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Tag: FAZRemit

Here are 5 Indicators of a Convenient Money Transfer to Nigeria…

No matter how much Technology – an amalgamation of science, techniques, skills, and processes – advances, it will always have an ultimate objective – to make your life convenient. We…

No matter how much Technology – an amalgamation of science, techniques, skills, and processes – advances, it will always have an ultimate objective – to make your life convenient. We can apply the same to international wire transfers. There are millions of searches for cheap, fast and safe international money transfer providers. Ease of information because of technological advancement has already led to competitors implementing the best methods to achieve the basic concept of a market. But the unanswered question that plays a major role in a customer picking one service over the other for sending remittances from USA to Nigeria is whether a service provider can facilitate convenient money transfer to Nigeria from USA.

But How Do We Define Convenience in Remittance Industry?

The best counter-argument I found out while exploring an answer to this question was –

“Convenience is a very subjective term”. 

And I actually agree with this sentence. It is basically a state of being able to complete a task with ease. What one could term as a tedious task, for another, it could be the easiest.

So, what are the ‘’tangible’’ parameters that make an IMTO the most convenient money transfer service provider?

Obviously, a financial organization or platform has to provide instant transactions online at the most affordable processing fee. But we will not address them in this blog. Because there is a different concept of ‘convenience’ to be discussed. Is it all about getting the brand visible to the client? How can one aim for perfection, if that is an actual thing at all? Or is it just about the journey that all money transfer platforms need to take to become better than their competitors? Let us enlist all the parameters of a convenient IMTO.

1. Large Area Coverage – Boon or a Curse?

In the USA-Nigeria remittance corridor, FAZRemit received hundreds of queries from the customers regarding the service areas. Broadly, they are:

“Can I send Money from XYZ (American State)?”

“Can I send money to XYZ (Nigerian bank)?”

Big IMTOs have a huge customer-base distributed in multiple countries, however, their services come at a cost. Such IMTOs have a wide coverage area. It is best for their business’ profit. But is this what customers want who want to send funds from USA to Nigeria?

On the other hand, emerging platforms are giving them a tough time, especially when it comes to very selective demographics. Apart from simply the lowest processing fee and faster transaction, promising online money transfer service like FAZRemit are helping customers get the overall experience they want.

For instance, FAZRemit has a license to do business in the following states in the United States of America:

  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Maryland
  • Michigan
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Virginia

When it comes to transaction terminating points in Nigeria, FAZRemit facilitates money transfer to 23 Nigerian banks. Apart from actively participating in the Nigerian remittance market, FAZRemit also provides online wire transfer services to Ghana and Kenya.

From an organizational point of view, this could have certain limitations for a business, most of all being, the inability to tap into a bigger market. However, overcoming the FOMO effect, these platforms are able to concentrate on fulfilling the users’ demands and understanding their needs. Additionally, as per the customer feedback, they can easily monitor their own performance and make instant changes as per the customers’ feedback. Overall, this benefits the end-user, i.e. you, the customer.

2. Ease of Navigation within the Platform

Keeping it simple and goal-oriented must be the objective of a convenient money transfer service. This includes an interactive UX-design while keeping the overall outlook subtle and easily understandable. One should not face any difficulty in navigating the website. If you use any query and you don’t get what you are looking, well then, what’s the use of such a platform?

After all, your primary objective of visiting a website is to send money to Nigeria from USA. And if you are unable to achieve that task, well, the primary goal of the money transfer platform been defeated.

This does not mean that a good money transfer should totally discard the design-complexity. A good analogy to explain this would be the difference between the highly customizable Android and extremely simplistic iOS. Android has its own set of loyal customers but there is a reason why iOS is considered better by a majority.

3. Minimum document requirement

Right from the customer’s first point of contact, i.e. website, a convenient money transfer service would focus on keeping the data-entry and document submission to a minimum.

Cold-heart truth is that users hate KYC! Most of them do not apply for a new money transfer service provider. Why?

Not because of the fear of sharing details but because they do not want to go through the wearisome process of document verification. Talk about an individual’s hunger for convenience!

However, even if a regulated money transfer platform wants to, it cannot and should not compromise its legal and moral obligations. This is where KYC documents are important. But where is the convenience in this?

Read: Why Do You Need to Submit KYC Documents?

FAZRemit only requires 2 types of documents from its customers – Identity and Address Proof. Furthermore, generally, document verification for a customer takes a few hours to even a couple of days, or even more. However, at FAZRemit, if the documents are clearly visible, then the document verification can be concluded within a few minutes after which the user can start making payments to his or her beneficiary.

4. Payment Options – Credit, Debit, Bank Account

After the registration and verification part, we get down to the real deal – the Payment. Option to use a credit card, debit card or internet banking allows users the ultimate flexibility. It gives them the power to Choose!

Every single IMTO has a certain maximum limit for a single transaction to avoid excess paperwork or for security purposes. Although there are multiple points in favor of IMTOs in the ‘IMTOs vs Banks‘ debate, this is one of the points where banks have the upper hand.

But, according to FAZRemit, till March, in 2019, the average money transfer from USA to Nigeria in a single transaction is considerably low. FAZRemit allows a minimum transaction of $25 and has a maximum limit of $950 for a single transaction. This limit is just another point that’s put forward but it doesn’t change anything as customers, who want to send money to Nigeria conveniently, as such, do not seem to have any problem with this trade-off.

Same goes for the number of transactions that a user can make. Through FAZRemit, a verified customer can make an unlimited number of transfers to his or her beneficiaries in Nigeria from USA.

Furthermore, the user can save a beneficiary and make recurring payments. Also, you can make a payment in your dashboard and schedule it for later.

5. How You Respond is Important…

The crucial factor, and apparently, the most important one, that defines real convenience in sending money to Nigeria is, undoubtedly, Customer support.

You would not want to talk to a representative who keeps running to the technical team to get answers of every single question. At the same time, the last thing you want from the support agent is to use jargons that you are completely unfamiliar with. In fact, this would be absolutely frustrating!

Be it instant chat support or prompt email response, an experienced and well-versed customer support staff not only addresses all your queries but also maintains a comfort level during the conversation.

FAZRemit’s customer support team ensures that you get the information you want in the most convenient way. Their primary objective is to strengthen their reliability while making the customer feel comfortable.

For a better explanation of all the FAZRemit’s services and to give the best response for FAQs, they even refer to YouTube videos and images that can help customers in an even better fashion.

You don’t want to type? They’ve got it covered!

Undoubtedly in the competitive digital world, the competition among IMTOs and in fact for all service providers finally comes down to the user experience. But at the same time, is the responsibility of the service provider to strike just the right balance between its aspirations to facilitate the most convenient money transfer to Nigeria without compromising with the mandatory security protocols. And, it should not be wrong to expect the same from the customers as well.

