International Money Transfer News Weekly Update 7/13/2015

 

PayPal to Buy Xoom Digital Money Transfer Provider for $890 Million

As Paypal plans its separation from EBay, they have looked to muscle their way further into the global remittance market. Their most recent move is to buy Xoom Digital Money Transfer provider for roughly $900 million. They are paying a 21 percent premium over Xoom’s closing price of $20.70 last Wednesday. Xoom currently has 1.3 million customers across 37 countries and with the backing of Paypal, they should be able to expand into even more markets. Paypal expects the deal to slightly hurt its adjusted earnings per share for 2016, but they should bounce back in no time. Read more…

 

Ask an Expert: ‘Should I Buy Euros Now or in a Month?’

There has been a lot of speculation about Greece exiting the Eurozone and how that would affect the price of the Euro. There is a strong likelihood that is Greece left, the Euro would weaken across the board, at least in the short term. Expect uncertainty in the markets and stimulative actions by the ECB until things stabilize. More than likely we would see the Sterling and the Dollar rise against the Euro and it could be a good time to start planning your next money transfer into Euros. Read more…

 

Kenya Lifts Suspension of Somali Money Transfer Agencies

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has lifted its April 7th suspension of 13 Somali money transfer services. In addition to suspending the money transfer services, the CBK froze the assets of dozens of individuals, travel companies and NGOs in an attempt to clamp down suspected sympathizers of al-Shabaab. When the suspensions were originally enacted, the Governor of the CBK said the closures would adversely affect Kenya’s Somali community. It is estimated that between $70 million and $100 million is currently transferred into Kenya every month through informal money remittance methods. One of the companies that was affected by the suspension which has been reinstated is Dahabshiil, Kenya which handles money transfer and banking services for the UN, the World Bank, Oxfam and Save the Children. Read more…

 

API-Based Money Mover Currency Cloud Taps Sapphire Ventures And Rakuten For $18M

There is no shortage of FinTech startups that help people transfer money across global borders. One might say they are popping up like weeds. The growth in the industry is being fueled by increased consumer demand. Currency Cloud, a startup that has built technology that powers the FinTech startups is doing some VC fund raising of their own.

Currency Cloud has landed an $18 million round of funding. Its main technology and product is called Payment Engine which is the essential engine behind well known money transfer services such as Azimo, TransferWise and XE.com. Currency Cloud currently processes $10 billion in payments between its clients. Read more…

 

Western Union Restarts Money Transfer Service in Greece

Western Union has restarted their money transfer service in Greece after suspending it at the end of June. Customers will now be able to receive overseas funds once again, but will still be restricted to the 60 Euro a day limit imposed by the Greek government. In addition to restoring their in-bound transfers, Western Union is also looking to expand its payout locations across Greece. Read more…

 

Euronet Ramps Up Money Transfer Division with XE Buyout

Euronet Worldwide recently purchased XE.com, one of the leaders in the digital foreign exchange information sector. XE has a solid ranking among the top 500 websites worldwide and is one of the top five business news websites. It generates nearly $10 billion in revenues annually and their recently launched mobile app has more than 35 million downloads. The company expects their revenue to more than double following the merger. The merger is another strategic move by Euronet to ramp up their money transfer division. They have recently made investments in Ria Digital and acquired HiFX in MAy of 2014. Read more…

 

Western Union Enhances Mobile Money Transfer Capabilities in Africa

Western Union has been focusing on growing its reach across Africa and they have launched a new mobile transfer service in Rwanda and the Ivory Coast. Customers in both countries can now receive a Western Union money transfer into their mobile wallet. They can also use the money to pay bills, initiate a person to person transfer, buy mobile airtime and many other services. In addition to the digital wallet transfers, Western Union now has 400 physical cash pick up locations across Rwanda and 1,350 across the Ivory Coast. Integrating their service with MTN, one of the leading Mobile Money subscribers in Africa, was a smart move by Western Union which will help them expand their reach to a large amount of new customers. Read more…

