The international money transfer industry is at its top since decades. Many reasons explain it and these are modern reasons. There are good evidences that there is a correlation between geopolitics stability and the growth of money transfers. Indeed the people sending money abroad are mainly expatriates being working in another country, migrants being welcomed in a new one, and international students profiting from education agreements between countries.
The amounts sent internationally by people is already huge, and growing fast
Each year, more than $600 billion are sent by individuals to other people across countries. More than $400 billion are transferred by migrants – people who have decided to stay in a new country. And they send money back home to their families which stayed there. What we have to keep in mind is the fact that most of them are outside their countries because there is freedom. The ones who are in a foreign country because of a war exist too but they usually don’t send a lot of money due to obvious reasons.
The market is currently online for only $60 billion but the online and mobile remittances are expected to grow by at least 10% per year. This could lead to even more than $200 billion transferred online in 5-10 years.
The number of international money transfer providers is growing fast
There are a few reasons explaining why there are +100 newly created money transmitters each year. In 2016 we report more than 112 according to sources such as Angellist, Crunchbase, Gust and F6S. The international money transfer industry is being more and more accessible. Same as transportation with Uber or hotels with Airbnb: there are new ways to send money abroad thanks to new technologies such as Blockchain. These technologies allow us to go to market and try a product by respecting rules with much more simplicity. Take the example of verifying the identity. It’s obligatory before letting someone sending money and it was necessary to go physically to the bank 10 years ago. Since a few years we can verify our identity in less than 1 minute online. I even opened a bank account with N26 in less than 10 minutes online. This is modern. This is fast. This is the future.
Guess how many money transfer operators there are now in the World?
Officially more than 550 according to the WorldBank. We can add the banks. Worldwide there are +10’000 banks. We can add the brokers: +200. And we can add all the licensed organizations in the World: I mean organizations which have the right to do money transfers: Walmart is, Facebook is, Google is. That brings the list to more than 78’000 money transfer services in the World. Welcome to the progress.
So the market is growing fast and the market is already huge. If the geopolitics situation tend to keep being “ok” then we can expect a growth. Otherwise be ready to see the market falling. No solution is worldwide today and we expect a bunch of actors to win the game. Western Union and Moneygram are currently losing a lot of shares in this money transfer industry. Let’s see what happens in 2-3 years.