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Why Do You Need KYC Documents To Send Money to Nigeria from USA?

Know your Customer, a.k.a KYC, documents demanded by FAZRemit includes two types of documents: 1.  Customer Identification Document: a. Driving Licence, b. Passport, and c. State-issued identity card. 2. Document…

Know your Customer, a.k.a KYC, documents demanded by FAZRemit includes two types of documents:

1.  Customer Identification Document:

a. Driving Licence,

b. Passport, and

c. State-issued identity card.

2. Document for Address Proof:

a. Gas bill,

b. Credit card statement,

c. Bank statement,

d. Electricity bill, and

e. Water bill.

As soon as a user uploads these KYC documents on his or her dashboard, our document verification process initiates. We strongly recommend that:

1. The scanned or downloaded documents must have clearly visible Name, Address, and Date of issue. When it comes to utility bills, one must provide the latest documents, preferably a recent proof less than 90 days.

2. The document should be clear and whole, i.e. it must not have any cut or hidden or blurred information therein.

3. Online banking documents and bills must be downloaded or scanned and then sent to FAZRemit as a file attachment. Screenshots are not accepted.

Importance of KYC Documents?

While providing financial services, it is the responsibility of the organization to maintain a legitimate environment.

In the financial community, during the initial stages, non-bank organizations didn’t care about the details of the customers. It was his or her responsibility to fill the correct information. There were multiple drawbacks of this system:

1. Incorrect details sometimes lead to funds getting transferred to wrong destinations.

2. Money launderers could send and receive money from multiple accounts.

There was no regulation that could keep a check on such transactions. Moreover, non-bank financial institutions could do as they please. However, with AML/CFT laws and mandatory KYC documents’ submission, the situation has changed drastically. There has been a significant difference in the number of illegitimate transactions globally.

So, How Does KYC Document Verification Works?

For instance, there is a customer who wants to send money from USA to Nigeria, Ghana or Kenya. After completing the registration, he or she would be redirected to a personal dashboard. Once all the documents are submitted as mentioned, they undergo verification.

During document verification, we ensure that:

1. The person sending the documents is exactly who he or she is claiming to be.

2. There are no previous records or allegations on the concerned individual regarding money laundering. We ensure that the person does not fall in the PEPs (Politically Exposed Persons) category.

3. When it comes to organizations, FAZRemit runs a thorough check on the concerned company. All the beneficiaries are thoroughly scrutinized.

Once the evaluation is complete, and only if all the details are acceptable, then our Money Laundering Reporting Officer (MLRO) can permit the person to make any transactions.

At FAZRemit,

We keep the record of every single transaction.

To ensure that the funds reach to the right person, the beneficiary is also verified. Once the corridor is verified, customers can make unlimited transactions using FAZRemit.

Taking our legal obligations extremely seriously and without compromising with the civic morality, FAZRemit assures every customer that every single transaction on the platform is 100% safe. Every member of the FAZRemit community is a verified customer because we actually ‘know our customers’.

We completely understand that submitting KYC documents and waiting for its verification could seem like a long time. However, if the documents are clear and fulfill all the criteria as mentioned at the beginning of this blog, our automated software analyzes and concludes the verification process within a few minutes.

Regulated as Money Transmitter by the New York State Department of Financial Services, FAZRemit strives to provide its customer the safest, most convenient, and affordable money transfer services.

So, to experience an unparalleled online platform to send money to Nigeria, Ghana or Kenya from USA, register on FAZRemit today. In case you have any query, you can always write to us at support@fazremit.com.

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What are the Benefits of Instant Money Transfer to Nigeria Online?

Instant money transfer to Nigeria helps remittance receivers of different backgrounds. Be it, individuals, businesses, government, or the overall national economy, inflow of $25 billion plays a crucial role in…

Instant money transfer to Nigeria helps remittance receivers of different backgrounds. Be it, individuals, businesses, government, or the overall national economy, inflow of $25 billion plays a crucial role in uplifting them all.

In this blog, we will look at how fast international transactions can help different Nigerian communities and the scenarios in which the need for a proper money transfer platform is a must!

Beneficiaries of Instant Money Transfer to Nigeria Online

1. Ease of Doing Business

Businesses can have easier cash flow management to distribute finance for receiving funds, paying off employees, and allocating budget.

Faster receipts, easier workflow, better operations, and certainty of financial transactions supports businesses to flourish.

2. For Individuals and Families

E-payments and well-equipped technical infrastructure save considerable cost and time. Indulging in other activities that matter the most, it empowers the ability of families to improve their standard of life.

It is estimated that over 113.3 million Nigerians will be connected to the internet by the end of 2019. This is a positive sign that more Nigerians are joining the digital revolution and are getting educated. However, the booming population (growing at an annual rate of 2.6%) and literacy rate (59.6%) need to improve a lot. So, just the number of internet users is not enough to conclude that the internet alone will curb the problem of poverty.

Banks charge a very high transaction fee (over 10% of the total transaction) for international money transfer and may take days (sometimes more than a week) to process the transaction. Devaluation of reliability on public institutions is a major cause of people not opening their bank accounts in the first place. This is where the introduction of a fast and cheap money transfer service to Nigeria can bring a drastic change.

Encourages individuals to overcome their unbanked or underbanked status by introducing them to the benefits of becoming part of the mainstream economy.

3. Improvement in Remittance Market

Global competition among businesses operating in multiple countries is encouraging everyone to work on a seamless platform. Although speed is not the only factor. Security and transparency are other factors but undoubtedly this competition encourages both private as well as public financial institutions to provide a better service. This constantly improves the quality of money transfer services themselves as they try to outgrow their own achievements.

Overall quality services extend right from a customer’s first point of contact to maintaining a strong customer experience. Competitiveness results in a transition towards a better solution, especially for market segments (consumers) that are underprivileged. At the same time, every single industry is, in one way or another, impacted by the cross-border transfer of funds.

Overcoming Adverse Situations With Instant Money Transfer to Nigeria

1. For Timely Bill Payments

Ana actively credit-driven economy increases financial liquidity facilitating ease of doing transactions. However, the system can benefit only when the debts are paid within the agreed time. Inability to do so because of slow international money transfer to Nigeria attracts a hefty penalty which could take a toll on the overall budget.

For different individuals and organizations, the numbers may vary but the problem is the same!

To clear daily expenses, school or university fee, accommodation charges, pay mortgages et cetera, thousands of Nigerian look up to international remittances, which if not received in time could make a dent in the system as a whole.

This distrust in the credit-backed financial system can be detrimental for individuals in the short-term but for Nigeria as a whole.

2. To Cope Up With Emergency Situations

With the largest number of poor in the world, a significant Nigerian population relies on a hand-to-mouth lifestyle. For such people and families, financial aid from local public or private entities is not possible. Migrants who can send money to Nigeria instantly can be their only source of help. To overcome hospital bills or in case of a disaster, political instability, or terrorist attacks, receiving the aid within the right time could make a significant difference.

