Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Why Banks Are Ditching ‘.com’ for Bank

 ‘.com’ for Bank

`Bank’ Domain – Consumer Protection

With over 4,000 registrations in the U.S for web address, European banks have been making haste in acquiring the more secured domain name `bank; where more than 500 European financial organizations have signed to take advantage of this special domain. According to the chief executive of domain name seller, CentralNic, the reason is `consumer protection.

Ben Crawford informed CNBC that the reason for the `bank’ domain is basically that the millions of dollars which are lost annually are through online fraud’. Several banks together with the popular establishments in recent yearshave seen breaks in their network inclusive of JPMorgan in 2014 when the bank had revealed that some 76 million household together with seven million small businesses had their data conceded by cyber-attack.

Besides this, a report of 2014 by the Centre for Strategic and International Studies projected that the cybercrime costs the global economy over $400 billion each year. The domain name `bank’ is only made available to banks and hence it gives consumers the security of knowing that if they tend to get to a website which ends with `bank’, it is not a bogus website, it is not deceptive and it can be trusted.

`CentralNic – Support Financial Institutions

In order to avail one of these domain names, it is said that banks are paying about $1,500 which is higher than the standard consumer name of domain. The role of CentralNic in the procedure is to render support to financial institutions in order to go through the compliancy issues, in obtaining the new domain name while `bank’ seems to be operated by fTLD Registry Services.

Moreover, CentralNic also seems to have some contribution in the launch of Google’s Alphabet website `abc.xyz’ Entrepreneur. The owner of `xyz’ is Daniel Negari though CentralNic is the exclusive wholesaler for `xyz’ which helps in powering the domain’s registry. Registrations on `xyz’, according to Reuters had increased intensely since the announcement from Google with Crawford adding the `xyz’ being the only contender to the future `.com’.Customers are being compelled to seek alternative options of banking due to bank fees and low interest rates. But will going `bank-free’, provide the answer to these problems?

`Credit Union/Money Market Mutual Funds

To know if the world could do without a bank, it is essential to determine how the changes have taken place in banking and if those changes are friendly or not to the consumers. Co-owner of Money Crashers, Andrew Schrage states that several people seem to be ditching their banks.

 He further commented that over 5.6 million Americans have closed their accounts with the big banks and among those consumers; around 214,000 had opened new accounts with a credit union. With the increase in bank fees, low interest rates accompanied with poor customer service at several of the large banking institution, people seem to be unhappy.

Schrage informs that two of the best alternatives to bank in keeping your funds in place where it could gain a return are credit unions as well as money market mutual funds. The interest rate, for instance, offered on credit union accounts are usually on the higher side than those offered by most banks, and the fees seems much lower.

Money market mutual funds also seem to be a good alternative which is an investment in short term certificates of deposit or securities. These could be in the form of Treasury bills, government bonds or corporate bonds.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Oil Sinks to Biggest Weekly Decline of 2015 after IEA Warning


Oil Dropped to Major Weekly Decline – IEA Emphasised Excess Level of Global Crude

Oil dropped to its major weekly decline of the year after International Energy Agency report emphasised the level of the global crude excess. The energy monitor - IEA, informed that low prices are taking a toll on supply. However, producers have not scrambled back to make dent in the stockpiles. For six straight sessions, oil had fallen, in registering its massive weekly percentage decline of 2015. The latest oil’s selloff that hadreduced prices by around a third since the beginning of the year has started rattling stock and debt market again.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down by 270 points recently and the Junk bonds which were also whirling from a fund’s closure had also collapsed. January delivery of U.S. oil futures had fallen by $1.14 to $35.62 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange Brent, while the global benchmark had fallen by $1.80 per barrel, to $37.93 on ICE Futures Europe. Both had lost around 11% for the week, placing them down a third for the year as well as at their lowest settlement since the financial predicament.

IEA Monthly Report – World Oil-Demand Growth – To Be Relaxed

In February 2009, U.S. oil had last settled this low and Brent in December 2008 and the last time U.S. crude, had posted a six-session losing streak was in March. For Brent it was in mid-2014. In recent weeks, currency managers had abruptly moved against crude, constantly adding to bets on the falling prices. Recently the data released by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, indicated only 80,474 additional bets on the rising prices than the falling prices, which is said to be the smallest margin in more than five years.

The IEA, in its monthly report had indicated that the world oil-demand growth would relax to 1.2 million barrel each day towards 2016 after flowing to 1.8 million barrels per day this year since support from sharply falling oil prices had started to disappear. Unrelenting strong OPEC production together with extra Iranian oil hitting the market in the next year would increase global inventories by around 300 million barrels.

Oil Would Rebound to $65

IEA has commented that `as inventories tend to increase towards 2016, there would be a lot of oil weighing on the market’. Prices of several oil company shares had revealed the notion that oil would rebound to $65 per barrel according to managing director at investment bank Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co; Matt Portillo.

The prices together with the oil futures curve are presently below $60 per barrel all through 2024, and indication that a recovery seems very remote. Mr Portillo has informed that `it’s the slow meltdown which is being seen in the market presently’. Besides this, there also seems to be broad concerns regarding growth, particularly in emerging markets which in the earlier years had directed demand growth in raw materials.

Central bank of China had recently indicated its intention of changing the way it tends to manage the value of Yuan by loosening its peg to the dollar which could be a bad indication for oil demand in the second largest oil consumer in the world, according to senior research analyst at ClearBridge Investment, Dimitry Dayen, which manages the assets of $103.9 billion. He had commented that `if they tend to devalue their currency which is a bit of what is prevailing presently; the commodity will become more expensive locally and could drive the demand lower’.

RBI Rejects Bids at Bond Sale for Second Consecutive Week

Bond sale

RBI Rejects Bids at Government Bond Sale

The Reserve Bank of India rejected all the bids at its 150 billion rupee government bond sale including the benchmark 10 year debt, recently, marking the second week consecutively when it did not accept some of the bids. The RBI had only accepted 49.4 billion rupees worth of bids for its sale of 70 billion rupee of 2025 bonds and had accepted only 22.9 billion rupees of the 30 billion rupees worth of 2034 bonds that were being sold.

 The balance three bonds had been totally allotted. RBI has the option of not accepting all bids at the debt auctions through a procedure known as a `devolvement’, which tends to lead underwriting dealers to purchase some of the shortfall in undersubscribed tenders at determined cut-off yield. According to a treasurer at HDFC, Ashish Parthasarthy, he comments that `the yield may not be acceptable and they would find it too high’.The devolvement has come up when the RBI is tied up in a complicated balancing act with domestic yields in order to keep the volatility away from its bond markets ahead of the policy decision of the Federal Reserve this month.

Fourth Auction with Weak Bids/High Yields

This seems to be the fourth auction which has seen weak bids and demands at high yield levels from the market. The RBI may not have been relaxed giving a cut-off which did not reflect its accommodative monetary position, according to bond traders.

The government is scheduled to raise Rs 15,000 crore by allotting four bonds at the weekly auction. Presently the craving for bonds is quite low in the market and several investors have incurred losses after yields shot up sharply after the policy statement and are now being careful according to the managing director of ICICI Securities Primary Dealership, B. Prasanna. Government bond earnings have increased by at least 10 basis points over the last one week as an aggressive policy statement from RBI, the effects of global bond sell-off earlier in the month as well as anxieties over domestic inflation that kept several buyers at bay. The 10 year benchmark 7.72%, 2025 bond yield closed at 7.8%, up 10 bps from the earlier week. The bond has suffered losses for all investors who had bought it at the maiden auction in May.

Last Devolvement – June 12

In the policy of June, the RBI had reduced its repo rate by 25 bps, but had raised it inflation forecast to 6% for January and had commented that it has frontloaded its rate cuts. This however brought about expectations of the future rate cuts sharply down in the bond market. Moreover, the bond yields from US to Europe has also increased to multi-month highs since the investors deserted fixed income in the midst of rising oil prices as well as the forthcoming rate hike by the US Federal Reserve.

