Many things complicate the system of remittances. Here is my brief overview of it the major issues:
One person’s regulations is another person’s nightmare. Compliance is the biggest hindrance in remittances. Because of the multi-corridor nature of the business, one has to deal with various local, state, federal and international laws &/or best-practices.
All these laws & best practices have to be part of the Compliance Manual/Program. That by itself is a continual challenge. You can’t just update a manual with a new rule. You have to look at the border scope of the manual, implementation, hurdles, etc. from IT. Compliance training, updating SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) manuals, etc.
Not as easy at it sounds.
By some estimates, there are over 750,000+ pages of legal law, code, rules, notices, regulations, opinions, addendums, announcements, clarifications, etc. when it comes to the G10 Nations and Top 25 Beneficiary Countries when it comes to Remittances.
Not everything is crystal clear. Most of the information is subjective and often will require additional clarification and/or opinion by the issuing authority or by a law firm before the item in question can be understood correctly and then be programmed into the system.
KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER
There is no unified identity standard in the world. The KYC we currently use is extremely outdated and the template is over 100+ years old. We have no definitive way of identifying a person, other than what is said on the passport and that too has very limited information. A passport, for example, will not do an address verification or previous address verification or what your previousname was. etc.
Additionally, in this highly mobile and post-land-line and world of tokenized data, we need to come up with an entirely different framework to be able to exchange data without violating country laws on privacy and sharing, whilst at the same time have control over our own data. This simply just does not exist today.
How an ID may be accepted commonly in one country would not be accepted in another country. How one country may penalize you for even thinking of sharing the social security number of its citizen abroad, whilst at the same time, insist all information pertaining to the beneficiary be held in the country of origin.
KYC is extremely broken. Working with the existing system is a pain.
Money across the border predominantly moves via SWIFT. Not only that, the system is outdated, clunky and not reliable. Think of SWIFT as the plumbing from the 1940s in a modern building today. The picture is not pretty. You cannot patch and existing plumbing to make it new. You need to let go of it. Dismantle it and replace it with something new.
SWIFT is the equivalent of physical letters in a world of email and instant messaging. No matter what you say, the letter’s dominance is doomed.
With over 1,900+ payment systems in the world, less than 3% of them are connected, we have an extremely fragmented world when it comes to cross-border payments. Trying to send micro-payments is even worse. The world is simply not friendly towards, say sending US$ 6.43 cents from Chicago to Manila in real-time for a fraction of the fees of the transfer amount.
You will constantly be looking at hacks to lessen the time and cost it takes to make a payment.
Remittances are hardly are for family maintenance alone. Nowadays they have multiple use cases. Bill payment, mobile top-up, school fees payment, rent, insurance, savings, loan repayment, marketplace cash out, advertising payment, affiliate payout, commercial payments, etc.
It becomes extremely difficult to classify the purpose & intent of the transaction with absolute certainty that the transaction is legit.
That it will not be used for terrorist financing purposes, that it is not money laundering, that it is not tainted money, that the source of funds is clean, etc. Such checks, etc. can slow things down and operationally, sales can suffer.
This will eat into your profits as you will need more trained folks to do monitoring and detailed checks of your transactions.