On the positive side, out of total bank account holders in Nigeria (49% of the total population), 23% indulge themselves in online bill payment. At the same time, air-time top-ups make 22%.

These numbers, although are not good but considering the political instability that haunted Nigeria for years, it is a significant development and a positive and promising sign of the awareness of Nigerians and their developing interest in digital transactions.

This, in turn, creates an opportunity for money transfer services to improve themselves and provide the best services. This is where FAZRemit takes the cake with their ‘instant money transfer to Nigeria from USA’ service at the cheapest rates.

To avail our services, simply register on FAZRemit, and send money to Nigeria from USA using the best online money transfer platform.

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You Must Know These Points Before Sending Money to Nigeria from USA

Is this a scam? How much do you charge? Why is the Document Verification taking so long? Can I be sure that my funds will reach the correct recipient? Why…

Is this a scam?
How much do you charge?
Why is the Document Verification taking so long?
Can I be sure that my funds will reach the correct recipient?
Why is it taking this long to process the transaction?
When can I get a response to my queries?

Before sending money to Nigeria from USA, a majority of customers are skeptical about money transfer services. Moreover, this is worth it considering that there are hundreds of Ponzi schemes and platforms online. Awareness about the subject could mean the difference between making the right choice or getting scammed. Discovering new offers, benefits and services can get you the best deals and everyone would recommend it. However, scammers are also looking for such targets. This does not mean that you should drop the idea of exploring completely.

Which is the best alternative to transfer money to Nigeria online?

Instead of this, a better question would be – ‘Which is the best online money transfer service for you?’ because the answer to that depends on multiple factors. There are several platforms and IMTOs who would provide their service at a cheaper cost while others may have faster transaction processing time. Some may claim to have the best security protocol whereas others may claim convenience as their USP.

So, the question is – What do you want?

what-do-you-want-sending-money-to-nigeria-online-fazremit

Let us discuss all the problems you may come across while searching for a reliable platform to transfer money to a Nigerian bank account from the United States of America.

Is the Operator Hiding Anything?

The credibility of online money transfer platforms has undoubtedly been compromised publicly because of the widespread active network of scammers seeking opportunities to lure in people. According to Washington State’s Attorney General, US citizens lose millions each year to wire transfer scams. So, examine the operator, its claims, cross-verify, and then avail the services with precaution.

Another prevalent method of making immoral profits in the money transfer industry is – Hidden Charges. In this case, companies or online platforms do not reveal a complete payment breakdown. Once a transaction is made, a significant amount gets deducted from the ill-informed customer.

Here’s something to ‘enlighten’ you about this topic…

enlightening-words-sending-money-to-nigeria-online-fazremit

While sending money to Nigeria from USA, or making an international transaction, exchange fee and transaction fee are always levied. So, make sure you are well aware of the total breakdown of the total transaction charges beforehand.
One of the recommended ways to examine a promising platform is to make a minimum transaction instead of directly going with the big numbers because of the offer you are getting. Just don’t get manipulated. Give the platform a try by taking a calculated risk. On the basis of your experience, judge whether you want to continue with it.

Is the Response Appropriate?

Almost every single money transfer platform claims ”fastest transaction”. Others would do it at the cheapest fee.
So, compare a few platforms, read about the experience of those who have availed the services. There is no point in sending money if it does not get to the right person at the right time, especially in emergency situations. Same can be said about paying absurdly high transaction costs. As per your personal preference, you need to strike a proper balance between both options.

Going a step forward, what matters more than this is the response time by the operator. Due to unforeseen technical problems, at times there could be delays in the process, however, it’s the responsibility of the service provider to address the query without any delay.

customer-chat-response-sending-money-to-nigeria-online-fazremit

Good customer support is a major parameter to determine reliability. In case you put across your query and the service provider doesn’t respond or takes a lifetime to satisfy the customer, consider this a red flag.

How Does the Platform Ensures Security?

When it comes to financial services, security is a must. To ensure that the funds you transfer reach to the correct bank account(s) and that not a single step violates any AML/CFT regulations, a responsible money transfer service provider must have proper documentation protocol.

documentation-sending-money-to-nigeria-online-fazremit

The money transfer operator must ask for KYC documents from you. Also, the company must verify details of the beneficiary or recipient’s bank account.
This system not only secures a user’s hard-earned money but also ensures that the platform has strict guidelines against unlawful exercises.

How Serious Are They About Accountability?

Having a personal dashboard certainly makes the money transfer experience extremely convenient. But at the same time, you must have a recorded transaction statement from the service provider as your personal copy.
There have been multiple instances in the remittance market that while wiring money to Nigeria from USA, the money gets deducted from the user’s account but does not reach its required destination. Therefore, it is important that you keep a copy of the transaction until the funds are completely processed.
You can use that receipt to put up a strong case for your refund. And if the platform does not, you can easily get your funds through the legal channel.

Therefore, it is important that you look for a service provider that respects and encourages customer empowerment.

FAZRemit, the one-stop online money transfer platform, ensures that anyone and everyone sending money from USA to Nigeria, Ghana or Kenya, gets the best overall experience.

 

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How to Send Money to Nigeria from USA?

To send money to Nigeria, the overall accessibility is better today than ever before because of the availability of multiple online platforms right from banks and International Money Transfer Operators…

To send money to Nigeria, the overall accessibility is better today than ever before because of the availability of multiple online platforms right from banks and International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs) to bidding sites. However, all such options have their individual drawback. While banks and bidding sites take almost a week to process the transaction and charge high transaction interest, IMTOs are also competing against them or through those platforms as well as among themselves while trying to maintain a balance of their high-end operational and expansion cost. Because of this, some IMTOs may offer comparatively lower fees and others may have faster transaction time but there is no ‘Jack of All Trades’.

This has led to the emergence of an automated platform like FAZRemit which takes care of all the proceedings right from easy registration and verification to final transaction, and beyond. To send money to Nigeria from US via FAZRemit, you have to follow 3 simple steps:

  1. Register easily using your E-mail ID
  2. Verify your Email and submit your KYC documents including your Passport and Address Proof
  3. Once the verification is complete, add a beneficiary and send up to US$2499 instantly

Send Money to Nigeria from the United States

Even before laying the foundation of FAZRemit, our market analysis helped us understand the problems faced by the Nigerian diaspora in the United States for sending remittances to their native country. Overcoming all those problems, we made sure that every single state in the US is well-equipped with providing satisfactory services to our customers who can send money to various banks in Nigeria with no hassle.

