The Role Of Import, Export & Exchange Rates On BoE’s Interest Rate Decision, & What It Means For The Rest Of 2018

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney announced today that the BoE’s Monetary Policy Committee have voted unanimously to hold interest rates at 0.5%, before warning; don’t be surprised if we raise them twice before the year is out.

Carney and the BoE are battling rising inflation, which has fallen 0.1%, to 3% from November to December. It’s not enough, they say, and have now set a target of bringing the level down below 2% within 2 years, as opposed to the 3 year timeframe that had previously been indicated. Read more

How Does Bitcoin Trading Work? A Quick Look At The Fundamentals

2018 is already being labelled the year when the “plumber and the hairdresser” started buying and selling the digital currency bitcoin.

There has certainly been an incredible uplift in the number of people learning about bitcoin – searches for the phrase “buy bitcoin with credit card”, for example, were reported by Google to have “skyrocketed” towards the end of December, when the digital currency was on its magnificent bull run.

The price of the cryptocurrency hit $10,000 in December, for the first time in its 8 years of existence, and went on to climb to above $16,000, in a little under a week. Read more

QROPS Pension Charge Ruling Leads To Petition By Aggrieved Expats

Qualified, Recognised, Overseas Pension Transfers, QROPS for short, made headlines last year when Chancellor Philip Hammond announced that a 25% charge would be levied on all UK pensions being transferred overseas, effective the very next day.

The decision has ultimately outraged sections of Britain’s expat community, who believe that the ruling blatantly discriminates against some – but not all –  of them. Read more

Top 10 US Fintech Firms Now Worth $130bn; Outperforming “Financial Incumbents” Says VC Firm

This content is sourced and brought to you by The Money Cloud – comparing the best rates for sending money overseas offered by hand-picked, regulated brokers and money transfer agencies.

Fintech firms had a stellar year in 2017.

To those of you who are thinking “well, I know about the hype, but where’s the proof?”, a new tracker from VC firm Matrix, the Matrix U.S. Fintech Index is a weighted index that tracks the performance of a portfolio of 10 of the leading fintech companies in the US.

The index reveals that, not only, in 2017, did these firms crash through the $100bn dollar mark in terms of total market capitalisation (it is closer to $130bn now), collectively, they also delivered 89% returns over the course of 2017. Read more

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

This content is sourced and brought to you by The Money Cloud – comparing the best rates for sending money overseas offered by hand-picked, regulated brokers and money transfer agencies.

“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

What Does 2018 Have In Store For Bitcoin? 5 Bold Predictions

This content is sourced and brought to you by The Money Cloud – comparing the best rates for sending money overseas offered by hand-picked, regulated brokers and money transfer agencies.

Bitcoin has been the talk of the second half of 2017, but can the digital currency continue to exert the same fascination, and the same obscene (to some, to others it’s undervalued!) valuation as we enter a new year?

Try as we might to gaze into our crystal balls, it is very hard to predict what factors may affect the short term price, long term adoption, or medium term public perception of bitcoin, yet these are the very factors upon which the cryprocurrency stands or falls.

Below, we list 5 things that we think could affect bitcoin fortunes in 2018, and examine what the potential fallout might be. Sadly we cannot tell you what the price of one bitcoin will be at this time next year, but the below may help you frame your own thoughts and predictions. Read more

Facebook Messenger Pay Arrives In The UK & France – Infographic Reveals How Brits Feel About Being Paid Back

2 years after it was launched in the US, Facebook Messenger Pay has finally crossed the Atlantic. Now it’s possible to make a P2P transaction across the platform in both France and the UK, simply by tapping the blue plus icon to the left of the chat bar, and choosing the green cash icon.

Facebook said in a blog post that it is “not just the transactional act of paying someone back, it’s the emotional importance of doing so”, and said that this is backed up by research they have conducted on Messenger, which you can see in the infographic below. Read more

Challenger Starling Shows Banks How It’s Done With Recent Integrations To Yoyo Wallet and Flux

There is an awful lot of hype surrounding the fintech industry; some of it unjustified.

