYDAY SURPRISE

In my recent visit to Chile, where I traveled to make sure the country would be the best site for our 2019 IMC LATAM conference, I was very surprised by the large number of migrants entering the country, the growing number of agents & branches of established money transfer companies such as AFEX, MORE Money Transfers, RIA Money Transfers, Western UnionThe Western Union Company is a US financial services company with headquarters in Englewood, Colorado with offices and agents all over the world offering services such as money transfers (P2P, P2B and B2B, money orders, and other business & commercial services. With close to 12,000 employees, more than 500,000 agent locations in over 200 countries and territories, Western Union is... want more?, Latin, MoneyGram, Argenper, Peru Services and the opening of new companies entering the outbound remittance market.

Encuentra este artículo en español en PDF para bajarle aquí: DOWNLOAD

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THE GEOPOLITICS OF PAYMENTS, THE NO-DEAL FOR MONEYGRAM AND THE LOOMING TRADE WAR

The news [1] January 2nd didn’t come as a surprise for the industry as President Trump has criticized China for its trade and currency policies and its “America First” slogan has been the damocle’s sword hanging over the deal. We analyzed the deal in a past blog explaining the US Committee on Foreign Investment (CFIUS) involvement in these kinds of deals. It is not the first time MoneyGram is not allowed to be bought. When Western UnionThe Western Union Company is a US financial services company with headquarters in Englewood, Colorado with offices and agents all over the world offering services such as money transfers (P2P, P2B and B2B, money orders, and other business & commercial services. With close to 12,000 employees, more than 500,000 agent locations in over 200 countries and territories, Western Union is... want more? was trying to buy it, the deal was stopped to prevent the creation of a monopoly.

[1] U.S. blocks MoneyGram sale to China’s Ant Financial on national security concerns http://reut.rs/2DkwctP

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MSBA Names New Chairman and Board

In a recent Press Release, the Money Services Business Association (MSBA) – the US trade association that represents the growing non-bank money services industry, announced the formation of a new Board of Directors, a new Chairman of the Board and new Board members. The MSBA named Viamericas Corporation CEO Paul Dwyer as its new Chairman, succeeding Alberto Laureano, CEO of Barri Financial Group.

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Estimating the Volume of the Industry

For IMTC WORLD in Miami this past November, I decided to present my estimates on the size of the international Money Transfer and X-Border Payments industry, coming to a figure of approximately 1,025 billion USD, based on private communications with industry players and my own analysis (INFOGRAPHIC). The estimate starts from the 600B estimated by the World Bank on Remittance Volumes and adds estimates on unreported remittances, x-border money transfers that don’t fall in the strict “remittance” category (see definition below) and B2B & B2C transfers handled by the industry, by companies using Hawala-Type Methods and newcomers using VCs . If you want some detail about how this estimate was calculated, please read below or download this PDF to read.

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When it comes to blockchain, what kind of MSB are you?

Co-Chair Olivia Chow reflects on The Blockchain Series (TBS) pilot at IMTC WORLD 2017 in Miami

A lot has changed since IMTC Director Hugo Cuevas-Mohr invited Roger Ver, the so-called Bitcoin Jesus, to the IMTC in Miami in 2012, just five years ago. He debated Arun Sharma professor at the University of Miami School of Business over the validity of Bitcoin. Participants recall that encounter with smiles on their faces remembering Roger Ver screaming to a screen showing live Bitcoin Trades while Dr. Sharma tried reasoning. An IMTC sponsor threatened to withdraw their support as a result for even discussing the cryptocurrency.

A lot has changed and The Blockchain Series (TBS) pilot was a testament of sorts. Read along.

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