Collecting data from multiple surveys, we started our services ensuring that immigrants or in fact, anyone with a bank account can send money to Nigeria from US from New York, Atlanta, Houston, Washington, Dallas, Chicago, Baltimore, Los Angeles and Boston. Instead of spreading our service globally, being a customer-driven model, FAZRemit ensures to deliver on its promises to the client without compromising with the security standards set up by countries involved in the concerned Remittance-corridor. Currently, we provide our online money transfer services in Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya.

Why Choose FAZRemit?

We, at FAZRemit, understand what the customers need the most – Value. And this is what we are after! Abiding by the laws put in place by Nigerian as well as United States government, by following all the fundamental protocols, we ensure to provide our customers with:

  • Fastest
  • Cheapest, and
  • Most Convenient

online money transfer services to send money to Nigeria from the United States. We understand the trend that is shifting from traditional financial trades and how the current generation of millennials is playing a major role by actively taking part in this evolution. This makes it imperative for any financial institution to evolve itself and work toward making its service better every single day which is why we take considerable steps based on your feedback to make ourselves better to provide you with the service you aspire for and the experience you deserve!

To avail our services right away, Register with FAZRemit today!

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How to Stay Safe From Online Dating Scams?

Among all the identified scams in the United States, that range right from zero loss to about $2,000,000, as per Better Business Bureau, in 2018, 160 online dating scams were…

Among all the identified scams in the United States, that range right from zero loss to about $2,000,000, as per Better Business Bureau, in 2018, 160 online dating scams were reported. Further, 3 scams were worth more than $100,000 and 12 other individuals lost their hard-earned money in the range of $20,000 to $70,000. Maximum cases were registered in Philadelphia, followed by Florida, Virginia, and Houston.

Effects of Dating Scams

As per Scamwatch’s 349 people lost a total of $1,245,423 in 2018 in which almost 57% of the victims were women. When it comes to using popular dating sites, it is generally considered reliable by most of the users, however, lack of KYC by such service providers often allows, if not encourages, scammers to exploit the victims sexually and/or financially.

In most cases, the scammer portrays himself/herself as a fairly rich person and convinces the victim to transfer money by gaining sympathy. To achieve that, the scammer invests a fairly long time to lure a victim into an emotional trap and/or gain trust and then construct gullible and reasonable cases, for instance, hospital bills, or travel expenses to ask for money. As soon as the money is transferred, which generally are international wire transfers, the fraudster goes ghost.

The finesse of professional scammers makes it impossible for a victim to separate the truth from a false story. But how can you differentiate between reality and deception? Well, there is no clear black and white when it comes to defining the amount of trust that can ensure that the person you believe is right. Isn’t that what trust actually means? However, you need to make sure that you understand the gray area involved in any relationship and how to do the best from your end to avoid losing your money to a fraud.

Types of Online Dating Scams

There are basically 4 types of romantic scams prevailing in the United States and across the globe.

1. Blackmail

A scammer may take inappropriate or personal information from your online portfolio and ask you to either perform sexual acts on webcam and then blackmail you to extort money. In romantic scams, the person may record intimate moments and then threaten to share it with your friends or family.

No matter how dire the situation is, negotiating with a scammer has never gone down well with anyone because once you agree to the demands, you are simply opting to go down the rabbit hole as the blackmailer would never stop. So, it is important that you do not comply with any of the demands of such scammers and before the situation goes out of your hands; it is best that you confront your closed ones.

2. 419 scams

Often known as ‘Nigerian 419 scams’ or ‘Nigerian prince scams’ because of its point of origin, in this scam, the scammer may ask you to move a certain amount of money promising to give you a decent portion as a commission for an assignment. Supported by an often sad story, the scammer would ask you to deposit a certain amount as a ‘fee’ to move the payment and this is where they have played their game. This is why they are also known as ‘advance-fee scams’.

get-rich-quick-online-dating-scams-fazremit

Even though money laundering is a criminal offense in itself, still, this get-rich-quick scheme entices several people to take part in this process. So, to win your confidence, if need be, one may even play with your emotions by taking you into confidence and then asking you to do immoral or in some cases, illegal activities which is yet another spun version of online dating scams.

Such traps could even lead one to take his or her own life, as was reported in 2007 when a Chinese student from the University of Nottingham committed suicide after realizing that she had fallen for such a scam. The same was reported from Cambridgeshire where a UK citizen burned himself after discovering that the lottery-win of $1.2 million was a scam.

3. Impersonation

This type of scam is generally reported by military personnel whose information is put online by the government without any prior notice. By digging personal information of such personnel, online fraudsters, especially operating from Ghana and Nigeria give them an option to wire money to their family members using some well-known but unsafe platforms which do not require any identification of the receiver or beneficiary. Using honey-traps and persuasion, scammers either get their hands on the account details of the victim or convince him to transfer money to their accomplices who could be present anywhere in the world.

How to Identify an Online Dating Scammer?

Other than understanding the different scenarios that fraudsters usually opt for, recognizing the scammer and his or her behavior is equally important to avoid becoming a victim of online dating scams:

1. Is the online dating website Reliable?

Because of the emerging trend of online dating in the 21st century, scammers have even been reported to invest their time and money in developing random websites to lure in the customers. Apart from simply using a third party reliable dating websites such as Match 221, PlentyOfFish, OkCupid, mobile applications like Tinder, Grinder, or social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram et cetera, some are even hosting an entire platform to conduct such malicious activities.

scam-websites-online-dating-scams-scammer-fazremit

To avoid getting scammed through the latter tactics, it is important that you only sign up on reliable platforms. Furthermore, in case there is any dispute or any report of an online scam, as long as you are keeping the conversation on a specific platform, till then, it is the responsibility of the platform itself to ensure that all the registered users get a quality service. Therefore, it is highly recommended to avoid switching the conversation to email or phone number without knowing the next person fairly. An inability to do the same could give away your personal information which is a high-risk endeavor.

2. Avoid a Scammer in the First Place

Before initiating any conversation or making any commitments, it is important that you conduct a thorough background check on the person you are approaching for or the ones who are trying to contact you. If there are irregularities in his or her profile details or if anything seems too good to be true, you have the option to confront them and ask the concerned person directly but if you are still not satisfied with the response, consider it a red flag and simply avoid such scenarios.

To verify that the person is exactly who he or she is saying, you can also search his or her image on search engines and check for any duplicates. This would help you to comprehend whether the person is an imposter searching for potential preys unaware of online dating scams or a real and genuine individual.

To be on the safer side, it is also important to keep yourself safe from even the reach of potential fraudsters. So, you must always keep your profile settings as ‘private’ and do not give away any personal information on any public network. As mentioned in the previous section, just refrain from presenting any such information that scammers can use as leverage over you to blackmail.

3. Know When You Should Reject!

As soon as you take a positive step towards embracing your fondness with a person you met online, make sure that you ask him or her about the social life, political affiliations, hobbies, achievements et cetera. You do not have to make it a professional interview but it is important that you know who you are talking to in a better manner.

