I hold a special place in my remittance heart for Faisal Khan, a name you’ll surely see if you Google anything on remittances or money transfers. Faisal is also an advisor to Hippocorn, a venture capital firm out of Denmark.
I would not be working on the RemTECH Awards with the director of the International Money Transfers Conferences, Hugo Cuevas-Mohr, without Faisal’s emphatic recommendation that Hugo speaks with me.
When I was first learning about the industry for a personal finance company, I had conducted a highly investigative user research study that reviewed nearly 2500 transactions across 35 remittance providers from the US. And published it for free. Faisal, a self-proclaimed data nerd and champion of primary research, gave me a digital standing ovation over Skype when I sent him my work. Lots of emojis.
Always looking for new perspectives and talent, we are honored to have him as a judge on the RemTECH Awards. Faisal is also offering an opportunity to the Industry Choice Winner 2019 to be a guest on his popular weekly podcast, Around the Coin, which discusses banking, money, and payments related issues.
In this weeks, RemTECH Chat, Faisal updates us on the industry trends he is seeing and his return to the Awards’ Judging Panel this year.
Olivia Chow: As a top Quora contributor and arguably #1 in online content in
money transfers, what trends are you seeing in the questions people ask or want to know about?
Faisal Khan: Two simple trends: Number one. How can they ’somehow’ navigate around the licensing requirement? And if there is such a method, how does one go about it? Number two. How can they make their crypto-business legal? They KNOW crypto, but they don’t know licensing, banking and compliance.
OC: What do you think are common misconceptions (or misguided approaches) in remittance innovation?
FK: That crypto is not required to be licensed, as it is somehow exempt. There is so much misinformation out there, regarding crypto and cross-border transfers. Most of the information offering advice on licensing, regulation and compliance is garbage. The lawyers make it so cryptic that the general public simply does not understand. It is deliberately made complex which results in the interpretation by the general public, skewed and wrong, leading to propagation of information that just is not correct. This is a serious issue.
OC: What are the projects you are most excited about working on as of late?
FK: Electronic Money Institutions that are now slowly evolving as pseudo-banks. They are not banks per se, just smarter payment systems.
OC: What issues in the industry do you think innovation can address that are either the most urgent?
FK: The whole issue of understanding and implementing compliance. Organizations like FATF have become extremely powerful and not being FATF Guidelines compliant can mean the death of your business going forward.
OC: Which ones have the biggest opportunities?
FK: Identity still is the elusive problem that hasn’t been solved. Solved to such an extent that individual identity and not the country of birth or residence would matter for funds transfer or risk perspective.
OC: You’ve been judging RemTECH since the first year in 2017 and will be in 2019. What has you participating each year?
FK: We all must contribute. Hugo and team have been running with the baton for a long, long time. We, as a money transfer, cross-border payments, and remittances industry must support such initiatives to increase awareness of the industry itself.
The second interview for our RemTECH Chats is complete! We have lined up some of last year’s winners and entries to tell us their journey. For those remittance innovators entering into RemTECH, I hope you have a better idea on what this judge is looking for and that you submit your entry. Please remember to do so by May 31st!! Please enter here: https://remtech.org/call-for-entries/