The RemTECH Awards are developed by IMTC Conferences in partnership with Mohr World Consulting to showcase the most innovative and outstanding technological ideas designed to improve remittance services worldwide. The RemTECH Awards‘ vision is to find the ideas, systems, technologies, creative possibilities of moving forward the evolution of the remittance industry by opening the awards to companies, groups, collectives or individuals that are developing ground-breaking solutions that contribute to development, benefit the market ecosystem, improve transparency, speed, cost and reliability for the companies and end-users that send and receive remittances every day.
The RemTECH Awards are aligned with the GFRID vision & objectives, committed to raising awareness about the power of innovation, facilitating dialogue between entrepreneurs, international organizations and governments to promote collaboration on the contribution of migrant remittances to development by building partnerships to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The remittance industry is rapidly changing, with new players entering the market and established incumbents developing innovative solutions. New technologies, such as blockchain, are democratizing the industry, allowing smaller players with less capital and limited resources to enter the arena. With more remittance start-ups than ever before, banks are no longer the substantial gatekeepers of remittances.
The RemTECH Awards highlight the important role of technology in achieving the SDGs. The applicants and judging panel represent the humble part of innovation: the incremental technology change that reduces risk and costs but does not receive much recognition. Moreover, their innovative solutions demonstrate the role of technology by facilitating connection and stability within countries and societies. Global applicants, awardees and their products represented a multitude of companies, all at different stages – from the concept stage to existing incumbents.
In the inaugural RemTECH Awards in 2017 hosted by the Global Forum of Remittances, Investment and Development (GFRID2017) at the United Nations in New York, had 36 entrants admitted into the competition, 11 awards were given and 10 Mentions were presented by the Judges. See a redacted version of the GFRID2017 official report highlighting the Awards, the Book we distributed and the video of the results.
The Remittances Innovation Awards (RemTECH Awards) for 2018 took place in May 8-10 at the GFRID2018 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It was a grand stage to present the finalists and the Award Ceremony was magnificent. See a redacted version of the GFRID2018 Official Report highlighting the Awards, and see the 2018 Award Winners here.
The Remittances Innovation Awards (RemTECH Awards) for 2019 took place in July 1-3, 2019 at the IMTC EMEA 2019 in London, UK. A copy of the book distributed at the ceremony is available here.
The RemTECH Awards 2020 will take place on October 5-7 at the GFRID 2020 in Nairobi, Kenya. Entries opened February 17.
To receive all the Announcements and the bi-monthly Newsletter produced by RemTECH Awards Director, Hugo Cuevas-Mohr, subscribe here.
REMITTANCES AND FINTECH
As is estimated by the World Bank Group remittances to low- and middle-income countries are expected to reach $466 billion in 2018 and total global remittances to $616 billion, which is about 60% of the estimated size of the money transfer market valued at around $1,025 billion. The pace of innovation in the financial services industry is staggering and funding for fintech startups has increased to over 41% in the last four years, crossing over $40 billion in cumulative investment. The global fintech investment dollars and deal activity could reach an all-time year high in 2017. At the same time fintech firms are gaining in mainstream adoption in many countries, with China leading with a 69% adoption rate, India follows with 52%, then the UK (42%), Brazil (40%), Australia (37%) with the US at 33%. Most global financial service companies are increasing their partnerships with fintech companies, 88% “expressing concern” about losing revenue to innovators.
Most Fintech developments are notable in the domestic payment sector as well as in Insurtech and Regtech. Of the more than 200 companies in the Unicorn Club, more than 25 are Fintech companies and Online Money Transfer company, the only one Remtech company in the Fintech unicorn list, TransferWise, valued at close to 2 billion, stands at #15.
THE REMTECH SECTOR
In the Remtech sector several start-ups are making strides. But innovation in the money transfer sector is not limited to start-ups. The drive towards innovation is happening at many levels all over the globe. In an article published by LTP on April, 2017, entitled “Tech Innovation in the Remittance Industry”, Hugo Cuevas-Mohr identified several sub-sectors leading the way: Mobile Remittances, Forex & Settlement, Payment Processors & Aggregators, RegTech, IDTech, Fraud Control, Digital Agents, Customer Service/Information and Price Comparison Tools. VCs & Blockchain are increasingly present in the remittance industry. Filipino entrepreneur Luis Buenaventura co-chair of the Remtech Awards, published a must-read book portraying his journey entitled “Reinventing Remittances with Bitcoin”.
 Migration and Development Brief 28 – October 2017 – World Bank, Washington, DC. http://bit.ly/2lz3ds7
Estimating the Volume of the international Money Transfer and X-Border Payments industry – November, 2017 – Hugo Cuevas-Mohr http://bit.ly/2A11MqK
 EY FinTech Adoption Index 2017 – https://go.ey.com/2CpD0GL
 Fintech Trends 2017: Innovations in the Financial Industry Take Flight http://bit.ly/2lBzBtR
 Unicorn start-ups are companies that cross the 1 billion valuation mark
 Tech Innovation in the Remittance Industry – April 2017 – Hugo Cuevas-Mohr http://bit.ly/2pCkQKG
Reinventing Remittances with Bitcoin – Luis Buenaventura – http://bit.ly/luisbook