The news came this past weekend. Our friend and colleague Emilio Garofalo Filho has passed away. My friend and IMTC Advisory Board Member Daniel Trias told me the sad news. Daniel was shaken. He had just had lunch with Emilio two weeks ago where they both discussed IMTC BRASIL 2016, the Conference to take place…
The organizing committee, in its first public announcement, stated: “The MSBA is a trade association focused on the non-bank money services industry, including licensed money transmitters and their agents/authorized delegates, payment card issuers and distributors, payment processors, international remittance companies, bill payment companies, mobile payment application providers, payment aggregators, virtual currency exchanges and administrators, eWallet providers…
The Money Transmitters Regulators Association will hold its 25th Annual Conference in October 6-9 in Kansas City Missouri. This conference is mainly attended by regulators from all the states that license Non-Bank Financial Institutions that are required to obtain a license to offer their services to customers in their state. The Money transmitter industry is also present…
The Global Forum on Remittances and Development 2015 (GFRD2015) hosted by IFAD’s Financing Facility for Remittances is on the way today, Tuesday, June 16 in Milano, Italy at the Stella Polare Convention Centre, another of the activities of the year long Universal Exposition EXPO2015: Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life. IMTC is present at the Forum…
Faisal Khan, a Banking, Payments & Fintech Consultant in Dubai has compiled an impressive list of everything related to Money Transfers that he has collected graphically in a Periodic Table of Remittances. The impressive list of around 160 items has been divided in categories such as Comparison Sites, Influential Regulators,Platforms, Emerging Players, Incumbent Players, Payment Networks, Niche Players, Data Sources, People, Software, Airtime Transfers, Conferences, Forums, Blogs…
IMTC EMEA 2015 ended last week with more than 160 participants beating all our expectations. We are very thankful with our great sponsors and the speakers who delivered very interesting presentations – downloads available from our IMTC site, and and shared their knowledge and opinions in the panels in our plenaries. We thank also the great…
Even if the news were quenched, the debate lingers
The news gained momentum on May 5th when Bloomberg reported that WU was in talks with MGI. Immediately MGI shares shoot up almost 40% and WU shares also went up slightly. My phone started ringing with investment advisor asking for my opinion. I had little to say, really. But the following day…
Remittances of Lebanese expatriates increased from USD $7.86B in 2013 to $8.9B in 2014, up 13.2%. The World Bank attributed the increase in remittances in part to those sent to Syrian refugees in Lebanon by their relatives abroad. Although the data for outflows from the country has only been published until June 2014, in 2013 it reached a level very close to 5 Billion USD (same level in 2009, maximum ever recorded).
Turkey, which for years was a large recipient of remittances (5 Billion in 1998) has seen a significant market change with a vibrant sending market that might reach USD $0.5 Billion in 2015 while the inflow that started declining in the year 2000 has dropped to less than USD $1 Billion two years in a row.
Just two weeks after the end of our IMTC USA 2015 Conference in Las Vegas, where we had a great panel on Bank Discontinuance entitled “Financial Access for the Money Transfer Industry – One step forward, two steps back? brilliantly moderated by Connie Fenchel with panelists Deborah Thoren-Peden from Pillsbury Law and Thomas Fleming from TF & Associates, the Republican leaders on the US House Financial Services Committee sent letters to the federal financial regulatory agencies asking to publicly disavow their “past, present, and future involvement in Operation Choke Point or any similar operation”. You can read the OCC letter here: http://bit.ly/1aP00Nu.
As part of our presentation on the Somalian Remittance Crisis at IMTC USA 2015 & IMTC EMEA 2015, here are some key aspects that you should know about Somalia, the Somali Diaspora and Somalian Remittances.
Andy Peters, the writer behind great articles at The American Banker, wrote an article entitled “Money Transfer Business Is on the Rise — Time to Get Out” that is worth reading and serves as a preview of our sessions on Bank Discontinuance at IMTC USA 2015. Is it really time to get out? Or is it the time to get in!
As part of our presentation on the Somalian Remittance Crisis at IMTC USA 2015, here are some key aspects that you should know about Somalia, the Somali Diaspora and Somalian Remittances.
On De-Risking, Recent Bank Account Closures, The Somalian Remittance Crisis and the loud calls to try to resolve the MSB Bank Discontinuance crisis in the US (and UK, Australia… and almost everywhere) In English, a “moving target” is when you set your expectation for something – some task, some desirable outcome, a target, and then when it…
DEVELOPING PARTNERSHIPS WITH US LICENSED MONEY TRANSMITTERS
We all know that technology and the creativity surrounding the tech revolution is inspiring a vast number of payment innovations. Online financial services, mobile payments, eWallets, bitcoin & the virtual currencies explosion, smarter ATMs, tools such as contactless chips, beacons, geo-location, are seeking to make payments more inclusive, easier to use, to track and to market, safer, faster, more efficient, more tailored to every user, etc.
Right at 9 am, in the Cash Room of the Treasury Building last Tuesday, January 13th,, 100+ attendees gathered to participate in the Roundtable.
As I did for 2013, I have put together the 10 most important news stories for the Money Transfer Industry in 2014, as a way to reflect back and at the same time analyze the trends for the coming year. They are not necessarily in order of importance. They are based on my personal opinions and ideas from friends and colleagues in the industry.
If you want to read it from a PDF, view it | download it from here
If I miss something of importance or if you have any type of comment, please do it in LinkedIn. We would love to hear you opinion. Please go to our Linkedin Group following this link: http://linkd.in/WiQVFa and it will take you directly to the discussion.
