WorldRemit’s Ismail Ahmed and MasterCard’s Ann Cairns to talk about the future of payments at Disrupt London

What happens when you pair a global payment company like MasterCard with a rising online money transfer service like WorldRemit? Conventional wisdom has it that fintech startups are going to eat financial company’s lunch in no time. And yet, existing financial companies have been surprisingly resilient. That’s why I’m excited to announce that MasterCard President of International Markets Ann Cairns and WorldRemit founder and CEO Ismail Ahmed are going to speak about the future of payments at TechCrunch Disrupt London on December 5.

While most of you most certainly know MasterCard, WorldRemit might be a new name for you. As the name suggests, WorldRemit focuses on remittance and wants to move money more efficiently than Western Union and others.

The company is worth $500 million and raised nearly $200 million in total. More importantly, the company manages hundreds of thousands of transactions every month.

So how does it work exactly? WorldRemit is working with regulators to get licenses to operate in as many countries as possible so that users can upload money. On the other end of the equation, the startup has agreements with carriers and mobile money operators so that receiving users can get money in many different ways.

For instance, you can receive money directly on an M-Pesa or MTN digital wallet. These mobile wallets are quite popular in emerging markets as an alternative to the good old bank account combined with a credit or debit card. Users can also choose to receive a WorldRemit payment on a bank account, pick up cash somewhere or even receive cash at your home.

And that’s the interesting change. MasterCard didn’t help WorldRemit users transfer money from one part of the world to another. Given that MasterCard gets a cut every time there’s a MasterCard transaction, these new use cases could hurt the company’s bottom line.

While many digital wallets, such as Apple Pay and Android Pay, still rely on MasterCard and other payment networks to process transactions, the next generation of digital wallets could skip a step and debit your bank account directly. It is going to be interesting to hear Cairns’ take on digital wallets and money transferring companies in multiple currencies like WorldRemit.

The two-day Disrupt conference runs December 5 to 6 in the Olympic Village’s Copper Box Arena and features Startup Alley and Startup Battlefield where one startup will take home $50,000 (about £40,600).

Early bird tickets are now available to purchase for the discounted price of just £950 a piece. Grab your ticket for TechCrunch Disrupt London right here. You can also go for a booth in the Startup Alley or buy a student tickets. More info on the Disrupt page.

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