One of the rookie mistakes committed by fraudsters is that they tend to commit mistakes while having any conversation which includes mixing pronouns, using wrong grammar or punctuation. In case there are is any inconsistency in the storyline or description or the way he or she is responding to you, avoid such individuals. Distance yourself from people with strange or inappropriate behavior.

4. Call the Person

If you are satisfied with the conversations you had on text, then the next step must be to ask for a voice or video chat. An outright refusal to do so is an indication of something shady.

Before meeting the individual in person, never share your personal details, especially your financial details. If the other person is encouraging you, you must never undermine this gesture. Further, without knowing the other person in-and-out, never commit to taking any responsibilities as it may backfire on you, and cause you not just financial but also personal and even professional difficulties.

What to do if you spot a scam?

It is highly recommended that you do not rush into any wire transfer without knowing the beneficiary but if it is too late and you have already sent money to someone who you think could be a scammer, the first thing you need to do is – contact your bank and the money transfer service.

online-dating-scams-fazremit

Although the scammers are always waiting for the money to be transferred and they generally withdraw the money instantly, if you send money through a safe channel, first of all, your hard-earned money and the scammer can both be tracked down.

Whether you have been scammed or if you have enough evidence to prove that an individual is trying to scam you, it is best that you report the same to the concerned platform as well as to the Federal Trade Commission and FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center.

This Valentine’s Day, make sure that you be with the one who you trust not the one who would leave you astray. One would be considered rather over-optimistic to think that only a selective people on online dating sites get scammed but the truth of the matter is anyone can fall into this trap. And if not given proper attention, it could even lead to far worse situations. So, it is your own responsibility to save yourself and people around you from falling prey to-

Online dating scams!

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Wire Money Nigeria – Millennials Shaping The Economy

The millennials have the responsibility to correct the mistakes of the past to lay a strong foundation for the upcoming generations and it all starts with education!

Summary:

  1. Nigerian diaspora is the most successful ethnic community in the United States of America.
  2. The Nigerian government needs to make policies that encourage formal remittance services that wire money to Nigeria.
  3. The educated young Nigerian immigrants have the responsibility and show a promising ability to drive the wheel of global socio-economic welfare.
  4. Remitters need to understand all the options before availing any online money transfer service offered by banks or IMTOs.

“Migrants are bringing down the economy. They are a threat to the United States. They undermine the All-American lifestyle. Migrants are – very bad!”

You must have heard similar language or context if not exactly the same sentences used for migrants even by “some of the most powerful people in position of authority” but the question arises –

  • Is it true?
  • What are the immigrants doing in a different country?
  • What is their own country doing to stop the migration?
  • How are the millenials contributing to the development of their native country?

To get answers to all the questions one by one, it is strongly recommended that you continue to read this blog. Putting it in the most simple terms, the hypothetical threat imagined from even legal migrants by the general population is a clear indication of lack of knowledge of the perceivers. The ones who claim migration as evil, first of all, need to understand that the most powerful nation, United States, as we know it today, is a land of immigrants. In fact, there is no ‘American culture’ so to speak. The amalgamation of cultures, rituals, celebrations, ideas, opinions, dissent, and the diversity has led the country to acquire its current status and for that, a huge amount of credit goes to the 13.5% population consisting of migrants from across the world. Among them, one of the most successful ethnic group is the Nigerian diaspora – the young community which, as per the World Population Review, has a median national age of just 18.4 years. Apart from providing a highly educated workforce to the migrated country, the Nigerian diaspora currently contributes US$22 billion to their own nation’s GDP by wiring money to Nigeria.

Value of Remittance in Nigerian Economy

To understand the importance of remittance, we can take a look at the inflow of remittance in Nigeria that has a 9% share in the overall global International remittance market and more than 6% of its own Gross Domestic Product relies on it. Moreover, the total money transfer to Nigeria from all over the world is estimated to cross $42 billion by 2022. Further, this sub-Saharan country has a 75% share in the total remittance inflows within the African sub-continent.

The Federal Republic of Nigeria, being a steadily developing country in West Africa, spends almost $1.15 billion annually to overcome poverty through public programmes. In 2006, Nigeria became the first African nation to repay its debts (which is estimated to be $30 billion) owed to the Paris Club in which the international money wire transfer contributed a significant amount as the total transactions went over the roof from $1.063 billion in 2003 to $16.932 billion in 2006.

So, in this article, we will discuss how the remittance market has become a major source of income for the Nigerian population and how it is acting as a gateway for high-end investors. We will shed some light on the steps that the government must take for the upliftment of this sector and the challenges they are likely going to face along the way. Further, we will understand the role that the Nigerian youth has to play and how they can take the first and the most important step in this direction.

Underperforming Nigerian Government

Nigeria has 82 million hectares of arable land out of the 91 million total land area with 30% of its population involved in the agriculture sector. However, lack of tools and infrastructure has led to a highly underperforming agriculture sector, because of which the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development claims to spend more than US$23 billion on food imports to feed its 186 million population.

wire-money-online-nigeria-underperforming-agriculture-sector-fazremit
Figure: Underperforming Nigerian agriculture

Furthermore, in 2005, Nigeria had the highest deforestation rate in the entire world. Because of the lack of resources and the exploding population, young Nigerians are moving out of the country seeking better opportunities. Because of this trend, famously known as Brain drain, Nigeria has also become one of the developing nations witnessing a high deficit of experts in medical, engineering, academics and other professional sectors. But that being said, the multinational state comprising 250 ethnic groups with the third-largest youth population after India and China, undoubtedly has an immense potential to spearhead the next agricultural revolution.

Although the country is struggling to keep a hold of their talent and minds, the same migrants are contributing in a different manner. In 2007, the International Organization for Migration announced a fresh data pointing to the dramatic increase in Nigerian remittance inflow from $2.3 billion to a whopping $17.9 billion within just a short span of 3 years. But these numbers do not give a detailed account of the problems that this trend entails which includes the channels being used for sending money internationally.

Why Nigerian Formal Remittance has been on the Back Foot?

Since the last 50 years, as stated in the World Bank’s Excerpts for International Conference on Migrant Remittance, Nigerians have been relying heavily on the money sent by migrants residing in developed countries such as the United States of America and the United Kingdom. Because of the distrust in the Nigerian formal financial institutions that have been unsuccessful in providing the general population with minimal requirements such as competent transportation and communication facilities, both the Nigerian senders as well as receivers prefer the informal international transactions which currently dominate the US-Nigeria and UK-Nigeria remittance corridors.

So what should be done about that?
– Improve public policies especially targeting the millennials’ needs.

Education – The Fundamental Change

After becoming a republic in 1960, lack of stable policies because of 30 years of intermittent governance and military rule crippled multiple sectors of Nigeria including education, health, and economy.

