Britain in Debt? The signs are not good. According to an article in today’s Times, the balance of Britain’s credit cards as a whole is closing in on £70 billion pounds, unsecured credit lending is increasing year on year, and the rise of concepts like payday loans and un-arranged overdrafts are causing consumers to fall further and further into debt. Read more
A local bank account can be a lifesaver when relocating abroad.
Relocating abroad is something that many people will do at least once in their lives, and generally speaking, it is a valuable life experience that allows you to experience a new culture, enhance your career prospects and even make you a more well-rounded person.
Even in today’s modern, digitalised world, however, there are certain hurdles that you must jump through and rules to comply with that you must understand if your stay abroad is to be a success. Read more
Over the past few years, thanks to the rise of a number of disruptive Financial Technology, otherwise known as FinTech businesses, it has become far easier, and cheaper to send money overseas.
Until recently most of us would have used either a wire transfer agency, such as Western Union or Ria Money Transfer, or a high street bank to send money internationally, but there were 3 major drawbacks to this approach. Read more
Banks and wire transfer services charge too much in fees and offer the least favourable exchange rates
If you are a follower of the financial news media, you are probably aware that how people are sending money abroad is changing.
The most common ways to send money abroad at the turn of the decade would have been to either use a money transfer agency like Western Union or Ria, or to visit your high-street bank.
But what many people don’t realise is that because of the monopoly that the banks, and these two transfer agencies had on the market, they were able to charge unnecessarily high fees, as well as offering you a price that did not accurately reflect the current value of a currency.
1. Beware Phishing Scams – Don’t Open Attachments Without Thoroughly Vetting The Sender;
Phishing scams; emails that purport to be from a known and trusted source but are actually sent by hackers trying to persuade you to open an attachment, are commonplace today.
Email is a favoured means of attack for hackers because it is so universal, and we tend to open emails and attachments without thinking twice. In the past year, phishing scams have sent highly convincing fake Apple iTunes purchase statements and HMRC notifications, and then there are emails from friends’ accounts which have been hacked, inviting you to open attachments which contain viruses. Read more
Near field communication (NFC) has revolutionised the way we pay. However, it also means our contactless cards provide a more accessible route to our bank details. While these advances have made life easier for us, they’ve also made life easier for those looking to discover such information. Here’s what you need to know about contactless theft and how to avoid it. Read more
The new laws set to overhaul data protection practices in Europe
Once again, data protection regulation is in the spotlight this month. The EU is attempting to introduce laws that will clamp down on how our personal data is used, particularly by businesses and intelligence agencies. But according to Civil Liberties Committee chairman, Jan Philipp Albrecht MEP, arguments from Germany, France and the UK could delay the legislation into 2016. There are over 4,000 proposed amendments to the bill, after all. We look at why the legislation is so controversial, and what the consequences are for you.
In today’s digital economy, data is big business; the value of European personal data is estimated to grow to almost €1 trillion annually by 2020. The EU wants to establish a ‘one-stop-shop’ for data protection, arguing that this more streamlined approach will boost the European economy by €2.3 billion.
For businesses, the regulations could allow the EU to impose fines of up to €100 million, or 5% of their annual turnover (whichever’s biggest) if they don’t safeguard the information they’re processing adequately. They’d also have to complete a ‘data protection impact assessment’, investigating the effect of data usage on the rights and freedoms of their customers.
For individuals, the legislation will tackle issues you might be concerned about already. These include having easier access to your own data, gaining the ‘right to be forgotten‘, and needing to give explicit consent before a company can use your data. It also proposes that privacy settings should be set as private by default, rather than getting users to do this manually.
According to recent PwC research, big data could be our most potent weapon yet in the fight against money laundering. Vikas Agarwal, a managing director of the financial services firm, has declared that “institutions should remain two steps ahead by deploying advanced analytical and statistical techniques.” But what exactly is big data, and how will it help? Read more