All post by: Adel Shahin

1. How Samsung Pay is Already Paving the UK's Payments Culture

The advent of the mobile phone (and in particular, the smartphone) has led to the development of innovative ways of conducting business through the hand-held devices. Through software development, a significant number of mobile applications have been introduced. The apps are used for a variety of functions which include mobile payment services. In the United Kingdom, there has been a gradual incorporation of different mobile payment apps in the financial sector. In particular, mobile payment apps have increased the ease of doing business, created an alternate means of income generation for the app developers, and increased the integration of technology use in carrying out financial transactions. Hence, there is a need to evaluate the impact of mobile payment in the UK financial environment. One of the mobile payment services that have been introduced in the UK is Samsung Pay. For anyo Read More...

2. USD's Impact on the Bitcoin & Remittance Industries in Iran

The American dollar is one of the major currencies in the global economy. Notably, a significant number of product prices are set using the US Dollar. Some countries use the US Dollar as their own currency within their respective national economies, among them is Iran. However, due to the travel ban issued by the Trump administration on Iran, the country has stated that it will no longer use the US Dollar in any financial transactions or financial reporting. So, what does the non-utilization of the American Dollar in Iran portend for that country’s Bitcoin industry? Briefly explained, Bitcoin is a form of cryptocurrency as well as payment service which utilises online payment platforms to pay for the purchase of products. To use Bitcoins, an individual has to buy them from an online dealer. The value of the curr Read More...

3. 10 FinTechs Driving Africa's Payments Industry

FinTech Africa has recently announced its 2016 winners. We'd like to take this opportunity to highlight a few companies that we think are working on very exciting things.

M-Pesa

M-Pesa is a money-transfer system (developed by Safaricom in Kenya) which uses SIM-operated mobile phones to deposit and withdraw money from an account created by a mobile service provider. It can also be used in the transfer of money as well as for paying goods and services, instead of using cash.

BitPesa

BitPesa is a pan-African platform redefining how businesses make payments to and from sub-Saharan Africa. BitPesa exchange Bitcoins for Nigerian Naira, Kenyan, Tanzanian and Ugandan shillings, which are delivered to bank accounts and mobile money platforms in the respective countries.

Read More...

4. What Trump means for International Remittance

A new presidency comes with a lot of uncertainty, and with president-elect Donald Trump the uncertainty remains. During the campaign period, Trump stated a number of key areas which could affect his administration’s foreign policy. One of these includes the financial position taken by the US relating to the payments industry. The USA, being one of the most developed nations in the world, attracts a lot of people from different nations wanting to work and live there. With an extensive workforce of international workers in all sectors of the economy, the US has attracted a large number of immigrants who provide both skilled and unskilled labour. Non-resident workers contribute a significant portion to not only the growth and expansion of the economy but to their home countries' economies through cross-border remittances. Remittances made by these workers resulted in the US becoming th Read More...

5. GSMA World Mobile Connectivity Index

The GSMA Mobile Connectivity Index is an analytical tool that measures the performance of 134 countries, representing 95% of the World’s population, against the four key enablers of mobile internet adoption:

  • Infrastructure
  • Affordability
  • Consumer readiness
  • Content
Scores for each of these four key enablers are combined to produce a single composite measure for a given country of the strength of the foundations to support widespread adoption of the mobile internet.

Grouping

Based on the country scores and their levels of mobile internet penetration, countries have been identified five cluster groups.
  • Leaders: these countries generally perform very well across all enablers and have corresponding high levels of mobile internet penetration.
  • Fast Transitioners: these countries perform well on tw Read More...

    6. Remittance Industry Under Attack

    International money transfer is a key component of global finance. By giving immigrants and expatriates a channel through which to send money home, it is a key source of income for most developing nations. The sector has however suffered greatly worldwide; due to stringent measures and controls introduced by banks globally (‘de-risking’) to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. This ‘de-risking’ or closure of remittance business bank accounts in Australia has left the hitherto robust and vibrant sector reeling and fighting for its very survival. According to industry sources, many hundreds of small remittance businesses have had to close since 2014

    The role played by banks

    Funds transfers by Banks through the SWIFT network have existed for a long time. Because it takes one to three days for cash transferred as international cash drafts to be processed, and c Read More...

