Monday, March 30, 2015

Credit Cards

Credit Card – A form of Borrowing

Credit card is one form of borrowing which involves some charges and its terms and condition could affect the overall cost. It is advisable to do some research on the terms and the fees before any agreement to open a credit or a charge card account.

 Being unaware of the terms and their charges could leave the user disappointed when faced with the overall cost they may encounter. At times shopping with the credit card could save you money on interest and fees. Issuers of credit card tend to have wide scope in charging interest though they should brief the customers on the interest rate. It is also essential for the customer to read the fine print in the original credit card agreement as well as in any supplemental copy.

As per the federal law, interest rate tends to increase on existing balances under some conditions like when a promotional rate may end and there is a variable rate or when the cardholder tends to make a late payment. The interest rate on new transaction may also increase but after the first year. If the customer is faced with an issue regarding the credit card, they should first try resolving the same directly with store or the credit card company or the financial institution.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

If the matter is not resolved, they could file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – CFPB which presently accepts complaints with regards to credit card issues and take them up either through phone or through their site at For any guidance regarding credit card debt, fees and high interest rates, customers could contact a credit counselling service or debt Management Company who can render the necessary guidance and support. They could also provide practical as well as legal financial advice with regards to the use of credit. Beside this, they could also make attempts on renegotiate the terms of the credit agreements and make arrangement to pay off the debts. One needs to check on the debt management company though all arenot the legitimate ones.
    Credit Card Eligibility Calculator

    Some of the following credit card eligibility calculator could be helpful to individuals such as:

  • Bad Credit – For bad credit scorers- Those who apply for credit card and have been rejected need not go in for the same. They should check on cards that would fit their profile and try to rebuild credit rating by using the top `bad credit’ credit card and ensure to pay in a timely manner
  • Interest free spending- 0% Spending – If the need to borrow for a purchase arises, the right choice needs to be taken, credit cards are far cheaper than loans though if misused it could add debts which may be difficult to pay off
  • Balance transfers – Cut existing debt costs – Shifting the prevailing credit card or store card debts to new balance transfer card could save much wherein the balance transfers when a credit card could pay off debts on other credit or store cards. Thus one owes the new card though at a lower rate which means they can be debt free much quicker.
  • Travel Money – Several cards add 3% cost than the banks to the exchange rates which can be avoided by a specialist card that does not add this percentage and you get a good exchange rate. This could be used for overseas spending though one should bear in mind to repay in full to avoid the additional burden of interest.
  • Balance transfers and spending – All-rounders - Most of the banks offer introduction deals to attract new customers with cards that could be either good balance transfer deals or low rates on new spending. All-rounder cards offer cheap intro rates for balance transfers as well as purchases and if a person needs to move debts from an existing expensive card as well as need to use a card for purchase, they could be checked since they cannot damage the credit score with additional applications.
  • Cash back – pays when spend – The cash-back credit card tends to pay you each time you make a purchase where top cards tend to pay around 5% introductory cash-back while other offer 3% on fuel and transport spending. Besides these, there is also other good fee free; cash reward cards which are like cash-back cards offered.
  • 0% Cash in Bank account – Money Transfer – The money transfer credit card enables the customer to pay money from their new credit card in the current account with a small fee wherein they get a long interest free period in repaying the debt. Should the customer fail to repay the same within the given time period, they are charged with a high interest rate.
  • Get Air miles while spending – Airline credit cards are an addition of regular flyer programs and one could earn points or miles on spending as well as earn bonus for signing up. The miles earned from spending could be added with those earned from flying or by other credit card reward schemes like converting Tesco Clubcard points.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Bitcoin: Government to Regulate Crypto Currency to Avoid Money Laundering

Bitcoin – Issue of Money Laundering 

Bitcoin can be useful in purchasing thing electronically and its like conventional dollars, yen or euros which are traded digitally and its most important characteristic which makes it different to conventional money is that it is decentralized. There is no single institution that controls the bitcoin network and this puts some of them at ease since it means that a large bank in unable to control their money.

However, money laundering has become a major issue which the British government has been facing and most of the people in the government are of the belief that bitcoin and similar crypto-currencies are used by some to launder money and there is a need to regulate bitcoin exchanges. This kind of measures taken could stop their use as money laundering hubs. The Treasury is of the opinion that bitcoin has capabilities of being used for money laundering and in order to curb the issue, it wants to regulate digital currency exchanges for the very first time, though this would not mean that the government is not in favour of innovation in the nascent technology but the prevention of criminal use of the digital currency.

