Our September conference in Delhi was without a question of a doubt one of the most challenging conferences IMTC has done ever. It would take me many paragraphs to explain this statement, so I am not going to elaborate much more. But at the same time, it has been one of the most rewarding conferences due to the engagement of the attendees and the great feedback received. We had close to 100 attendees from 14 countries: US, UK, Spain, Portugal, Mexico, Russia, UAE, Nepal, Hong Kong, Mongolia, Singapore, Israel and the host country, India. All Photos have been posted here.
Besides India I must point out the great response from Nepal. Thanks to delegates from City Express, United Remit, Samsara Remit, Prabhu, Nepal Remit, Hulas Remittance, IME, all members of the Nepalese Remitters Association (NRA) for coming and I am very glad they felt very satisfied by joining us! I hope the conference helped the Nepalese industry and each company present.
The MTO response to the conference was great. From the larger global companies to the more South-Asia focused companies, your presence made the conference a success. Also, the Payment Banks, the new alternative market players, the payment companies developing P2B payments, the mobile payments providers and enablers, made the event a learning experience to all of us. We lacked most major Indian Banks who had many issues deciding whether to come or who to send; the nomination process in Banks made the decision of the remittance department heads very complex and their emails apologizing because the Banks did not understand the importance of participating in IMTC made us very sad. Banks everywhere in the world are having difficulty finding their new place in the payments space and India is no exception. I was indeed very happy with the presence of Mr. Amit Talwar from Indusind Bank who in the “Digital Remittances to the region“ Panel demonstrated his keen knowledge of the industry.
It was indeed great attending IMTC Asia 2016 in New Delhi, helped me to meet industry friends and at the same time found some new business opportunities.
Director EMEAA, Transfast
All the panels were full of insight and made my moderation easy as the subjects were explained in detail with clarity and most of all vision. We do not record the panels in their entirety so if you were not in the audience I can only shares the questions that were asked which were prepared beforehand. We did record excellent interviews of most panelists and some attendees which you can watch here: Interviews IMTC ASIA. As Dilip Ratha from the World Bank was not able to make it to Delhi because he had to participate in the United Nations Summit for Refugees and Migrants in New York, he sent us a video message that we all appreciated. It is worth watching as the information that Dilip provides in 10 minutes is a great summary of the present state of global remittances and should be viewed by everyone in the industry.
It was great knowing you, Hugo. You and your team did a really great job in IMTC ASIA in Delhi. Really appreciate your efforts towards initiating this forum in India!
It is almost impossible to comment on each panel but I do want to highlight some subjects that were discussed:
Payment Banks & the Development of Payment Networks
The establishment of the first Payment Banks in India has taken months since they were first announced and Darpan Anand from FINO PayTech explained how and why RBI decided to move forward with this idea. Other countries are looking at this kind of legislation to increase the competition of financial entities in providing financial services. The process of getting the license is still some months away with RBI supervising and auditing each step of the way, and FINO, as well as the other 7 companies, 4 of them Mobile Money Networks, are ready to energize the market with their domestic and international money transfer networks that take into account many P2B services such as Bill Payment. Are commercial banks worried? Darpan doesn’t think so, as the segment has never been of interest for them. This Indian Experiment is worth following. Check this articles in CGAP
I want to take a moment to really thank you for hosting a wonderful conference in Delhi. I learnt a lot whilst having a chance to meet many companies and people!
We are all Digital Payment Providers
Even if we sometimes distinguish between Digital MTOs and Traditional Brick & Mortar MTOs, all the new solutions being brought into the market are really a combination of both worlds. When an online international money transfer operator calls itself a Digital Remittance Service, it is only one leg, the sending side of the transfer journey. World Remit, Transferwise, Xoom, Remitly, are all examples of this. Yes, a remittance can land in a Mobile Wallet and be spent digitally or into a bank account and spent with a debit card, but true point-to-point, all digital services that don’t involve cash in one end are still a very small part of the industry. Most MTOs nowadays receive cash and partner with many distribution networks that vary in the degree of the “digitization” of their channels; and that is what MTOs are very good at, partnering with all kind of distribution networks, to deliver funds through as many channels as possible. I have to note that is interesting that digital delivery methods are in many instances, still more expensive that cash.
Thank you very much for the opportunity to participate in the MTSC Remittances course. It was an excellent course and I learned a tremendous amount. I would like to explore the possibility of providing such training to some of our government and social partners.
International Labour Organization
Mobile Remittance Tools Are Coming Strong
There were a few examples given at the event of the use of mobile phones to accompany remittances, either providing information services (availability of funds) or pointing to different pick up methods. Stuart Butler, now with MoneyGram, was excellent explaining the different ways the company is using mobile with certain partners as a tool to provide a better customer experience. I do think there is a large opportunity for companies in the money transfer space to explore ways of using mobile solutions to enhance their sending or receiving services no matter their business model.
India Onward (Sending) Market: Waking up the Sleeping Giant
What started as a panel became a presentation as I couldn’t find companies that were involved in the remittance sending opportunities that the Indian market provides. The presentation was in the hands of Mohammad Khan of GenX Remittance Solutions, an interesting company that provides software and outsourcing services for money transfer companies. Mohammad made a presentation that can be seen and downloaded from our website which he properly named “Waking up the Sleeping Giant”.
Namaste from India! It was a pleasure to meet you again during the IMTC Asia conference in Delhi. The experience gained by just meeting and speaking to other attendees is something that I will value for a long time.
The first – truly – Blockchain-Enabled System for Remittances
One of the highlights of the event was OKLink’s Jack Liu and Jason Lau participation at the conference. After a long meeting with Jack I got a clear vision of OKLink’s Blockchain base information/settlement system that now links more than 20 companies & institutions in China, Hong Kong, Philippines, Japan and South Korea and will soon link dozens more after the conference. I hope the participants that listened and discussed with Jack & Jason OK’s system make their institutions go forward with the integration into the OK Network. Coinsecure from India was the first to jump in the train as it was announced in the event. It is understandable since they work on the same space and understand the opportunity. We are making plans for the team to come to Miami. Listen to Jack here.
Nepal: Investing in the Future of a Remittance-Dependent Country
For a country where remittances are more than 25% of GDP, the opportunities in this market are tremendous. But it is a lot to do to improve and modernize this space. And the companies that are in the market in Nepal know that they must develop their networks and their operational capacity to meet the challenge and provide better, faster and more efficient payment systems. We hope that IMTC gave them ideas, information, contacts and open the way for new partnerships. Listen to Bandana Shrestha from City Express Money Transfer (Nepal) and Suman Pokharel from IME Ltd (Nepal). More video interviews will be uploaded soon.
Please give us your feedback and comments in our LinkedIn Post.
Thank you so much for the opportunity to be a part of great event .It was a learning experience as we had the chance to hear the great ideas discussed and the things happening in the industry.
City Express Money Transfer