 

Xoom and TransferTo Create One-stop Shop for International Prepaid Mobile Top-up

Xoom, one of the leading digital money transfer firms, has announced a collaboration with TransferTo, a global hub for mobile money transmission and international airtime credits. Xoom customers will now be able to recharge international prepaid mobile phones in 22 countries from Mexico to the Philippines. U.S. based customers will be able to instantaneously send airtime credits to friends and family overseas. All it takes is a name and a mobile phone number. It is estimated that $10 billion is sent annually between cell phones and this move will allow Xoom to expand its remittance portfolio generating increased consumer loyalty. Read more…

 

International Money Transfer News Weekly Update 6/19/2015

 

CoinPip Launches New Service with International Direct Payments in 48 Hours or Less

Singapore-based CoinPip is launching its newest service called Direct Payments. It allows businesses to send money to the bank account of partners in variety of countries such as China, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Indonesia and more. All payments will be received by the recipient within 48 hours and there will be a flat fee of 2% charged no matter the currency amount or exchange. The goal is to sidestep many of the hassles currently associated with opening special accounts or trying to pay employees or working partners who don’t have access to Paypal. Read more…

 

Damming Up the Dollars: Government Control of Money Transfers is Creating a Need for Alternative Currencies

When a demand for something increases, there will always be servicers rising to fill that need. Unfortunately, poorly though out government regulation often gets put into place unnecessarily inflating the costs and, at the same time, fostering corruption. Currently one of the hottest new issues is cheaper foreign and domestic money transfers. Back in the days when cash was the main payment source it was hard for governments to track and regulate the flow of money, but the use of checks and credit has changed that.

Traditionally banks moved money from place to place with the use of corresponding relationships tying together a global network which included the Federal Reserve, but a number of Fintech companies have begun to take their place. As the new industry develops it will be disruptive to the current status quo of financial institutions for the benefit of the consumer. Read more…

 

Get More from Your Money Transfer to or from the United States

The USA has been one of the most popular destinations for Irish expats and there is a huge demand for international payments to be sent in both directions. Whether you are sending money to family or repatriating a salary, you want to be sure the majority of it is reaching its destination. The Irish Times has launched its own money transfer service which offers competitive rates and can equal big savings for those looking to send money either way. Read more….

 

MoneyGram (MGI) Relaunches Online Money Transfer Platform

MoneyGram has recently relaunched their online money transfer platform after revamping their approach and user interface. It now enables customers to send money across 200 countries without having to create an account. Their aim is to make digital transactions easier and more convenient. They have also unveiled an app for the Apple store and the Andriod Playstore. The new platform includes a host of new features such as the “Track a Transfer” tool to keep track of on and offline transfers. Read more…

 

Money Transfer Service Azimo Secures $20m for Global Growth

The London-based money transfer service Azimo has secured $20m in funding for global growth. They plan on using the money to build out their operations across Europe and develop a deeper roots into the migrant communities which accounts for a large portion of their current business. Azimo is similar to other remittance services like WorldRemit and Transferwise, just larger in scope and more heavily funded. Their focus on the migrant community, which is often underserved by many of the other Fintech companies, is what sets them apart from competitors. Azimo was founded in 2012 and conservative estimates already place their value near $100m. Read more…

 

Ria Money Transfer Celebrates Inaugural International Day of Family Remittances

June 16th, 2015 marks the first International Day of Family Remittances and Ria, a low-cost money transfer firm publically thanked and acknowledged their customers. Ria’s President and CEO Juan Bianchi was quoted as saying “Ria exists thanks to the more than 240 million people that had the courage to leave their home countries and their families to seek opportunities that would give all of them a better future.” The day is being officially celebrated at the launch of the Global Forum on Remittances and Development (GFRD) in Milan. Read more…

 

