Japan Introduces Regulatory Sandbox For Fintech Startups

The Japanese government are set to make it easier for the country’s fintech startups to trial new services and technology. Their financial authorities are introducing a pro-innovation sandbox that will offer firms the opportunity to conduct regulator-free trials.

A government agency will review proposals from developers and startup fintech firms. If granted approval, the developers will be given a limited time to run experiments within the sandbox. Read more

The Big 4 Fintech Challenger Banks Changing The Way We Think About Personal Finance

The “Big 4” Challenger Banks

London may not be the world’s biggest FinTech hub, but there is an argument that says it is the most disruptive, and especially within the retail banking space.

There are no fewer than 5 recognised “Challenger banks” in operation currently, 4 based in London, and one in Durham. All have attracted significant funding, target millennials with mobile apps, instant spending reports and clever features, yet all face different challenges and issues as they battle to uproot the “big 4” high street banks; Lloyds, HSBC, Barclays and Natwest. Let’s have a look at 5 of the so-called challengers – in no particular order. Read more

Breaking Down China’s Mass Affluent Classes into 5 categories

It’s no secret that during the past decade, China has re-emerged as a world super-power, and we have seen the emergence of a new middle class that is more affluent, and bigger spending, than almost any other demographic anywhere in the world.

But targeting this demographic has not always been easy. What are their characteristics? Where do they like to shop? And for what?

A new report from Jing Daily and Carat has done more than most to break down China’s “Mass Affluent Class” into groups that marketers can understand better, by focusing on “M.A.C” Males.

According to the report, this demographic are aged between 25-40, and they are better educated and more internationally-focused than the generations that preceded them. They like to enjoy themselves, seeking out new leisure and entertainment experiences, see themselves as more sophisticated that their forebears, and they are not as keen on status symbol based activities, such as golf.

But the report is at pains to explain that M.A.C’s are not all the same. Far from it, in fact, hence Jing Daily and Carat have broken them down into 5 very different categories:

Aficionados, Skeptics, Epicureans, Aspirants and the Bling Kings.

Whilst all 5 groups overlap in terms of tastes, behaviour and aspirations, they all have different things in common, and if you are in the business of selling to them, you had better not get them confused!

Whilst none of the five disparate groups are “in it for the money”, the Bling Kings, for example, are louder, and showier than more “sophisticated and refined” Aficionados, or realistic and focused Skeptics.

Like the Bling Kings, Aspirants are spontaneous and enjoy the limelight the most, whilst Epicureans are perhaps the most balanced, entrepreneurial and visionary.

Epicureans, the report reveals, make good entrepreneurs, although Bling Kings and Aspirants are great at seizing opportunities and grabbing opportunities with both hands.

Each of the separate groups are tight knit and hard to break into. Aspirants and Bling Kings are self-referential, and use Wechat to plan parties and social occasions, whilst at the other end of the spectrum, Aficionados and Skeptics prefer to listen before they speak and are likely to talk about business, or engage in carefully planned and executed chit-chat.

What all M.A.C males have in common is that they have high expectations, can be demanding, and don’t rely on old-fashioned means of determining social status.

Marketers are likely to have to work twice as hard as ever to keep pace with their rapidly changing tastes.

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Everything To Know About International Money Transfers – Infographic

When did the humble infographic become the marketer’s weapon of choice?

Well, we can’t answer that but we do know that, joking aside, infographics are an extremely handy way to swot up on a subject and impress your peers, or in this case, make business or personal finance decisions with all the facts at your fingertips.

So, in that spirit, we present our comprehensive infographic, International Money Transfers Explained”, a definitive guide to your money transfer options. Read more

US Might Tax Growing Caribbean & Latin American Remittance Market To Build Mexican Wall

In what seems a bizarre, unprecedented and surely unpopular move, Alabama congressman Mike Rogers announced on April 21st the introduction of a bill that will impose a 2% fee on all remittances made from the US to Latin American and Caribbean countries, in order to pay for the Mexico / US border wall promised by President Donald Trump.

The Border Wall Funding Act, or HR 1813, to give it its official title, has now been referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security. Read more

Paying Employees Abroad – A Guide To PAYE & Social Security Considerations

If your business is considering making an overseas hire – congratulations! In business, expanding internationally can be extremely rewarding, both financially; in terms of driving the growth of the business and discovering new markets to sell your product into; and culturally – seeing how things get done in contrasting business environments can only help give a business owner a better understanding of their enterprise.

But from an administrative and tax perspective, hiring overseas is complex and to get it right involves a little bit of extra work – we have produced the following notes to try to help all business owners understand what needs to be done before you can start to make payments to overseas staff.
Read more

How To Pick The Best FX Broker For Your Overseas Money Transfers

Given that foreign exchange trading tends to exceed $4 trillion in average traded value, every day, you would be right to think that choosing the right broker to make your overseas money transfer is not an easy decision to make.

Fortunately, The Money Cloud exists precisely to make the process as simple and hassle free as possible. Both of our co-founders Emmanuel and Huw spent years researching the process of sending money overseas, working alongside governments across different continents, and even setting up a site to help migrant workers send money back to their families. Read more

How To Move Money Into and Out Of South Africa

Last week we looked at properties in the Gauteng region of South Africa, from the affordable to the fantasy home, in and around Johannesburg and within reach of reach of “Africa’s Square Mile”, Sandton.

It’s all well and good dreaming of a new life in South Africa (or vice versa – relocating from SA to the UK), but before you can do so there are many hoops you must jump through, one of the main ones being how to transfer money into or out of the country, safely, legitimately, and without giving away a sizeable chunk of it in unnecessary transfer fees. Read more