To date, it seems that contactless debit and credit cards have won the battle for consumers’ affections, as, despite the obvious advantages of making payments via mobile and using digital wallets, namely the ability to earn loyalty points, heightened security and a smoother checkout experience, mobile payments simply refuse to take off in the way analysts predicted. Read more
There are all sorts of reasons to send money overseas, but whether it’s for business reasons; paying the wages of an overseas employee, for example; personal, buying a property or sending money to a new country before relocating there; or family, paying for a son’s or daughter’s education perhaps; the same rules apply when searching for the right service.
Let’s take a look at the 5 things to look out for before making a transfer. It pays, literally, to plan in advance, take your time, and consider all the options available to you. You might be surprised how many there are. Read more
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
If you are a follower of the financial news media, you are probably aware that how people are sending money abroad is changing.
The most common ways to send money abroad at the turn of the decade would have been to either use a money transfer agency like Western Union or Ria, or to visit your high-street bank and send your money through them.
They may be marketed as convenient, flash, and “rewarding”, but in reality, the credit card trap is one you don’t want to fall into unless you can pay back everything you owe, every month, on time, and without bringing other accounts overdrawn. Which of us, hand on heart, can promise this, especially when there are temptations everywhere, from fashion to food, travel, gadgets, and a million and one subscription based services? Read more
Here at The Money Cloud, we were shocked to see research carried out by the Bank of International Settlements, that 85% of retail transfers are made through banks globally. There are many reasons why you shouldn’t use you bank for transferring money abroad and in this post, we have put together what we think are the 5 top reasons you should stop using your bank for international money transfers in comparison to the services The Money Cloud promote; Read more
The largest amounts of currencies transferred overseas have been researched by the Currency Index and some of the results have been very surprising, these large amounts of foreign currency are mainly from investors, but also those buying properties overseas.
Starling bank are arguably the UK’s most exciting Fintech “Challenger Bank” – that is, a new kind of firm offering users a different kind of banking proposition; simple, transparent, and without the hidden fees and charges that can make high street banks so unappealing to modern, mobile savvy millennials. Read more
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
If you’re reading this then you have come to the right place, because we are the experts in overseas money transfer. We have, after all, been at it for more than 10 years. Together, or co-founders Emmanuel and Huw launched the first ever money transfer comparison site all the way back in 2004.
Since then, we have seen serious change come to the industry, and that’s mainly due to the rise and rise of financial technology, which we now call Fintech.
Taking on (and outperforming) the big banks’ services
When QROPS – that’s Qualified, Recognised, Overseas Pension Transfers to you and me, were first introduced in 2006, it proved to be an unexpectedly popular piece of legislation.
In the last, “last” Spring Budget, Chancellor Philip Hammond acted swiftly and decisively to introduce a 25% charge on UK pensions being transferred overseas, which came into effect the very next day. Read more
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
Although we don’t quite know how the UK economy will change as a result of Brexit, what we do know is that many of the news sources are focusing almost exclusively on how those living in the country will be affected. But how about those living abroad? British expats, EU residents, and even those living elsewhere in the world are beginning to ask how they might be affected by the result of the referendum, and want to ensure that they’re doing everything they can to protect themselves, and their money, at this time.
Business as Usual for UK Expats
If you’ve waved goodbye to drizzly England and taken up residence on sunnier shores, don’t panic. You’re certainly not alone – an estimated 1.3 million Brits live on the continent thanks to the free movement laws within the EU – and despite what some scaremongers are saying, it’s very unlikely that you’ll become an illegal immigrant overnight. While we can’t predict the future, it is suggested that the UK will enter into some sort of agreement with the EU. Think about Norway, for example. Although they are not a part of the EU, British citizens are still able to live and work in Norway without the need for a visa.
Perhaps the biggest concern for Brits living abroad is money transfers. If you’re receiving a UK salary or UK pension, unfavourable currency exchange rates can have an impact upon day-to-day life. But depreciation is nothing new. In fact, the pound was actually lower against the euro in December 2008 than it is following the referendum. People overcame this by using dedicated FX services such as The Money Cloud who can provide big savings on international money transfers; it’s no different this time around.
Good News for EU Residents
If you live in another EU state and have been thinking about coming to live and work in Britain, experts are saying that you will still be able to do so. ‘It will still be possible to employ personnel from EU member states’, says Omer Simjee of Irwin Mitchell Solicitors. There may be a little extra work to be done, and a few more ‘administrative costs’, according to Simjee, but it is expected that emigration from EU states to the UK for work purposes will not be significantly affected by the result of the referendum.
A Boost for the Developing World
Many countries around the world have voiced concern that Brexit will not only affect the European region, but elsewhere, too. However, it is possible that the situation will be beneficial to many of these countries, particularly those in the developing world. If the majority of UK trade is shifted from the EU, it is likely that the Commonwealth nations will be a major focus. Countries such as India, Kenya, and Pakistan could benefit significantly. Fortunately, services such as The Money Cloud make it easy to send money abroad, and receive money from abroad, providing the best currency exchange rates for trade.
By Emmanuel Addy – Emmanuel has over 12 years’ experience of developing partnerships in the FX/digital payments sector. He has also worked alongside Huw Jenkins, in money transfer comparison since the sector began before consolidating his experience to co-found The Money Cloud.
Negative interest rates have made plenty of headlines recently. But are they effective in fighting deflation and encouraging economic growth? And what is their effect on international money transfer? 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
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.
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
Google has introduced a new function to Gmail accounts in the UK: the ability to attach money to emails. That leads to the obvious question – is it safe to send money over email? Read more