Money Transmitter Licenses and Canadian First Global Data in the U.S.

Almost every U.S. state requires a state license in order to transmit money into, out of or within the state. These licenses are expensive to acquire and to maintain and establish a financial barrier of entry.

Licensing requirements include the following considerations:

  • applicant’s financial condition
  • applicant’s net worth
  • amount of business for the previous year
  • anticipated business for the upcoming year

The cost of acquiring a license average more than U.S. $175,000 per state and the annual renewal fees on average are more than U.S. $135,000.

In addition to the various state requirements,  money transmitters must also register with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) of the U.S. Department of Treasury. Registration is valid for two years before it needs to be renewed. Money transmitters must use the BSA E-Filing System to submit initial registration forms and renewals. There are both civil and criminal penalties for money services businesses that do not register with FinCEN.

In effect, these regulations help to validate the worthiness of the companies that acquire the money transmitter license. Given the financial investment and the corporate strength in order to acquire the licenses, companies that are granted licenses achieve a degree of credibility.

It is believed that it is more difficult for foreign companies to acquire these licenses. However, given Canada’s highly developed, regulated and structured financial industry, Canadian-based companies are afforded a strong reputation internationally.

One Canadian, publicly traded company, First Global Data Inc. (traded as v.fgd on the TMX) is an international financial services technology (“FINTECH”) company. The Company’s two main lines of business are mobile payments and cross border payments. First Global’s proprietary leading edge technology enables the convergence of compliant domestic and cross border payments, shopping, Peer to Peer (“P2P”), Business to Consumer (“B2C”), and Business to Business (“B2B”) payments. First Global enables its strategic partners and clients around the world with our leading edge financial services technology platform.

First Global Data (www.firstglobaldata.com), according to their most recent press release, has acquired 31 money transmitter licenses. “We continue our focus on US wide licensing as the more State licenses First Global has, the larger the market opportunity for our services such as Happy Transfer launched on the WeChat social messaging platform with our China-based partner LianLian; for the Company’s First Global Money international remittances services which delivers into Latin America, India, the Philippines and other very large markets; for domestic USA peer to peer and mobile payment services; and for additional cross border payment services the Company intends to provide to consumers across the USA”, said Andre Itwaru, Chairman and CEO of First Global Data Limited.

This company is  positioned to strategically take advantage of Canada’s financial industry reputation, leveraging our access to the U.S. market and bridging it with Asian demand. With a stock price at under CDN$0.30, I’m curious to see the value of the users it has acquired through partnerships. With Canadian Schedule A banks paying thousands of dollars for credit card customer acquisitions, this company’s value might already be well beyond its stock price.

See related post: First Global Data Appoints Top Notch CFO

Canada’s Liberal Immigration Attracts ISIS Extremist

A woman who entered Canada, possibly as part of Prime Minister Trudeau’s more liberal immigration policy, has been arrested for attempting to stab employees at a Toronto hardware store.

It happened on Saturday, June 3, 2017 at about 5 p.m. at the Canadian Tire store in Cedarbrae Mall, near Markham Road and Lawrence Avenue. According to Toronto police, the woman walked to the store’s paint section carrying a golf club, which she began to swing at store employees and a customer while making threats.

CTV News Toronto had been told by a store employee on Monday that the woman was filling her shopping cart with tools and an employee suspected she was stealing items from the store. According to police, when a staff member confronted the woman, she allegedly pulled out a knife from underneath her clothing.

It was reported that the woman expressed support for the Islamic state group, before eventually being disarmed and restrained by an employee. In the process, the employee sustained non-life threatening injuries. According to Global News the woman was reportedly “wearing a niqab and a bandana adorned with what appeared to be a symbol for the so-called Islamic State group.”

A short time later, the woman was arrested by police officers. According to Chief Saunders, both the Toronto Police and the  RCMP are conducting investigations from two different perspectives.

The woman, Rehab Dughmosh, 32, is facing a number of charges in connection with the incident, including assault with a weapon, assault, threatening death, possession of a weapon for committing an offence and carrying a concealed weapon.

When asked her name at a court appearance on Tuesday, Dughmosh replied through an interpreter “ISIS…I pledge to the leader of the believers, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi.” Dughmosh was remanded into custody.

According to Gloabal News “The RCMP confirmed its Greater Toronto Area Integrated National Security Enforcement Team (INSET) continues to investigate the incident in partnership with Toronto police and there is no outstanding risk to public safety.”

Reportedly, a Neighbour interviewed by media stated that Dughmosh recently moved here from Syria. Meanwhile, the Canadian government proudly declares that it has welcomed 40,081 Syrian refugees into Canada since November 4, 2015 (as at January 29, 2017). The wider opening of doors was one of Prime Minister Trudeau’s first actions as prime minister.

How many of these Canadian government attracted ISIS extremists are now in Canada?

I’d like to see what possible measures the police and RCMP have in place to stop guerilla warfare before someone is killed.

Arab States Sever Qatar Ties Over Terrorism and Flights Are Suspended

Five arab states; Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, and the UAE (United Arab Emerates) are severing diplomatic, land, sea and air relations with Qatar because of its support of terrorism.

