Game Trap – Governments of lost or dying economies offer residentship, passports, and nationality by showing gloomy pictures. These offerings are made against the capacity to make huge and significant investments in the country. This post is on the trap of money, focused on my own assumptions and experience. Understanding is driven purely from the perspective of my ability to correlate and reason about the offerings by various governments in different countries.
Now what’s next
Rather than fooling foreigners, is there a possibility to support and recover economic graves? Maybe by adding flavors of mobile payments, low-cost cross-border remittances, electronic payments, and freedom from cash and real currency. It’s important to study the facts of the game, i.e., offerings, but if you’re presented with a real opportunity, don’t risk losing it. But taking the time required to complete due diligence is needed before any such big commitment.
Back to our main topic: why do we get such tasteless dreams wrapped in colorful and glittery wrappers? This article identifies a few countries in dire straits and the problems they face. When it comes to dream sellers, they are on the top seller list (I can’t say how many buyers are there).
Why are most countries in serious trouble or on the path to falling into the financial pit the only ones or mostly on the list of dream sellers for the best, excellent, and luxurious life? In recent times (even though this is still on), the media has done a more than adequate job of covering the futile dance between the Eurozone “leaders” and Greece. However, Greece is not the only country facing fundamental economic challenges. The southern slice of Europe—France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, and Greece—should unilaterally reschedule their sovereign debt obligations.
To offer their economies room to breathe and plough much more funding into promoting economic growth instead of salvaging their economies with “austerity” policies that kill economic growth. Austerity has never produced anything but austerity. It is the enemy of the kind of growth these countries need to get their sovereign debt under control.
Is there a direct relation between two things, i.e., offering an excellent life in an easy way or by just putting a few million dollars into the country of destination and locking for 3-5 years without any interest gain, and on the other hand, the same country is under huge debts from foreign investors who are looking for their money? In the main story, we will see how we can blend mobile payments with cross-border remittances (another form of mobile payments and receivables).
Nobody has forgotten the name Laiki. Laiki was a failed bank at the heart of the financial woes of the EU’s most easterly island. Yet things have changed more radically behind the scenes in banking and political circles. For a start, Laiki’s business was transferred to the larger Bank of Cyprus, which is getting to grips with its daunting financial legacy.
If they had had easy access to mobile payments and financial services locally available in the country in a closed loop and a strong presence and motivation for local industries to produce goods to be consumed internally, the scene would have been different. Remittance services on the Mobile Wallet interface would have given it’s economy great shape and a strong background.
There are many countries whose GDP is supported by cross-border remittances. In some countries, more than 40% of total income comes through remittances. Every year, migrants send hundreds of billions of dollars worth of remittances back to friends and family in their home country. There’s a massive industry that facilitates these payments, and it has for more than a century.
With huge portfolios of payment instruments, information security is getting tighter as well. Machine learning and deep learning are playing key roles here. A cybersecurity extension to fingerprinting, facial recognition, is being trialled for use. Fingerprinting solutions and 2-way authentication to use online bank accounts are now possible. authorizing payments within seconds without the need for PINs, passwords, authentication codes, etc.
Mobile Financial Services – An Angle
MFS operators must ensure customer protection by operating in accordance with the regulations of the central bank. Guidelines and principles of transparency, responsible pricing, and fair treatment of subscribers within a complaint environment
Mobile money not only extends financial services to the poor but also improves productivity by increasing efficiencies and lowering the cost of transactions. Also, take care of information security, generate new employment opportunities, and create platforms on which other businesses could grow. Adding AI technologies like machine learning and data science to mobile money could improve its ability to check financial flows and reduce illicit activities. Salary payments via mobile money could also be an enormous driver of service throughout the economy.
Regulators, through policy direction, promote the growth of mobile wallet transactions. Also, it provides freedom from cash, i.e., cashless payments. The development of applications that could make the use of the mobile money platform easier, more efficient, and more effective has huge potential.
Mobile Payments – Mobile Commerce
The sheer volume of users embracing mPayment has exponentially grown over the past few years. It will still take some time to become the norm, though. Now Samsung Pay is coming, as announced at a Samsung event in New York. At the event, the company unveiled its newest flagship devices, the Galaxy S6 edge+ and Galaxy Note 5. JK Shin, CEO and Head of IT said, “With the launch of new smartphones, we will open a new era of mobile payment. This is Samsung’s brave step forward to enhance our mobile experience.