Many startups and enterprises are simply jumping on the “disruptive – in a good way” bandwagon, without offering products or services that are clearly differentiated from the ones offered by the big banks – or noticeably cheaper, faster, or more efficient.

But that is certainly not the case with Starling Bank. Read more

Glint – The App That Lets You Buy, Spend & Share Gold – Launches In London

Ever since the global financial collapse of 2008, banks, currencies, and even governments seem to have gone down and down in our estimation – in fact, it’s quite possible that they have never before been held in such low regard.

First the public’s money was used to bail out the banks, then we were forced to accept record low interest rates, high inflation, and “austerity” as the norm.

This financial malaise has carried on for nearly a decade, but, luckily, the emergence of fintech and the disruption of services that it has wrought has suddenly put us all back in charge of our finances. Now it is the banks that must pander to our needs; now, if they slip up, we, the public, have options. Read more

Standard Chartered Is Introducing A Chatbot In Hong Kong With The Brains To Manage Your Money – Just Don’t Expect Miracles

This content is brought to you by The Money Cloud – comparing the best rates for sending money overseas offered by hand-picked, regulated brokers and money transfer agencies.

Not so long ago, chatbots were the most talked about new tech on the block. It was believed that soon we would be able to conduct conversations with digital assistants as easily as we could with our PAs.

Well, things haven’t quite turned out that way. Microsoft’s attempt to launch a “twitter bot” in 2016, known as Tay, was nothing short of disastrous, Hackers were quickly able to disrupt and distort the bot’s conversational gambits until Tay began to spout offensive gibberish. Read more

Is The Digital Payments Industry Facing A Backlash From The Pro-Cash Lobby?

If you were to glance at the latest tech or payments industry news, you could be forgiven for thinking that the days of hard currency, or actual, physical, cash were numbered.

But, away from the front line of the digitalisation of all things banking related; bitcoin, e-wallets, online or mobile only accounts; peer-to-peer money transfer services; a group of organisations with a vested interest in the continuing use of physical currency are forming an alliance to secure teh future of notes and coins. 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

Pay With Google? New Service From Search Giant Unveils Surprise New Feature

It’s probably safe to assume that nearly every person in possession of a credit, debit, or even a store card, has shared those card details with Google on at least one occasion.

Maybe you have made a purchase at the Google Play store. Perhaps you have added a card to Android Pay, or shared your details with YouTube, or almost certainly used them whilst browsing using Google Chrome. Read more

Latest Figures Show The UK Economy Is Suffering But Could It Just Be A Blip – Can Technology Save Us?

This week, we have learned a lot about the state of the economy in the UK, and what it means for the woman or man in the street. 

Firstly, we have learned that inflation hit its highest level since 2012 in October, rising from 2.9%, past the psychological barrier of 3%. Bank of England governor; Mark Carney, has warned that is is likely to rise further.

The main reason that inflation has risen as much as it has is of course Brexit; lest we forget, last June’s vote to leave the EU caused the pound to drop more than 13% against the euro, to a 31-year low, making imports far dearer, and pushing up the prices of nearly all goods produced outside of the UK, and especially fuel, food and transport costs. Read more

MoneyCorp’s Latest Savings Account Allows Customers To Deposit Sterling & Euros

This content is sourced and brought to you by The Money Cloud – comparing the best rates for sending money overseas offered by hand-picked, regulated brokers and money transfer agencies.

Expats living in the Eurozone, businesses trading in the region and Europeans holding excess Sterling may be intrigued to hear that MoneyCorp have just launched a savings account which supports both pounds and euros.

The MoneyCorp account, which requires 90-day notice for all withdrawals, offers a handsome interest rate of 1.3% too – provided you are depositing Sterling – the rate on Euro deposits is just 0.05%. 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