Bank Discontinuance of MTOs in Australia has been in the news for a couple of weeks and all the small and medium sized companies in the country are being forced to shutdown because all the major banks have been closing their accounts and letters of discontinuance have been sent to the 5,000+ MTOs in the…
Incumbents such as Western Union and MoneyGram do it. Traditional players do it. So, still, do some banks. And Telcos do too in some markets. The “it” is enable people to move money to each other in and between countries. Hugo Cuevas-Mohr shares insights gleaned from his work with money transfer professionals from all over the world about the remittance market, the role of traditional players, banks and telcos and who has the edge as this $500 billion industry evolves.
The following are the questions and answers provided by Hugo Cuevas-Mohr when interviewed by PYMNTS.com over his document “Are Telcos, Money Transfer Companies (MTOs) and Banks on a collision course over remittances?” (The document can be downloaded from there).
Click the questions below to open the answers. Please give us your comments and join the conversation here.
FINCEN Director’s Remarks at AML Conference on August 12, 2014
Remarks of Jennifer Shasky Calvery, Director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FINCEN) at the 2014 Mid-Atlantic AML Conference in Washington, DC on August 12, 2014
I have extracted a large section of FINCEN’s Director remarks a week ago at this compliance conference, because I feel it is important that everyone in the industry reads the message that FINCEN is sending to Banks with respect to banking MSBs, in our case Money Transfer Companies. If you still have a Banking Account is important that you share this message with their Compliance Team (a formal letter with the attached pdf highlighting some parts of the remarks) and even set-up a meeting to talk about the issue and ask what else you can do, as a company, for the bank to feel confident of your ever improving compliance practices.
THE TEN MOST IMPORTANT SUBJECTS
DISCUSSED AT IMTC USA 2014 IN SAN DIEGO JUNE 24-26
Here is my take on the ten subjects that were most discussed and analyzed in IMTC USA 2014, our US edition of our International Money Transfer Conference in San Diego, at the beautiful Paradise Point Hotel.
A key feature of the international financial system over at least the last decades has been the large expansion of cross-border financial transactions. This expansion is very noticeable in border regions since people and businesses at both sides of the border try to benefit from advantages on one side or the other. Cross-border transactions have grown significantly and US northern and southern borders are no exception. .
All types of Criminals – and terrorists too, around the world are also very active in the border regions; they use cash couriers as a major means of physically moving funds across borders in order to finance their illicit activities and to launder their ill-gotten gains. There have been many initiatives to facilitate the detection, investigation and prosecution of drug trafficking offences and serious crimes that involve the transportation of cash across borders; international anti-money laundering and counter-financing of terrorism standards recommended by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) are in place in most countries and this Best Practice Paper describe such standards. Another good Best Practice Paper was issue by the MENA FATF group.
According to news reports, FINCEN notified Thomas Haider, former Chief Compliance Officer of MoneyGram that he could be fined up to $5 million for compliance failures that resulted in the money-laundering fraud scheme where in November 2012 MoneyGram agreed to forfeit $100 million and entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the Justice Department for aiding and abetting wire fraud and failing to maintain an effective anti-money laundering program in violation of the Bank Secrecy Act. .Tom Haider, who was the CO at the time, and his legal counsel are expected to meet with FinCEN officials to contest the fine, the news have also reported. Note: FinCEN announced on Dec 18,2014 that it had assessed a Civil Penalty of US 1 million and was seeking to bar him from the Financial Industry, see here: http://1.usa.gov/1xahywP .
According to court documents, MoneyGram processed thousands of transactions for its own agents known to be involved in an international scheme that defrauded tens of thousands of members of the U.S. public out of at least $100 million. MoneyGram profited from the scheme by collecting fees and other revenues on the fraudulent transactions from 2004 to 2009. More on this story here.. This proposed fine – and others – have caused a shift in prosecution of AML/BSA cases that is important to analyze.
We can’t say that the access to banking accounts problem is new in the Money Transfer Industry, not in the USA or a number of other countries. It was one of the reasons why the NMTA was formed back in 1996, David Landsman, Executive Director, reminds us every now and then. So why is this a such an urgent issue in 2014? I think the answer is that in the last decade a large number of small money transfer companies, with very little capital and minimal compliance structures were the first to go, now is the medium sized, larger companies, well funded, with large investments in technology and compliance the ones that are feeling the brunt. What should the industry do?
On February 27, 2014 at the Interamerican Dialogue in Washington D.C. remittance expert Manuel Orozco presented his yearly analysis of the volume of remittances entitled “Current Perspectives on Remittances to Latin America and the Caribbean in 2013” and a PDF version of his briefing can be viewed/downloaded at the end of this short note. The paper considers the possible impact of immigration reform in the US on remittances and on the lives of migrants.
In 2013, family remittances to the region experienced little growth for most of the major remittance recipient countries. This may be a byproduct of immigration controls and deportations, demography, regulatory constraints and a slow recovery from the recession. Remittances have not grown substantially from 2012 and the total volume to the region was 60 billion, slightly decreasing by 1%. Manuel divides the results for the year in three groups:
The Latin America Advisor, an excellent publication by the Interamerican Dialogue in Washington D.C. asked this question for its Feb. 6-19, 2014 issue as a preview of the release of Manuel Orozco’s document on remittances to the region that will be presented February 27, 2014 at the Dialogue. Overall remittances to Latin America and the…
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Do you know that Linkedin has 259 million users and growing by about 38% per year? Do you know that 40% of members check in daily and 38% do it from their phones? Do you know that it had a 35% growth in traffic in the past year? And that it is responsible for 64% of all visits from social media channels to corporate websites?Do you know we have a great IMTC Linked in Group?