The last devolvement of RBI had been on June 12, when the sentiments seemed negative owing to high inflation reading. An official aware of the central bank’s decision in explaining the devolvement had informed that `the bids had come at much higher yields’. He had added that the central bank was also certain in not devolving in too big an amount to avoid destabilising the markets.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Free Super Bowl Ad for Small Businesses

Super Bowl Ad - A Dream with Huge Monetary Strings Attached 

For several industries, a Super Bowl ad seems to be a reserved dream having huge monetary strings attached. But each year, only a single industrialist tends to gets a free award, a 30-second Super Bowl commercial in the Small Business Big Game contest. Around 15,000 small businesses had applied in 2015, for the Small Business Big Game contest and only three finalists were left. To begin with, the field is tapered to 10 finalists through a panel of judges who tend to review each enterprise depending on numerous factors which comprise of authenticity, passion as well as an emotional connection to the public.

The ultimate three businesses tend to get selected from this collection in agreement with a popular vote. Advertising being on parity with the proper finances in order, this could be a great opportunity of enhancing a business. This event has been sponsored by Intuit QuickBooks where the grand prize spot seems to be valued at $5 million. This contest tends to draw thousands of small business, yearly, who are hopeful and tend to look forward towards new and affordable means of boosting their business and drawing new audiences.

Small Business Big Game Contest – Ideal Solution for Small Businesses 

The winner tends to get the free Super Bowls add, however, the second and the third place businesses tend to receive a $25,000 prize together with a free local media spot which is valued at $15,000. But some understanding business owners seem to know that advertising on par with thorough financial planning as well as the ultimate consolation prize is the free publicity.

 For instance, the ten judges who are the selected finalists tend to ride the free publicity wave with social media hastag in order to support them to maximize their branding. To win the competition, it does not need the biggest number of followers of social media. On the contrary, judges tend to concentrate on the passion, ability, community involvement and much more of the business.

This year’s favorite, in fact had the least amount of likes on Facebook. However, it seems active in community events as well as children’s sports leagues resulting in steadfast support of its community. Small businesses with the need of little help in reaching national audience abroad could turn to the ideal solution of the Small Business Big Game contest.

How to Prevent and Copy without Data Loss

Files/Folders/Application/Complete System – To Be Fully Protected

There could be instances in one’s life where they are faced with the fact when their external storage systems seems to fail and they tend to lose most of their valuable information and treasured images as well as important business presentation within a split of a second. It is essential to have your files, folders, application and the complete systems fully protected and safeguard the important data and the application. However, these issues of data loss could be resolved if one tends to have a backup drive and one that is in a good spot. The user needs to ensure that the backup is updated regularly.

Whenever possible, enable the system to back up itself every ten to fifteen minutes based on how one tends to work on the files. Though one may not be in a position to envisage every storage malfunction, it could get worse if the same is not enabled on a regular basis. Besides this, examine the storage system to make sure that they have a strong data recovery process which can cater to all the needs of the user. For backup and disaster recovery, user should contact a specialist who is equipped to handle the situation and provide a solution for the recovery of data and other important information. 

Recovery Software for External Hard Drive Problem

If one tends to have problem with their external hard drive, which are known to malfunction after a few years of work, but the computer seems to recognize the drive, one could use the recovery software, but if the computer does not seem to recognize the storage device the services of a specialist would be essential. The provider offers, backup and disaster recovery which tends to work with granular recovery options, systems snapshots, bare metal restores as well as full server fail over. Sometimes a server tends to crash, a virus abolishes files or it could be an outage leaving your office unavailable, when you’re prepared for it it will be easy to handle the situation with the help of a specialist.

 However with the services of the specialist, one could continue working by utilizing their local and cloud recovery functions. They tend to make it easy to recover anything which seems to be lost within minutes thus keeping the flow of work ongoing. When one tends to work frequently with important data as well as information, you should choose the appropriate system for your requirements. Ensure to back-up the system on a regular basis, paying heed to the warning signals of malfunction whenever it may arise and overcome the situation of ever facing any important data loss.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Oil Prices Tumble to Five-Year Low as OPEC Gathers in Vienna


Oil Prices Collapses to Lowest Level in Five Years

As OPEC leaders meet in Vienna to set the prices for the year ahead, oil prices have collapsed to the lowest level in five years. After the US stockpiles flowed in November, Brent crude for January delivery dropped by 3.7% to $42.77 per barrel in London. US Energy Information Administration shocked the market, which had hoped the level of oil to drop during winter, by reporting that the glut of oil in America had increased by 1.2m barrels till November 27 to reach 489.4m barrels thus approached its highest level on record.

In the meanwhile, weak inflation report from Eurozone raised the possibility of the European Central Bank launching a new round of motivation sending the dollar to its highest level over 12 years. Besides this it also weighed on the oil price as the greenback is utilised to price the product.

The oversupply of crude oil due to its strong production from the U.S. together with some of the OPEC members, has been keeping the prices over 45% less than their highs from last June. Several of the investors as well as the analysts are of the belief that the global oil surplus would shrink in the coming months as demand increases and U.S. production falls in reaction to spending cuts.

Output Level Crossed its Quota of 30M Barrel/Day

In the meanwhile, market watchers are of the opinion that world-wide crude output tends to continue exceeding the consumption. The July delivery of light sweet oil, recently feel by $1.64 to $58 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The global benchmark Brent fell $1.77 to $62.03 per barrel on ICE Future Europe.

 In its last meeting, OPEC which had opted against reducing production inspite of plunging oil prices is expected to stick to that policy. The group’s output level had already crossed it quota of 30 million barrels per day. According to government reports, the output is near multi-decade in Iraq, Russia, Saudi Arabia and the U.S. Additional Iranian crude would probably enter the market this year, if on-going negotiations with Iran would result in a lifting of sanctions.

Senior market strategist at Chicago brokerage iiTrader, Bill Baruch has stated that `Russia’s picking up production, the U.S. is picking up and there seems to be no reason why OPEC would hold back from picking up production. We could see prices below $50 by the end of this month’.

Shale-Oil Production to Rise in the Coming Years

The Chief Executive of ConocoPhillips, Ryan Lance had mentioned in a conference ahead of the OPEC meeting that U.S. shale-oil production would rise in the forthcoming years as drilling would get cheaper and more efficient. He stated that the industry had already cut the price wherein it could profitably produce shale oil by 15% on an average and by 2020; shale oil production could become 15%-20% more efficient.

In the U.S., some of the shale-oil producers state that if prices tend to stabilize above $60 a barrel, they could increase the production. Several times recently, the U.S. benchmark had traded above $60 a barrel though had not held above it. John Saucer, vice president of research and analysis at Mobius Risk Group in Houston, had stated that the `OPEC was successful in shaking out high cost inefficient guys who did not make any cash at $100 and those left were certainly leaner, meaner and more efficient’.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Prudent Suppliers of Custom Products

New businesses often enter an industry populated by well-established and respected businesses. These existing businesses already have a loyal customer base and don't need to make a first impression. If businesses like this get lazy in their packaging or customer service, though, it leaves an opening for new businesses to make their own first impression.

Strategic suppliers of custom products

Custom products are one way to make a terrific first impression on customers. Appearances aren't everything, but when packaging items, customers have been shown to pay attention to packaging. It's one of the extra flourishes that show customers you exemplify professionalism and take pride in your products.

Hang tags

Custom hang tags are among the most popular of all supplier products. These simple square pieces of paper hang on doors and prominently display in-depth information about a business. They have a large advertising space and room for graphics, too, which make them perfect for non-obtrusive advertising that can get a lot of information to the customer without seeming to bombard them with too much information at once. Many businesses use these as free hand outs to customers.

Custom address labels

Digital printing services frequently supply address labels that bring a professional and sleek look to all mail communication from a business. These addresses are clearer to read than handwritten addresses and make a great first impression on customers who order a product from a new business. Suppliers work with businesses to analyze the reputation of the business and determine what the best colors and text fonts are to represent the business.

