She emphasized that cross-border payments do not take place outside banking systems

“Western Union”: Lebanon and Morocco are the regional leaders in remittances from the UAE

Hatem Suleiman: “The remittance sector is characterized by being highly regulated, and has strict and sophisticated regulations.”

The Western Union Financial Transactions Company reported that Lebanon and Morocco topped the regional remittances of Arab residents working in the UAE to their countries, as they were among the top five in transfers made through the company from the Emirates.

The company's regional vice president in the Middle East, Hatem Suleiman, said that Lebanon ranked third in terms of the volume of remittances, after India, which came first and the Philippines second, while Morocco came in fourth place, followed by Indonesia in fifth.

Suleiman confirmed to "Emirates Today" that the remittances sector cannot operate outside central banking systems, noting that this sector is characterized by being highly regulated, as this includes strict and sophisticated legal and regulatory requirements, which aim to help detect and prevent Money laundering, terrorist financing, fraud, and other illegal activities.

He added that this also includes laws and regulations related to financial services, customer disclosure and protection, as well as currency control.

In response to a question regarding concerns about hacker attacks on digital systems and platforms that are used to transfer money across borders, Suleiman stressed that protecting customers' transactions, money and data is a primary priority for Western Union.

"Since our work is based on trust, we attach the utmost importance to compliance with local laws," he said, noting that "Western Union's security standards include all physical, electronic and procedural aspects."

Suleiman stated that the company has a comprehensive cybersecurity program, focused on identifying risks through continuous assessments of the degree of risk, internal audits and regular survey and testing.

He pointed out that cross-border payments require immediate actions worldwide, which imposes regulatory requirements that must be applied.

He considered that providing the time, money and expertise to comply with the complex and multiple levels of regulation in both the sender and receiver markets was a major challenge.

But Suleiman explained that the biggest challenge is related to licensing and compliance systems for cross-border payments compared to local systems, as these processes require obtaining central bank approvals, owning licenses, and having local representatives.

Follow our latest local and sports news and the latest political and economic developments via Google news

Keywords: payments, lebanon, leaders, remittances, countries, morocco, residents, company, hatem suleiman, transfers, five, western union financial transactions company, arab, uae, western union