    7. Was Starbucks Digital Wallet Investment Worth it?

    Background

    Mobile apps have grown rapidly in usage over the past couple of years from the early days where they were regarded as playthings for technological geeks and wizards, to important marketing and branding tools utilised by a large proportion of the world’s population. From recreation to maps, directions, shopping and communication, the usage of mobile apps now permeates all spheres of modern day life. Many businesses today have embraced technology and the various payment instruments that it has brought. Payment instruments such as credit cards, debit cards, mobile money platforms, online payment platforms among others, have gained acceptance all over the world today.

    Starbucks Approach

    In early 2009 Starbucks, the renowned global coffee giant, launched a mobile card app in a pilot project that covered 16 of its stores in Portland, Oregon, USA. The app, whic Read More...

    8. What can we Learn From M-Pesa & bKash?

    Background:

    When revolutionary technological and financial innovations of the 21st Century are finally listed, mobile money services will rank at the very top of that list and rightfully so. In areas where formal financial services were hitherto unheard of, mobile money platforms combined technological and financial innovation to revolutionise the markets in a way unlike any market has experienced before. The Mpesa service in Kenya and the bKash service in Bangladesh are shining examples of the great story that is still being written. Mpesa is a mobile money transfer system operated by Kenya’s (population 44.35m) largest telecom operator, Safaricom Limited. Launched in 2007, the service has grown in leaps and bounds from a simple money transfer tool with an initial target market of about 350,000 customers to a giant platform serving over 20 million customers as at December Read More...

    9. Leading FinTech Innovators in 2015

    Earlier this year I wrote about Australian FinTech companies that everyone needs to keep an eye on. A few weeks ago, a report about the world leading FinTech companies was released. It’s good to see that 3 of the companies we’ve identified also made the global list. The joint report between H2 Ventures and KPMG analysed the FinTech space globally and provides an overview summary on the 100 companies identified. The report also found that global FinTech financing has risen seven-fold over the past 3 years to an estimated US$20billion for 2015, an increase of 66% from 2014. London, New York and recently Sydney are becoming the major hubs for FinTech innovation. The extensive research was based on 5 main factors: Total capital raised; Rate of capital raising; Geographic & sector diversity Read More...

    10. 15 Australian FinTech Companies to Watch

    If you’re in the banking or telecoms sectors, there’s no doubt that you should be keeping at least one eye on the FinTech industry. Whether you’re just getting directly involved or just curious about the future of finance, here are 15 (in alphabetical order) Australian FinTech companies trying to change the world.

    BitSIM

    BitSIM is a thin, flexible card that can be stuck on any existing SIM card as an add-on hardware layer. BitSIM converts the SIM card into a fully encrypted bitcoin wallet compatible with a broad range of cell phones, including cheap and unsophisticated feature phones. BitSIM tackles the remittance market and is looking to disrupt companies like the Western Union or MoneyGram.

    CoinJar

    CoinJar is a next-gen personal finance account powered Read More...

    11. Remittance in the Form of a Pizza?

    When we talk about remittance nowadays, most people think about sending cash through an agency or international transfer via their banks. These types of remittances can be very costly, and ineffective in how the money is actually used. Today, we’ve started using a new taxonomy to improve the lives of others in both, emerging and developed regions; purposeful remittance. The concept of purposeful remittance is the ability to send funds that can only be used in a specific way or at limited outlets. This is especially important to ensure donations or the money transferred is not diverted from its original destination. This concept is not new, however, the coverage and acceptance rates we have today are greater than ever. People on websites such as Reddit’s Read More...

    12. How Branchless Banking Works in Indonesia

    The concept of branchless banking is a basic concept that relies heavily on trust. Generally, community leaders or technology create a new distribution channel for delivering financial services without relying on physical bank branches.  The video from the Wall Street Journal below outlines how the emerging services are tackled in Indonesia. Branchless banking provides the unbanked with an opportunity to set up a Read More...

    13. 10 Trends that will Impact Mobile Money in 2015

    Mobile money generally refers to financial services provided by Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) when a consumer loads their mobile wallet or device with money to pay for goods and services directly. Telecommunication companies are in an ideal position to leverage their existing user base and infrastructure to provide mobile money services, and improve financial inclusion. 10 trends around the industry that will heavily impact mobile money growth in 2015 and for many years to come.

    1. Convenience
    We’re all interested in having things more convenient and connected. A recent MEF report found that 32% of consumers felt that mobile money was “convenient” in their everyday life and preferred to use their mobile phones wherever possible. Ther Read More...