It’s a tough time for the global economy: the increasing volatility of the Japanese and Chinese economies, Greece potentially exiting the Eurozone and tumbling oil prices are all contributing to growing uncertainty.
In this kind of climate, there’s usually one thing on investors’ minds – to ‘futureproof’ their assets. This often means moving them to ‘safe haven’ currencies. The last few months haven’t, however, seen the usual cash flows from unstable to stable currencies. What’s going on and what will it mean for international money transfer?
Slumping commodity prices have caused the Saudi Arabian economy to struggle, putting pressure on the long-standing ‘peg’ (fixed exchange rate) between the Saudi riyal and US dollar. This turbulence could have far-reaching implications for international money transfer – read on to find out more.
In the past, real estate has often been seen as a business of relationships, reliant on contacts and personal connections. While that’s still hugely important, software trends are also becoming increasingly vital to the real estate industry. In the past year alone, venture capitalist projects have raised over $1.5bn US dollars towards software that could streamline your experience in the real estate market. Here’s a quick breakdown on what’s been going on.
In the developed world, sending money domestically is as simple as logging onto online banking. If you want to transfer funds in or to the developing world, however, you’ll often come up against a fairly fundamental block: the ‘unbanked’ phenomenon. But could the growing numbers of online platforms, from Gmail to Facebook, stepping up to the payment plate help societies break through the unbanked barrier? Read more
Near field communication (NFC) has revolutionised the way we pay. However, it also means our contactless cards provide a more accessible route to our bank details. While these advances have made life easier for us, they’ve also made life easier for those looking to discover such information. Here’s what you need to know about contactless theft and how to avoid it. Read more
Most of us will know of the black market as the unlawful trade of goods and services. This is slightly different from the grey market, where trade occurs legally but through unofficial channels. So what exactly happens in shadow economies, and more importantly, what effect does it have on global growth and currencies?
Laws granting the ‘right to be forgotten’ might seem like they’re about isolated cases of image control. In fact, this legislation could have huge implications for storing all types of information. As debates about whether Europeans can protect their data on a worldwide basis rage on, observers are starting the wonder where the laws end.
Eastern trade is likely to expand at a rate not seen for centuries as China’s ‘New Silk Road’ looks set to go ahead, following the announcement of a $40bn investment in the planned trading route. The expansion of roads and railways from China across the globe means stronger links between all countries involved, but how will this affect eastern currencies?
Ever heard the saying, ‘the customer is always right’? In the financial services industry, that hasn’t always been true. But a major new report published by the World Economic Forum (WEF) suggests that consumers’ luck is about to change as fintech continues to disrupt, embed and lead the way. The report, entitled ‘The Future of Financial Services’, examines how fintech is shaping the industry, and it pits agile tech start-ups against the established banking Goliaths to see how each will adapt and how they’ll co-exist. Read more
Commentators from The Economist to Forbes have hailed the triumphant start of the fintech revolution. The financial industry is finally catching up with every other sector that’s ploughing its profits into digitalising its services. The result? A customer-centric industry that’s taking $4.7tn away from traditional banking.
Fluctuations in the foreign exchange market can have far-reaching economic repercussions – it’s no wonder, then, that some governments choose to intervene to manage their own currency’s value. This is less common in the US and UK, which keep to a market-driven approach, but is widespread in many parts of Asia and in the Eurozone. The devaluation of the Chinese renminbi is a recent example, with some observers seeing it as a long-term attempt to bolster the country’s exports. Read more
Financial services regulation is a careful balancing act – it’s essential to keep your money safe, but it can quickly become expensive for businesses. The Economist recently argued that regulation is one of the international money transfer industry’s biggest problems for exactly this reason. Read more
It started as a niche interest of tech-loving teens but soon grew into a social phenomenon. By the end of 2013, the Oxford Dictionaries named selfie ‘word of the year’, which wasn’t surprising given over a million selfies are taken every day. Now, the selfie has grown up and is getting a job in finance. Here’s the breakdown on how your next self-portrait could lead to a legitimate money transfer.
One way to make the most of savings you’d like to grow is by tapping into new investment markets. This could mean looking abroad, in particular at countries that drive global growth. Today, emerging markets in developing nations are poised to do just this – become the world’s new growth engines. As with any financial investment, however, it’s important to measure and manage your risks. Here’s a breakdown on emerging markets and what investing in them means for you.
International money transfer has become a part of everyday life. Banks, brokers and websites can send money abroad quickly and easily. But what’s happening behind the scenes when you make a transaction? Read more
Buying property overseas can be a fantastic investment, whether you’re looking for a bolthole abroad or a more permanent home. The purchasing process might seem a little daunting when you’re unsure about expenses, but there are a few simple ways to make sure you’re getting the most for your money.
The global money market changes fast, from one minute to the next. If you’re making a big international money transfer, it can be tricky to decide when to do it – what if you’re not ready yet, but the exchange rate seems like it’s going to fall? We’ve got several ways to help you get the rates and security you need. Read more
Free trade allows the flow of money from places that have it to places that need it – places of opportunity. That’s the theory. However, in 2010 the IMF, historically free trade’s staunchest defender, conceded that government intervention in markets and trade through capital controls could be justified. That debate has come to the fore again in 2015, as Greece has used them to stop its economy from spiralling out of control. We look at what capital controls are, when they’re used, and how they impact international money matters.
What are capital controls?
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
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