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Interview Transcript: "We need to keep investing in technology and people driving technology"

Osama Al Rahma, chief executive officer of Al Fardan Exchange and chairman of UAE’s Foreign Exchange and Remittance Group, discusses the challenges being faced by the foreign exchange and remittance industry, including the threat of de-risking, and how they are investing in technology to cope in a challenging environment.

July 12, 2016 | The Banking Conversation

Emmanuel Daniel (ED): I am very pleased to speak today with Osama Al Rahma, chairman of the Foreign Exchange and Remittance Group, a central bank inspired platform to bringing the licence remittance players in the UAE together as an organization. He is also the CEO of Al-Fardan Exchange, one of the oldest exchanges in the UAE. UAE is a very interesting economy because of its very large foreign employment pool, and the remittance business is very much in infrastructure in this country. You will be at the forefront of the payment industry, the foreign exchange industry, and the remittance business that affect many other countries that are dependent on this capability coming out of the UAE.

Challenging business

ED: The foreign exchange and remittance business are under a lot of pressure today. The bank’s that are in this business, de-risking, and the KYC requirements for them very tough. The regulator of the UAE has told us that they are comfortable with the process of de-risking.

What do you see, as a foreign exchange player and a remittance player, in terms of all the regulations coming on stream right now, is that affecting your business? Is that changing the way which you need to work?

Osama Al Rahma (OAR): Of course, this kind of unprecedented challenges we have been facing in the past few years, especially with the ongoing dynamics of the compliance arena, at the time, we do understand that there is a new normal of adoption to new rules and regulations governing the way we treat the customers, and getting the KYC, and understanding the source of fund. All these kind of systems are being implemented fairly, prior to what we’ve seen as an impact on certain incidents that happened due to the terrorist actions or a certain financial crisis. We need to understand that a lot of laws and regulations came upon these kinds of incidents. Many of these things may have ...

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Exchanges, FX market, Interview Transcript, Markets & Exchanges, Remittance

Keywords:FERG, Al-Fardan Exchange, GCC, FATCA, SWIFT, KYC, MSB, RMB, Compliance, Channels, Foreign Exchanges, Remittances, Regulation, Risk Management, De-risking, Payments, Technology, Fraud, Cyberattacks, Channels, Innovation


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