With the ” target=”_blank”>global remittance industry growing by leaps and bounds, it is of paramount importance that the industry remains safe, efficient and reliable. This concern gives rise to the constant need to keep revising the regulations that govern the industry. As the industry debates AML directives, taxes on remittances and the impact of technological advances on remittances among other raging issues, the International Association of Money Transfer Networks (IAMTN) is bringing together money transfer professionals from all over the world at the Global Money Transfer Summit (GMTS) in London on October 10 and 11, 2017.
Being hosted at the Banking Hall in London, the the 12th edition of the event will host business leaders from across the globe. The event boasts of a gathering of who’s who of the industry, including money transfer companies, banks, regulators, government agencies, tech companies and international legal firms. Several top global speakers and influencers have been invited to share their unique insights at the event.
The theme of this year’s conference is “The future of remittance — technological advances and how they will change the industry.” In this article, we have explored some of the key topics that will be discussed in this year’s edition.
- New Regulations
Let’s face it. Cryptocurrencies have been unregulated ever since the emergence of the first one — Bitcoin. They are not attached to any country or Central Bank. However, many countries are open to experimentation. They are keen on exploring the possibility of regulating Cryptocurrencies under local laws. For example, following the passing of a law in the US Senate, the states’ money transmitter laws now apply to exchanges. This means that they will have to acquire a licence from the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions and also provide a third-party audit of their data systems.
Up for discussion
- Migrant remittances
- Investment scenario, given the current global and political climate
- Diaspora investments
- Impact of new regulations on cross-border payments
2. Innovative Business Models
In 2016, the global remittance industry was worth US$575 billion. The remittance market has been dominated largely by leaders like Moneygram, Western Union and Ria Money Transfer. New online players have only added value to the market with new practices and technology. For instance, WorldRemit, a company based in the UK, currently processes over 500,000 transactions every month. Similarly, London-based TransferWise (backed by Paypal), is one of the largest fintech startups, executing more than US$1 billion worth of transactions per month.
Also, the trend of de-banking or de-risking has proved to be a major threat to the traditional remittance industry players and could be a key point of the debate at the Summit, along with methods to tackle it.
Up for discussion
- Technical innovations for identifying cross-border senders and receivers
- B2B transaction protocols
- Cross-border settlements
- Innovation across the value chains
3. Mobile Money
Mobile money wallets have turned out to be a boon for millions of unbanked people around the world. Earlier, limited to high-end smartphone users, this technology has now trickled down to the masses. Unlike traditional remittance methods, transferring money via mobile phone is an extremely cost-effective and faster method to transfer small sums of money.
Remittance companies need to embrace this ongoing transformation and implement it into their own business models by offering fast and free or cost-effective methods of money transfer.
Up for discussion
- Compliance issues in cross-border payments
- Innovative solutions for mobile payments
- Shredding transaction cost ideas
- Adaptation of upcoming technologies into existing business models
A science fiction-esque mode of currency, Bitcoin is gaining traction as one of the best-known forms of Cryptocurrencies in the world. With various governments contemplating to bring it into the tax and regulatory framework, Bitcoin is here to stay. Not to mention the raging rates of return and tax avoidance. Remittance companies must find ways to embrace this new innovation in cross-border transactions. Bitcoin could be the focal point of the discussion on adopting this technology to remit money. More so, when Bitcoins could end the reliance on the US Dollar.
What to expect?
- Benefits of bitcoin, if introduced to regulatory banks
- Impact of bitcoins on global economy
- Taxation and regulations on bitcoin transactions
E-commerce giants have been known to embrace cross-border payment methods using Blockchain technology, and this could affect the remittance industry as well. Its cost effectiveness is an added advantage. Blockchain is essentially the underlying technology behind the Bitcoin. It can help minimise the reliance on banks when it comes to international fund transfers. Elimination of banks in the chain could mean zero conversion fees.
Up for discussion
- Mass implementation of Blockchain Technology in various forms in order to remove dependence on banks
- Methods to pass on savings to the end-user
- Blockchain application possibilities
- Additional constraints in the application of blockchain technologies other than bitcoin
The ultimate aim of any industry is to grow — both in terms of scale, utility and cost effectiveness. Best practices in terms of transactions can make payment systems effective and reliant. Embracing new technology and easing of regulations will be of utmost importance to the remittance industry in the days to come. Growing adoption of digital payments can alter the landscape of remittance industry as well. Implementing security and fraud controls along with best authentication practices can be a lot more challenging than it appears to be. Will the world leaders discuss this? Where is the remittance industry headed? It seems we will find all our answers at the summit!
Global Money Transfer Summit — What Are The Leaders Discussing? was originally published in InstaReM on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.