These are just a few of the products that suppliers use to make memorable first impressions for new businesses that want to win over customers in their industry. This requires a great deal of marketing analysis, strategy, and quality printed products. If a business needs printed business cards, hang tags, and address labels, suppliers need to be readily available to collaborate on the project and reach an agreement on the best style and fonts to use for all printed products. Materials need to be high quality printed materials that make the business look professional and available to help customers. Information is king and printed products contain all the information a business might need to communicate in order to win over or retain customers. Digital printing suppliers are both marketers and businessmen themselves and know how to win over new customers.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Chinese Yuan is Going Global


Yuan Part of Selected Basket of Currencies

According to the International Monetary Fund – IMF, the Yuan is now part of selected basket of currencies which till now included only the US dollar, the Japanese yen, the euro and the British pound. The Yuan would not generally be a part of the basket till September 2016 and this move would not be having any immediate influence on the financial markets.

This gesture seems to be a significant one and an indication that China has been progressing faster and further on the global financial stage. It has been predicted by Nomura Securities that by 2030, the Yuan would become one of the highest three major international currencies, `a peer to the US dollar as well as the euro, as the most used currencies in the world’.

However, it all depends on whether China tends to continue its financial reforms which have been one of the major reasons of the IMF’s verdict of including the Yuan in this choice basket currency. The IMF has informed that` the decision was an important milestone in the integration of the Chinese economy in the global financial system’. It would bring a more robust international monetary as well as financial system.

China – Important to the Global Financial System

Nomura has informed that though the share of yuan’s trading volumes in the international currency market tends to be small, less than 2% comparative to China’s share of global gross domestic product, its daily trading volume had tripled between 2010 and 2014 from $34bn to $120bn. This indicates that there is a lot more yuan on the markets.

For the last few years, China had been working towards this and it is amazing that their extremely managed currency seems fit to enter this special basket of freely traded currencies. Beijing considers the inclusion of the yuan as an indication of how important China has become to the global financial system.

The world’s second largest economy had to push through numerous changes in recent times inclusive of enabling foreign investors in accessing its stock markets, to make this happen. The main determinant as to whether the yuan gets to the next step will depend on how transparent China would be about the way it tends to run its financial market.

Chinese Official under Pressure/Scrutiny

Considering the slowing economic growth in China, analysts have accepted that there have been some disturbing signs which the government is trying to either roll back on some the key financial changes or that those in charge may not know what they are doing. The point is that earlier this year, the effective devaluation of the year had taken the markets by surprise and the People’s Bank of China was disapproved for mishandling the communication around how the events had unfolded.

Chinese officials are now under more pressure as well as scrutiny in getting their message right. Moreover the world would also be watching to see what type of influence more yuan would have in circulating in the international markets. Should the yuan tend to be a fixture of the global economy, there is a possibility that the rest of the world would become even more exposed to what Beijing does, which will make it more important that the leaders of China push through meaningful financial changes.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Why China ‘Spill Over’ Poses Risks for the Euro Zone


China’s Slowdown – Risks for Euro

The economic slowdown of China could face risks for euro ranging from decreasing exports, capital outflows and exchange rate fluctuations, according to the European Central Bank – ECB. China the second biggest economy following the US plays an important role in the global trade and its economy seems to have slowed down every year since 2010.

It seems to be continuing in doing so till at least 2016 when the International Monetary Fund forecasts growth by 6.3%. From the start of 2015, the slowdown of growth in China has condensed euro area exports especially exports of machinery and transport equipment and this has brought about adverse consequence particularly for exporters of manufactured goods.

 According to the bank’s recent financial stability review, this has been accountable for around 90% of goods exports to China. The ECB which tends to control the monetary policy in the 19 countries using the euro informed that 1% point slowdown in Chinese real gross domestic products – GDP would drop around 0.1-0.15% points off euro area movement after around two to three years.

Confidence Shock – Led to Tightening of Financial Situation

The ECB have stated that an economic `confidence shock’ probably owing to a worse than expected slowdown in China could have led to a tightening of financial situation in the emerging markets with a further slowdown of euro area foreign demand.

It added that besides capital outflows from China if not compensated by the other private or official flows it could activate a depreciation of the Chinese currency taking into consideration, exchange rate depreciation of other emerging market currencies’. The bank has commented that China’s massive economy would mean that it had manipulated a significant effect on the charge of oil though this had declined in recent years as its rapid growth slowed down.

The U.S. crude oil prices had fallen by about 45% since the last year owing to an imbalance of demand as well as supply which has been partially motivated by the economic slowdown of China, an important purchaser of commodities.

Chinese Economy – Important Effect on Oil Prices

According to ECB, the Chinese economy size means that it has had an important effect on the prices of oil though its relevance had declined in recent years since the growth continued to weaken. Hence the influence of slowdown in China on the prices of oil could be limited but it significantly is based on whether the growth in other emerging market economies also slows down.

The background of global economic, including that of China could influence the decision of ECB on whether to extend or expand its 1 trillion euro – $1.1 trillion, asset purchasing program. It is said that the central bank is extensively expected to do so, when it would meet in Frankfurt on December 3.

In its report, the bank concluded that the influence on the euro area of a potential further slowdown in China eventually centres on the extent to which this slowdown spills over to the other emerging markets more generally and the point to which the subsequent loss of confidence tends to affect the global financial market together with global trade.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Bitwalking Dollars: Digital Currency Pays People to Walk


Digital Crypto-Currency Generated by Human Movement

A digital crypto-currency which is generated by human movement has been recently launched. Bitwalking dollars could be earned on walking unlike the other digital currencies like Bitcoins which have been mined by the computers.

To begin with, users would be given the opportunity to spend what they have earned in an online store or trade them for cash. A phone application tends to count and verify user’s step with walkers with the opportunity of earning around 1 BW$ for around 10,000 steps – about five miles.

At first users would be provided with the opportunity of spending what they have earned in an online store or trade the same for cash. Nissan Bahar and Franky Imbesi, the founders of the project have got over $10m of preliminary funding from largely Japanese investors in order to aid the launching of the currency and develop the bank which verifies steps together with any transfers.

Murata, the Japanese electronics giant has been working on wearable wristband which would be providing an alternative option of carrying a smartphone to show how many BW$ the wearer has earned.

Bitwalking - Additional Incentive to Keep Fit

Shoe manufacturers are ready to accept the currency while a UK high street bank is in talks in partnering with the project at one of the UK’s largest music festivals to be held next year.It is said that the founders have a track record in disruptive technology which tends to help developing nations as well as the richer ones.

 Keepod had been launched last year, a $7 USB stick which performs like a computer in Nairobi, Kenya. The purpose of Bitwalking is to take the benefit of the trend for fitness followers by providing additional incentives in order to keep fit.

The global scheme intends to partner with sportswear brands health insurance firms, health services, environmental groups as well as advertisers who may be offering unique insights in the audience they may be focusing on. Employers in the future may be offered a scheme to provide to their employees in encouraging them to stay fit, with the currency they tend to earn converted and thereafter paid along with their salaries.

The average person in developed countries tends to earn around 15 BW$ a month, it is expected that in poorer countries where people need to walk further to school, work or to collect water, the Bitwalking scheme would be beneficial in transforming lives.

Currency to be Earned by Anybody

The influence Bitwalking would be making in developing countries does not seem to be lost on the founders and is the main reason in creating the currency. One of the African nations to join at the launch of the project, in Malawi, the average rural wage is about US$1.5 per day.

Carl Meyer, Bitwalking manager for Malawi, has set up the first two Bitwalking hubs in Mthuntama and Lilongwe for local people to be trained on how to trade the BW$ online for US$ or Malawi Kwacha, the local currency.