Remittances at the Click of a Smartphone Button

There is a growing shift in how people send money to each other around the world. Companies such as Western Union and traditional banks have been offering international money transfers for decades, but the new Fintech startups and traditional telecom operators are taking advantage of new smartphone technology. The technologies are allowing emerging economies to reduce the barriers and costs of sending money abroad. There is a lot of chatter by analysts who say they are shaking up the global remittance market and pushing out the older, more expensive traditional options. The new technology has cut the average price for sending $100 overseas in half. Read more…

International Money Transfer News Weekly Update for 5/11 – 5/15

 

Xoom partners with Sampath Bank to launch Instant Money Transfer Service to Sri Lanka

Xoom, a leading international money transfer firm, recently announced a partnership with Sampath Babk in Sri Lanka allowing them to offer instant bank deposits. In addition to their instant transfers to Sampath bank accounts, they can deposit money into many other Sri Lankan banks within 24 hours including Hatton National, Peoples Bank, Bank of Ceylon, and more. With this recent addition to their services, Xoom now offers money transfer services to 33 countries with fee-free options for amounts over $1,000. Read more…

 

How to Bust the Banks’ Money Transfer Racket

It’s no secret that banks make huge profits on international money transfers though high fees and poor exchange rates. Consumers are handing over hundreds of millions of dollars a year to the banks, but there are better options; international money remittance firms. Surprisingly though, most people are still using the big banks to send money overseas. According to a new study by financial services research house Mozo, “online money transfer providers are on average 4c cheaper per dollar transferred than the big banks.” The average cost for transferring cost internationally is 7.72 per cent, but 11.42 per cent when using traditional banking institutions. Currently the four most expensive countries to send money from are South Africa, Japan, Canada, and Australia. To learn how to avoid paying huge fees on international money transfers, read more…

 

John H. Kunze Sells 18,750 Shares of Xoom Corp Stock (XOOM)

Xoom C.E.O. John H. Kunze sold 18,750 shares of Xoom stock on Tuesday, May 12th for an average price of $17.84. Analysts at Zacks recently downgraded Xoom from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating while analysts at Needham & Company LLC gave the company a “buy” rating. Another analyst has the stock rated at “sell”. It’s obvious that analysts are conflicted as to the expected performance of Xoom with the target stock price all over the place, ranging from $11.00 to $25.00 per share. They were trading down 0.73% on Thursday, hitting $17.67. Currently they have a one year low of $13.14 and a high of $28.20. Kunze selling so many shares obviously raises some eyebrows, but is this a sign of something amiss or just standard profit taking? Read more…

 

Canadian Company Waives Remittance Fees

nTrust, a quickly growing mobile and online money transfer service, announced two radical updates to their fee structure; eliminating the service fee for sending funds overseas and allowing users to gain 1.0% on dollars to PHP currency exchanges. nTrust recognized the need for a cost-effective money transfer solution and took action. Using their online or mobile platform, people can send money to family and friends nearly instantaneously without the huge fees and poor exchange rates tacked on by the banks. They have also waived fees for domestic transfers between Canadian banks. Read more…

 

Shares in Tech Entrepreneur Zhenya Tsvetnenko’s Digitial CC are on a Tear

On May 12th, tech entrepreneur Zhenya Tsvetneko landed a distribution deal for Digital CC which expands his international money transfer service, AirPocket into Latin America and the Caribbean. After the announcement, shares in Digital CC jumped up more than 35%. Digital CC originally started as a Bitcoin-focused trading company, but has evolved to tackle the global remittance market currently dominated by large banks and firms like Moneygram and Western Union. AirPocket is designed to allow just about anyone to become money transfer brokers. Tsvetneko is hoping to gain traction in international markets where banking systems are lacking. Read more…

 

 

 

 

 

 

International Money Transfer News Weekly Update 5/1/2015

Richard Branson, Peter Thiel take aim at Western Union

TransferWise, a new fintech company backed by big names like Richard Branson and venture capitalist firm Peter Thiel, is making it easier and cheaper for Americans to send money overseas. The company basically acts as a matchmaker for people looking to move money and sidesteps the big banks who, in the past, would have taken a large percentage for the service. Currently they work with 22 currencies and hope to put brick and mortar businesses like Western Union out to pasture. Read more…

