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

Thursday, 17 September 2015

GMTS 2015 - Where do you see the industry headed in 10 year's time?

Michael Kent, whose company Azimo recently won an IAMTN money transfer award at the GMTS, shares his thoughts and insights into the future of the remittance industry

2025: The Fintech industry comes of age

Michael Kent, CEO and Founder, Azimo
Before you can know where you are going, you need to first know where you have been.
When I started my first money transfer company back in 2005, we were living in a world where the latest Nokia smartphone was as hip as the iPhone 6S, internet was painfully slow and most of us still bought CDs.
Today, we live in a world of hyperconnectivity, where the way we live, work and interact with each other, especially remotely and across borders, has fundamentally changed thanks to digital, mobile and social technology. By 2020 there will be 6 billion smartphone users worldwide – close to the number of people on the planet. That’s nearly everyone, online, all the time.
These changes are resulting in a huge shift in the way that people interact with their money: lending, borrowing, sharing, donating, paying and getting paid. This is especially true when it comes to how money is moved around the world. In the remittance sector the new ‘Fintech’ players are driving lower prices, greater accessibility, more convenience and putting customers back in control. In turn that’s breaking down the financial barriers between countries, shifting value from large institutions to customers and breathing new life into developing and emerging economies.
But while we’ve come a long way, we’re only at the tipping point and I predict that the next ten years we’ll see the payments and in particular the remittance industry change beyond all recognition. They say it’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future, but by 2025 here’s how I see it all playing out:  

  • R.I.P. Offline: Money transfer stores will all but disappear from the high street, with 90% of remittance senders in Europe and USA using a smartphone to send money abroad. 
  • Mobile Wallets will become ubiquitous: Nearly 2 billion more people will have smartphone centric mobile wallets in Africa and Asia putting them financially on grid. However cash will not disappear. Users will still be need to be able to freely cash-in and cash-out and I predict over 50% of remittance will still be sent to cash
  • Social-first money transfers: Sending money will be fully integrated with messaging and chat (FB messenger, WhatsApp, Viber, WeChat, Hangouts etc). Sometimes those services will be native, sometimes they will be offered using third parties
  • Instant everything: The always-on consumers emerging today will not accept anything less than ‘instant’ in 2025: three to five day delivery timescales just won’t cut it anymore. Speed matters especially when it comes to money. It’s already forced companies to reinvent their business models, those that fail to adapt won’t survive the next ten year. 
  • Blockchain technology will rapidly change the remittance backend: Blockchain and distributed general ledgers will go mainstream but only for corporate and institutional users as a means to speed up international delivery of funds in place of services like SWIFT. However mainstream consumer adoption of crypto currencies like bitcoin won’t happen – the regulators wont let it. 
  • Consolidation: The rising tide of regulation and high step costs of technology will mean that the money transfer market will continue consolidate. We’ll see mega-mergers of the traditional players (like the rumored Western Union/Moneygram tie up) as well as more high profile acquisitions of digital businesses (like the recent Xoom / PayPal deal) 

Tempo Money Transfer strengthens positions in Sri Lanka. Collaboration with Sampath Bank has commenced

International money transfer system Tempo Money Transfer (TMT) strengthened it position in Sri Lanka. The France-based remittance service provider has successfully completed an integration project with the Colombo-headquartered financial institution, Sampath Bank. Clients are now able to send money from over 70 TMT agent locations in Germany and France and receive the funds in branches throughout Sri Lanka. The total number of the branches exceeds 200 island-wide.

Thus, with the project's successful completion, the number of Tempo Money Transfer locations in the country has soared to nearly 400, in 25 regional districts and 9 provinces of the country. The bank already works in partnership with Seylan Bank.
The project gives clients access to a multi-product spectrum of services including not only the pay-out option and account-crediting in Sampath Bank but also account crediting in the country’s commercial banks through SLIPS (Sri Lanka Interbank Payment System).
Very competitive foreign currency exchange rates are available.