Bitwalking has not released the procedure used in verifying steps, officially but states that it utilises the handsets’ GPS position and Wi-Fi connection for the calculation of the distance travelled. Transfers of the new currency would be monitored cautiously with transactions going through a central bank which would verify individual deal utilising the block chain system used in transferring other crypto-currencies like Bitcoin. It is a currency which can be earned by anybody irrespective of who they are, or where they come from, according to Franky Imbesi.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Payment Wallet Companies See Red in New Game Plans


Some Payment Wallet Firm – Locked out of e-commerce Segment

Some of the payment wallet firm are of the opinion that they get locked out of the successful e-commerce segment since companies running marketplaces tend to prefer their own subsidiaries or are determined in ensuring that customers spend any cash-back money on their own sites.

Oxigen for instance has said that it is no longer available on one of the biggest shopping sites of India. According to CEO of Oxigen, Ankur Saxena has stated that they are presently on Snapdeal prior to acquiring Freecharge and have decided to take them down.

He further stated that at one point of time they accepted wallets but now they want to come up with their own wallets. Freecharge seems to be the only wallet option on Snapdeal that has also launched cash-back options which tends to direct consumers to the unit’s offerings. Freecharge was acquired by Snapdeal in April this year, for almost 2,400 crore.

Snapdeal had refrained from responding to queries and Flipkart informed that it would not comment on its wallet practices. Saxena had mentioned that the trend would hurt Oxigen and that there would be an impact on the business if the customers are unable to use the wallet on a particular site, they would be compelled to utilise another mechanism to process the payment.

Paytm – Its Own e-Commerce Platform

According to managing partner, Ashvin Parekh of Ashvin Parekh Advisory Services, stated that striking boundaries on the e-commerce evolution could be envisaged as a restrictive exercise and that they have still not achieved anything with regards to permeation of e-commerce.

Market leaderPaytm, though does not seem to be too worried. Vice President Products, Paytm, Nitin Misra had commented that they have better acceptability and more consumers. Why would customer put money in a wallet which can be used only on that particular site and the cash back too cannot be utilised elsewhere?According to him the consumers is not dumb and if someone does not intent to permit them as a payment option on their site it is entirely their choice.

Paytm has expanded to begin its own e-commerce platform and the government as well as the Reserve Bank of India have made financial presence significant, making for an ecosystem wherein payment wallets would play a role together with various other elements. However, what is serious for such companies is having a large subscriber base.

Several Banks Launched Own Wallets

Towards the last week of October, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder of Paytm had received a message from State Bank of India which was not good news. The message stated that the nation’s largest lender together with its associate banks would not permit their customers to load money onto the Paytm wallet from their accounts.

The reason provided to their query was that the net banking services were only for shopping and not for uploading wallets according to Sharma. After independent wallet companies have started operating in India and gained reputation, several of the banks launched their own wallets.

SBI in fact according to reports by The Economic Times, recently, even planned to launch a wallet for feature phone users known as Batua, by next month. Chairman of Payments Council of India and the managing director of ItzCash, Naveen Surya, had stated that some players would always think that they are big enough and that they have adequate customers. However as one tends to go deeper and begin running independently the payment business, when it is separated from the core business, one would realize that it is difficult to create scale.

Friday, November 13, 2015

The Latest in the Battle to Own Your Digital Wallet


Digital Wallet – Now Standard Features on Smartphones

The fight to own digital wallet is on and 2016 is foreseen as a vital year for mobile payments and according to eMarketer, its total transaction values reaching 210%. Mobile wallets such as Android Pay, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay as well as MCX would now be standard features on smartphones with more merchants adopting point-of-sale systems which would be accepting mobile payments.

Recently in a keynote, JPMorgan Chase had unveiled a payment service together with retail partners comprising of Wal-Mart, Shell and Target. Chase would be needing help and skipping into mobile payments would means competing with companies like Apple, Google, PayPal and Samsung.

Chase Pay seems to be the outcome of a new partnership with JPMorgan Chase and MCX, a multinational of major retailers which has so far been unsuccessful in gaining much transaction in digital payments. The app is said to be made available by mid-2016 and could be utilised for in-store, online and in-app purchases and would be available to all with a Chase credit, debit or a prepaid card account.

Chase Pay to Solve – Pain Points for Consumers

With this kind of scale it could be advantageous and according to CEO of consumer and community banking at JPMorgan Chase, Gordon Smith states that `Chase Pay tend to solve a number of pain points for consumers as well as merchants and will improve the customer experience driving down the cost of payments’. Besides scale, consumer trust could also help chase initiate adoption.

According to latest Phoenix study reported at Money20/20, it was observed that banks and card issuers, followed by PayPal did enjoy a trust benefit against other digital payment players. The research also found that 64% of smartphone payment app users or those preferring to try it would contemplate downloading a bank’s payment app.

Around half the number stated that they would ponder on trying Apple Pay or Android Pay.Google is keen on changing that relative level of comfort and Sridhar Ramaswamy, the company’s senior vice president of ads and commerce would be delivering a keynote wherein he would lay out a vision to drive mobile commerce adoption with Android Pay which is the newly re-launched Google Wallet.

Brought Together NFC/Tokenization/Biometrics

Google had partnered with American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa in order to assist them in integrating Android Pay in the U.S. and is also working with AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless in training sales representative to get consumers in setting up with Apple Pay prior to leaving the store with a new device.

Apple however not officially represented at the event was also the focus of many surveys and panels.Brendan Miller, Forrester Research analyst praised Apple for kick-starting the mobile wallet fight with the launch of Apple Pay, believing that it is best positioned to win stating that they have the consumer base and they have the users.

He further added that they had brought together NFC technology, bringing together tokenization as well as biometrics and combining those three things in creating a frictionless consumer experience at the point of sale. PayPal, according to Miller has been at this longer than anyone else and they have more mobile users than any of these competitors Anu Nayar, senior director of communications and customer engagement comments that `as we move to a mobile first world, digital wallets would be moving from a nice have, to a must have, as people tend to tap rather than type for their purchases and PayPal innovations like One Touch could make it easier to buy from mobile.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Perks That Might Be Hiding in Your Credit Cards

Credit cards tend to have its advantage as well as disadvantage if not used rightly. At times even the most responsible people could meet up with problems if they are faced with a dismissalor in a situation of an expensive treatment. If all tends to go well and the user is well aware of what they are doing, credit cards could save them with a lot of money. One need to know their credit card well because if not, they may be unaware of the various perks which some of the credit cards tend to offer and hence will not be able to take advantage of them resulting in losing money. The fine prints should be checked since there are some of the hidden perks, which an individual may be entitled to, while utilising the credit card

Rental insurance 

Spokesman for Clear Point Credit Counselling solutions, Thomas Nitzsche, headquartered in Atlanta, had been faced with a problem when on renting a car to drive from Missouri to Georgia had to street-park it for three days while staying in Atlanta. He had noticed that it had been hit on the rear bumper and the cost to fix it amounted to $800. Though he had not bought the expensive rental insurance, the rental company offered help.Nitzsche’s credit card, VISA Signature comprised of rental insurance and the entire bill was paid after he had submitted the paperwork with proof that the car had been rented by him and was being asked to pay a claim.He informed that Visa was capable of reducing the $800 by around $50 and they probably had some negotiating power.

Airline incidentals 

Matthew Coan running the financial comparison website, Casavvy.com informed that he was overwhelmed with a recent perk provided by the American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card, a $100 annual credit for covering airline incidental fees. According to him, these fees comprised of checked bags, flight refreshments, airport lounge passes and much more. A few things need to be kept in mind in order to utilise the perk wherein for the reimbursement of any of these fees, the same has to be paid separately from the airline ticket and can only obtain the fees reversed for one airline for the calendar year.

Dispute resolution 

If the individual feels that they have been overcharged for something, they could contact their credit card and get help. If the dispute resolution service is offered with the card, you stand a chance of getting the charge reduced.

Trip cancellation insurance 

According to Jared Blank, chief marketing officer of the retail website DealNews.com, states that with Chase Ink Plus card, they offer this facility of trip cancellation insurance. He narrates that his parents had booked a cruise and a non-refundable flight for a holiday and had paid with the Chase Ink Plus card. His mother had been ill and the trip had to be cancelled. The airfare and the cruise cancellation fee were reimbursed by Chase that was done without any difficulty.