 

Money Transfer Conference in Istanbul invites Bitcoin Remittance Companies

This upcoming May, Istanbul will play host to the International Money Transfer Conference (IMTC) which brings together all the major players in the industry. In the past, this has included a mix of telcos, banks, and mobile network operators, but this year Bitcoin remittance startups are making an appearance too. The IMTC is putting a heavy focus on digital payments and the first day of the conference will feature MTBIT who has been invited to showcase their new remittance products. Read the interview with IMTC director Hugo Cuevas-Mohr…

 

WireCash Launches First and Only Online International Money Transfer Marketplace for US Residents

The first and only online money transfer marketplace has been launched by WireCash. They have integrated a number of recognizable traditional offline companies into their platform to provide US residents access to their services. Now, with one easy login, consumers can compare and complete money transfers based on price, brand, payout options, and more. Their goal is to connect online consumers with services that were previously only available offline to people able to visit brick and mortar locations. Currently, nearly 75% of the US money transfer market is controlled 400 companies who aren’t operating online. Read more…

 

Exchange Rate News Today: GBP Strengthens, EUR Ticks Higher and USD Plummets

Find out what’s happening in the Forex markets. The GBP is gaining ground despite a sluggish economy. The EUR exchange rate is edging higher as Varoufakis gets replaced by the Minister of Finance Tsakalotos. The USD is sliding on dampening consumer confidence. The AUS$ is rallying. All this and more. Read the latest news….

 

The Year Of Mobile Payments

2015 is being called the year of mobile payments as more and more large name players enter the marketplace. Facebook, Google, Square, Amazon, and more have all recently launched new apps that allow consumers to use their mobile phones to transfer money to friends and family. While many people may assume the mobile payment industry is just taking off, it is actually lagging 10 years behind. The latest report by InfoScout revealed that 85% of iPhone 6 users have never even tried Apply Pay. IN the developing world however, mobile payments have taken a different path. In many countries, mobile payments have become a daily part of life. From Paraguay to Pakistan, mobile payments are rapidly gaining ground. In Latin America, the number of new mobile money accounts grew by 50% in 2014. Read more…

 

GlobeOne Announces LOI with MetaBank to Bring New Mobile Banking Network to United States

The new fintech company, Global One has announced a letter of intent to enter into an agreement with MetaBank in the hopes of bringing a global banking solution to the US later this year. MetaBank is one of the top community banks and top-performing mid-sized banks in the nation. It’s an exciting opportunity for Global One to partner with a leading financial organization to provide a digital ecosystem for a suite of financial services including domestic and international transfers. They plan to include the patent-pending SocialBoost which offers members a unique opportunity to earn income from their banking relationship. Read more…

Venture Capital Flooding the Money Transfer Sector

The fintech sector could quite possibly be one of the hottest new venture capitalist markets. A dearth in technology innovations in the financial industry has left the field open for a new breed of companies. In the last 5 years or so we’ve seen a number of startups focused on using technology to improve the way money moves, spring into multi-million dollar companies practically overnight.

Fintech stands for financial tech and refers to any companies that are revolutionizing the way financial organizations do business through the use of new technologies. In short, they are making moving money quicker, easier and cheaper whether for the purposes of payment processing, money transfers, stock trading, loan services, peer 2 peer payments, etc. Since e-Trade shook up the world of online stock trading, there have been little real innovations in the financial tech field, but that’s finally changing.

International money transfers is 529bn a year market that, until recently, has been nearly monopolized by the large banking institutions. A whole new kind of company is taking center stage though now; money transfer firms. Seeing the obvious opportunity for growth, a number of technology-based money transfer firms have taken a huge slice of the pie forcing the large banks to either start innovating themselves or face eventually being pushed out of the market.

