Payment Services Directive 2 Explained (& An Infographic!)

Call it bad timing, but no sooner had the European Union delivered the first Payment Service Directive (PSD), to provide a legal foundation for the introduction of SEPA, that’s the Single Euro Payments Area, which effectively created a single market for payments across the European Union, covering credit transfers, direct debits and cards, when the payments industry entered possibly its most “disruptive” period ever. Read more

Can I Really Manage My Finances From A Smartphone App?

This guide is brought to you by The Money Cloud, where you compare the best rates for sending money overseas offered by top authorised brokers and money transfer agencies.

Remember when all you would hear during the ad breaks for your favourite television programme would be “there’s an app for that”.

This was a few years ago now, when apps were brand new and the likes of Apple, Google and Samsung wanted you to learn all about these mysterious new widgets that could solve your everyday problems at a cinch.

If we were initially sceptical, we certainly took to them in the end, but the trouble was, for every Tinder, Citymapper, or Uber, there were too many apps, rushed out by companies desperate not to miss out on the next big thing, or designed by Silicon Valley geek squads, that simply didn’t cut the mustard.

They were either too niche, too complex, too badly built, or simply released to act like Trojan horses, sneaking their way onto your phones and accessing your personal data to sell on to advertising companies.

It may have taken financial services institutions longer than most to come to the app party, but in fact, we should be thankful for that.

Banking and personal finance apps can now make a genuine difference to our lives, for the better. Here’s how. Read more

Top 5 Luxury Holiday Destinations in 2017

It’s hump-day, and budget day, so perhaps it’s time for a welcome bit of escapism.

With the end of the first quarter of 2017 rapidly approaching, if you haven’t started planning where to spend your major holiday for this year, here are 5 luxury destinations you might want to consider.

It’s well worth downing tools for five minutes and indulging yourself, if only for the smile it will put on the faces of your children, wife, husband, partner, and you!

Playa Paraiso, Cuba Read more

How To Use The Money Cloud To Transfer Money To Malaysia

At some stage of our careers, we all dream about what it would be like to work from a different location. Could it really be possible to swap the grey skies of London for South East Asia, for example?

The answer, of course it is yes, it’s more than possible, and it’s a great way to broaden your horizons and learn all about a new culture, plus relocating abroad could also be a boon for your business or career, too!

If the opportunity does cross your path at the right time, a spell abroad could be a highly desirable move.

But there may be all kinds of other reasons why you might want to send money abroad to Malaysia. You may be a Malaysian living overseas who wants to send their money back home to relatives. You may be a business paying a Malaysian supplier, or setting up an office there. You may be paying for a holiday in advance. You may be paying for tuition. You may be buying a property there.

Well, we can’t find you a flat in downtown Kuala Lumpur, but we can help you on the currency side – by showing you how easy is it can be to transfer money overseas.

Worked Example

Let’s say you need to transfer some money to Malaysia and complete a worked example. Read more

Top 5 Tips When Buying Property In France

Many British people every year choose to buy a property in France because of the wonderfully relaxed lifestyle France offers. The French have a strong appreciation for the good things in life and many consider them to be among the most cultured people in the world. They have good food and good wine and a more laid back style of life than in the UK, but there are things you need to consider when buying property in France. Read more

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme Explained

Back in August 2007, the UK experienced its first run on a bank in more than 140 years. TV crews rushed to film long queues of deposit holders outside branches of Northern Rock, at the time the 7th largest ranked bank in the UK in terms of assets, as fears grew that the bank and mortgage lender had run out of cash, and would allocate pay-outs to their customers on a first-come first-served based.

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) was designed precisely to ward off such an event, which could all too easily have a domino effect – sentiment is a very powerful force within the financial markets – and when people lose faith, big banks can topple in the face of hysterical demand, Mary Poppins style. Read more

5 Cities To Relocate Your Business To If Brexit Is not For You

If the thought of running your Fintech challenger, digital startup or indeed, any other kind of business in a post-Brexit Britain is just too horrific, there are plenty of places in Europe that will welcome you with open arms – provided your Europhile credentials check out, of course.

Here are 5 recommendations below – feel free to share yours with us – and of course, when it comes to arranging moving money abroad, we will be more than happy to help.

Lisbon

Read more

London & Hong Kong Financial Bodies Join Forces To Support Global Fintech Innovation

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and its Hong Kong equivalent, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) have signed a co-operation agreement that will promote information sharing between the two regions, and introduce a referral system that will make it easier for approved, UK based fintech startups to set up operations in Hong Kong, and vice versa. Read more

6 Payments Apps That Are Great For SMEs

After trialling the product for some time over here, Square, the US based payments provider startup founded by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, has finally launched in the UK.

Square, which floated on the New York Stock Exchange in November 2015 at a valuation of around $6bn, provides independent traders with a means to take card payments using a reader- and it will retail over here in the UK at just £39.

It got us thinking about other payments apps that are valuable to startups and SMEs, and in that spirit, we present 6 of the best we could find! Read more

The Big 4 Fintech Challenger Banks Changing The Way We Think About Personal Finance

The “Big 4” Challenger Banks

London may not be the world’s biggest FinTech hub, but there is an argument that says it is the most disruptive, and especially within the retail banking space.

There are no fewer than 5 recognised “Challenger banks” in operation currently, 4 based in London, and one in Durham. All have attracted significant funding, target millennials with mobile apps, instant spending reports and clever features, yet all face different challenges and issues as they battle to uproot the “big 4” high street banks; Lloyds, HSBC, Barclays and Natwest. Let’s have a look at 5 of the so-called challengers – in no particular order. 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.

looking to send money overseas – try the Money Cloud for the best rates offered by the best, hand picked brokers and money transfer agencies.

Everything To Know About International Money Transfers – Infographic

When did the humble infographic become the marketer’s weapon of choice?

Well, we can’t answer that but we do know that, joking aside, infographics are an extremely handy way to swot up on a subject and impress your peers, or in this case, make business or personal finance decisions with all the facts at your fingertips.

So, in that spirit, we present our comprehensive infographic, International Money Transfers Explained”, a definitive guide to your money transfer options. Read more

US Might Tax Growing Caribbean & Latin American Remittance Market To Build Mexican Wall

In what seems a bizarre, unprecedented and surely unpopular move, Alabama congressman Mike Rogers announced on April 21st the introduction of a bill that will impose a 2% fee on all remittances made from the US to Latin American and Caribbean countries, in order to pay for the Mexico / US border wall promised by President Donald Trump.

The Border Wall Funding Act, or HR 1813, to give it its official title, has now been referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security. Read more