• November 17, 2017 /  Banking & Money
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    When your credit history is proving to be a hindrance to your financial well-being, perhaps it is time for you to get a secured credit card. One of the cards worth your consideration would be the Orchard Bank MasterCard secured card issued by the HSBC Bank of Nevada.

    This card targets customers with poor or limited credit ratings, and aids them towards improving their credit histories. A secured credit card works by requiring the card holder to deposit cash into their credit card account prior to utilization. This way, this credit card prevents its card owners from incurring more debt whilst helping them re-establish their credit history.

    An additional advantage unique to this card is that the deposits in the account are paid interests by the bank. In the effort to establish a healthy credit rating, customers must bear in mind that late payments must be avoided, and they have to be aware of the current annual percentage rate for the card as the APR of the Orchard Bank Secured Credit card is based on a variable rate. Although, the regular rate now stands at 15.90%, the actual rate is dependent on the Prime Rate. APRs for cash advances are higher than most cards at 23.40%, with a minimum rate of 19.99%.

    Interestingly enough, the annual fees for the Orchard Bank Secured Credit Card is lower than other most unsecured credit cards. Balances above $1000 will only incur fees of $35 whilst card holders who have charged more than their credit limits will only be charged only $29. Also, there are periodic reviews of the credit limit for each account, so regular payments will enable the card holder to obtain higher credit limits and at the same time improving their credit history.

    Finally, the Orchard Bank secured credit card also offers a lot of perks not evident in other competing credit cards. These would include Internet services, emergency replacements for stolen cards as well as numerous protection services against fraud and identity theft.

  • November 17, 2017 /  Banking & Money
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    Are Silicone Wiper Blades worth the Money?

    Like Rubber Wiper Blades and just about every other product or service, Silicone Wiper Blades come at different Price Levels, and buying the dearest doesnt necessarily mean getting the best.

    In order to make an informed decision, we need to be able to spot quality features in Wiperblades, and understand what influence they have on Safety, Life and Performance.

    Next we need a method of measuring the cost of Wiperblades against their useful life. We do that by dividing the cost of a single wiper blade by the number of 100,000 cycles in its expected life. A cycle being 1 wipe in each direction.

    The cheapest and most basic Wiper Blades have a moulded rubber blade with an arrow-head profile offering a single wiping edge. Theyll also have a very cheaply constructed frame. Differences in Frame Quality are more difficult to spot, but usually, the blade quality is a good indicator of the overall quality of the Wiper Blade. Most un-branded Wiper Blades fall into this category.

    Single edge Wiper Blades have a typical life of 200,000 cycles, and can cost as little as 3, so they cost at least 1.50 per 100,000 cycles

    Most Motorists seek comfort in the big Global Brand Wiper Blades. They know theyre probably not getting the best value for money, but its a safe bet. Of course the big brands arent slow to take advantage of that, and so their prices arent always cost-effective.

    Global Brands (and some smaller Brands) offer good quality Wiper Blades. They are easy to spot because the rubber blade has a profile like a small screwdriver instead of an arrow head. This means there are 2 Wiping Edges instead of one. As the Wiper Arm moves in one direction the blade flexes and trails, presenting one of the tips “corners” to the windscreen. On the Return Wipe, the blade flexes in the other direction, and uses the opposite edge to wipe the screen.

    Quality Twin Edge Rubber Wiper Blades are good for around 500,000 (half a million) wipes. They reduce the risk of unwiped areas, and are much smoother and quieter than cheaper wiper blades. Typically they cost around 10 each, and so cost around 2 per 100,000 cycles.

    Every pack of Rubber Wiperblades that Ive seen carries a warning that they should be replaced between 6-12 mnoths. Thats because U.V. Ozone and Pollution all combine to attack the Rubber Wiper Blades, even when theyre not being used. Thats really bad news for Low-Mileage Drivers and Classic Car Owners, because the Wipers often rot away before theyve done much work!

    Silicone Wiper Blades wear much slower than Rubber ones. A good quality Silicone Wiper Blade has an expected life of 1,500,000 (one and a half million) cycles. Good Quality Silicone Wiper Blades cost slightly more than Premium branded rubber ones, about 12 each. Giving by far the lowest Cost over life of 0.85 per 100,000 Cycles – Obviously, thats great news for High-Mileage Drivers.

  • November 16, 2017 /  Banking & Money
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    Money Laundering is a big topic these days in Foreign Exchange circles. The criminal or terrorist element is almost certainly participating in that high tech world. You have probably heard or read of somebody being arrested for this recently.