 

Successful Money Transfer Firms Venture Capital Funding Rounds

Money has been flowing in the international money transfer market since 2008, but recent VC funding rounds have shown an astonishing vigor supporting the industry.

TransferWise, a London-based money transfer company, recently received $58m in VC funding, putting their value at an estimated $1bn. This recent round of funding was led by Andreesen Horowitz, a leading American VC firm. In previous funding rounds, TransferWise received backing from Sir Richard Branson, IA Ventures, Seecamp, Peter Thiel and more, who all see the potential for returns in an overly complacent market being disrupted by new players and technology.

WorldRemit is another startup that has recently seen tremendous VC interest. Founded in 2010, this young company just secured $100m in their recent funding round putting their value at $500m. Silicon Valley venture capital firm Technology Crossovers Venture handled their VC funding rounds which even saw previous backer Accel reinvesting.

There are other money transfer firms creating waves as well. Azimo, founded in 2012, recently closed a $10m VC funding round led by Greycroft Partners and The Cloud Currency, named in Forbes Top 15 Fintech Startups to Watch, received their own $10m cash injection from venture capitalists. They are currently approaching $500m in payments a month.

Money transfer firm Remitly, focused on mobile device remittances, secured $5.5 m in funding while FastCash, a Singapore-based global payment platform raised over $17m.

 

A New Face to International Money Transfers

The international money transfer market has unlimited potential for growth. A 2010 report by the global consultancy McKinsey showed approximately 2.5bn people around the world who don’t have access to traditional banking systems. In addition to this untapped market, the exorbitant fees charged by banks coupled with the poor exchange rates given, have consumers looking for alternative methods. Using one of these new money transfer firms, people can expect to save 4 percent to 5 percent over what they can get from their banks. They are also able to undercut traditional money movers like Western Union as they don’t have the added costs associated with brick and mortar stores.

Reduced costs and nimbler technologies are changing the landscape of a market that has grown complacent from a lack of competition. Banks aren’t reacting quickly enough and may soon be pushed out of the market completely as more and more people take notice of the new way to handle money remittances. Some chief executives like Bill Downe of the Bank of Montreal and Bharat Masrani of TD Bank have even gone so far as to highlight the issue to shareholders.

While there may appear to be some gloom and doom in the future of banks and Western Union unless they change their ways, this is great news for consumers who are being presented with a host of new options for sending money.

International Money Transfer News Weekly Update April 9th, 2015

 

“Microsoft Payments” may join Apple, Android, and Samsung in Pay Platforms

Following in the wake of Google and Apple, Microsoft appears to be edging in on the mobile money transfer market. Currently they seem to be focused on the domestic market and have applied for licensing to transmit money between the 50 states and an assortment of current and former US territories. Read more…

 

Former Goldman Exec Wants to Upend the Way the World Moves Money

After saying goodbye to a long and lucrative Wall Street career in 20014, Hank Uberoi could easily have sat back and enjoyed his retirement. Instead he is focused on changing how the world moves money across borders. He is now the CEo of Earthpoint, a London-based company that has built a large cloud-based payment network as an alternative to the SWIFT system currently used by large banks. The decentralized SWIFT system is fraught with inefficiencies as is doesn’t actually move money, but rather communications between banks. Read more….

 

Western Union Enables Skype Customers to Top up at Locations across the U.S.

Western Union and Skype just announced an agreement that allows Skype users to top up their account at more than 50,000 Western Union locations advancing Western Union’s leadership position as the go-to for walk-in payment services. The agreement should allow families to keep in touch easier as they can now top up family members accounts which can be extremely helpful for international customers who may not have a credit card. Read more…

 

Canadian Banks See Threat in Tech Companies Offering Mobile Payments

Mobile payment options from technology companies are threatening Canadian banks lucrative money movement business. Mobile payment options are being used more and more as traditional bank transfers are dropping because they are cheaper and easier. The Canadian banks are aware that they can’t compete on price or convenience and instead are playing the trust card. In a New York address, David McKay, head of the Royal Bank of Canada, wondered aloud if consumers trust companies such as Apple or Google with their financial information. Read more….

