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How to utilize the right MFS for international money transfers

  • By Timothy Roberts
  • Tuesday, February 05, 2019

MFS is playing a big part in how purchases are made in the digital age. With a smartphone in almost every pocket, there is still plenty of room for the MFS market to grow. This is particularly true when you consider the large number of unbanked and underbanked throughout the world. In this piece, we’ll provide a crash course on MFS, dive into some of the specifics, and discuss how to select the right MFS for your international money transfer needs. While there are a lot of ways to send an international money transfer, understanding the specifics will help you make the right choice.

What is MFS?

Mobile Financial Services, or MFS for short, is a platform that provides robust mobile financial service offerings and services such as mobile banking, mobile payments, and commerce, making life more convenient for merchants and customers. It’s secure, innovative, and flexible, adhering to any business or customer’s specific needs.

Why is MFS so popular?

Considering the plethora of services MFS can provide, you’d be hard pressed to find an answer why it isn’t more popular. Take John Santos’ story for example. John is a millennial from Singapore who manages his business on his mobile device on a schedule that best accommodates him. He can regularly send money from an app called Dash that’s supported by Telepin, an innovative platform for Singtel.

With Dash, John is able to easily connect his savings account to his mobile cash account. This is noteworthy because sending money to another country for customers like John wasn’t always as convenient as it is now. In the early 1990s, transferring remittance payments to the Philippines where John was born, required John sending the money through local money agents which could cost high fees, provided limited service hours, and long service delays. As in many other international locales, most people in the Philippines don’t have access to a bank account and rely heavily on these local money agents. John’s family had to deal with these inconveniences in order to conduct business between their home country and Singapore, where they had relocated to. That all changed; thanks to the MFS technology that now allows John to pay monthly maintenance fees for a condo and a car he keeps in the Philippines.

The number of people that still don’t have access to a bank account in the Philippines is around 70%, but with Telepin’s mobile technology enabling all the necessary financial transactions, that’s becoming an irrelevant figure. More than 10 million Filipinos live, and work abroad and they send over 20 billion dollars to the Philippines every year through easy mobile solutions and most importantly, without a bank.

What services does MFS provide?

Mobile banking

A service provided by a bank or financial institution that allows its customers to perform financial transactions remotely from their mobile device; a smartphone or tablet. You might think that sounds like internet banking, but it’s much more complex. Mobile Banking uses software called apps provided by the same financial institution for the purpose of conducting mobile transactions. MFS makes these transactions possible and available for a broader range of users.

Mobile payments

Also known as mobile money, or a versatile mobile wallet, these are payment services operated under financial regulation and performed on a mobile device. Mobile Payments made sending a check to pay the gas bill a thing of the past. Just access the app and pay the gas bill with the swipe of a finger.

Mobile commerce

This means that the delivery of electronic commerce capabilities can be taken care of wirelessly, no matter where the consumers are. The mobile commerce encompasses all technological components that keeps the mobile retail world connected. It’s the nexus of the cloud of money transfer services, bill pay, and mobile transactions.

Mobile security

Mobile Banking is certainly convenient, but if you’re a skeptic, it certainly makes you wonder how safe it really is, especially in today’s day and age where credit card fraud and hacking run rampant throughout the business world. So if you’re sending money abroad with one swipe or receiving money via an international transfer, is your account information safe? Or can someone dip their digital hand into the cloud and retrieve sensitive information associated with your bank accounts to clean you out?

Even though not all platforms and banking services are built equal, most mobile money and payment services are safe. Of course, there will always be an innovative criminal who will find a way to circumvent even the sturdiest security systems to phish out the information they need. So what can mobile service providers do to make sure mobile banking remains a safe tool to utilize?

The continued installation of a sophisticated intrusion detection system that monitors and limits access to their secure systems is one. For the consumers on their smartphones, download only authorized apps, signed, and certified from the financial institution. These practices from both customers and providers makes mobile banking and transferring money abroad as safe, if not safer, than all of the other more antiquated services or options.

Mobile privacy

One important thing to consider regarding security is privacy; how much do your apps know about you? On average, smartphone users nowadays have close to 90 apps on their phone, and most of those apps request some sort of personal information from you. That could be your name, e-mail address or physical address but because smartphones are so smart, they can get way more than that, like your exact location at any given time. Some apps might even request access to the device’s camera or microphone. Do they really need to know so much of their users?

This might all be done with the user’s consent; the amount of personal data apps possess can be alarming. 45% of the most popular Android apps and 25% of the most popular iOS apps request location tracking. Some android apps even ask for access to your SMS messages and phone call logs.

The good news is, the practice isn’t inherently suspicious because in most cases, information is shared and device permissions are enabled with user consent, never without, and there’s usually a good justification for the requirements of so much data from the user. A taxi app for instance, must access a user’s location so it can tell the driver where to go, and apps have been analyzed to show developers were doing everything they could to protect users’ privacy.

If you’re still having “trust issues”, you can take precautionary measures yourself that shouldn’t hinder you from getting full use of your mobile device, while also feeling like it doesn’t know every single piece of personal information from you. For one, if your phone allows you to install programs without the app store, don’t, and stick to the app store. Second, install a security app. You wouldn’t use your computer without an antivirus, so making sure your phone is protected makes sense. Third, always secure your lock screen by having to type in a password to access your phone just in case you lose it, and last but not least, remember that public networks are public. Beware of connecting to public networks. They might save you some precious megabytes but you’re opening your device up to everyone on that network.

What to look for in a good MFS provider

The background of mobile payments is complex, so when looking for a good MFS provider, you must look for experience and know-how. The right amount of expertise and capabilities ensure you are positioned for better planning and scalability in your business by improving workflows and increasing revenue.

This is particularly true in international markets. Selecting the right MFS for international money transfers means not only finding a provider that “ticks all the boxes” we mentioned earlier, it also means finding a partner with experience navigating international markets and serving the unbanked and underbanked in those regions.

Are you doing all you can to optimize your business? You should be asking yourself that question, and you can’t get to the top unless you out-maneuver the competition through innovation and the right tools. With Telepin, you’re free to plan out your strategic business model while Telepin’s consultative and experienced team handles the elbow grease with custom problem-solving, creative integrations and relevant solutions for domestic and international markets. That includes solution architects, project managers, database architects, web architects, network architects and product owners. They give you the results you want thanks to their expertise and dedication.

What do those results entail? Extended communications network with new and differentiated services, including:

  • Cash-in deposits
  • Cash-out withdrawals
  • Person-to-person transfers
  • Bill payments
  • Person-to-merchant payments
  • Online payments
  • Business-to-business payments
  • And business-to-business and group-to-person bulk disbursements

Additionally, a coupon and gift certificate marketplace is a must so subscribers can acquire single-use coupons redeemable at a merchant at face value, promotions that are “lucky draw” types with instant random winners for pre-selected transaction types and amounts, and loyalty programs based around purchases.

Want to chat?

If you’re ready to make your business number one in your market, or simply want to ensure you’re sending money overseas without unnecessary high fees and want to manage your businesses and personal transactions abroad like John Santos does from Singapore to the Philippines, the team here at Telepin is eagerly waiting to work with you on all of your business ventures.