Africa — The Latest Fintech Frontier, If Not the Last

Global payment and remittance companies constantly search for a competitive advantage: service enhancements, promotions, industry segments and target customers to name a few. As the world gets smaller and more connected technologically and in communications, those breakthroughs are harder to find, or at least more difficult to differentiate unique features vs. the available options. Enter…

The Growth of Migrant Services

Migrant Services Providers, from Travel & Foreign Exchange, to Remittances, airtime (top-ups), bill payment and now courier services, keep agents afloat while digital services continue their growth Download PDF Money Transfer Agents are a common feature in all migrant neighborhoods in cities across all the 5 continents. Full of services for migrants, they normally serve…

IMTC ASIA 2018 SUMMARY

Analyzing the results of IMTC ASIA 2018 in Manila September 19-21, the first thing that comes to mind is the very interesting state of the money transfer industry in The Philippines. Companies, colleagues, regulators, government representatives, were very open to share their ideas, their work, their vision, which contributed to understand key transformations that the…

Digital vs. Cash, are we getting it all wrong?

This article was conceived after discussing with colleagues in the industry why the payments world has been driven into the Cash vs. Digital dichotomy. My research on cash has been inspired by analyzing the penalization of cash-based industries, such as the money transfer industry by the banking sector, which has resulted in the derisking phenomenon…

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…

The Antimonopoly Prosecutor in Chile sides with MSBs on Bank Account Closures

We thank our colleague Carlos Grossman, for the report out of Chile where the Antimonopoly Division of the National Economic Prosecutor Office (División Antimonopolios de la Fiscalía Nacional Económica – FNE)  reports the investigation that took place after an August 2015 complaint by a Forex Firm denouncing seven banks of denying the opening of a…

DE-RISKING AND THE GREAT UNBANKING CHALLENGE

How De-Risking is changing the face of Financial Services worldwide In July 6th & 8th the Economist published two articles that, again, raised the de-risking threat discussion to new levels. The July 6th article was entitled “The great unbanking [1] –  Swingeing fines have made banks too risk-averse – It is time to rethink anti-money-laundering…

Family Remittances and “de-risking”: The Case of Mexico

Mexican migrants in the USA are first class Mexicans. They are in general the risk-taker population, hardworking, with a different work ethic compared to the average American worker. They give a different value to their labor and the remuneration that they receive for that effort. Some are prosperous entrepreneurs too. Success stories abound throughout the…

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…

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…