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Jean Geoffrion has been with Global Voice Group (GVG) since 2010. He contributes to the activities of the company by designing, developing and deploying new technologies and applications in line with GVG’s vision.  He has recently been involved in the development of the e-Remittance solution.

International remittances can be leveraged by governments of emerging countries as an important and sustainable source of innovative development revenue. However, it is imperative for government, as a crucial first step, to put in place an appropriate monitoring and management system.

We asked Jean how international remittances can be an innovative source of revenue for emerging countries:  “This is done by charging a small levy to every remittance transaction that is carried out in the participating country. Those small levys, when all added up, can be an important and a sustainable source of revenue to be used to develop any targeted social sector within an emerging country requiring development.”

Expanding on how GVG’s technology helps secure that new source of income, Jean said: “One transaction at a time. GVG has the necessary technology and world presence in order to ensure that the levy is properly applied to each transaction and by giving the government a clear view of all live, or rather real time, transactions while they are taking place. GVG is already a leader in international and national Telecoms traffic regulation and monitoring and able to apply levys on each minute of traffic on behalf of the country government.  We developed our own web service which is available 24/7 with multiple entry points all over the world in order to generate a corresponding levy transaction number (STN) for all remittance transactions. This gives the service remittance providers the reliability and the asssurance they require, as to not affect their operation with any down time or latency problems when a levy transaction is involved for a particular country, all of this in a secured PKI environment. We also generate all sorts of analytical reports on the origin of the remittance, the frequency, etc. The government not only knows exactly the amount of the levy transaction calculated, but also can obtain statistical information about this service. This information can be used for any security reporting purposes and for the detection of money laundering. “

Jean explains:

“Our strategy is to implement our system without it being intrusive in the remittance service provider operation. For it to be as painless as possible to implement for all existing players in their normal business process. We decided to create an external service for the implementation of eRemittance that can be easily used by all remittance service providers, without them having to change anything in their existing system. The e-Remittance solution allows for a centralised monitoring and management of all transactions. This brings about more transparency to the process and enables an audit-trail to be established for any transaction.”

Jean mentioned how GVG keeps it all completely transparent:  “We publish information to the general public about the amounts of the income retrieved as part of this project and the use of those funds. It can be used as a means of communication with the public and to provide transparency to them—the government can let them know how much money was raised by the levy on the remittance transaction and which government development programme is being supported by the amount collected. In this way, the participants feel as if they are contributing to a worthy cause and can associate themselves with it. Allowing people to know these facts by linking a televised lottery draw to the e-remittance solution. In this way, every time a lottery draw is done, people get to hear about the project (the funds generated and the new social development initiatives it is used for) and so making them a part of it. The STN number is used to draw the winning ticket.  Both the remittance tracking number and the levy tracking number (STN) together allows for the validation of the STN winner’s number. At the same time, the lottery acts as an incentive to encourage customers to claim their receipt and make sure they get their STN number which is used for the lottery. Since the STN is the validation that the levy has been successfully applied and it doesn’t cost the consumer anything extra, other than eventually providing them a winning ticket, we can also use it as incentive against fraud or other non-compliance via an attitude of self-denouncement.”