Anti-Money Laundering Regulation – Digital Currency Exchanges 

The UK government released a document with the combination with the announcement of UK’s 2015 budget stating its intention to apply anti-money laundering regulation to the digital currency exchanges in UK. As per the document it would be creating the right environment for legitimate players in the space to flourish though it would also ensure that a hostile environment for illicit users of digital currencies is developed to discourage the users. As per the Treasury it is reported that the Government will be regulating bitcoin exchange in order to stop its use as money laundering hubs. A report published with George Osborne’s annual budget, the Treasury has informed that the new regulation would be supporting innovation to prevent criminal acts of digital currencies and the proposals would be consulted in the next parliament session. It is said that the government would be working with the British Standards Association – BSI for the development of a set of standards which would be helpful in protecting the consumers.

New Research Initiative on Digital Currency Technology

It was also informed by the Treasury that a new research initiative on digital currency technology would be coming up, which would inject an additional 10 million pounds in the area. According to a board member of the UK Digital Currency Association, Tom Robinson, who has been involved in the Treasury’s consulation procedure that `the announcement is significant, which bring bitcoin and other block chain technologies closer to mainstream adoption’.

In the discussion published in February, Bank of England informed that the digital currencies like bitcoin portrayed considerable promise and it showed that it was possible to transfer value securely without the need of a trusted third party. Other queries were also raised by the bank on whether central banks should issue digital currencies themselves. In several developed countries, bitcoin has been regulated by existing money laundering or terrorist financing laws. Traditional financial sector regulation is not applicable to bitcoin according to European Central Bank since it does not involve traditional financial players while other the EU state that existing rules could be extended to include bitcoin as well as bitcoin companies.

Three Ways To Optimize Your Personal Finance In 2015

These days, more and more people are interested in getting their personal finances in order so that they can lead lives of economic freedom. If this is your agenda, you should note that there are numerous techniques you can implement to accomplish your objective of attaining financial freedom. Here are three simple ways to get started immediately:

1. Learn More About Trading. 

One of the great ways to optimize your personal finances in 2015 is to learn more about trading. As many financial experts know, trading is an incredibly effective way to build some substantive wealth. Unfortunately, many people are intimidated by the thought of trading because they don't have any substantive experience in this sector. If this is a challenge for you, you should note that organizations like the Online Trading Academy can help. This organization was specifically designed to provide education and assistance that will help traders obtain tangible results and improve their skill set within this sector.

2. Develop (And Stick To) A Budget.

Another strategy you should definitely consider implementing in order to optimize your personal finance in 2015 is to develop and stick to a budget. Budgets are critically important because they give you the opportunity to see how much money you're earning as well as how much you're spending on things like bills, clothes, entertainment, food, etc. Unfortunately, many people overlook the importance of developing a budget and therefore have only a vague understanding of what they're making and spending. Don't make this mistake. Instead, sit down and devise a budget that will provide you with a clear understanding of your current financial state. You can then use this information as a springboard to cultivate the type of strong financial future you desire.

3. Eat Out Less. 

As many financial experts know, many people tend to spend a substantive amount of money on eating out. If you're interested in cutting back a bit to really strengthen your personal finances in 2015, it's a good idea to consider eating out less. Instead of going out to expensive restaurants, consider the value of learning how to prepare your favorite meals for yourself. If you enjoy eating out for the social experience, be sure to invite friends over to partake in your great meals!


If you're looking forward to optimizing your personal finances in 2015, you can get started right now. By using some or all of the financial tips and tricks discussed here, you will likely find yourself attaining the level of economic stability and freedom you've always wanted. Good luck!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Emerging Market Infrastructure

Infrastructure in Emerging Market

On-going rebalancing in global economic power has given rise to unprecedented involvement in investment plans in infrastructure in the emerging markets. Though there are common drivers on infrastructure increase in emerging markets like the requirement of added infrastructure together with goals of sustaining the economic growth and managing the fast growing urbanisation, there is a vast difference in the environment and the challenges faced. While engaging in these opportunities, engineering and construction operations, infrastructure management companies, private materials and financial firms need to consider on –

• Who could be the right local and global infrastructure partners?