Extended warranties 

At the time of purchase of a computer or any expensive product, one would often be asked if they would prefer purchasing an extended warranty. They would then get engaged with their associate on, whether the offer would be worthwhile. Four of the major credit card networks, namely MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Discover tend to offer extended warranties on several, though not all of their credit cards.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

7 Common Money Traps Even Smart People Fall Into


Important Aspect - Cash Flow Management

Handling cash flow is very important aspect since all work hard for money and tends to make the most of our income. In order to avoid spending mistakes and help to stretch the cash for a longer time the following tips could be helpful –

1. Buying things on sale

Buying things on sale tends to be a mistake and can actually be a huge money waster. Whatever the price or bargain may be, if one purchases something which would not be used, it would be like throwing away your money. Before indulging in the sale purchase, one need to ask oneself whether the said product would had been purchased if not put up for sale and will be used after purchase. One should indulge in sensible
purchase and not go on a shopping spree for anything on sale.

2. Buying stupid products

Sometimes one tends to indulge in purchasing useless things and then repent for having done so. Prior to purchasing any of these unwanted commodities, one could hold onto to purchases for a later date if essential. It is best to limit them by having certain standards for the purchases especially big purchases.

3. Spending money on problems one cannot solve with money

Stop to think if by going shopping or indulging in some purchases, would help in resolving certain issues in life. There could be other options which could be more beneficial than in shopping and wasting money.

4. Refraining from spending when one has the opportunity

Your hard earned money needs to be spent on what could add great value to your life. It would be pointless if one cannot spend the money earned on important things in life and miss out on opportunities that come your way.

5. Not maximizing rewards and points 

Reward credit cards are of various shapes and sizes enabling the user to collect points on purchases like merchandise, gift cards, airline miles or cash back which could be utilised at the appropriate time when needed. One could opt for a card which offers points while shopping for basic like the grocery which when accumulated could be used for gas fuel or if travelling, an airline miles reward card which could be beneficial in the long run and take advantage of the points or cash back.

6. Not setting up automatic savings outside your 401(k) 

One should discipline oneself in setting up an automatic investment plan to come up after the pay check comes to your bank account every month. We often tend to pay the bills and other non-essential things leaving our savings till the last, if there is anything left after all. This needs to be avoided if keen on a good future.

As the saying goes -Money Saved is Money Earned. You could check with an investment company to set it up which would be very beneficial over a period of time. Automate your savings and investing inside as well as outside of your 401 (k) and set a direct deposit from pay check to bank account and monthly automatic transfer to your investment account.

7. Not spending enough

Sometimes we tend to compromise on our purchases by not buying the essentials when the need arises. We look out for other options which at times could be dissatisfying on purchasing. If one can afford it, go in for the best quality which will satisfy your requirements even if you have to delay the purchase.

Three Ways To Make Your Small Business More Profitable

Small business owners typically find their minds dominated by an important question: How can I make my company more profitable? If you're looking for answers to this question, you'll be happy to note that there are many strategies you can utilize to ensure that your small business becomes a money-making machine. Here are three strategies to try:

1. Enhance Your Meetings.

Meetings are the medium through which you and your business partners strategize regarding how you're going to move the company forward. When you optimize and expedite your meetings to facilitate this purpose, you can get more done in less time. In understanding that time is money, you should recognize the role that meeting enhancement can play in generating more revenue for your company. Businesses like Meeting Metrics specialize in providing business owners with the techniques and tools necessary to keep their companies moving forward and making money. Learn more about all of the business-building services that Meeting Metrics has to offer when you click here.

2. Market Online.

Online marketing has become one of the most expedient and effective advertising methodologies available to small business owners. These days, the phrase "growth hacking" has come to define the process in which small business owners use online marketing strategies to build their audience, convert prospective customers, and generate brand loyalty. One of the great things about growth hacking strategies is that they are cost-effective, meaning that using them can help you generate wealth without necessitating that you invest a lot in the marketing process. Some of the more prevalent growth hacking strategies available to you include:

  • website analytics 
  • search engine optimization 
  • A/B testing 
  • content marketing
3. Network.

The key to generating more wealth for your small business is constantly building your network of loyal clients and business partners. This process is realized through consistent, effective networking. If you are not already in the habit of networking in a very systematic, strategic way, you need to put this objective at the very top of your priority list. As you begin, remember that networking can transpire in both formal and informal settings. Formal modes of networking include attending lectures, conferences, and other events related to your field. Informal modes of networking include things such as attending baby showers, football games, and other social events where you're likely to meet new clients.


If your primary goal is to ensure that your small business becomes as profitable as possible, implementing the strategies above can help. By optimizing your meetings, investing in growth hacking methodologies, and networking regularly, you'll likely find that your small business starts obtaining absolutely amazing conversion rates!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Taiwan Economy Shrinks for First Time since 2009 on Exports


Economy of Taiwan Weakened - Global Financial Crisis

The economy of Taiwan weakened on a yearly basis for the first time since the global financial crisis, as a fall in exports and an inactive global recovery pulled on consumption. According to preliminary data provided by the statistic bureau recently, the product of gross domestic fell by 1.01% during the three months through September from a year earlier.

This compares with 0.52% growth initially reported in the earlier quarter with the 0.5% drop expected by the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists. Taiwan’s exports seem to be sliding as the economic growth in the best location of China has slowed more to a six year low.

This had begun to curb domestic consumption last quarter that has marked the biggest slide for local shares since 2011 in the midst of Yuan’s stock devaluation in August. Economists are optimistic that the growth is likely to return to positive territory this quarter as U.S and Chinese demand tends to recover, restraining room for another rate cut in December this year.

An economist at DBS Group Holdings Ltd, in Singapore, Ma Tieying commented that `demand was poor in China and emerging markets in the third quarter, together with volatility in global markets accompanied with Yuan devaluation affected the stock performance and confidence of the consumer.

Government Unveiled Consumption Incentive Package

He added that the economy needs to bottom out in the fourth quarterand the weakening in export orders which narrowed in September, should enhance manufacturing. Recently the government had unveiled a NT$4.08 billion consumption incentive package after the announcement plans in July, to improve the infrastructure investment and credit.

Wai Ho Leong, economist of Barclays Plc. had mentioned in a note that, the new incentive would possibly have a little effect with regards to its size. The domestic consumption which had extended gradually during the past two years amidst fluctuations in exports had grown by 0.89% last quarter as against 2.85% in the previous year.

Benchmark rate was cut by central bank for the first time since 2009 in September, quoting high rates and a negative output gap. Besides, considering the next decision in December is that, if the Federal Reserve tends to raise the rates that month that would also increase Taiwan’s risk of outflows if it agrees to ease the policy.

Poor Economic Outlook – Markets Affected

Leong stated that the growth seems to have bottomed in the third quarter and would extend discreetly in the fourth on the back of a late year pickup in external demand. He also quoted steadier stocks and spending earlier to January’s presidential elections.

He added that in the absence of a clear systemic shock and the Fed considering a December rate hike, they are expecting the central bank to keep its benchmark interest rate unchanged at its December meeting. An economist at Capital Securities Corp in Taipei, Hsu Kuo,said that in the midst of poor economic outlook

Taiwan’s intermediary exports to China as well as other emerging markets are affected. US intended to raise rate but had not done so, which indicates recovery in the world’s largest consumer nation is still weak according to Bloomberg.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

How to Create a Scalable Payments System


Multitude of Companies – Attempts on Scalable Payment Systems

A whole multitude of companies in Fintech have been making attempts in developing scalable payment systems. As per EY, one of the largest markets in UK Fintech is payment at around £8bn per year. In order to make money new payment provider should measure quickly for the purpose of economics to operate.

This would need proposition which would be knowingly convincing for consumers as well as merchants together with the different other players in the value chain. Currently though payment tends to work, it is not perfect by any means but all the same it works.