Without a unified set of education policies for the booming population, as per the UNICEF’s Nigerian Education Statistics, 45% of Nigeria’s 171 million population is under 15 years of age. With a concerningly gigantic number – 10.5 million – Nigeria has the world’s largest out-of-school youth population. Only 20.1% education accessibility because of lack of government funding along with social factors like early marriages and low perception of the value of education among the general population has resulted in, as education activist Malala Yousafzai puts it,

“An education state of emergency in Nigeria”

Economic prosperity can only be achieved through proper education and administrative support. Nigeria is in a dire need of government-funded education for which the Ministry of education needs to implement an inclusive and functional education system. With the 3rd largest youth population in the world, the country is not short of any potential but the question arises – how can Nigeria plan for their future while it is heavily dependent on Oil trade that does not seem to have a very bright future.

The Future of Nigerian Oil and Gas Export

Nigeria relies on oil and gas trade as 83% of its export revenue, two-thirds of the public revenue, and 9.4% of its GDP depends on it. Although the myth – “oil is reaching total depletion” – has been critically refuted by several environment scholars but the research and development in ‘clean and renewable energy sources‘ have been showing promising results with a welcoming global response which could affect the oil trade. This implies that it is high time for the Nigerian government to prepare for an oil-less future even if not because of the lack of gas then because of the undergoing paradigm shift which was noticed in the third quarter of 2018 with a 4% contraction of oil sector as compared to the previous year.

Meanwhile, it may seem from the outside that the Nigerian economy is highly dependent on oil exports, which it currently is, however, it would be wrong to underestimate the diversity of a country that, as per McKinsey Global Institute’s ‘study of the country’ report, can become the 26th largest global economy within the next 12 years. The steady improvement of 1.5% in the non-oil sector in the second quarter of 2018 followed by 2.3% in the third quarter indicates remarkable efforts by the Nigerian government to achieve economic and fiscal stability by constructively using their abundant resources and a strategic geographic location.

wire-money-Nigeria-government-emphasis-economy
Figure: Nigerian Government Emphasis Shifting towards Economy

The constantly growing consumer class paired with an energetic youth fueled by a high entrepreneurial spirit are also attracting investments from across the globe. The developing trend in Nigeria is being viewed as an emerging business opportunity for the investors who are envisioning to tap the largest African economy estimated to provide a $1.4 trillion market by 2030 for food and non-food consumer goods. Even in this sector, however, the government needs to facilitate the ease of doing business.


How can they do that?
– By NOT de-regulating MTOs and other businesses.

Instead of hindering the success of the emerging industries, if the Nigerian government provides adequate support for the taxpayers and public beneficiaries, and formulates modern trade policies, it can pave the way and could significantly accelerate the process of leading multinational corporations contributing to the Nigerian economy and social welfare. Apart from foreign endeavors, a long-term and stable federal budget allocation for education, healthcare, infrastructure, and security can also check brain-drain. Moreover, positive steps could also be a boon for Nigeria reversing the brain drain to return-migration, thereby brain-gain.

Now that we know the extent of the impact that good governance can have, especially for the Migrant nation, let us take a look at some of the numbers showing how despite facing multiple challenges, the Nigerians have made their mark in the world.

Contributing More than the Natives

Immigration has always been a debatable topic but for a nation’s economy, especially when we consider the United States of America, migration has brought a fortune. Simulations by ProPublica show how immigrants can further escalate the American economy by supplementing approximately US$54.5 trillion.

Figure: Simulated contribution to US economy by immigrants

You be the Judge…

Further, let us have a look at some of the statistics about the performance of Nigerian migrants who are doing pretty well in the United States,

  • The average household income of a Nigerian-American is $62,351 as compared to the overall average of $57,617.
  • 37% of all the Nigerian-Americans hold a bachelor’s degree and 17% have master’s.
  • With just 1% of the total black population in the US, 25% of Black Harvard students are Nigerian natives.
  • Other than holding reputable positions in medicine, law, and engineering professions, non-conventional career choices including NFL and Hollywood have also welcomed and embraced Nigerian-Americans.

This trend is similar in European nations such as the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Germany, Ireland and all other destinations across the globe where 33% of the total Nigerian migrants move to and send remittances from. Consequently, overcoming discrimination and racism, the Nigerian diaspora has excelled and contributed to both the migrated country as well as Nigeria, directly or indirectly. In line with that, the eventual beneficiaries, i.e. the general population, especially the youngsters, are responsible for the development of the country and as mentioned earlier, education has been and will continue playing a pivotal role in uplifting Nigerian socio-economics while repaying what they owe to the migrated country better than their own natives.

Being part of an unstable and war-stricken nation, Nigerians and especially the millennial generation has come a long way as compared to other nations like Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Also, migrants, in general, are able to sustain themselves on their own, however, for some people living in their home country (Nigeria, Mexico, India, China et cetera), remittance could be the only source to survive and/or to overcome personal problems, financial setbacks, political instability, terrorist attacks or even natural disasters.

Although currently there is no authentic data classifying the remit senders on the basis of age, education profile or financial status, the purpose itself makes a compelling case why all the migrants who send money to Nigeria should understand how they can take the full benefit of international online money transfer services.

How to Select the ‘Best Money Transfer Nigeria’ Service?

Online research and analysis of the remittance market by FAZRemit provided a list of the top 5 search queries used by the customers on different search platforms so as to wire money online, namely,

  1. Money transfer to Nigeria
  2. Wire money Nigeria
  3. Send money to Nigeria online
  4. How to send money to Nigeria
  5. How to wire money online

To address all the aforementioned search queries, let us discuss how one can select the best money transfer service to send remittances to Nigeria. The US$689 billion worth global remittance market has been prompting IMTOs from across the globe to dive into this huge financial pool that carries unparalleled opportunities for small to large scale businesses. To increase their clientele comprising of individual remittance senders and even MNCs conducting online money transfers, banks and IMTOs have been constantly upgrading their services to provide a wide range of international money transfer services. With so many choices, the customers thus have the advantage to select the best option on the basis of 4 major factors:

1. Is it affordable?

This is the reason why most of the remittance senders are turning towards IMTOs instead of banks as the average transaction fee levied by banks to send money to Nigeria from the United States has always been much higher. As per the last survey conducted by the World Bank in June 2017, international money wiring via banks is currently 1.47% higher than the global average whereas most of the IMTOs charge 3.06% lesser than the banks.

The cheapest wire transfer includes the international Automated Clearing House (ACH) payments, also known as a direct debit or electronic transfer, in which the transaction fee is the lowest, and the service provider, most of the time, provides additional discounts to the recurring customers. At the same time, however, there have been instances where operators charge an additional fee without giving any further notice to the customers which could result in overdrawing money from your account making this a huge downside of the ACH payment.

