The money transfer industry has undergone significant changes over the last few decades–namely within a collective shift to digital-first business modeling, which has permanently altered both the pacing and overall identity of financial logistics. While cryptocurrency and mobile banking entities may represent an established new guard, the reality is that currency transferring has only just begun its metamorphosis; as modern norms clash for dominance, consistent change has been unavoidable.
However, this volley has been almost completely redefined by an unexpected challenge: the COVID-19 pandemic. The virus has reshaped the future for money transfer companies, creating its own ebb and flow as projections and general expectations fluctuate–sometimes on a daily basis.
All of this in mind, here is a working look at the industry’s immediate future.
The current impact of COVID
COVID-19 quickly became a historic business disruption transcending industries, and in the financial sector, its impact continues to run deep. The pandemic has, sadly, not discriminated in its economic uprooting, leaving many small businesses (a key part of money transfer activity) floundering as they battle to stay viable. Money transfer providers, in turn, are now facing a reduction in transfers stemming from the pandemic’s brutalization of small business–a devastating yet inevitable ripple effect. As a result, the collective future of money transferring has been enveloped in uncertainty–at least for now.
The future beyond 2021
Prior to the COVID era, many industry commentators predicted a brewing “currency war” between the digital and physical dollar, entailing a departure from local remittance agents in favor of digital channels. While this battle continues in its barest sense, the pandemic has, in essence, delayed a victor. On one hand, fintech is pre-fit for an age contingent upon social distancing, but on the other, COVID remains an equalizing hindrance on almost all businesses, which has made the broader financial landscape hard to pin down.
Luckily, though the current state of money transferring is grim, it is likely that the industry will eventually rebound. With vaccine logistics improving and businesses large and small developing new ways to survive, a positive shift in trajectory is to be expected–just not at a specified time–a nebulous, yet hopeful future for one of the digital world’s most relevant industries.