    Money laundering is the process a criminal uses to distance themselves from the proceeds of their crime, yet maintain access to the funds. Most basically, a criminal attempts to take enough steps with the money that it is untraceable to the crime.

    Laundering generally takes three distinct stages:

    * Placement: Smurfers are used to introduce the dirty money into the system, these smurfers change the form of the money numerous times until the launderer feels the original funds cannot be traced back to them.
    * Layering: Layering involves the changing of cash into drafts, money orders, traveler’s checks etc. Launderers ensure each transaction is under reporting laws; so many smaller transactions are made instead of fewer large transactions. This way each transaction looks legitimate and no paper trail is created.
    * Integration: Once the money has changed form several times, the launderer has buried the trail of its origination. At this point it is impossible to trace the funds back to the original crime. The launderer is now able to introduce the funds back into use, often through a front company.

    Reputable currency traders are concerned about money laundering. Being non-bank Financial Services Companies, makes currency traders susceptible to money launderers. Involvement in money laundering can result in fines, criminal charges, loss of reputation and loss of business to the currency trader. In some cases where the money laundering is for terrorism purposes, the results can be catastrophic.

    How do currency traders prevent money laundering? Without going into too much detail, reputable currency traders will get to know you very well before proceding to set up an account or allowing any transactions to take place. Traders will also get to know your beneficiaries very well. The whole process is designed to eliminate any doubt about who is involved in any transactions and what they are transacting.

    The good news is that much of what currency traders will ask you is designed to protect your interest as well. If you are doing business with someone in a foreign country, you want to make sure you are going to get paid for your goods or services. You also want to make sure that the foreign business actually exists as claimed. And you also want to make sure the foreign business has a bank account in good standing. These are all things the currency trader will guarantee for you.

  • November 14, 2017 /  Banking & Money
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    Money laundering is referred as to make to proceeds of the crime appear respectable. The whole world is now taking serious actions against money laundering.
    In United Kingdom, the parliament has passed money laundering act. This act has been influenced on different parliament acts. These are:
    Drugs Trafficking offences Act 1986
    Criminal Justice Act 1993
    Terrorism Act 2000
    Anti Terrorism Crime Security Act 2001
    Proceeds of Crime Act 2002

    Money laundering is based on different crimes. It is just the end form of different crimes. Some criminal offences are mentioned below which are included in Proceeds of crime Act:
    Laundering: Acquisition, possession or use of the proceeds of crime

    Failure to report: If somebody fails to disclose knowledge or suspicion of money laundering then he will be liable for crime.

    Tipping off: Somebody who disclose information to any person who is involved in some crime then he is also liable and contributor in crime.

    For example a bank manager who see any illegal transaction then he should declare this information to money laundering reporting officer, before the transaction took place or right after the transaction. Otherwise he will be investigated and failure to disclose will lead him to crime.

    There are three major phases in money laundering which are mentioned below:
    Placement
    Change the initial disposal of the illegal activity into legal business activity.
    Layering:
    It means to put different layers to hide the original proceedings.
    Integration:
    After placement and putting different layers, the money has the appearance of legal funds.

    Accountants can play a vital role in reducing the chances of money laundering. They have to be very careful while preparing accounts of company because accountants are liable to disclose any illegal activity inside the company. Now accountants have to be followed many regulations which are set by IASB. It is mentioned in these regulations that accountants will be asked of any suspected transaction.

    If somebody has been involved in the above offences then he may have to face serious penalties. The British Law sets out the following penalties in relation to money laundering:

    1. Person who is directly related to money laundering can be penalized 14 years imprisonment and/or fine.
    2. A person who is responsible for failure to report information may be given 5 years imprisonment.
    3. 5 years imprisonment is given for tipping off a suspected launderer; it means suspected launderer must not be alerted.

  • November 13, 2017 /  Banking & Money
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    Conspiracy theorists say that the world is ruled by a single shadowy organization. They say that the banks are owned by this group, and they can manipulate the global economy to further their own selfish goals or to control rival groups that can threaten them should they ever get too big. Regardless of whether you want to be a part of some group’s world-domination plot or are just someone who wants to work in the finance industry, there are a lot of reasons to take up a job in banking.

    The first is that it is one of the simplest jobs in finance. Financial advisors, consultants, and the like are known to make really big bucks but they often also struggle dealing with a lot of stress. Imagine having to look at sheets upon sheets of paper filled with numbers and trying to figure out why the business is plummeting, and fix it. Some who have a knack for it consider it a challenge but if you want to fulfill your ambitions at a later time, then banking is the perfect place to start.

