What’s the impact of data localisation requirements on mobile money-enabled remittances?

Recently, a growing number of emerging economies have adopted data localisation requirements as part of their efforts to regulate cross-border data flows. This is the case for example in China, India, Nigeria, Russia, Rwanda and Vietnam.
Cross-border data flows are critical to ensuring the safe and secure provision of mobile money-enabled remittance services and data localisation requirements have a direct impact on the effective provision of these services, in particular in the context of:

  1. Exchange of data with partner remittance companies for customer screening purposes;
  2. Exchange of data between different entities within the same group for effective AML/CFT and fraud detection purposes;
  3. Exchange of data with partner remittance companies to facilitate effective customer protection.

As such, data localisation requirements can directly challenge emerging markets’ ability to unlock mobile money’s potential to reduce the cost of remittances, to formalise remittance flows and to empower migrants and their families. In addition, the implementation of data localisation requirements can have unintended consequences leading to reduced data security, increased ML/TF risks and even the closure of services.

Read our paper to find out more about how regulators can facilitate cross-border flows of data while ensuring data security and privacy, and maintaining an attractive business environment. International remittances are critical to the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people in the developing world, and mobile technology is one of the most exciting forces shaping how people send and receive them today. The GSMA is committed to support the industry, governments and the international community in reducing the cost of remittances and achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 10.c.

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