“Accordingly, the Bank has taken major revolutionary steps to make remittance withdrawal facilities available for beneficiaries around the clock, so that senders and beneficiaries can send and receive money at their will without confining to Banking hours, unhindered by cross-border time differences. With the latest E - Remittance to Mobile Cash facility, customers can receive a transaction pin number to their mobile phones and withdraw from ATM machines without an ATM card, using the PIN number received to their mobile, subject to a pre registration of the beneficiary with the bank,” said Mr Kusal De Silva, head of remittances at Sampath Bank. He also pointed out that with the project's further development, the bank expects to increase its client portfolio, given the position Tempo Money Transfer occupies in the remittances market of the EU.

TMT’s president Mr. Jeffrey Phaneuf said the Paris-headquartered company has ambitious plans in Asia. “We are dedicated to reaching extensive location coverage, broad spectrum of options and excellent quality service, we will provide our clients with. It gives the joint venture great perspective, and makes the project a significant event in the Sri Lankan money transfer segment.” He also added that the demand for quality remittance services is growing in the country in particular and in Asia in general.

Mr. Phaneuf reported that Tempo Money Transfer is now present in over 100 countries, has over 4,300 locations in India, nearly 2,000 locations in Pakistan, and close to 6,000 locations in the Philippines. The number of its locations in Nepal exceeds 1,800.

Money Services in the Coming Decade

Money Services in the Coming Decade
You’ve Got to Treat it Like a Lady.

So my friends, now there you have it
I said it’s the easy simple way
Now if you fail ta do this
Don’t blame her if she looks my way
‘Cause I’m gonna treat her like a lady…

‘Money goes where it is treated best’, as the saying goes – and there have never been better ways for courting it than those emerging today. We think a lot of that money will be on the move in the coming decade, seeking much better treatment.

Transporting money around the world has always been an iffy proposition. If ancient highwaymen and pirates didn’t rob your gold by the sword or pistol, some modern coalition of politicians, banksters, hackers and regulators will find a subtler way to lighten your wallet through inflation, bail-ins, rehypothecation, predatory taxation, capital controls and other forms of legalized theft.

Historically, there hasn’t been much the average person could do about this – but history is about to change. Transparent, incorruptible, irreversible, peer-to-peer open ledgers are the exciting new way to treat your money better! It’s the next megatrend, driven by the flight of capital from the rampant lawlessness creeping rapidly into the current financial system.

Cutting out the middlemen
Open ledgers cut out the middlemen where most of this mischief occurs.  Decentralized, robotically honest software running everywhere – the only place it can’t be corrupted – will take the place of those middlemen, ultimately providing most forms of financial services with a far faster, fairer, friendlier, freer, and more fastidious quality of service.  

Bitcoin started it all a few years ago with the ability to confirm currency payments anywhere in the world in one hour instead of the many days it can take the current financial system. Three techno-generations later, BitShares offers an industrial strength network of digital asset exchanges, able to execute most familiar financial transactions in one second – and scaling to hundreds of thousands of transactions per second. Ethereum, Identabit, MUSE, NXT, and an alphabet soup of other innovative start-ups are exploring ways to disrupt every erstwhile centralized industry from finance, music, gaming, and even polling and public elections.  

This month, CCEDK.com and Cryptonomex.com are unveiling OpenLedger on the peer-to-peer BitShares Exchange Network. Our competitors and partners are joining us because, well, it’s an open ledger that even we don’t own! There will be six such members from six countries, with six diverse business models when the curtain goes up on October 13. Each member gets the profits from its own customers while offering them the benefits of shared market depth and the ability to leverage the financial products and services of all other members. These include smart coins, smart contracts, collateralized bonds, financial derivatives, prediction markets and user-issued assets ranging from stocks to coupons to tickets to frequent flier miles.

And yet none of these members represent a counterparty risk to their customers, because their customers always keep cryptographic control of their own assets, even while their funds are sitting on the decentralized exchange or moving around the network.  Multi-signature safeguards you can design for yourself will virtually eliminate vulnerabilities to hackers, dishonest employees, and rogue governments.