 

The Human Cost of Ending Money Transfers to War-torn Countries

The last US bank facilitating money transfers to Somalia ceased doing business in February due to increased regulations and fears that money could be sent into the country to fund militant groups like al-Shabaab. Complying with the new regulations is being viewed as too costly and as such, most international organizations that previously handled money remittances to Somalia have chosen to cease operations. The human cost could be much more than money though. Somalia currently has no formal banking system or international money transfer firms like Western Union limiting the ability for overseas relatives to send money back home to family members in need of support. Read more…

 

The London Startup Rebooting Remittances

London start-up Transferwise has an innovative, bank-free approach to moving money between consumers. They have developed a P2P system that matches users who want to send money across borders that allows for each user to receive funds in their local currency without actually having to physically move money across borders thereby avoiding transfer fees and exchange rates losses. Read more…

 

If you need to send money overseas,  make sure to check out our international money transfer comparison tool to find the best rate.

 

International Money Transfer Market Weekly News Update

 

Transferwise is Coming to the US

Transferwise, a money transfer startup firm back by Andreessen Horowitz, is expanding into the US market. They are a London-based company which recently raised $58 million in a Series C funding round and have an estimated valuation of $1 billion. Their focus is making overseas money transfers cheaper for consumers with the use of a peer-to-peer system. Read more…

 

Facebook Enters the Money Transfer Market

The social media giant Facebook has entered a new arena, money transfers. Users will now be able to send money to friends or family through their Messenger app. This move will put them into direct competition with companies such as Square and PayPal as well as large multi-national banks. Users can now upload their Visa or MasterCard debit information and there will be no fees charged for the transfer service. Read more…

 

Money May Make the World Go Round, but at What Cost?

The large banking institutions once had a stranglehold on the money transfer market and they charged a hefty fee for the service too. The 2008 financial crisis ravaged their reputations though which has allowed a number of new players to move into the industry; namely technology-focused startups. With the banking monopoly nearing its end, cost has become the deciding factor and technology is the key to bring it down to reasonable levels. With $500 billion being sent abroad every year, the lucrative money transfer market can be a windfall for the firms in a position to take a slice of the pie. Read more…

 

Somali Firm Plans Biometric Money Transfer Service

The Somalia company First Somali Bank has recently revealed plans to launch a money transfer method backed by biometrics. Their chairman, Liban Egal, told Reuters that they plan to be operational by May and their technology will allow remittance firms to track transfers and identify the recipients through a combination of fingerprints, photos, and other identifications. Many western banks are hesitant to allow transfers into Somali because of the high activity of extremist groups like Islamist al Shabaab. Read more…

 

HDFC Bank Launches Chillr Money Transfer App for Android and iOS

India-based HDFC bank announced the launch of Chillr, a new mobile app designed to allow users to instantly transfer money to any phone contact. They partnered with the technology firm MobME to create and launch the app. It’s the first of its kind that is linked directly to bank accounts so a credit card or mobile wallet won’t be needed.

“This Chillr app will benefit various segments of people in the society. From students to young professionals, from the migrant workers in cities to customers in rural India, this app gives the convenience to send and receive money using mobile phone in secured manner,” HDFC Bank Digital Banking Head Nitin Chugh told reporters in Bengaluru.

A minimal fee of Rs 3.50 plus a service tax will be added to the cost of each transaction and up to 10 transactions are allowed per day. Read more….

 

Square Launches $Cashtags for Free Money Transfer

Following a number of other companies like Facebook, PayPal, and Venmo; Square is bringing their won approach to peer-to-peer mobile payments and money transfers. They are offering consumers the ability to get their own “$Cashtag,” dollar sign. Users must download the app, link a debit card, and then select a name which other can use to send payments. It’s free for consumer-to-consumer payments as they are focused on making their money from b2b transactions. Read more…