As a result of diplomatic tensions in the Middle East, both Etihad and Emerates Airways have suspended all flights to and from Doha, the capital of Qatar until further notice. According to Emirates Airlines, the suspension which is at the instance of the United Arab Emirates Government, will take effect on the morning of 6 June 2017 and will continue until further notice.

The last flight (EK847) leaving Dubai for Doha will depart at 02:30 a.m. on 6 June, 2017, and the last flight (EK848) leaving Doha for Dubai will depart at 03:50 a.m. on 6 June, 2017. These last flights promise to be both sober and stressful as passengers, no doubt, will ponder the possibility of terrorist retaliation.

In addition, Etihad Airways will suspend all flights to and from Doha as of June 5th, 2017 until further notice.  According to the airline, the last flight from Abu Dhabi to Doha (EY391) will depart at 9:35 p.m. on June 5th, 2017 and the last flight from Doha to Abu Dhabi (EY398) will depart 10:50 p.m. on June 5th, 2017.

Additional airlines, including Saudi Arabian Airlines, EgyptAir, Flydubai, and Air Arabia,  have either already suspended flights to Doha or planning to do so.

It is about time that the arab states take some action towards global peace and the elimination of terrorism. This action comes after a series of terrorist attacks which has resulted in citizens around the world demanding political leaders put an end to ISIS terrorist activity. Leaders across the developed world are taking strong positions and planning more drastic measures to deal with terrorism and ISIS in particular.

With so much brutality, the peaceful citizens of the world have had enough and the politicians know it.

A Public Bus Driver, a Dead Passenger and Marijuana

This week, Torontonians found themselves looking in astonishment at a picture of a damaged bus that had rear-ended a truck. In the “accident” a woman passenger died. Torontonians struggled to understand how a bus driver could drive his bus at considerable speed into the rear end of a huge truck. Coffee shops were filled with conversations about how many public transit accidents and deaths have occurred involving Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) vehicles in 2011 alone.

The driver of the bus was 52-year –old William Ainsworth. Speculation ran wild as readers wondered about the skills, mind-set and condition of the Ainsworth involved in this week’s accident. Then this morning the media reported that the TTC driver had drugs in his possession.

What is even more interesting is that after the crash, the driver refused a TTC drug test which killed one passenger and injured 13 others. According to Detective Constable Carl Anderson, police officers at the scene did not conduct a police drug test because they had no reason to think the driver was intoxicated. Which leads many Torontonians to wonder what the police constables thought was the reason that the TTC driver drove a public bus into the rear end of a truck.

Many TTC riders believe that a TTC driver is regularly monitored and tested for intoxication and the influence of drugs. The fact that even after a crash, a TTC driver was not tested pretty much removes any comfort that TTC riders may have in the TTC’s drug monitoring.

One can’t help but ask why a TTC driver would refuse a drug test after being in a crash. Wouldn’t a test prove that he wasn’t intoxicated or under the influence, thereby making it easier for the TTC to defend against lawsuits? The only logical explanation is that the TTC driver was hiding something. It is possible, that the consequences of the outcome of the test would be worse than not taking the test.

Conveniently, it wasn’t until seven hours later that the police found what they believe “might have been marijuana”. Really…they couldn’t tell?

As an example of how similar situations are handled in other cities, on May 12th, 2008 in Bullitt County, Kentucky (United States) a bus with more than 50 elementary school students drove into a ditch. The driver was Tammy Capps (37) who was immediately put in jail to face criminal charges and also lost her job. According to Eric Farris (Bullitt County Board of Education attorney), “All bus drivers who are involved in any kind of accident is tested afterwards to determine if there is any alcohol or narcotics present in their system…There was a positive finding of marijuana in the driver’s system.” In addition bus drivers for the school system are subject to routine and random drug tests throughout the year.

The William Ainsworth accident and how it was handled does not reflect well on the bus driver, the TTC, Mayor Ford and Toronto Police Services. The information released by the media and information in reference to Ainsworth leads one to come up with at least one story of how a public bus driver ended up crashing his bus into the rear end of a large  truck, which killed one passenger (Jadranka Petrova, 43) and injured 13 others.

If the driver of a private car had crashed into the rear end of a large truck, resulting in the death of a passenger, that driver would be charged with at least careless driving and possibly manslaughter. What was the Ainsworth charged with?

It will be interesting to see how the TTC handles this. If they don’t end up firing Ainsworth then the riding public will lose much faith and confidence in Toronto’s public transit, even more than has already been lost with the scandals of the last two years. If Mayor Ford doesn’t do something, then the voters will look poorly upon him. As for police services, it is unknown what they can do at this point however, with the death of a passenger the public expects some serious charges.

It will be quite an accomplishment if the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 113, which represents Transit workers, gets away without firing Ainsworth or having him charged.

Even more interesting will be watching what Ainsworth’s attorney does to keep him out of jail and avoiding liability from the crash. As for the stress Ainsworth must be facing, it could be enough to lead one to smoke.