It is essential to add value to a payment system in order to make a successful business from it. It has been observed that by just making payment is great but not good enough. Should the option be given of paying with your phone through contactless instead of a credit card, at a restaurant, the difference would not be big. One would have to go through the procedure of asking for the check, viewing it and instead of paying with the credit card it could be paid with the phone. Hence the motivation of utilising the phone is not strong.

Technology Incorporated Into Restaurant Apps

This technology for instance has been incorporated into restaurant apps, permitting consumers to pay for the total bill or split the bill with others through Apple Pay, PayPal or any registered card on a MyCheck account, without the need of staff. Moreover, it also permits sophisticated incentive as well as loyalty programs created to personalize the dining experience for the consumers.

For instance, when a customer tends to visit a restaurant, they would need to view the menu which can be done through the restaurant’s app, powered by MyCheck. If the customer prefers to redeem his coupons or offers or even participate with loyalty programs, he could do the same through the app without the need of involving paper vouchers or loyalty cards where the accumulation and redemptions seems to be automatic.

When the consumer wants to pay, the need of asking for the check does not arise, since the MyCheck platform has been incorporated so that the consumer can pay as well as split the bill utilising their smartphone.

Payment Apps do not Generate Revenue from Consumers

With plenty of competition around, individuals tend to comprehend that it is not just about food but also about the experience. Making an effort of leveraging the potential of the smartphone, one could develop an engaged though discreet association with the guests. With regards to monetizing an app, the same is based on what the app is attempting to achieve.

Several of the payment apps do not generate revenue from their consumers, the merchant tend to pay them. The effect is that since there seems to be many platforms on the market, one would have to prove the value that would be added to a business for them to get involved. The amazing thing regarding MyCheck is that it is partnered with chains that have been already functioning where their success would be success for all.

The challenge lies in how to be loyal and how the visits are repeated while at the same time offer better customer experience. According to data, it has been observed that once a user tends to utilise the app more than twice they get hooked to it. A bit of convincing is needed to let them use it twice and thereafter they tend to get used to the experience and like it.

Monday, October 19, 2015

8 Bad Money Habits and How to Break Them

bad money habits

Handling Finances – Money Habits

Managing your funds is often related to the habit one may cultivate and money habits could decide how a person handles their finances. The following could help in comprehending some of the money habits which one may not be aware of, but which would be draining away your finances

1. Spending more than the earnings

This is could be the most awful habit which could hurt the well-being of your finances when one tends to continuously spend beyond their means and when the expenses exceeds the income coming in, towards the end of the month one realises that they have overspent. The remedy is that one should monitor the spending habits and keep a tab on overspending.

This could be done by checking on the expenses and segregating them into `need base’ and `want base’ opting on what is essential and refraining from unwanted purchases. A budget could be prepared to keep the spending activity under control. If the need base on essentials tend to make you spend more than the earnings, one would need to focus on increasing their income either through loans or credit card debt. However this too should be taken into consideration with regards to repayment.

2. Postponing financial decisions for tomorrow which may never come

Often we tend to put off investment plans for a later date which never turns up or it tends to get pushed off every month since no savings have been done. And postponing financial decisions is worse than making bad choices. Since the earnings saved tend to generate additional income by way of interest earned, the sooner the investment is made, better are the chances of increasing your savings. The right opportunity of investing should be done when one tends to have the funds. Delaying in investments could lower your ultimate corpus.

3. Falling into debts for wants instead of needs

We live in a competitive world and very often we tend to get carried away with lifestyle based purchases and indulge in purchases which may not be needed, leading us into unnecessary debt. If the much needed purchases tend to constantly run you into debts, it is a habit which needs to be kept under control to save from future distress. Debt is for the vital and planned purchases which could be indulging in manageable debt for the purchase of a home or a child’s education though it would not be appropriate to fund for luxury items.

4.Gambling instead of investing

Several people indulge in experimenting in the stock market without really comprehending its concept which could be dangerous and as the saying goes `little knowledge could be dangerous’, this could be applied here. Often a person may get a tip on some particular stock which may be a good bet or someone may inform that Options are a good way of making money.

If one intends putting saving into investments without any knowledge about it or the risk involved and just speculating, it could be one form of gambling and not investing. Several people have been indulging in this unknowledgeable move and have repented in doing so. The best remedy is to place your investments on your goals. Ensure to refrain from investment option which may seem too good to be true. There are no shortcuts to investment and prudent disciplined investment tends to work in growing wealth.

5. Refraining from saving regularly

Most of the people do not save regularly which is common while indulging in spend first and save later. Organising your expenses before saving makes your saving an unreliable matter. Hence adopt a habit on how much one can save regularly keeping aside the saving as soon as the income comes in. This would be helpful in saving habit instead of spending.

6. Being risk averse

One may consider not taking risks could be good and would make you cautious of bad investments. But if risk aversion prevents you from investing in some risky though essential investments it could be nothing a bad habit. Risk aversion seems natural though it should not hold anyone back. Not taking risk is not like understanding risk and several investors understand risk instead of avoiding it. If one intends to beat inflation and increase wealth, then risk taking seems to be essential. Here again what matters is the risk profile of investment goals instead of your own risk profile wherein one could invest in safe options such as Bank FD though could expect lower than inflation returns.

7. Paying dues after the due date

If one tends to constantly make late payments against credit card bills or utility bill you would be incurring additional expenses by way of interest which could probably lead you to being broke paying up the hefty interest rates charged against late payment. Payment of bills needs to be made on time to avoid late payment charges.

8. Indulging in habits which are financially taxing

Smoking, dining out too often or drinking spree could lead to a substantial financial burden and though these habits could be considered as small expenses but over a period of time could add up to weighty amounts. This needs to be stopped to avoid further tension on health and money.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Why US Banks soon will be singing the Blues


Analysts Apprehensive – Quarterly Profits Reports

Estimates seem to be moving in the wrong direction with Wall Street banks about to report on how much money they have been making. The industry had jointly reported $43 billion in profits, coming off a quarter and analysts are expecting a rising rate environment with increased demand which would tend to keep things moving for $15.1 trillion sector.

But with declining expectations for a rate hike in 2015 together with other factors, it tends to make the analysts apprehensive with regards to how the quarterly profit reports would turn out. For the Big Four coming up, JPMorgan Chase would get things started with the others following during the week, like Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and PNC. S&P 500 financials, as a sector is expected to indicate a 3.8% annual growth in profits as per S&P Capital IQ.

This seems to be an improvement than the 5.1% decline predicted for the total index and is a big disillusionment from early forecasts. The revenue is said to grow by 4.4%. As per July, analysts had been predicting 9.9% growth which a year back the expectations seemed to be a showy 27%.

Bank Earning – Increase – Based on Performance of Bank Stocks

Hence the results showed better than expected and are likely to remain below the earlier high hopes for financials which were expected to be the best performing sector of 2015. Bank earnings are increasing based on the performance of bank stocks recently and one would think that the earning could be a disappointment. However, it is not the same for all bank stocks.

Two great concerns for bank earnings are the weak trading and low interest rates. Trading profits being low seems to be correct. Trades in government bonds and the equity trading could be alright in the quarter though activity in the range of other financial areas could have been weak to awful.

In the case of awful, one could point to agency, asset backed bond as well as commodity trading. With regards to the weak side, one could view at corporates, currencies and municipals.

Substantial Revision – Individual Companies

Substantial revision has been seen in individual companies recently. According to FactSet, analysts have reduced MetLife estimates from 88% a share to 77 cents, while Goldman Sachs from $3.46 to $3.20, Morgan Stanley from 68 cents to 63 cents. In the S&P 500’s financial sector, expectations on earnings have been condensed for 53 of the 88 companies.

The weakness tends to come since loan growth has been steady due to strong climate in the commercial real estate. According to Federal Reserve data, in the third quarter, the sector increased by 9.7%, the greatest of the year after rising 6.7% in 2014.

Moreover, investment banking has been fairly strong all through the year and though the global revenue has been down by 10% year after year, it has been in level at $28 billion in the U.S. This was due to a record of $9.7 billion haul by way of mergers and acquisition revenue, as per Dealogic.