    The second reason to take up a job in banking is the good working environment. Bank employees have relatively lower stress levels compared to others in the finance sector. Happy workers equals happy working environment.

    Another good reason to work in a bank is the job security. Banks withstand financial crises, and employees seldom get laid off unless they did something they weren’t supposed to do. Should there be another economic depression, god forbid, working at a bank won’t affect you that much.

    Banks also have fixed schedules. Some banks only open on weekdays. Others open on Saturdays. No banks open on Sundays. This at least guarantees you a day off. At any rate, most bank schedules are only 8-5 and you are rarely kept in the office after-hours. This is also another reason why the working environment in banks is really pleasant.

    The final reason you’ll want to work at a bank is you’ll want to be associated with a big name. You seldom hear a “lowly” bank teller calling himself such, as even a teller is proud to be working in the bank. A bank’s name is a trusted one. If you state that you’ve worked for a particular bank, then that trust is reflected on you as well. This isn’t to say you should go work for a bank so you can put something on your resume. When you get a banking job, stay there as for as long as you can as the rewards you reap will be based off of it.

  • November 4, 2017 /  Banking & Money
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    Since deregulation of banking in the mid 1980’s, financial and banking industries in Australia have become increasingly competitive and innovative. Australia is ranked as one of the countries with the least controlled systems of banking globally with a foreseeable increase in competition due to implementation and large scale adoption of the recommendations of the Wallis Report done by the Financial Systems Inquiry. An increase in the number of banks and financial institutions entering the market today has led to adoption of various banking products and improvement in banking technologies such as ATMs.

    ATMs are computerized telecommunications gadgets that offer clients of financial and banking institutions access to various financial transactions in public without the need for bank tellers and clerks. The bank clients are usually identified with plastic smart cards that are fitted with chips and magnetic strips. The cards contain security information such as the expiration dates of the cards and unique numbers. The security of the card is provided by the client who enters a personal identification number using Automated Teller Machines. The client can then access the funds held by the bank and make cash withdrawals or advances.

    ATMs have had great influence on the banking sector in Australia. Firstly, they have helped create a highly sophisticated and secure financial trading environment offering Australians the capacity to carry out financial trading globally, electronically and in real time. The devices have also offered an improved fee transparency and competition within the banking and financial system.

    Thirdly, with the growth of the electronic gadgets, Australian commerce has been able to reach new heights allowing consumers a chance to enjoy the wide range of financial choices. The devices have also made it possible for payments to be settled quickly and conveniently allowing customers, organizations and businesses the ability to transfer cash to and from personal and business accounts.

    Mel writes about ATMs, ATM fees and other finance topics.

  • November 4, 2017 /  Banking & Money
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    ICICI Bank has concluded the sale of its network of electronic point of sales (PoS) terminals that accept Credit Card and Debit Card payments to First Data Corporation (FDC). The bank has hived off its network of over 1.5 lakh electronic swipe machines to a separate company ICICI Merchant Services. First Data has bought an 81% stake in the company which has been valued at a little over $90 million.

    When contacted, ICICI Bank refused to comment on the transaction. The bank has, however, communicated to merchants having ICICI Bank terminals that the PoS network has been transferred to ICICI Merchant Services. First Data, along with partner banks, is keen to proliferate payment transactions not just at top retailers but also through small cities or towns in India, said Amrish Rau, country manager, First Data Corporation.

    Referring to the transaction with ICICI Bank, Mr Rau said an announcement would be made in due course. Mr Rau, who represents First Data in the country, is likely to head the new payments company. First Data is a US-based company that has been created after banks farmed out their back office processing systems into a separate company. FDC is presently owned by private equity giant KKR.

    The Reserve Bank of India has already given clearance for the deal. According to banking sources, the deal value has gone up after RBI said that merchant establishments, including grocery stores and supermarkets, could swipe customer cards and offer them cash.

    In addition to unlocking value, ICICI Bank expects that the specialised company will bring down transactions costs and also grow the payment network more efficiently. This is the first time that an Indian bank has hived off its PoS terminal network.

    So far it has been foreign banks that have outsourced these functions but their network is of much smaller scale.

