Being An Entrepreneur On The Cote D’Azur; You’re Probably Right To Be Tempted

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Monaco, Cannes, Marseille, Nice, St Tropez; France’s Cote D’Azur hosts some world-famous cities and towns as well as picturesque, sleepy on the surface villages that stretch towards Ventimiglia, in Italy, in the East, and Marseille in the West.

The quality of life on the Cote D’Azur is high; there are plenty of activities, events and festivals, celebrating food, life and culture; there are yachts, superyachts, casinos, nightclubs, fast cars, good food, and all the other trappings of the glamorous Mediterranean that you might expect. It can also be surprisingly down to earth ad friendly. Read more

La Cote D’Azur; The Perfect Break For Entrepreneurs & Expats? Plus 5 Top Hotels For Nice

It wasn’t the easy ride he expected, but was it worth it, and should you try it? Edmund Ingham writes about his trip to the Cote D’Azur in snowy December, and his tips for entrepreneurs and expats. 1st in series.

It’s 6.45am and, stepping off the National Express at Stansted Airport, I am feeling smug. Having woken up at 5am and strolled to the bus stop at Stratford, a few minutes from my Airbnb overlooking the Olympic Park, I have arrived on time and have 70 minutes to clear security, and get to my gate. Read more

The 5 Reasons You’ll Be Sure To Make International Payments In 2018?

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“Why would I need to send money abroad?”

Famous last words. International money transfer is one of those things that we rarely plan for, so when the inevitable happens and we have to make a transfer overseas, we have a tendency to panic, rush the process and end up paying a severe financial penalty. Read more

MasterCard’s Digital Prepayment Platform For Millennials Is Holistic, But Restricted & Might Even Worry Millennials

MasterCard’s new product – a holistic digital platform that offers a range of “money management” capabilities, such as balance checking, budgeting, setting savings goals and near real-time payments to peers – has just launched in the US.

The US may not be about to embrace a new set of digital payments service directives such as those Europe faces, with the introduction of PSD2 on January 18th, but it’s encouraging to see that the region is preparing for a shift in the way that its population wants to bank.

There’s just one catch, however. Read more

Fitbit Pay On Ionic; Health Fanatics Can Make Contactless Payments With A Flick Of The Wrist

Fitbit, the health and fitness app that tracks your activity, exercise, sleep, weight and a myriad of other elements all designed to help you feel great in body and soul, is a class leader in a field that, despite the tech world’s best efforts, has sometimes struggled to live up to the hype.

Wearables, and the internet of things were two of the most talked about new tech phenomena of 2016, but this year progress has been teeth-grindingly slow, and public expectations have been dampened somewhat. We will have to wait for our talking fridges, it seems.

There are few standout companies that have successfully implemented wearables and / or contactless / IoT technology and created something life-enhancing and meaningful – but Fitbit is certainly one. Read more

Fintech East Finally Meets West! Camden Market Signs Historic Deal To Integrate WeChat Pay At Point Of Sale

Camden Market, London’s fourth biggest tourist attraction is breaking the mould by permitting users of WeChat Pay to use their e-wallets to make purchases.

WeChat Pay is hugely popular in China – in 2017 alone, €1.5 trillion of payments were processed via the app globally – and according to recent research the service accounts for 40% of the entire Chinese mobile payment market.

The app is especially popular with Chinese tourists and WeChat have been making concerted efforts to extend its reach into Europe, where Chinese visitors spend more than European and US tourists combined. Luxury goods are particularly popular – Asia accounts for 50% of all luxury purchases made in Europe. Read more

Art Basel Miami; World Renowned Art Fair Where The Creative Showcase & The Well-Heeled Spend Big

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Art Basel, founded by gallerists Ernst Beyeler, Trudi Bruckner and Balz Hilt, staged its first international art fair, in Switzerland, back in 1970. The event attracted tens of thousands of visitors, and work from some 90 prestigious art galleries, and 30 art publishers. Read more

Is The UK World’s Best Place To Buy Luxury Goods?

The luxury goods market is back on track. According to research recently compiled by Bain & Co, the consultancy firm, worldwide sales of luxury goods look set to increase, driven by demand from Chinese customers as well as millennial and “Generation Z” shoppers.

Worldwide revenues from personal luxury goods sales are expected to rise 6 percent in 2017, beating forecast projections which indicated a 2-4% increase. Read more

Internations Reveals The Best and Worst Places For Expats in 2017

It’s all change amongst the top 3 nations in the world that are most popular with expats, according to a survey released earlier this year by Internations, the global expat networking platform and events organiser. 

None of 2016’s top 3 retained their spot in 2017, whilst the world’s highest rated destination this year has made the jump from 19th to 1st spot. Read more

The 10 Places In London You Are Most Likely To Spot A Billionaire

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If billionaire spotting is one of your favourite past-times, then London is a great place to live!

Well, to be precise, it is the fifth best city to inhabit, or visit, because, according to Forbes, there are more billionaires residing in New York (82), Hong Kong (75), Moscow (73), and Beijing (54), than in London, which is home to “just” 50. Read more

Finding Neom; Saudi Arabia’s Plan To Transform 26,500 Sq. Km Of Untouched Land Into The World’s Most Futuristic City

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You may think of Saudi Arabia as an oil-rich nation of unrivalled wealth, strict religious observance, and even stricter civil laws that tend to reinforce a male-dominated society, but if the current Saudi leadership has its way, your children almost certainly won’t.

Saudi Arabia has been on a charm offensive over the past six months, as it promotes 2 of the most ambitious sounding projects the world has ever heard of. Read more

Escape To The Chateau Returns To TV. Are The “Experts” Right About The Risks Of Buying Overseas?

Dick Strawbridge, from Essex, his partner Angel and their two children are returning to our TV screens this autumn for a new series of Escape to the Chateau on Channel 4. 

In the first series, the couple risked it all by swapping their two-bedroom flat in Essex for a fairy-tale French Chateau, at a cost of £345,000 pounds. Around €390,000 euros based on current exchange rates. Read more

The Money Cloud Travel Blog: From Singapore To Bangkok: Organisation To Organised Chaos!

Our PR and Content Manager at The Money Cloud, where you compare the latest and best rates being offered to send money overseas, writes about his experiences travelling and working around SE Asia. This week, Bangkok!

When I try to think about the differences between the 3 major South East Asian cities I have spent time in over the past 3 months; Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Bangkok, the best description I can come up with is that they are like 3 close-knit but very different brothers.

Bear with me here and I will try to explain myself. Read more

Mobile Money In Africa Bucks The Trend For Gender Imbalance Around Tech Products

According to the World Bank, women are 50 percent less likely than men to use the internet in Africa, and significantly less likely than men to own or use a cell phone.

But recent findings, cited in an article by Susan Johnson, a Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Development Studies at the University of Bath, suggest that when it comes to mobile money, the gender gap is closing to the point of equality. Read more

The Money Cloud Partners With City Forex To Provide The Ultimate Hassle Free Travel Money Ordering Service

The Money Cloud, the original and best overseas money transfer comparison site founded by industry pioneers Emmanuel Addy and Huw Jenkins, today announces an exclusive partnership with City Forex to help travellers order their travel money online, and have it delivered direct to their office or home. Read more

Top 10 Reasons Why People Transfer Money Overseas

An international money transfer is a service that allows you to send money overseas for whatever reason; this can be carried out using your normal retail bank account, international money transfer operators (such as Western Union), FX brokers and peer-to-peer companies. Here at The Money Cloud, we can help you transfer your money internationally, but what are the most common reasons where you would need to use an international money transfer service? 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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