Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Global Money Transfer Summit 2015


Annual GMTS 2015 conference held in Canary Wharf, London, brings together money transfer executives from around the globe.

London – September 17th 2015 – The International Association of Money Transfer Networks is pleased to report the resounding success of its 10th GMT Summit. The summit regularly attracts top money transfer executives from around the world to hear insights from a stellar speaker line up composed of established industry leaders and innovating newcomers. GMTS2015 was kindly sponsored by: Ria Money Transfer, MoneyGram International, Wall Street Exchange, Tempo Money Transfer, Instant Cash and Jumio.

The two-day conference was held on 15th and 16th of September at Level39, Canary Wharf, London and included the presenting of IAMTN’s 2015 Money Transfer Awards. The Money transfer Awards 2015 were presented by Mrs Veronica Studsgaard, Co-Founder & CEO of IAMTN, and Mr Mohit Davar, Chairman of IAMTN. The winners of the Traditional Model category was presented to Ria Money Transfer, Mr Sebastian Plubins, Managing Director EMEASA, received the award. The Digital Model category was presented to Azimo, Mr Michael Kent, Founder & CEO of Azimo received the award.

The first day began with a general overview of the industry by a well-established figure in the Fintech landscape – Kai Schmitz of the IFC. With a wide variety of experience in both the private and public sectors, in remittances, payments and markets, Kai is expertly positioned to describe the ‘lay of the land’ as far as the international payments space is concerned. He understands the key issues from both the position of development agencies and from the money transfer operators as well.  In his current role with IFC he looks at many businesses that are seeking funding or investment.Offering a note of scepticism with respect to the reported growth figures, Schmitz predicted substantially intensified competition in the near future, particularly in Europe rather than the U.S.

Following the broad perspective offered by Mr Schmitz, a panel of companies associated with the traditional remittance model took to the stage to discuss the challenges and opportunities presented to their segment of the market. The panel presenters were Sebastian Plubins, Managing Director (EMEA & South Asia) at Ria Money Transfer; Marc Matthews, Senior Regional Director (UK & Ireland) at MoneyGram International; and Jeremy de Smet, COO at Moneytrans. The outlook presented was an uncompromisingly positive one, with all the panellists arguing for the continued perception of the traditional model as the overwhelmingly dominant one within the industry.

 The next panel was presented by five leading players in the mobile space, which despite the huge interest, still only accounts for a small segment of market share. The panellists were Tom Heeremans of Transfer-To; Ammara Batool of Mobilink; Alix Murphy of WorldRemit; Rajiv Bathia of Ericsson; and Stephen Doyle of Homesend.

In the afternoon session, one of the most respected figures in the industry and is often the ‘go-to’ person for a range of media. Dilip Ratha, presented on the state of the remittance industry. Ratha is Head of the Migration and Remittances team at the World Bank. There was a particular focus on practical solutions to the myriad challenges faced by both Money Transfer operators and countries in the developing world.

The second day began with a lucid explanation from Daniel Marovitz of Earthport on the invariably mystifying topic of cryptocurrency. Combining his strong grasp of the technical and theoretical aspects of digital currencies with his expertise in cross-border payments, Marovitz outlined the ways in which cryptocurrency could influence the future of the industry. The cryptocurrency theme continued with a panel later in the day, presented by Bitpay, the Bitcoin Foundation, and CCEDK. Other notable presentations approached the topics of disruptors, and the role of Post Offices in today’s cross-border payments world.

Other notable events at the summit included a presentation of the recent 4th Money Laundering Directive by Dr Thaer Sabri, CEO of the Electronic Money Organisation, and the official unveiling of CCEDK’s new cryptocurrency-based payments platform OpenLedger .

The main conclusion was clear, the industry is adapting to the challenges it is facing today, competition is getting stronger and banks and mobile operators are also willing to enter this industry, but it is also clear that it is not about digital, or traditional, or mobile, or even cryptocurrencies. Let’s not forget it is all about the customer and we should never guess or underestimate the customer. 

IAMTN will host the next Global Money Transfer Summit in 2016, with further details to be announced later. The growth of the industry is as swift as the technological development that supports it, and as such, each year brings increased interest in the remittance space. For more information, please contact IAMTN at iamtn@iamtn.org

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