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How to stay ahead of shifting fintech regulations

  • By Timothy Roberts
  • Tuesday, August 11, 2020

The fintech industry is roiling with change. There are now more than a billion mobile money subscribers worldwide. Those subscribers, increasingly comfortable with core mobile money applications, expect more from their devices. Operators are responding with innovative services supported by state-of-the-art mobile money platform design, driving a very exciting and volatile marketplace. At the centre of all of this turbulent activity sits a fractured and variable regulatory industry. 

Some regulators are actively working to enable mobile money innovation. In Thailand, for example, the Central Bank is working with private partners to link facial recognition technology with the country’s National Digital ID system, thereby modernizing their Know Your Customer methodologies and making core digital financial services much more accessible to the average user. Meanwhile, the State Bank of Pakistan introduced updated regulations that make it easier for non-banks to offer mobile money services in that country. These and many other recent developments around the world show a promising trend towards more accessible, affordable and innovative mobile money initiatives.

Slowing this trend are regulators who remain marred in a framework drafted for a pre-digital world, which impairs innovation and slows the adoption of revolutionary fintech initiatives. In Bangladesh, regulators impose strict geographical limits on mobile money agents, which limits users’ access to services and hampers business growth for operators in that country. Similar struggles continue elsewhere. In 2019, for example, many payments banks in India voluntarily gave up their licenses, saying that the regulatory environment makes it simply too difficult to operate. 

Most mobile money innovators are in a regulatory environment that’s somewhere between these two extremes. To succeed, these operators need to be constantly vigilant, offering technology that outperforms their competitors, protects their subscribers’ security and privacy, and meets their regulators’ often changeable and extremely complex expectations. Under these conditions, it can be difficult to achieve and maintain business success. 

Partnership as a regulatory strategy

Some mobile money technology providers claim expertise in a particular regulatory region, but if your goal is to grow a competitive tier-one business with a scalable global footprint, you don’t need localized specificity—you need to partner with a technology leader who has the knowledge and the technical agility to adapt to a variety of regulatory realities. 

That’s what we do at Telepin. Through our expert services team, we offer the global experience and strategic leadership that our clients rely on to move through their regulatory environment—however modern, outdated, or complex that environment may be—towards better business outcomes and deeper subscriber loyalty. That service team is backed by our flexible mobile money solutions. We’ve designed our solutions to be both robust enough to stand up to intense and variable regulatory scrutiny and agile enough to support ongoing innovation and customization. 

To see how this one-two punch of experienced people and agile technology delivers inside complex regulatory environments, download our new eBook, Building a high-performance mobile money business strategy. Inside, you’ll read about the state of mobile money regulations around the world: what’s working, what isn’t, and what we predict for the future. See how we turned these insights into action for a real-world mobile money operator who increased their transaction volume from $1M to $11M in five years, with Telepin leading the way.

When you’re ready, reach out to us to begin a conversation about your own regulatory reality—and how we can help turn it to your advantage as you build your business in new and prosperous directions.