    ICICI Merchant Services will earn a fee every time a credit cards or debit cards transaction is processed through the point of sale network. The fee is usually borne by the merchant and a large part of it goes to the card issuing bank. This is in lieu of the credit that the issuing bank extends to the cardholder until the end of the billing cycle. A smaller part of the commission goes to the bank owning the PoS terminal (acquiring bank) and smaller portion to the payment company Mastercard or Visa.

    Incidentally, State Bank of India has for some time expressed its intention to set up a network of half a million point of sales terminals. To build this network the bank had earlier sought partners. However, the project was shelved as the bank decided to take a more holistic approach of its payments business.

  • November 3, 2017 /  Banking & Money
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    Have you been worried or even just concerned about meeting a high monthly mortgage payment? Perhaps you have been pondering negotiating for a better deal, such as a Bank of America loan modification period. This nationwide lending bank is now offering loan workarounds to some of its borrowers. You can improve your chances of getting the loan modification deal. If you meet certain approval requirements, you can lower your mortgage payment. Before you apply, you need to know about these Five Steps to Approval.

    1.Study the Bank of America loan modification approval guidelines. To qualify for a loan workaround program, you must meet specific disposable income and debt to income ratios.

    2.Collect all necessary documentation for the bank. A bank officer will review your documents to decide whether you qualify for a Bank of America loan modification. Be sure that you have everything before you apply, in order to avoid any possibility of delay or even denial of your application.

    3.A Hardship Letter is an essential part of your document package. You must present convincing, compelling evidence that you have experienced or will suffer from a financial hardship due to your current mortgage payment. There are three essential elements in a Hardship Letter — be sure that you know what they are.

    4.Take time to prepare, accurately and properly, the Bank of America loan modification application forms. Everything you state is subject to verification, and so you must include all important information, truthfully, to ensure that your loan workaround is given the maximum possible consideration for approval.

    5.Be persistent. Eight weeks is not uncommon for processing time of your Bank of America loan modification application. So be patient as well! Even if you are declined the first time, do not give up. Many homeowners were able to get an initial rejection of their application overturned by being diligent, tenacious, focused, and persistent in their pursuit of an affordable mortgage. Your home is at stake, and a successful application allows you to keep your home.

    By studying the guidelines; being diligent, complete and truthful in your application; and persisting in your qualification process, a Bank of America loan modification may well be yours. Take the time and invest the energy in doing the application properly, by understanding the bank’s approval guidelines. Ask any necessary questions for proper completion of the paperwork. Get the help you need and keep your home, as homeowners across the country continue to do. You too can do it!

  • October 31, 2017 /  Banking & Money
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    There are different types of money lenders and this article deals with the different types of money lenders present in the market scenario. Some of the different types of money lenders are

    Mortgage bankers
    Mortgage brokers
    Wholesale Lenders
    Portfolio lenders
    Direct Lenders
    Correspondents
    Banks and Savings & Loans
    Credit Union

    Mortgage Bankers

    A mortgage banker is a lender that can originate loans which they can sell to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Ginnie Mae, jumbo loan investors, and others. Thus a company who is capable of doing the above function is termed as a mortgage banker; however their size differs based on the different companies. Some mortgage bankers service the loans to the customers which they have originated while others do not. Most of the brokers have wholesale lending divisions. Some of the examples of mortgage bankers are Countrywide Home loans and Wells Fargo Mortgage. In this example one company is associated with a bank while the other is not. Many companies call themselves as mortgage bankers while some are really bankers but as far as the case of the others is considered it is mostly marketing.

    Mortgage Brokers

    Mortgage brokers are institutions who originate loans with the intention that they would give the amount to wholesale lending institutions. A broker has contacts or a set relationship with these wholesale lending institutions. Underwriting and the activity of funding takes place at the wholesale lender. They deal with the institutions that have wholesale loan department.

    Wholesale Lenders

    Many of the mortgage brokers and even the portfolio lenders act as wholesale lenders. They cater to the need of mortgage brokers for the origination of loan. There are some wholesale lenders that do not even possess their retail branches as they rely on mortgage brokers for the loans.

    Portfolio lenders

    An institution which lends own money and originates loans for itself is referred to as portfolio lender. Thus in this way they are lending their own portfolio of loans and they are not concerned about being able to sell them on the secondary market. Thus they need not abide by the rules of Fannie/Freddie guidelines and thus they can create their own rules for ascertaining the credit worthiness. Usually portfolio lenders are large banks. Only a particular part of their loan programs are portfolio products. Incase they are providing fixed rate of loans or government loans, and then they are definitely engaging in mortgage banking as well as portfolio lending.

  • October 25, 2017 /  Banking & Money
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