Sofia Freyder gives us her words of wisdom and joins our RemTECH judging panel again. She’s led the development of international payment products for some of the largest players in the industry, including Western Union, MasterCard, Earthport, and now, JPMorgan. Last year she spoke to us about how innovators can partner with the type of big companies, the importance of boldness, and the need for real time payments. On the latter, she is excited to report on the updates there and overall global trends.


Olivia Chow: What lasting impact do you think COVID will have on the industry?

Sofia Freyder: There is a clear negative impact on remittance volumes sent by the immigrants due to the loss of jobs in key sending countries. Payments associated with travel, such as cross-border POS card transactions, have significantly declined. The closure of many businesses, inability to provide services, and even bankruptcy slowed down business payments, as well. In the longer-term, I think the world will recover, but it will take some time. There also will be a shift in jobs outsourcing and migration of certain types of jobs into new countries. The biggest question which will define the magnitude of COVID impact is ” how long ?”. For how long will the COVID environment continue? The length of downtime equals the extent of economic impact. The economic decline is affecting immigrant workers, regular citizens, as well as all sizes of companies which is reflected in payments. Due to COVID, there is a clear shift to digital payments, from POS to online, from cash to electronic payments.

OC: Any innovations in payments at JPM we should watch out for?

SF: I think that one of the important innovations is the Real-Time Payments rollout in the US.

This has been demanded by the market for some time, however, the COVID environment further increased the need for immediate digital payments. Another general trend in the banking industry is the digitization of all banking services and moving them online. COVID has forced banks to move many normally branch performed services online.

OC: What is your favorite part about judging the RemTECH Awards?

 SF: I absolutely love reviewing the new ideas or creative approaches that take existing services to the next level. This exercise of reviewing and judging the variety of entries gives a great view of the latest industry trends.

OC: What are the words you try to live by?

SF: This is a difficult question, I probably would choose different worlds in different days 🙂

“Cherish your yesterdays, dream your tomorrows and live your todays”


Call for Entries

Enter in the RemTECH Awards by August 4th by visiting our Call for Entries page. We are looking for startups and incumbents around the world that are making a positive impact in the international money transfer community. Maybe we’ll feature you in a RemTECH Chat interview.


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