Banks stocks seem to have failed in 2015 with KBW NASDAQ Bank Index off 4.8% a year to date as against a 2.2% less in the S&P 500. In October, the index was up by 1.3% trailing behind the broader market’s gain of almost 5%.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Storm Clouds Gather Over Global Economy as World Struggles to Shake Off Crisis


IMF Framed Forecast – 2015, UK Growth Among Downgrades

According to the International Monetary Fund, Britain is among some of the shining lights in the global economy and as the world views, the slowest period of growth since the financial crisis. The IMF framed up its forecast in 2015, for UK growth among downgrades `across the board’ for emerging and advanced economies.

It stated that China’s slowdown, dropping commodity prices together with an expected increase in the interest rate in US would tend to weigh on output. It is now expected that the world economy would expand by 3.1% in 2015 from a forecast of 3.3% in July. Since 2009, this would represent the slowest expansion when the global growth came to a halt.

According to the IMF’s chief economist, Maurice Obstfeld, who stated that `six years after the world economy came from its broadest and deepest post-war recession, the holy grail of robust as well as synchronised global expansion remains elusive.

Inspite of differences in country specific outlooks, the new forecasts tend to mark down expected near-term growth marginally though nearly across the board. Besides, downside risks to the world economy seems more pronounced than it was a few months back’

Risk of Recession over Next Year

The Fund had also cautioned that the risk of recession in the US, Eurozone as well as Japan over the next year seemed to have increased in the past six months since emerging markets face a fifth year of slow growth.

The year of weak demand as well as anaemic productivity development meant the probability of damage to the development on medium term was a great concern, warns IMF. Further drop in global demand would be leading to near stagnation in advanced economies should emerging markets tend to continue faltering, it added.

The UK economy is anticipated to grow by 2.5% this year, slightly up on the IMF’s forecast of July by 2.4% and its expectation for 2016 growth remained unchanged at 2.2%. IMF had stated in its latest World Economic Outlook that `in the United Kingdom constant steady growth is anticipated which is supported by lower oil prices as well as constant recovery in wage growth’.

Fund Cautions – Countries Need to Be Prepared for Higher Interest Rate

The outlook also portrayed US growth for 2015 had been higher than expected three months back when Italy envisaged upgrades for 2015 as well as 2016. The biggest economy of the world is expected to lead growth in the G7 this year but the UK and US economies have shown indications of slowing down, recently. The latest health-check of IMF portrays that it anticipates the UK government to balance its books by 2020.

Mr Obstfeld had stated that the UK and the US seemed `not totally immune’ to a probable slowdown in China but were less open than countries with closer trade connections. As per the Bank of England, should China’s grown be 3% lower over the next three years than it present forecast, it would knock 0.1% off the growth of UK.

IMF has stated that the risk of a recession would now be higher in the Latin America 5 – Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru when compared to the rest of the world group. The Fund has informed that countries need to be prepared for higher interest rates in the US which is expected by the turn of this year. It also added that the Bank of England would probably raise rates by 2016.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

The Truth about China's Dwindling War Chest


China – The World’s Largest Creditor

China is considered to be the world’s largest creditor and the enormous money reserves of Beijing presently stands at a $3.6 trillion, which is still the leading owner foreign holder of US government debt. For over two decades, China, the world’s second largest economy had developed a war chest of foreign currency assets as a shield against the global winds.

However, on August 11, the decision taken to tweak its exchange rate regime to engineer the biggest single devaluation of the renminbi in 21 years has put forth the query of reserve depletion in severe aid. After deserting its peg with the US dollar for anachieveddrift, those in authority have been compelled to get involved on a huge scale to prop up the renminbi.

China had gone through reserves due to this failed devaluation, at an unmatched pace this summer wherein the reserves had dropped by $93.9 billion in August. This was the biggest monthly fall on record as well as the largest with regards to percentage terms since May 2012. This is set to continue for at least the remaining of the year. China would be slowly moving towards a much flexible exchange rate though not yet willing to feature a considerably weaker renminbi

Quantitative Tightening

As per UBS analysis, almost 70% of China’s reserve accumulation between 2005 and 2014 was from the country’s enormous present account excesses. The total reserves emaciated at $4 trillion in August 2014 had been on a steady decline since then.

As for the composition, UBS note that almost two-thirds around 62% was held in US dollar assets with about $1.27 trillion in the US treasury bonds. China had shifted from being a net buyer to a net seller of dollar assets to defend the value of the renminbi and this has given rise for concern that Beijing’s actions tends to have a stifling effect on the global credit as well as liquidity conditions.

This occurrence named as `quantitative tightening has been seen as concern when China can no longer play a part as the driver of global economic prosperity, at a time when the Federal Reserves is ultimately poised to begin normalising the monetary policy. In the midst of the trouble surrounding China’s prospects, economist tends to remain optimistic, speculating the fears of a dwindling war chest are possibly overdone.

China/Emerging Markets – Offload Foreign Currency Assets

Bumper reserves of Beijing, at $3.6 trillion, seem to be adequate in continuing to establish the currency and covering 20 months of imports of goods and services. All this, states, Tao Wang at UBS, `while the country continues running a current account surplus of over $300bn a year’.

Others consider that Beijing’s intensive reserve accumulation had been developed to confront precisely the kind of headwinds presently facing the country and are not surprising that the Politburo is now organizing them for the same purpose.

The authorities have also other various tools to fight off tighter monetary conditions. With regards to the impact on the growth of China on the rest of the world, the QT theory for intuitive appeal is still to be materialised in the form of rising bond yields with higher debt costs in the developed world.

China together with the other emerging markets could be offloading their foreign currency assets to handle their individual exchange rates though these may not be destined to drive up the bond prices according to economists.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Nine of the World’s Biggest Banks Form Blockchain Partnership


Banks in Partnership to Form Blockchain

According to reports, nine of the world’s biggest banks which include Goldman Sachs as well as Barclays have come together with New York based financial tech firm R3 in order to develop a structure in utilising blockchain technology in the market.

For the first time banks have now joined forces to work on a shared way in which the technology that helpsbitcoin a Web based cryptocurency couldbe utilised in finance. Interest in blockchain has increased in the past few years and has already attracted major investments from many important banks which would be saving them money by making their operation quicker, efficient and more translucent.

The latest project which is the outcome of over a year’s worth of consultations with the R3, the banks as well as other members of the financial industry, would be led by R3 CEO David Rutter, earlier CEO of electronic trading at ICAP Electronic Trading which is one of the world’s largest interdealer brokers.

Rutter had informed Reuters recently that they had several round tables to consider in depth what the possible implications of the blockchain would be and what it could probably do in order to save money and time as well as to create an improved paradigm for the world of Wall Street and finance.

Function as Huge Decentralized Ledger

Some of those who have signed up for the initiative are J P Morgan, UBS, State Street, Royal Bank of Scotland, BBVA and Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Credit Suisse.

Blockchain tends to function as a huge decentralized ledger of all bitcoin transaction made which has been verified and shared through a global network of computers.

Hence it tends to be effectively tamper-proof. A team from Bank of England have been dedicated to it calling it a `key technological innovation’. Data that can be safeguarded by using the technology is not limited to bitcoin transactions.

Two parties could utilise it for the exchange of any other information quickly as well as without the need of a third party to verify the same. Rutter has mentioned that the earlier focus would be to approve on underlying architecture, however it had not been certain whether it would be supported by bitcoin’s blockchain or another one like one which is being built by Ethereum, offering additional features than the initial bitcoin technology.

Technologies - Transform Financial Transactions

He further added that once the same is agreed on, the first use of the technology could be the issuance of commercial paper on the blockchain.

He is of the belief that these technologies would probably be post-trade and the savings would be in the settlement side, in post-trade in issuance though not in exchange trading of OTC trading, in the near future. He also mentioned that R3 will soon be announcing a few more banks that would be joining the banks.