2. How fast is the money transfer?

While ACH is the cheapest, it can take anywhere from a few hours to seven business days to complete the transaction. Overcoming this problem is wire transfer which is the fastest in the ‘international money transfer’ section.

ach-payment-vs-wire-transfer-money-transfer-fazremit
Figure: ACH Payments VS Wire Transfer

Although this digital money transfer is more expensive, one may find it comparatively much more difficult to deal with the bank for this service because of the stringent documentation and tedious verification. Moreover, some overseas banks and credit unions could also charge an additional fee to receive such transactions. This is where IMTOs can help one to avoid such problems.

In case of emergency, when one requires his or her money to be transferred instantly, just like wire transfer, there are several other options available for everyone. All one needs to do is – look at the right place.

3. Is it a safe money transfer?

Wire transfer is fast but possibly the only disadvantage with this type of transaction is the inability to reverse it. Even if some agencies including banks and IMTOs could provide such a facility but this could result in you paying a hefty fee for the same. Meanwhile, it is crucial for a customer to conduct a background check of service providers before availing their service. Due to strict AML laws, the Nigerian government has licensed only certain IMTOs. So, even if you are getting alluring discounts, you must either choose the certified institutions or their subsidiaries. It is important to notice the documentation and verification that is being done by the service provider. In case the MTO does not ask for mandatory documents or gives you an offer that seems ‘too good to be true’, it becomes even more important that you get your query resolved.

This is one of the main reasons why individuals prefer banks for large money transfers. However, even if you are using a certified Money Transfer Operator, you are more likely to get similar reliability if not better but without any doubt, considering the lack of investment in infrastructure and outdated mechanism in the public sectors in Nigeria, you can be guaranteed a better service right from the first point of contact to the final transaction and even beyond.

4. Are there any hidden charges?

To put it in a simple manner, no business can be conducted without any benefit. So, if you see any free international money transfer option, you must know that the concerned operator, in advance, has combined the exchange rate and transaction fee in the total charges. So, it is important for the customer to search and then verify the service provider claiming to provide you with the most affordable service. In simple terms – Save yourself from the ‘hidden fee’ trap.

Referring to all the aforementioned factors before actually transferring money can assist anyone to make a safe, secure and fast international money transfer at the most affordable price.


The baton of ‘economic change’ has already been handed over to the next generation – the millennials – and it is their responsibility to make analytically sound decisions by gaining impartial knowledge while minimizing the risks and avoiding the mistakes committed by the previous generations in order to avail the full benefits of each and every opportunity.
And this is how millennials can revolutionise the future by actively taking part in one of the most beneficial trades that has a promising future for the Republic of Nigeria.

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Online Money Transfer to Nigeria – Evolving Remittance Trend

Sending money to Nigeria through reliable IMTOs is fast and easy but such businesses struggle to operate without the cooperation of the authorities.

Summary:

  • Migrants using international remit services contribute to 9% of the overall global GDP.
  • Online money transfer to Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, and several other developing nations is the backbone of their economy.
  • Instead of introducing de-risking laws, banks and International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs) need to work together to develop the global economy.
  • The blockchain is on its way to bring the next financial revolution.

In the annual year 2018, as per the Prospectus – Migration and Remittances Data, the global market has witnessed a remittance flow of up to US$689 billion which is already an increment of 10% from 2017. Moreover, it is estimated that this flow would at least increase by 3.7% by the end of 2019. To genuinely assess the large scale of global participation in international money transfer, we can see that the list of countries receiving the highest remittances in the world includes the world’s fastest-growing economy – India, and the most populous nation – China. Followed by the Philippines and Mexico, comes the democratic secular country of Nigeria around which, in this article, we will be discussing the recent trends in International remittances, along with the problems that this industry is facing, and lastly our data-driven predictions.

The Nigerian Diaspora

Almost 67% of the total remittances sent from across the world to Africa are targeted to just one country – Nigeria. World Bank studies show that international money transfers make a total of 6% of the total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Nigeria.

FAZRemit-Online-Money-Transfer-to-Nigeria-Remittance-Contribution
Figure: Contribution of remittances in total GDP for Nigeria, Algeria, China and Venezuela from 1981 to 2015.  

This money is sent by thousands of Nigerians among the 17.5 million migrants who have migrated to a different country for a better opportunity to secure a decent income source and a better lifestyle. With those numbers, it can be implied that the Nigerian population is spreading across the globe and while there are hundreds of extremists opposing the migration, it is imperative to understand the ground reality and basically an answer to the question –

Why do they have to migrate? How the remittances sent by migrants or in fact, any third-party can affect an entire diaspora?

The need for International Remittances

International Organization for Migration records shows that Nigerian migrants living in the United States make the largest portion of the remittance money, followed by the United Kingdom, Italy and Canada. A whopping total of $22 billion, as per the 2017 study, was part of international money transfer to Nigeria from all across the globe.

FAZRemit-Online-Money-Transfer-to-Nigeria-Remittance-Corridor
Figure: International remittance corridor

Remittance Prices Worldwide Database has identified multiple authorized corridors for 32 countries to send remittances to 89 developing countries that require monetary help to develop themselves. But there is a general misconception about remittance.

A majority of the population, who either have not availed the remittance service or are trying to understand the concept, considers international money transfer just as a process to help their friends and relatives to get economic assistance by draining another society instead of working in their own country.

“But there is more to it!”

Money transfer to Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya or any other developing nation across the globe enables the remittance senders to:

  1. Buy international property
  2. Support their family members by:
    • Paying for their children’s or even grandchildren’s education
    • Compensate for the daily expenses of their family
  3. Invest in an international venture
  4. Pay off the debts of their close ones
  5. Submit the insurance installments
  6. Help international population in need of help because of:
    • Poverty
    • Political instability
    • Civil war
    • Terror attacks
    • Natural disasters

Basically, this process supports the aspiring population to lead a better life. Out of a big pool of 153 developing nations, in 36 countries, including Nigeria, remittance makes up a bigger portion of the economy than the combined capital flow generated by public and private sources.

Remittances, apart from helping the natives to develop economically, allows them to connect themselves to the banking system. Once they are connected to the economy, even the government can get multiple data from their transactions and take better actions for their upliftment. Where there is a demand, there is an opportunity, and opportunity attracts business. So, private institutions have also jumped in this sector.

Enter – International Money Transfer Operators (IMTO)

The competition among money wiring platforms is based on their ability to provide a faster, affordable, and most importantly, safer transactions. In recent years, the remittance industry has seen a boom, both in terms of users (as discussed above) as well as the number of private companies who want to play an active role in an industry with $4.8 trillion transactions every day.

