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IAMTN Weekly Update 15/01/2009


IAMTN Weekly Update

‘This weeks news items cover the key topics of the moment – the global financial crisis and mobile payments. Please note that as well as these weekly updates all IAMTN members also receive a monthly news magazine which is packed with data and news updates from around the world. The next issue features an in-depth review of the African remittances market, as well as news from around the world and an interview with Abdirashid Duale of Dahabshiil.’

Have a good week.

Leon Isaacs – Managing Director, IAMTN

1. MTD 2009 – Confirmed organisations taking part in Money Transfers Dubai

9th March 2009, Shangri la Hotel

US Department of the Treasury
National Bank of Abu Dhabi
Citi Bank
Altair Financial
Money Express
Kenny Zair

There are a few sponsorship and speaker opportunities available for this conference so if you are interested please don’t hesitate to contact Charlotte Giles:
If you would like more information about IAMTN and how to become a member of the international organisation for money transfer networks please contact Kellie Waidson:

IAMTN reserves the right to amend the program and is not responsible for cancellations due to unforeseen circumstances.

2 . Money Transfer from Russia Declining

Source: RemitONE

Russia’s construction sector had last year resulted in a boom of money being transferred to Central Asian countries by migrant workers, but this boom seems to be coming to an end.

The construction business is declining, coupled with increasing unemployment amongst the natives, has led the government to reduce the quotas for migrant workers by as much as 50%.

The Central Bank of Russia’s figures show an average money transfer of $656 to Central Asian republics, but this figure is expected to plummet.

There have been growing reports of migrant workers wages being reduced, and in some cases payments being refused altogether. The knock on effects are huge in the Central Asian countries, like in Tajikistan where remittances account for 50% of GDP.

The plummeting Ruble is another cause of problems as exchange rates result in effectively less money being received. This is significant when considering that the Ruble fell by 17% against the Tajik Somoni last year.

The World Bank is predicting only a 4% growth in remittances to Tajikistan compared to 66% growth from 2006 to 2007.

The Central Asian Republics will be the worst hit by this down turn as they rely on people to be able to find work in Russia and send money home. Poverty levels are expected to increase with unemployment.

Leon Isaacs comments: ‘The new year has not started well for financial news. Whilst much of the attention around the economic affects of the global downturn have been focused on the US and European economies this article clearly demonstrates that it is having a major impact on all areas of the globe. The size of the impact on Russia is clearly going to be significant and will therefore have a knock-on effect into the neighbouring CIS countries

3. Rwandan telco to launch m-banking service

Source: Finextra

Rwandatel is set to launch a mobile banking and money transfer service later this year, becoming the latest African telco to target the continent’s huge unbanked market.

In an interview with Reuters, the Libyan-owned firm’s CEO Patrick Kariningufu says that from October users will be able to send and receive money internationally via text message.

Subscribers will be able to make deposits and withdraw funds from shops and kiosks around the country. Customers who run out of credit can also apply for a loan.

Kariningufu says Rwandatel has already signed up 140,000 subscribers - 15% of the market - since launching just one month ago and taking on South Africa’s MTN.

Rwandatel is the latest telecoms firm to enter the burgeoning mobile finance market in emerging economies in Africa. In Kenya, Safaricom’s mobile money transfer service M-Pesa has led the way and last month hit the five million subscriber milestone.

But the service has come under fire recently from financial institutions because it currently operates outside existing banking regulations. This has led to Kenyan finance minister John Michuki ordering an audit in an effort to allay concerns about the safety of users’ money.

Leon Isaacs comments: ‘This is another example of the interest that mobile payments has generated in Africa. Rwanda has made dramatic changes to its whole payment systems since the genocide of the mid-1990s and has received significant international help. It will be fascinating to see how the market operates from a regulatory and also consumer acceptance viewpoint’.

4. TimesofMoney unveils DirecPay-the realm of e payments

• Provides a choice of multiple payment gateways to merchants-credit card, debit card and net banking
• Seamless electronic fund transfer that is Verisign secured with 128 bit encryption
• Enabled to generate MIS reports to merchants and provide online customer support to online shoppers

Economic Times: Keeping up with the trend of bringing forth innovative technologies and services for an enhanced customer experience, TimesofMoney, India’s leading ePayment service provider has unveiled DirecPay - a new payment product which promises to significantly improve the way online business happens.

With the E-Commerce industry growing at more than 40% per annum and more & more businesses going online, there is a dire need for a comprehensive, secure and affordable online payment solution. DirecPay has been launched with the objective of creating a platform enabling merchants to collect money efficiently on the Internet.

Backed with robust and proprietary technology, operations and service capabilities, the service is targeted at enabling merchants who currently have limited payment options on the website as well as those who want to have an eCommerce enabled website & grow business. The USP for the merchant is that with a single integration on DirecPay, they get the entire suite of net banking, credit cards & debit cards as collection options.

With an ideal mix of options, ease of integration & a cost-effective solution, DirecPay aspires to be India’s leading third party payment processor supporting transactional capabilities with all major international and domestic credit cards and all major domestic online banking institutions

As part of the DirecPay offering, the merchant also gets a comprehensive MIS module, flexible withdrawal options & a dedicated relationship team.

Details of this service are available on the website,
Editorial note – TimesofMoney are Advisory Board Members of IAMTN


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