• What would be the differences in infrastructure in funding structures?

• How would the bid occur for mega projects?

• Are there any demands for green infrastructure?

For instance, as per PwC and Oxford Economics’ Capital Project and Infrastructure spending outlook to 2025 report, the Asian Pacific market, due to China’s growth is expected to represent around sixty percent by 2025 of the global infrastructure spending while Western Europe’s share is expected to decrease to less than 10% twice as from the last few years back. Infrastructure is defined in various emerging markets with provision to insights on goals, risks and opportunities, challenges that are connected with infrastructure developments in those markets, in PwC’s Emerging Markets Infrastructure Series.

Urbanization – Trend in Emerging Market 

Urbanization is the only trend in the emerging market which means that infrastructure needs to keep up with the pace. As the income tends to rise in several countries, there is a need to indulge in the purchase of cars and roads would tend to be used with the need to have new ones built.

 According to Magee, `in developing markets, private sectors tend to play an important role financially in roads, telecom and power plants and water as well as waste water investment would be critical. Water related companies tend to have a small part of infrastructure universe though are expected to become much more significant going ahead while in Europe, they are in the early stage of transforming power generation from coal. Germany on the other hand needs to make some headway since their nuclear power plant are closing, while China will have to gradually move away from coal incorporating cleaner energy sources from power generation’.

Country Risk/Infrastructure Risk

Emerging markets are about country risk while infrastructure risk is about not taking risk though in the case of infrastructure asset sector, there are provisions of investment and growth and the emerging markets are avenues where there is a great demand for infrastructure capital. Emerging market infrastructure investment does not have to carry the full country risk of the host nation. Sovereign risk is often under the coverage of sovereign risk insurance which is purchased in the commercial market or provided by International Financial Institute – IFI, like the World Bank or any other related global institution.

The net return on sovereign risk after the insurance premiums will exhaust the yield on the credit of the surety provider and when combined with structured project risk, on properly evaded investment, the net return would not probably reach 30% though it could almost reach 20% which according to an asset-based uncorrelated investment could be quite good. Those on the lookout for yield, emerging market infrastructure investment could be part of the solution and for those with global diversification; real assets could be another option to the various listed securities.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit

DCPCU – Protect Security of Card Payment

The function of UK Cards Association is to protect the security of card payments system with focus on tackling organised criminal activity. In order to accomplish this, the UK Cards Association, funds a specialist policing team known as the Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit – DCPCU to identify organised payments fraud. The Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit, a special police unit comprises of police officers who have been appointed from the City of London Police as well as the Metropolitan Police Services who operate together with industry fraud investigators.

Their focus lies in identifying and targeting the organised criminal gangs which are responsible in attacking the payment industry. The Unit was established in April 2002 and is fully sponsored by the card and retail banking industries which was created due to the rising growth in payment card crime during 1999 and 2001. From the time of its establishment, the banking industry has been put in an investment of around £4 million per year for the operation of the Unit.

Experts have attributed to the growing incidents of organised crime in the area and the lack of dedicated police investigatory. The main purpose of the DCPCU is to identify, check and seek appropriate prosecution of offenders who have been responsible for organised cheque and payment card crimes.

Organised Criminal Gangs - Targeted

It is headed by a Detective Chief Inspector who brings together the officers as well as civilian staff from the City of London Police and Metropolitan Police forces. Moreover, expertise and payments industry knowledge is also given by industry secondees. Though it is a London based unit, investigations are nationwidewhere the organised criminal gangs responsible for payment related fraud are targeted. Some of its achievement since its formation is –

  • Achievement of £450 million in the form of saving from reduce fraud activity equating to £800,000 weekly
  • Recovery of around 700,000 counterfeit card
  • Recovery of 346,000 compromised card numbers
  • Secured 346 convictions on matters related to fraud, which is an average of more than one successful prosecution per fortnight over the past decade.
Areas of Priority 

The impact on a wider perspective is the link to organised and serious crimes. The Unit’s investigation has established that a significant proportion of fraud has been committed by these criminal gangs, having strong links to other kinds of serious crimes, which also includes people, drugs, and trafficking as well as violent crimes. The Unit has also been responsible in providing key fraud prevention messages to the people such as with the help of television and radio work as well as through direct meeting with groups that represent consumers who could be at high risk. The Unit’s priority areas are:

