- Posted by Hieu on March 23, 2015 in Financial Tips
It’s no secret that sending money online can be risky. Many fraudsters and scam artists make a living from conning online victims out of their hard earned money. The best way to make sure you’re performing safe money transfers is to teach yourself to spot these scams. We’re going to take a look at some of the most common Paypal and Western Union scams around, and teach you how to avoid them.
Different Paypal and Western Union Scams – What You Should Do if You Suspect Something
Overpayment is a common Western Union scam. This involves a buyer of an item sending the victim seller a cheque for a higher amount than the agreed sale price. The buyer then expects the seller to refund the difference via Western Union, however the original cheque does not cash – leaving the seller with no payment for the goods, and having refunded the excess from the cheque.
Lesson: If anyone claims to have “overpaid” you, make sure that the cheque is accepted by your bank before refunding the difference.
Emergency! Is another common scam. The victim receives an email from a supposed relative or someone who needs help, such as a grandparent who has been hospitalised or a Nigerian prince who is attempting to retrieve his fortune. The email asks the victim to send money, often with the promise of a return, to a Western Union or Paypal account. The email is fraudulent and the scammer Continue Reading…
- Posted by Tom on March 17, 2015 in Financial Tips
The State Bank of India (SBI) is owned by the Indian government and serves as the largest banking and financial services facility in India. Its headquarters are in Mumbai and has over 16,000 branches across India. In other words, it’s huge. But is it the best option for your banking needs? Let’s take a look.
State Bank of India – UK Branches
If you live in London, Southall, Golders Green, Manchester, Leicester or Birmingham, then there is an SBI branch near you! This means you can do all of your transactions physically, just like you would with a local bank. Contact details for these branches can be found here: http://www.sbiuk.com/footer/top-footer/contact-us#collapse7
If you live in the UK, but not near these areas, then there’s always the online transaction option. You just log in using your account information and conduct transactions in a similar way to your domestic online banking system. With this feature, you can do standard things like transfer between your own accounts, pay bills and make payments to other banks.
State Bank of India Interest Rates – How They Compare
The SBI currently offers around 1.25% as an effective annual interest rate on a basic savings account. To compare, Barclays offers around 1.2-1.5% interest per annum. This is only a small difference, but as the interest is compounding (earning interest on the interest), this can multiply over time. Overall, the SBI offers a reasonable, but not optimal rate of return on savings.
Comparatively, many Continue Reading…
- Posted by Jason on March 16, 2015 in Financial Tips
Moving money between countries can be sluggish and expensive. Rest assured, however, as this can be largely avoided using the right international personal banking service. We’re going to check out your options when it comes to offshore accounts and moving money internationally.
Saving Money When Using International Banks
It’s important to find a bank that fits your needs when it comes to fees. Some providers will charge a one off fee for international transfers – irrespective of the amount you send, while others will charge a percentage. Generally, if you’re sending large amounts, a flat fee works out cheaper than a percentage. Similarly, when sending small amounts, often a percentage works out cheaper.
Shop around on these fees and try to get the best deal to align with your expected intentions. For example, if you know that you’ll be moving huge amounts of currency, try to avoid using a bank that charges a percentage.
Personal Online Banking – Features Offered to You by Different Banks
HSBC is an internationally recognised bank and operates through over 6200 different branches throughout 80 different countries. This gives great accessibility, particularly if you enjoy traveling or consistently relocating. This also means that you can seamlessly transfer money between HSBC branches, particularly in travel emergencies. It’s also nice just to have a feeling of consistency when banking abroad – rather than having different bank accounts for different countries. They charge GBP £20 – 30 per transfer and a monthly fee Continue Reading…
- Posted by Lauren on March 15, 2015 in Technology
In recent years, new technology has allowed us to do most of our banking both online and on the go. But how does it work? Is it safe? We’re going to take you through the “ins and outs” of mobile banking.
