Thursday, May 19, 2011

Constraining remittance regulation in California

One of the challenges frequently highlighted in the roll-out of mobile payment solutions in emerging markets are the constraints placed on these initiatives because of regulatory dispensations. Fortunately, regulators in these countries have worked diligently to make regulations more flexible. In countries like Pakistan, Nigeria, India and Mexico, we haqve seen major advances in making it easier to launch these services.

While it is important that to protect the monetary system from mis-use, it is critical that financial services be made available to the citizens of these countries.

That is why I found it strange that regulatory guidelines for money remittance (even in the case of domestic remittances) had to be made more constrained in California. (Read here). California is seen as one of the most innovative places in the world. This is a place that have given us Paypal, Square an dmany other payment innovations. Why then, would the regulator think of taking a step back? What are the risks that requires more stringent regulations? It may be a good idea to look at the trends in the rest of the world, and possibly re-evaluate the new directives.

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