  • Project Sandpiper – The Unit secured European Commission funding in 2013 which was funded by UK Cards Association and PFF in order to finance the project focused in tackling Romanian criminality that affected the UK payment industry. This involved connecting with the UK payments industry as well as law enforcement individuals in Romania in tackling its organised criminal groups.
  • Staff Insider – Work with banks that sponsored to reduce harm caused by dishonest staff and targeting organised criminal groups.
  • Social Engineering – Telephone – To locate criminal groups responsible in fast rising fraud cases who are aiming vulnerable individuals as well as businesses causing great harm to the UK payment industry.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Right of Rescission/Right to Cancel

Image credit:Homeowner
Right to Rescission – A Known Power/Law

A person has the privilege by law, with the right to cancel a mortgage refinance or home equity loan if they tend to act quickly and adhere to the rules. A known power or the law known as the `right to rescission provides the borrower with the ability in some situations, the right to cancel their loan deals within a period of three days with no questions asked and be free.

 In other words it could mean as another way of saying `right to rescind’ or `cancel’a given contract without losing any money. Within a period of 20 days, the lender then has to give up its claim to the property as collateral and should refund the fees which may have been paid by the borrower. According to Margot Saunders, counsel or the National Consumer Law Centre, states that it has been designed with a view to provide lenders with accurate disclosures and that consumers do not sign up for loans which are different than what could have been described to them.

This right is intended to safeguard the consumer from the risk of using family home or the equity in order to secure a loan and is not applicable in situations where the mortgage is made to buy the house itself. Nessa Feddis, Vice President and Senior Counsel to American Bankers Association, states that it is not to protect the (home) purchaser but to protect the person having equity in the home.

Covers Mortgages – Companies/Banks Etc.

Categories where the right of rescission are applicable are – home equity loan which is often known as second mortgage, mortgage refinance – if the new loan does not come from the same lender which had financed the original home purchase loan, home equity line of credit, cash-out refinance – irrespective of whether it is a new loan that comes from the same lender who had made the original home purchase loan though only the new money is covered by the right of rescission. According to Saunders, it does not matter what kind of lenders the money is borrowed from and the right of rescission covers loans from mortgage companies, banks as well as other lenders.

No exclamation is essential in the case of cancellation of the transaction within a three days’ time, as per Carole Reynolds, Senior Attorney with the Federal Trade Commission and the fact that the said loan is not needed is sufficient enough for an exclamation.

The Truth in Lending Act

The law - `The Truth in Lending Act’ was for the purpose of shielding borrowers from unscrupulous lenders with the right of rescission and was intended to oppose smooth talking lenders intending to fleece borrowers out of their money and their homes. Some of the borrowers may be under the wrong impression that there is a right of rescission with all types of mortgages which is not so.

Since state and local statutes differ, the federal right of rescission is specific which is mentioned in the Truth in Lending Act. Saunders state that there is no right of rescission for the purchase money mortgages and some of these categories with regards to the right of rescission which is not applicable are –loans made to purchase a house, any loans either 1st or 2nd mortgages, refinancing mortgages, etc., which involve properties which are not the primary residence and business loans.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

How to Create Compelling PowerPoint Presentations

Whether you're addressing a college class or a boardroom full of CEOs, you'll want your PowerPoint presentation to represent your ideas in an exciting and easy-to-understand way. Here are just a few tips for keeping your audience on the edge of their seats every time.

Use Pictures

Stuff your presentation full of charts, graphs, images, drawings and infographics. It's an easy and effective way to retain audience attention, and it will also prevent eyes from glazing over when your slides are text-heavy.

Embrace Uniformity

Your slides should all look alike. Their content will differ, of course, but their spacing and formatting should be the same, and their colors shouldn't stray far from one another. This will ensure that your entire presentation looks neat and professional.

Create a Narrative

Give your presentation a beginning, middle and end. Pose questions that you eventually answer. Build everything to an exciting climax. Treat your presentation like a story, and your audience will respond like moviegoers.

Remember the Golden Rule

Would you be interested in your presentation? Think about this when debating whether or not to include extraneous information on your slides. Think about it when you're asking yourself if that animated GIF is interesting or just distracting. If you wouldn't like it, don't assume others will, either.

If you're serious about commanding attention during your next PowerPoint presentation, these are just a few rules to take to heart. Contact PowerPoint specialists like the ones at to learn even more.