Saturday, 24 May 2014

Remittances, creating opportunities while mitigating risks

The Regional Conference on Money Services Business (MSB) was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 19-21 May 2014 and was attended by over 350 participants from 28 countries. The event was jointly organised by Bank Negara Malaysia (the Bank), the World Bank and the Malaysian Association of Money Services Business and was supported by the International Association of Money Transfer Networks.

Stakeholders and Regulators in the MSB Industry were able to share experiences and best practices whilst discussing issues such as policy and regulatory reforms as well as current market trends and innovations.

According to a World Bank report, it is estimated that nearly 1 person in 7 is a migrant, reflecting a more diverse world demographic community. As a result, “Remittance services play an important role in complementing banking institutions who provide financial services to communities in both the developing and developed world. Given the forces of change that are reshaping the financial industry, it is timely to consider how these forces impact the expectations, opportunities and challenges facing the MSBs.”, said Veronica Studsgaard, Co-Founder and CEO of the International Association of Money Transfer Networks.

During the three days, a wide range of topics were discussed, including the importance of MSBs to support the economy and Financial Inclusion, as well as the opportunities and challenges facing the current legal and regulatory framework. We also learnt of new payment infrastructure innovations, new technologies such as mobile based-tools, virtual currencies, etc. Exclusivity versus Competition was also part of the programme as well as Industry Association with its roles and benefits.

Mr Mohit Davar, Chairman of the Committee Board of the International Association of Money Transfer Networks, resonated the opportunities and concerns of the participants. He mentioned that while there was a need to raise the profile of the MSB, it was clear with this industry that; “Perception is not reality”.