Choosing Your Mobile Money Device
Almost any device that can access the internet is capable of performing mobile banking. This means that if you have a laptop, tablet, iPad or smartphone with an internet connection, then you’ve got everything you need to get started!
If you’re using a laptop, you just need to open your web-browser and navigate to your bank’s official website. From there, you should find a button to let you log on to your account. Enter your details and you’re away.
Most smartphones and tablets work on a different operating system to computers and, while you can use online banking via your web-browser, there are superior apps and online banking software available instead. These official apps are created by each individual bank and offer a much more mobile-friendly user experience. To find these, you’ll have to look on the App Store, Marketplace or Google Play (depending on your device). Just type your bank’s name into the search function and download the (official) one created by your bank.
Many UK banks will offer extra free software too – such as Barclay’s “Branch Finder” app. These are often practical and worth a download if the app title or description interests you.
SMS and Mobile Continue Reading…
- Posted by Tom on March 12, 2015 in Financial Tips
If you’re looking to invest in the foreign exchange markets, the first thing you’ll need is a currency broker. This is someone that links you, as a buyer (or seller) of foreign currency, with a seller (or buyer) of that same currency. Think of a broker like a middle-man to help you set up the trades you’ll be doing. You’ll need to be careful though – brokers don’t work for free.
What to Look For In a Foreign Exchange Broker
The first thing to watch out for when it comes to currency brokers are fees. Some brokers charge separate fees, particularly for smaller transactions, while others incorporate them into either the exchange rate, or the spread (the difference between the buy and sell price of a currency). As an example, HiFX New Zealand charges fees for transactions below approximately USD $5000. If the transaction is larger than this, then no direct fee is charged – the broker makes their money by buying the currency for a little less than it sells it for (the spread).
If you’re planning to frequently exchange small amounts, these fees can add up quickly – eating into your profits.
Another service that currency brokers may offer is information in the form of market knowledge, research and advisory services. This can allow you to make more informed and potentially better decisions. Be warned though – no-one knows for certain what currencies will rise in the future. Continue Reading…
- Posted by Jason on March 11, 2015 in Financial Tips
Money transfer to Sri Lanka can often be a hassle – there are usually so many options, and many of them have nasty hidden surprises in the way of unexpected fees. We’re going to show you how to get the best deal when changing your Dollars, Pounds or Euros for Sri Lankan Rupees.
Check The Sri Lankan Currency Exchange Rate
It’s important to remember that currency values are relative to each other and constantly changing. So, today, USD $1 is equal to 132 Sri Lankan Rupees – but this will change with each passing minute. Political stability, demand for exports and interest rates are all factors that affect the Sri Lankan currency rate. While the rates aren’t likely to be differing hugely day to day (it would be highly unlikely for USD $1 to equal 800 rupees tomorrow for example), a small change in the rate can change the rupees received by a huge amount. The bigger the amount you send, the more the rate will affect what comes out on the other side.
Shop around for different providers too – everyone will offer you a slightly different rate. Many companies have free calculators on their website so that you can easily work out which one will give you value for money (ours is in the top right hand corner of this page). Remember to factor in transfer fees when comparing providers. After all, there’s no use in getting the most generous Continue Reading…
- Posted by Tom on March 10, 2015 in Financial Tips
Money transfer cards are a service that allow you to take funds from your credit card and deposit it straight into your checking account. You might find this useful if you’re looking for a way to pay off your overdraft or get some quick cash for an emergency. It’s important to be careful though – the devil is in the detail when signing up for a card like this. Make sure you know exactly what you’re getting yourself in for.
The Risks of Money Transfer Credit Cards
The interest rate is a key point to consider when dealing with any form of borrowed money – as it is essentially the “cost”. An interest rate of around 20% a year is quite common with any form of credit/debit card debt. This is relatively expensive (comparatively, a mortgage costs around 6-8%), and should therefore be used only when necessary. If you are paying off an overdraft, make sure that the new card is a lower rate. You wouldn’t want to use a 22% credit card to pay off an overdraft being charged 15% – you’d be losing money.
