Saturday, June 15, 2013

Technological Solutions for Hawalas

The success of any modern organization in daily business transactions depends on the effective use of modern technological tools. Money remittance companies are exceptional profit-making organizations because they tend to their clients by transferring billions of dollars across the globe. In the Middle East and Africa, money transfer companies are known as Hawalas which translates to mean “to transfer”, “to convey” or “to transmit”. These remittance companies are considered the fastest money transfer systems in the world. A client in San Francisco who wants to send money to a relative residing in a village somewhere in Africa or the Middle East will only need to visit the nearest Hawala in San Francisco, present the particulars of the recipient and pay the amount of money to be transferred and the $6 service charge for every $100 remitted. After the money is presented to the Hawala clerk, the sender then calls the recipient to convey the good news of the money sent and the name of the Hawala. It usually takes as little as twenty minutes to transfer money to a recipient.
One dilemma facing these companies is the lack of the necessary technological tools required for Hawala interconnectedness and intercommunication. Usually, every Hawala works on its own such that there is no exchange of money between this money remittance organizations. Franklin and Raadschelders (2004) believe that there are dilemmas present in any budgetary process because decision-makers favor one determinant over the other. What Hawalas will need to do is improve collaboration in how they conduct business so as to be able to serve each other. If a sender in Minneapolis discovers that his favorite Hawala has no establishment where the money is being sent, then, another Hawala should be able to receive the money and transfer the same to the intended recipient with a surcharge.
The use of the spreadsheet will help money senders to make remittances without making the trip to the Hawala when schedules are tight and time is scarce and when there is inclement weather. At the same time, it is more convenient and that it is like ordering a large cheese pizza from Papa John’s. Hawala executives could then be able to differentiate what was delivered in cash from what was ordered online. Hawalas could manipulate workflow technology so that both sides can be aware of system performances. Also, they could execute performance measurement by applying dashboard, cockpits, and scoreboards to enhance their daily activities (Kavanagh et al, 2006). In reporting, they could use Business Intelligence (BI) and Executive Information Systems (EIS). In BI, the Hawalas would learn to analyze data for information collection while EIS could be used to enhance serious or calculated statistics collection.
Franklin, A. L., & Raadschelders, J. C. (2004). Ethics in local government budgeting: Is there a gap between theory and practice? Public Administration Quarterly, 27(4), 456–490.

Kavanagh, S. et al (2006). Government finance officers association: Budgeting technology solutions.
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