A few days ago I broke the news of Microsoft foraying into the world of payments, with the grant of their first license from State of Idaho. Well it seems, Microsoft’s just been awarded their second license in West Virginia (see image below)
K-Electric, Karachi’s privatized utility company has launched an initiative to automate their bill payments across various channels. The omni-channel RFP has been sent to various interested parties.
Here is what the 3-page RFP looks like:
Microsoft has officially entered into the domain of payments, with Microsoft Payments, Inc.,
When the announcement came out a week or so ago, that Microsoft was entering into the world of payment (see references below), it was only natural to search the various State financial regulators websites for issuance of money transmitter licenses.
Below is a screen shot from the NMLS (Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System & Registry or Nationwide Multistate Licensing System) that shows the license(s) on file on behalf of Microsoft.
The State of Idaho (Department of Finance) was one of the first ones to issue the money transmitter license to the Redmond giant. The details of the licenses as and when Microsoft gets them in the NMLS can be viewed here.
The filing attorney is Melissa Zaineb (as highlighted). The compliance & filing assistance was done in conjunction with Chartwell Compliance. Microsoft has filed for all 50 States for their money transmitter licenses.
Microsoft’s FinCEN registration (PDF) can be seen here:
With the grant of the Idaho Money Transmitter License, Microsoft has formally entered into the world of payments.
On 21st of March (2105) I gave a presentation at NEST I/O an incubator / accelerator in Karachi, Pakistan. The topic of the presentation was Opportunities in Online & Mobile Payments for Startups.
The presentation can be downloaded from here in the following formats:
Feel free to use and distribute, modify, etc. there are no copyrights on the presentation.
As discussed during the presentation, the two organizations who have stepped forward to help / learn & talk to startups in the fintech space are EasyPaisa/Telenor and Bank Alfalah.
Please note, the two gentlemen listed below have a busy schedule. Please be courteous. You should always try to email them first rather than just cold-calling them. Provide them with a brief overview of who you are, what you are trying to do, and explain a little bit about your idea/solution. Setup a time that is convenient and only then hop on a call.
Do not abuse the privilege of time and courtesy that others extend out to you.
Omar Moeen Malik
Head of Strategy, Payments & Product Development,
Easypaisa – Telenor Pakistan
Amaar Naveed Ikhlas
Head – Digital Banking
Bank Alfalah Pakistan Limited
Tel: +92 3202020201
One question often asked is how do Bitcoin remittances work. Rebittance as it is more affectionately called, enable near real-time value transfer between two money transfer operators. Whether or not this is legal, is a separate debate and you can read about it here (How Legal is Bitcoin Remittance).
A question asked of me often is How do banks transfer money? How is money transferred from one country to another? I mean how does it work? How does my account get debited of $100 and somewhere around the world someone’s account get credited for $100.
Another parallel question is, How does $100 Million transfer? I mean, say if America is giving someone loan, how do the two countries transfer $100 Million? Or even $10 Billion? How does this work? How can the wealth of one country decrease by $10 Billion and another one’s increase by $10 Billion?
Is money physically moved? Do they transfer cash in vaults? (more…)
In February 2015, I wrote an article Coins.ph offers remittances to Philippines using Coinbase. Illegally? The end result of the article was receiving approximately 54+ comments out of which 50 or so were downright abusive. Hate mail followed. I almost debated if publishing this article was going to be worth it. After much thought I have decided to go ahead with it without citing any names. Draw your own conclusions. (more…)
Just how complex are the US Banking regulations? Turns out, very few people know about it. It is downright, confusing and complex. Whether or not it is deliberate by design (is a separate question all together), however, even the SEC Commissioner Daniel M. Gallagher cited that it is complex (Statement on the Aggregate Impact of Financial Services Regulations). So much so, his team put out a diagram which shows the complexity of it all, and they are still not sure it covers everything.