It is easy, safe, and, most importantly, available almost anywhere. A payment solution on a mobile device can be used, usually without new costs for merchants. For online payments from the banking domain, which are simple, innovative, and cost-effective, the solution has to help improve the security of online banking transactions. Protect online banking solutions against malicious attacks, offer an identity management feature, and enhance the user experience.
The good news is that mobile payment players are constantly looking to boost security. Google was one of the first to offer HCE (host card emulation). HCE allows a mobile app to do card emulation on the NFC terminal without having to rely on secure elements. Others, like VISA and MasterCard, are following suit.
Security for Mobile Payments
HCE data (card details) is stored in the cloud instead of on the user’s device. It poses another challenge due to the fact that the cloud isn’t entirely secure either. This is where other techniques, like tokenization, come into play. Tokens substitute sensitive data with a token or proxy. This method does not make any sense to anyone except for the authorized interface that requested the token.
For more details on the cloud-based solution, Cloud-based mobile financial services
The evolution of financial payment systems has been a long but interesting journey characterized by sudden changes in the underlying technology. Payments and banking were the best in their class at the time. Sadly, not much change has ever happened to this, and this has led to inefficiency and obsolete technologies. The traditional way was slow but still acceptable to customers due to the stage of the information age.
In the old days, 100% of activities in the financial services space were attributable to banks only. With advancements in technology, organizations outside the banking industry diversified into financial services, targeting margins in the space. These were organizations servicing millions of customers through broad distribution channels, be they mobile operators, retailers, or online merchants.
The legacy of International Remittances
The legacy remittance industry is still dominated by cash, which requires physical locations to drop off or pick up remittance money. Building out those retail networks is a huge investment. It’s left just a few players, called money transfer agents, controlling the bulk of the industry. However, these companies’ comfortable hold on the industry is now being challenged by digital remittance startups and mobile-based cross-border remittances.
Mobile network operators and digital-first remittance companies are competing on fees, 24-hour access from anywhere to anywhere, other value-added services like making mobile payments and bill payments other than just cash out (a step towards a cash-free world), usability, and capitalizing on the way people’s expectations have changed with the advent of digital and mobile channels.
Savings were simply scalped and went to help fund the closure of the bank’s liabilities. The so-called “haircut” comes along the way and helps worsen the problem in a negative way. The solution that is hastily designed to fall into large sums in offshore accounts can be avoided very well with MFS.
Mobile Payments & Future
Mobile money and mobile payments are expected to explode beyond 3 trillion euros by 2020. 24 hours a day will save $2 billion for some African countries as well. Mobile money has evolved much farther in its definition, i.e., it is just cash in and cash out. Agents and subscribers to Mobile Money these days do much more money transfers.
Africa has given a new dimension and killing speed to remittances. Personal remittance speed is so fast that almost every eye blinks. Receiving money from anywhere straight into mobile seconds, within seconds around 24×7, is now possible. Utility bill payments, merchant payments, loans, and insurance are a few more examples.
Banks should take a back seat as clerks for reconciliations and accounting units, and the regulator should allow MFS companies to run the real game of money, i.e., innovate, bring new solutions and products in no time, and make customers lives easy, less costly, and much faster. See my post Why Banks Are Struggling for Mobile Payment Services.
Conclusions:With due respect, running on an unknown path without a roadmap or direction is like running like a headless chicken and often results in disasters. I have seen and taken part in programs to build my experience or hands-on mastery in such situations where mobile payments or mobile wallet-based cross-border remittances support country economies and have proven with 100% confidence that when it came to the crunch, many countries, including Greece, Cyprus, and Italy, had no choice but to accept rescue terms that affected not only bank bondholders and shareholders but thousands of private deposit holders.
Points to Note:
it’s time to figure out when to use which tech—a tricky decision that can really only be tackled with a combination of experience and the type of problem in hand. So if you think you’ve got the right answer, take a bow and collect your credits! And don’t worry if you don’t get it right.
Feedback & Further Questions
Do you have any burning questions about Big Data, “AI & ML“, Blockchain, FinTech,Theoretical PhysicsPhotography or Fujifilm(SLRs or Lenses)? Please feel free to ask your question either by leaving a comment or by sending me an email. I will do my best to quench your curiosity.
Books & Other Material referred
- AILabPage (group of self-taught engineers/learners) members’ hands-on field work is being written here.
- Referred online materiel, live conferences and books (if available)
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