Why Tech-Driven Money Transfer Startups Are Cheaper Than Their Older Rivals

The fintech industry has exploded in recent years, slowly growing into niches once dominated by big finance. In the international money transfer market high street banks and wire transfer companies like Western Union are starting to find themselves undercut and outperformed by innovative startups. But what is it that gives these fledgling companies their edge? Read more

Why We’re Closer To Cashless Than You Might Think

2014 was a landmark year for the cashless revolution in the UK. For the first time, cashless payments overtook those made using ‘real’ money, signalling a pretty significant change in the national mentality. The UK’s not the only one saying goodbye to coins and notes, either. Countries like Singapore, the Netherlands and France are leading the way here, making around 60% of their payments without physical currency. Read more

Taking Control Of Your Trades: A Six-step Guide

Sending money overseas via a foreign exchange broker doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve got to hand over total control. While they can take care of everything for you, understanding the basics of trading can help you make the most of your international money transfers. It’ll also put you in a much better position to benefit from automated trading platforms or peer-to-peer services. That’s why we’ve put together this six-step guide to getting more involved in your trades. Read more

Free trade: the key to unlocking Africa’s economic potential?

Economic integration isn’t a new concept to Africa; sub-regional markets have emerged throughout the continent since the ’60s. But while there hasn’t been as much integration in the past few decades as many leaders would like, that’s looking set to change. A recent African Union summit set a 2017 deadline for the creation of a continental free-trade area, building on the Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA), which covers 26 countries.

Today we’re looking at what such an expansive free-trade area could mean for Africa’s social and economic development. If it manages to propel to some of the world’s poorest countries towards prosperity and stability, it has every chance of shaking up the global economy and foreign exchange for the better. Read more

Abenomics explained: what it means for you

When he was re-elected prime minister of Japan in December 2012, Shinzō Abe laid out a plan to end the country’s decades-long economic slump. His short term goals were to boost GDP and raise inflation to 2%. Long term, he hoped to stimulate competition and cement trade partnerships. But despite its successes, Abenomics is facing increasingly vocal opposition. Opinion in Japan is fiercely divided, so what do these policies mean for you? Read more

Paying With Your Mobile: How It Works

66% of Brits know they can pay using a smartphone, and in the US 53% of shoppers want more stores to accept payments via mobile. Despite the enthusiasm for this growing technology, many of us still aren’t completely clear on how it works. That’s why we’ve put together this quick guide to mobile payments, which takes you through the three main approaches. Read more

The new laws set to overhaul data protection practices in Europe

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.

If you don’t want to wait till 2016 to step up your data protection, we recommend reading the fine print of a company’s privacy policy before passing on personal details, using individual, complex passwords and installing anti-malware software. This is particularly important when transferring funds or using new, unfamiliar technology. At The Money Cloud we take data protection very seriously; it’s a core part of what our business is about. We subscribe to all UK data protection laws and guidelines; only collect information that’s required by regulations or needed to improve our services; and store it securely. If you’re unsure about how your data and funds are kept safe when sending money overseas, you can find out more in our 101 guide to international money transfer here [LINK: 101 GUIDE].