International Money Transfer Operators either use an internal system or use cross-border banking network to conduct the transfers. In the initial stages, such operators faced a few setbacks because of the trust issues, however, with the time, they have improved their services. Moreover, referring to the World Bank’s Remittance Prices Worldwide June 2017, a World Bank survey of 23 banks showed that the transaction fee charged by banks is much higher than that of the international money transfer operators. Although in 2017, the banks decreased their processing charges from 9.36% in 2016 to 8.8%, the IMTOs were not far behind in following this suit and dropped their fees as well.

FAZRemit-Online-Money-Transfer-to-Nigeria-Banks-vs-International-Money-Transfer-Operators-usa

Figure: International money transfer fees of banks and MTOs in the United States

Apparently, businesses follow the Metcalfe’s law which states that:

The ‘Value of a network’ is directly proportional to the square of the number of connected users.

Since the latter number (customers) is exponentially increasing, these organizations compete with one another to provide competitive offers to the users so as to claim a bigger share of this large industry. On the other hand, while the number of transactions has been on the rise, it is very contrasting to see that the transaction fee levied by the international banks had been constantly increasing from 7.23% in 2013 to up to 9.36% in 2016, and it is still very high as compared to all the other choices that the remit-users have. Since the consumers have a far better choice than that with the IMTOs who have never charged over 6.88% even in 2012 and are charging as low as 5.5% transaction fees, it is quite obvious to understand why the paradigm of bank remit is shifting towards the private organizations.

There is Always a But…

National Banks across the globe, especially the Central Bank of Nigeria, often has been called out for taking ‘Draconian decisions’ to revoke the license of International Money Transfer Operators by using some catchy phrases such as ‘for a greater economic good’ and ‘to avoid undermining of a country’s foreign exchange’. Such policies do not just impact the businesses but also have a drastic effect on the user-base which at present consists of a 20 million strong community in Nigeria itself.

Debunking Myths About Money Transfer to Nigeria…

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has been clamping down on several money operators which constitute a significant portion of the overall international wire transfer facilitators. However, because of a strong retaliation from the majority of operators, CBN had to allow all the organizations who according to CBN Guidelines on International Money Transfer Services in Nigeria (2014) were provided a renewed license. The ground reality in this problem is not the regulations but the myths that have been circulated about the operators which affect the overall business. So, let us go through some of the myths and understand why it is important to expose them.

De-risking is important for public security

De-risking puts legitimate bank customers and licensed IMTOs at risk, and there have been hundreds of millions of instances in which banks use AML/CFT laws to ban multiple remittance accounts. If a consumer cannot send the money through a legitimate process, it is evident that because of the extreme de-risking laws, he or she would either have to opt for less secure or even illegitimate channels for the same. Pushing remit customers, who are in genuine need of decent service, to such platforms which do not have an adequate AML/CFT clearance could result in far worse results for the vigilance authorities, putting the entire process in a jeopardy.

Verifying the IMTO records is not worth the investment

In the digital era where consumers are already looking out for better service in terms of cost, transaction speed, and overall experience, banks do not promise all of those. Therefore, IMTOs are preferred. The basic point behind their argument is that:

  1. IMTOs are used by some individuals for a limited number of transactions which could be very challenging.
  2. They have a ‘high-risk’ factor because the transaction tracking by finance regulatory bodies becomes an even more challenging task when there is an intermediary.
  3. They may not have adequate regulations to keep a check on their transactions and services.

In such a case, instead of revoking the license or putting a complete ban on their operating bank accounts through de-risking or de-banking rules, it is a wiser choice to explore a better solution by framing a clear set of guidelines as per the norms of state and federal regulators instead of avoiding the question completely.

This must include the implementation of strict KYC record-keeping rules to ensure security for both the transactions and the intent of the user. Furthermore, the Financial Institutions Examinations Council and similar inter-agency groups must expand their section to include legitimate IMTOs under non-bank financial institutions. Once this regulation is followed, the MTOs can not only improve their AML/CFT monitoring capability but they can also lower their transactional fees as well as average remittance size, further reducing the possibilities of money laundering.

What does the Future Have in Store?

Money is basically a simple concept of credit. There is no physical value to it other than the promise of granting a specific value to the rightful person. Started from the barter system where the exchange was conducted under an agreement between the consulted parties, the same has been evolving. Then came coins which facilitated the ease of transactions. Further, paper money introduced in China was another upgrade for the commerce. In the 19th century, England defined gold as a standard for the transaction which then became a norm that has continued till date. As globalization hit the market, native currencies were obsolete making gold a universally accepted and adapted standard.

FAZRemit-Online-Money-Transfer-to-Nigeria-evolution-trade-barter-to-bitcoin
Figure: Evolution of Trade – From Barter to Bitcoin

Although during World War I, even gold was temporarily abandoned by various governments to finance the war, however, with the emergence of a stable US government backed with a strong economy and effective laws, the United States Dollar (USD) was considered as the world’s reserve currency. In the 1950s, credit cards came into being; followed by ATMs, and then the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) provided a reliable platform for all the financial institutions to send and receive information while conducting any international transaction(s). The market evolved further and after a few scuffles at the higher position between Bill Harris, Elon Musk and then Peter Thiel, PayPal – a multilingual worldwide online payment portal was born in July 2015. Therefore, we can conclude that since the time we had known about finance, money has shifted its shape, form to facilitate a simpler and faster system.

In line with that, the crypto and Blockchain market is estimated to become the next big change where mankind can explore another factor – inability to trust! With Blockchain’s distributed ledger, all the previous financial exchanges can simply fade away as it resolves all the concerns regarding speed (which could be drastically cut down from minutes or a few days to just an instant) and security (encrypted transactions and unalterable proof of work (POW)).

Numbers Don’t Lie

Although there are skeptics opposing every new idea, and the emerging industry could face certain hiccups along the way such as a decline in the initial coin offerings (ICOs), no one can ignore the 280% rise in the VC (Venture Capital) investment in the Blockchain technology in 2018 as compared to the previous year.

FAZRemit-Online-Money-Transfer-to-Nigeria-vc-investment-blockchain
Figure: Venture Capital (VC) investment in Blockchain (in black) and Crypto-related firms (in grey)

Leading investors around the world are viewing adequate research and development in this technology to have the potential of inducing another financial revolution. Consequently, they are enrolling themselves in this evolving technology to be a part of the early 21st-century that could just be a vital financial history in the making.

Finance and economics are dynamic entities that influence each other in multiple ways. They would constantly go through multiple upgrades, multiple emerging businesses would fall and other giants will emerge. All in all, during this course, the world would witness drastic changes. Meanwhile, in the current globalized world, where 3% of the total population is generating over 9% of the global GDP, and 800 million people depend on an action called – remittance, it is a challenge, moreover, a responsibility of the regulatory bodies like national banks and governments, and remittance service providers to work together and pave a convenient, safe and affordable gateway for the users to get what they aspire for, moreover, what they actually deserve.

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