FXC Intelligence’s research team keeps track of trends in the international payments space to help their clients stay on track in the industry and give them an edge over competitors. Our Market Observations for 2017 Report summarises some of the biggest developments we have seen since we released our 2016 Money Transfer Report last summer.
While 2015 was largely focused on startup growth and venture capital in the space, 2016 and 2017 have seen a slowdown in investments in international payments. Instead, we are now seeing the result of investing in the technology that helps assist the financial industry.
In 2016, tech disruptors such as Transferwise and Azimo were considered to be a major threat to more established brands such as Western Union and Moneygram. 2017 has shown us that the more established money transfer brands intend to hold their place in the market, with Western Union in particular devoting much time, energy and money into developing competitive mobile technology that is quickly becoming a benchmark in the markets. Meanwhile, the disruptors are primarily focused on finding a way to make their business models profitable – which Transferwise recently announced it has been able to do.
Another major market trend we are observing involves Chinese giant Ant Financial and well-known American money transfer company, Moneygram. A bidding war ensued between Ant Financial and Euronet for the Dallas-based Moneygram, with Ant Financial eventually winning over Moneygram. Ant Financial is an affiliate of the Chinese Alibaba group and owner of the Alipay platform. The acquisition of Moneygram will help Ant Financial expand their global presence and will likely bring Alipay to the states.
Ant Financial has been rapidly expanding its global presence, from investing with Kakao Pay in South Korea to One97 in India. Ant Financial’s prioritisation of global expansion is a major market trend for 2017, and one we expect to continue for quite some time.