 Hu Liang, Senior Vice President as well as the head of emerging technologies at State Street, had mentioned in a statement that these new technologies could transform how financial transactions are recorded, reconciled as well as reported, with all additional security, lower error rates and significant cost reductions.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Could This Start-Up Save the Greek Economy


Week Long Start-up – Contribute to Crisis Worn Greek Economy

A week long start-up fast-track program had been started recently in London for the purpose of locating ways which would make some contribution to the crisis worn Greek economy. In 2012, the Greek government had the largest sovereign debt default in history and on June 30 2015, it became the first developed country to fail in making an IMF loan repayment while at that time, Greece’s government had debts amounting to €323bn.

Six short listed companies would now be working with mentors as well as investors which includes Steve Vranakis, Google executive together with George Kartakis of PayPal owned Braintree in refining their views prior to competing in a Dragons Den-style event.

The idea includes a chemical formula in order to protect historical sites from illustrations, a scheme of recycling unused hotel toiletries, a Mastiha liqueur importer, an online education manager a digital diary for the purpose of booking civil weddings as well as an internet shop for products that are handmade by the Greek businesses.

The accelerator program which is run in partnership with Watershed Entrepreneurs is planned by Greek expats as well as others who have a social and an economic impact in Greece.

The Brain Drain-Lost Generation-Lose Contact

Co-founder Effie Kyrtata, a 25 year old Athenian who had moved to London seven years back has stated that `as they are based in London, they are tapping into the dispersion, the global community who are connected with Greece.

He adds that they have seen a lot of people leaving Greece to go to other countries – the brain drain, the lost generation and lose contact with Greece and that he wants to create a bridge between Greece and the UK’. Reload Greece, has helped entrepreneurs to raise £1m in funding over the past 18 months which generally runs mentorship schemes that tend to run for several months, however was prompted to do the strong accelerator as a reaction to the recent economic improvements in Greece.

Kyrtata has stated that this is our effort to do something fast due to the great need that exists. They are aiming to activate the community which resides abroad in making an immediate impact now and what can be done that will help the Greek economy straight away by using the youth and the people who have left’.

Six Start-ups – Refining Business Plans/Coordinate/Interact

The six start-ups that had been selected from more than thirty applications from the UK as well as Europe would be refining their business plans, coordinate with successful entrepreneurs and interact with expert mentors prior to pitching to a panel of investors. The winner is said to receive five free business coaching sessions from Eudaimonia Coaching.

However, Reload Greece is hoping that all the participants would be able to make their contributions to the Greek economy by developing jobs and boosting businesses. Moreover, the non-profit organisation also perceives its task as much more than financial. Kyrtata has commented that they desire to change the perception which the world has created about Greece by showcasing young as well as successful entrepreneurs who could make a difference and that there is a crisis and it is essential to be motivated to create new things’.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

China Economic Transformation Painful and Treacherous

China’s Economic Changeover – `Painful & Treacherous’

China’s changeover from an economy which is greatly dependent on manufacturing is a painful and treacherous one. China’s economic reformation has entered its most critical phase and authorities should deepen improvements in significant areas, eliminate barriers and restore the framework. Various challenges and tough times will be faced ahead.

This would create rare investment opportunities together with volatility and fluctuations and investors need to be positive and alert, looking for options to profit from the changes. China’s Premier Li Keqiang answered queries during a meeting on September 2, 2015, with foreign company executives at the World Economic Forum – WEF, in China’s port city Dalian and stated that China should embrace its global obligations with regards to combating climate change and that the country was already under huge pressure to meet emission reduction goals.

He admitted that the country is on track in achieving its target this year. He had informed the audience at the event that it was difficult to achieve 7% growth domestic product – GDP growth as China has targeted in 2015. However the nation’s new growth drivers as it tends to move from factories to a broader, service based economy would speedily tend to take shape.

Leaders Not Influenced by Short-Term Fluctuations

Li added that the Chinese economy has a bright future to what is known as the Summer Davos saying that `this is not unrealistic optimism’. Li further commented that China would be continuing in reforming its markets which included adopting an open and transparent capital market and relax restrictions on capital flow in the country.

He adds that over 10,000 new businesses are being registered in China each day and `sharing economy’ have been making new ways in creating growth.As the changeover takes place, leaders of China would not be influenced by short-term fluctuation in the economy, according to Li, who describes the company as shock-resistant and resilient.

His message reverberated to a statement which had been made by Finance Minister, Lou Jiwei earlier at the G-20 meeting in Ankara, Turkey wherein he had informed that China was not focused on monthly data. The position is at add with some of the economists who believe that what data is available from China, indicate that the world’s second largest economy is probably heading for a recession.

Risk of Falling into Deflation

Recession is usually demarcated as two successive quarters of a contraction in GDP. The influential Citigroup chief economists and a former member of the Bank of England’s interest rate-setting committee, Willem Buiter, have cautioned in a note that `there is a high and rising likelihood of a Chinese, EM – emerging market and global recession scenario playing out’.

Later on he also informed CNBC that the official data which had been provided by China was `largely meaningless’ and as per Citi’s own model, the economy of China had increased by 4 percent in 2014 and not at 7.3 percent since the number was studied down, by China earlier in the week.

The data that was released recently indicated that consumer inflation had accelerated in August when producers’ prices had fallen deeper into deflation. The CPI – China’s consumer price index increased to 2% in August from the previous year against expectations for a 1.8% increase from Reuter’s poll, following July’s gain of 1.6%. Chief China economist, Li-Gang Liu, at ANX stated that `as PPI remains negative for over three years, China is still facing the risk of falling into deflation’.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Coin is the Future of Payments


Coin – Secured & Connected Device for Transaction

Coin, a secure, connected device can hold and act like the card we tend to carry and works with debit cards, credit cards, gift card, membership cards and loyalty cards. Instead of carrying multiple cards, users could carry one Coin with several accounts together with information in one place.

Coin functions by enabling the user to add all the cards onto one piece of technology on `the Coin’. On signing with the Coin app with the same identifications to order Coin, users need to create a unique six digit tap code and when the app is set up, they can pair their Coin with the addition of new card by entering the information manually, swiping the card through an included card reader which goes into the headphone jack of the phone or by taking a picture of the card.

The Coin tends to get connected to the smartphone via a secured Bluetooth channel which is designed to thwart third parts from using the Coin or in transmitting information from it without access to the user’s smartphone. Its feature of the Lock-and-Find tends to provide a real time validation of the owner of Coin being available at the time of the transaction. Should the owner not be available at the time of the transaction, Coin tends to lock itself and can be found by the owner utilising the mobile app.

Designed on Custom 128-bit Encryption Layer

Coin has been designed on a custom 128-bit encryption layer for Bluetooth which can safeguard sensitive information as well as prevent man-in-the-middle outbreaks as informed byCoin CEO Kanishk Parashar to TechCrunch.

When not in use, the Coin tends to remain in locked position and when one intends making a transaction, a single tap on the Coin’s solitary button would activate the device to do a quick search for the specific smartphone and after a couple of seconds it will get unlocked. If the phone is on Airplane mode or turned off or else unavailable, user could unlock the Coin by editing the same six digits Morse style pin code which is utilised in accessing the Coin app.

The Coin functions as a standalone device and the mobile device is essential for the initial set-up for the purpose of adding or changing cards on the Coin and to completely use the Lock & Find system. However, it could also be used without the mobile device.

Stays Active for Seven Minutes

It can stay active for around seven minutes once the same is unlocked, in order that the waiter tends to have the time to swipe and then it automatically gets locked.

Moreover, it also remembers its last known location and alerts the user as soon as it contemplates that the smartphone could have been separated from the Coin. Users have the opportunity of saving up to eight cards on the Coin at a time and can re-sync various cards which are stored in the app as long as they are within reach of their smartphone.

Parashar informed TechCruch that the team have been working on an EMV product and that Coin would be attempting to make the shift as seamless as possible for the user. However, it seems too early in knowing the exact deal or trade-in process. Parashar had commented that it would be something sizable enough to show their appreciation for early adopters.