Unprecedented use cases
Member companies can now team up without negotiating, contracting, or even knowing each other. A farm worker in the Philippines can feed pesos into an ATM machine from one network member, and his wife in Kosovo can buy groceries in Euros with it seconds later on an unknown partner’s debit card. The next decade will see a Cambrian explosion of frictionless, disruptive economic opportunities in which the current gatekeepers must play nice or simply be bypassed.

Or consider this scene. Stock exchange broker Joe is sitting at his PC in Toronto, Canada. He can now trade on stock markets across the entire world due to OpenLedger and its financial platform for cryptocurrencies. He has closed some great trades and made a great deal of money. He decides to send part of this to his family back in Indonesia. With the click of a button the money is now in his wife’s bank account, thanks to collaboration between a crypto service and a global remittance company, ready for her to do with as she wants. He then decides to go downtown to cash out a few Canadian dollars with his NanoCard, using the same card an hour later to pay for his dinner at the local Sushi restaurant. All funds for trading and spending originate as BITUSD from his OpenLedger wallet. This is located on the blockchain, and BitUSD funds all of his costs instantly – when a transfer is made, when cash is withdrawn from an ATM, and when he pays the restaurant. In each case, his wife can even receive an SMS for her to confirm according to the integrated multi-signature account procedure – ensuring that Joe doesn’t overspend even if trading is going well! 

The coming decade
So www.OpenLedger.info is only a glimpse into the early stages of the coming decade. It will be a time of instantaneous, almost free transactions across incorruptible, transparent, open public networks that respect and guarantee individual property rights with the rule of law directly encoded into their open source software. Many of today’s biggest players will try to dominate this new financial medium with their own proprietary networks. But the mere act of owning such a network robs it of its incorruptibility and renders it useless to everyone else.

The future of money is open, incorruptible, secure and private. It will not be a system that anyone can own.  With apologies to Neil Young and Linda Ronstadt…

Here is a rose but you better not pick it
It only grows when it’s on the vine.
A handful of thorns and you’ll know you’ve missed it
You lose your role when you say the word ‘mine’.

For more information feel free to contact CEO Ronny Boesing of CCEDK.com on ronny@ccedk.com or visit the website www.OpenLedger.info  to read more and to sign up or even https://www.ccedk.com/nanocard for more information on the World’s first real Bitcoin Debitcard NanoCard

Hyperlink used: NanoCard - http://www.forbes.com/sites/rogeraitken/2015/07/16/is-the-nanocard-bitcoins-killer-app-can-it-transform-the-global-remittance-market/

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Tempo Money Transfer sponsors GMTS 2015

The France-based remittances provider Tempo Money Transfer will sponsor the GMTS 2015 conference.

The Global Money Transfer Summit 2015 will be held on 15-16 September in London. It is a significant event in the international remittance arena. The event is aimed at executives and other money transfer professionals, as well as consultants, lawyers, investment bankers and IT-solution providers, working with or interested in the remittances industry.

The forum is organized by the International Association of Money Transfer Network. The organization that now celebrates it's 10th year anniversary, has made a significant contribution in the formation of the transparent and efficient global money transfer market.

This year's Global Money Transfer Summit is focused on the opportunities for success in all aspects of the remittance business moving forward, using the lessons of recent history.
It will bring together leading players in the market and representatives of financial institutions, whose work is to some extent related to the money transfer market.

The list of active participants includes particularly the World Bank, MoneyGram International, Ria Financial. Tempo’s president Mr. Jeffrey Phaneuf and CIO Anthony Barker will present the company at the conference. “It is a part of our strategy to actively participate in conferences and forums, in the money transfer field. Participation gives us unique opportunities to learn, share our experiences, find new potential partners and more closely follow the trends in the fast changing remittance market,” said Phaneuf.

This year Tempo Money Transfer participated in the forum Remittance Gateway to Africa 2015, organized by the International Association of Money Transfer Network. The conference took place in Marrakesh, Morocco on 14 to 16 of May.

One of the most ambitious money transfer market players in the EU field, Tempo Money Transfer operates in over 100 countries worldwide. Its services are available in over 200 000 locations, offering its clients services of genuine European standards.

A Tempo Money Transfers store operates in Paris’ business district, while in Europe the services are provided runs through almost 70 agents.