Last month today: February 2022 in review

The economic consequences of the war in Ukraine: expect higher inflation, lower growth, and some disruption to financial markets

With human suffering obviously as the most essential concern, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine also carries huge risks for the world economy that’s yet to fully recover from the pandemic shock. According to Bloomberg, for instance, at the day of the assault oil briefly climbed past USD 100 a barrel for the first time since 2014, while European natural gas jumped as much as 62%.

The pandemic has left the global economy with two key points of vulnerability — high inflation and jittery financial markets, Bloomberg continues. Aftershocks from the invasion could easily worsen both.

The shortest end of the stick may very well be left into the hands of the Russians themselves. The severity of economic sanctions from the rest of the world have already been compared to those imposed on North Korea, which means extreme decline in purchasing power, both when it comes to organizations and common people. Russian banks are being removed from the international payment transfer system (Swift) and the property of companies and billionaires outside Russia is being confiscated. The battle on the financial front is heating up as well.

Soaring popularity of mobile wallets to gain grounds for digital remittance across the globe

The digital remittance market is likely to grow at a CAGR of 27% during the forecast period 2022-2032.  As per the latest World Bank’s report, the remittances industry moves over USD 600 billion around the world, with USD 466 billion being sent to low-and-middle-income countries. Remittances are expected to continue to increase in 2022, by 27% to reach nearly USD 18 Bn. The international community is striving to considerably reduce the cost of remittance services.

This will eventually propel the growth rate for the digital remittance market in the forthcoming future. Robust growth in transfers from countries in Southeast Asia assisted offset lower remittance flows from other regions, especially the Middle East and the United States.

The proliferation of the digital platforms for remittance is expected to encourage customers to move toward online transactions. Moreover, the rising penetration of mobile devices across the globe in recent years has encouraged the adoption of digital technology in remittance services and cross-border payments.

Customers across the globe are also shifting toward digital remittance services as they help reduce the money transfer time and remittance costs. Moreover, digital remittance services offer high privacy and protection for consumers’ money.

Anti-money laundering software market size to reach USD 5.77 billion in 2030

Global anti-money laundering software market revenue is expected to register a CAGR of 15.1% over the forecast period, and revenue is projected to increase from USD 1.63 Billion in 2021 to USD 5.77 Billion in 2030. Increasingly stringent government regulations to deploy AML solutions is a key factor driving revenue growth of the market.

COVID-19 pandemic had a positive impact on the global anti-money laundering software market. The pandemic has resulted in a quick increase in online sales and an increase in the use of online payment options. Increasing use of non-cash payments such as mobile payments, online payments, and use of prepaid cards has increased the chances of fraudulent money transactions, which is driving demand for AML software among financial institutions. In addition, increasing number of online scams involving medical supplies, personal protective equipment, essential items, and illegal activities in terms of COVID-19 donations are expected to increase adoption of AML software.

Illegal financial transactions are the most common threat in the banking process. AML software supported by Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the best solution to such threats. The primary objective of AML software is to detect any fraudulent transaction and send real-time data to the financial authority. The entire activity can be monitored and tracked by the Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) for conducting risk analysis of the customer. The risk analysis process includes understanding the nature and purpose of customer relationships and updating customer information, which potentially decreases the chances of money laundering.

Companies currently using less real estate than before the pandemic, but many expect growth over the next one to five years

A new survey conducted by CoreNet Global, the premier association for corporate real estate professionals has found that global companies are currently using less office space than when the pandemic began, but many expect to increase the amount of space they occupy over the next one to five years.

The survey was conducted in January 2022 and yielded more than 300 responses from all regions including North America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. According to the survey, when respondents were asked whether their companies were currently using less space than in March 2020:

  • 45% said they were using 0-10 percent less space less space
  • 12% said they were using 10-20 percent less space
  • 12% said they were using 20-30 percent less space
  • 16% said they were using more than 30 percent less space
  • 15% said they had increased the amount of space they are currently using

Notably, many corporate real estate managers expect their portfolios to grow over the next five years. Forty-one percent said they would in fact increase the amount of space they are using, while 60 percent predicted a net decrease.

Respondents replied as follows when asked “How do you anticipate your company’s portfolio to change in the next one to five years, when compared with the amount of office space your company currently uses?”

  • 17% said space would increase by 0% – 10%
  • 11.5% said space would increase by 10% – 20%
  • 5.5% said space would increase by 20% – 30%
  • 7.2% said space would increase by more than 30%
  • 22% said space would decrease by 0% – 10%
  • 17% said space would decrease by 10% – 20%
  • 12% said space would decrease by 20% – 30 %
  • 8% said space would decrease by more than 30%

While remote and hybrid working have been praised, with several global companies having declared never returning to the office, the research clearly shows the value put to face-to-face contacts – even to those that happen unplanned. For most organizations, the ideal mix may lie somewhere in the middle ground, but the best thing might be the sheer fact that after such a long time, a feeling of genuine choice is beginning to linger in the air.


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