When signing up for a card, ensure that there are no hidden requirements, such as repayment terms or minimum amounts. Failing to meet these requirements will likely cost you a fee.
A number of providers will offer “0% interest terms”. After signing up to a card, for a certain period of time (depending on your provider), you Continue Reading…
- Posted by Jason on March 9, 2015 in Financial Tips
Normally, to send money abroad, a risk is involved – after all, who knows if it will make it to the other side intact? These risks can easily be heavily reduced by sending your money through a secure, reputable provider. OrbitRemit offers a number of security measures and gives you plenty of transparent information on your transfer, so you know exactly where your money is at all times.
Sending Money Abroad – Keeping Your Eyes On It
We know that being able to track your money is an important part of giving you confidence in our service. This is why OrbitRemit offers the ability to “track your transaction” at all times through our website. Simply log on and click the “payments” tab to view the status of your transfer. The status will likely either be:
“Awaiting Payment” – we’re waiting on payment from you. Usually there is a delay here due to local banks taking a day or so to process things.
“Funds Received” – we’ve received the transfer from your local account and will transfer the funds to the recipient on the next business morning
“Funds Paid” – the funds have reached their destination
This way, you know exactly what stage of the process your funds are at any time you log in.
Customer Service, 24 Hours a Day
When things go wrong, which they sometimes do, it’s always important to have a robust customer service system to help you work through things. Many services, Continue Reading…
- Posted by Hieu on March 8, 2015 in Market
Australia is world famous for its hot climate, exotic animals and Ayers Rock. But what about its currency – the Australian Dollar (AUD)? Like all currencies, the Australian currency exchange rate is extremely volatile – for instance falling against the Philippine Peso (PHP), but at the same time rising against the rupee (INR). We’re going to take a look at these movements over recent months and make some brief predictions regarding the AUD for the coming year.
Chinese Demand and its Effect on the AUD
Recently, China has been a great driver of global economic growth, growing at 7% or more per year for well over a decade. Due to its size, swings in the Chinese economy greatly affect the economies of the rest of the world because of a dependency on China’s manufacturing ability and China’s growing role as a major consumer of the world’s products. But China’s growth has begun to show signs of slowing.
As a strong mining country, due to rich, natural deposits of precious materials, this decrease in demand has hit Australia where it hurts. Such a slowdown decreases demand for Australian exports, such as iron ore, and decreases the demand for Australian Dollars. This causes the dollar to depreciate and is one factor aiding the falling AUD value.
China’s growth looks reasonably set to remain lower than it has been in the past, and this could easily keep the AUD where it is, or even lower. On the other Continue Reading…
- Posted by Paul on March 5, 2015 in Financial Tips
It’s fair to say at this point that Paypal is a large, internationally-recognised company known worldwide for its money transfer services. However, bigger isn’t always better – many people have complained about Paypal’s high fees, poor customer service and a system vulnerable to fraudsters. Fortunately, there are always Paypal alternatives. We’re going to take a look at some of these in this post .
How Does Paypal Work?
In order to transfer money via Paypal, you need to sign up for an account. You connect your Paypal account to a credit or debit card, and you can then make payments from these accounts via Paypal, to a recipient’s Paypal account. Once your Paypal account receives funds, you can also pay others directly from this online account. However, in order to actually withdraw your money as cash, you need to transfer it from your Paypal account to your bank account. This at least a few days, and sometimes up to a week depending on where you live. If it involves a currency conversion, it can also be very costly.
Paypal charges a 3.4% (plus an additional NZD $0.45) fee. This is relatively high compared to other providers, who charge around 0.5% to around $10, particularly if you’re sending large amounts (because it’s a percentage; not a flat fee).
Alternative systems, such as ours, allow users to transfer directly to the recipient’s bank account – essentially cutting out the “middle-man” account. This allows for speedy and Continue Reading…