Payday loans are not currently enjoying a good press in certain areas of UK society. Everyone appears to be on the attack with calls for tighter regulation and even banning in certain sectors. Payday lenders are having a huge amount of pressure piled on them.
Following the huge success of Wonga in the UK, with pre-tax profits of £84.5 million up 35% the previous year, the company has expanded its base of operation to a number of new territories which it feels have a similar need for short term finance.
UK Cynics may see this as Wonga stepping out of the UK market due to pressures from all corners as the whole payday loan market comes under government, regulator and voluntary group pressure to tighten up its image. But this may not be the case - Wonga are also expanding their UK presence by moving into business finance. This is another area which has had a vacuum created with high street banks unwilling to lend to SMEs.
Moving into other countries as demand grows for alternative short term finance outside of high street banks has not been an easy task. It has not been a process of simply taking their UK product and dropping it into a new territory, they have had to amend their product to fit in with cultural and legislative differences compared against its successful UK business.
Let's look at the new countries Wonga has opened for business...
The Canadian division of Wonga are offering “a compelling alternative to what you would know as a payday loan”.
Wonga has created a bespoke product for Canadians in a bid to fill the gap for short term credit. Their challenges included:
most people are paid twice rather than once month, which has meant Wonga's normal 30 day loan product didn't work. The company moved to a 45 day product so people could borrow over 3 payday cycles;
different legislation in different Canadian provinces relating to interest meant that Wonga has had to work out the lowest acceptable interest rate across the country and apply that.
In a country with 25% unemployment, Spain would seem like an ideal place for a payday loan company but the Spanish do prefer to not to borrow or get themselves into debt in the short term. To help it establish itself in Spain, Wonga bought short term loan provider Credito Pocket to give itself a ready foothold in the market and an understanding of how the alternative finance market works in Spain
The South African market in recent times is much like the UK in that most lending happened via High Street banks. With the global economic crisis, however, lenders have restricted lending. Wonga has opened up the alternative source of finance, with the same technology it uses in the UK.
Considering both the founders are South African, they know their home market well, and more and more South Africana are comfortable buying and interacting online via PC or mobile.
The polish market for loans is still very traditional with most loans granted by local bank branches rather than online applications. Wonga's Polish operation will now mean the Polish customers across the country will have easier access to short term finance.
Wonga has also bought a short term credit business in India so it would seem the company is still hungry for global expansion. In Britain, the company has been in the business loans space and the bill payments area with its purchase of BillPay. This is a German technology company, which allows German customers to pay on delivery for goods, as most Germans do not pay in advance via credit card.
Wonga continues to be the dominant player in the UK short term finance space but with overseas expansion, the company looks to export its successful business around the world wherever it appears it is needed. Combine this with the use of technology to facilitate online transactions, and Wonga has gone from simple lender to ecommerce gateway provider. It not only helps people borrow money, it helps companies sell their products online too.
By handling some 3.8 million loan applications in the UK in 2012, they certainly appear to have the infrastructure to deal with a lot of transactions.
It will be interesting to see where this technology company and lender goes next...
Payday lender goes global
About the writer:
James Gordon lives in London and is well-known for his in-depth commentaries on finance businesses. He is married and has two Burmese cats.
Real estate investors who have built up their own means of success are usually uncommon, but this isn’t the case when it comes to Sunil Tulsiani. In his case he would be considered one of the few who actually “made it” in a sense, but it’s completely achievable for anybody if they make the right investments. Sunil didn’t start out as a successful real estate investor, to be completely honest his beginnings were much more modest than that.
This not only strengthens the idea that anybody can make it, but it also strengthens the idea that newcomers can have just as much success as the more experienced individuals. Sunil started off as a police officer, and modest beginnings usually call for spectacular ends. Sunil took it upon himself to provide the best possible service he could as an officer of the law, and he served under the Ontario Provincial Police department. As an officer of the OPP Sunil was able to help his community first-hand, cops are a necessary component to any city that wants to maintain a positive culture.
Sunil is one of those people who just want to be successful in every single venture they approach, whether it was the public speaking that he does, the realty investments that he makes or even the kind of justice he served when he was on the police force. Being a former police officer gives Sunil that courageous outlook on life, he wants to grab everything by the reigns and steer it in the proper direction. Efficiency is something that police officers usually offer as well, and when it comes to the property management business efficiency is something that can be overlooked (but that doesn’t mean it’s not important).
What Has He Done?
Sunil is a success story that everybody can smile about, as he would have been considered an “average joe” by most people’s standards, guidance counselors even considered him “slow” at one point. Despite the setbacks given to him by society, Sunil still grew to invest into properties he felt would be profitable. It turns out that he made the right decision, as he purchased 77 different properties in his very first year alone. These 77 properties turned out to be quite the money-makers, as they skyrocketed Sunil into a status of being the “first millionaire police officer in Toronto”.
Now everybody knows that most millionaires use business tactics and such to perfect their image, but this isn’t the case for Sunil. He’s a family man with a wife and two wonderful kids, one being 18 years of age and the other only 12. He was looking to provide for his family the best way he could, and it just so happens that he came out on top.
Not only is he a reputable property investor, but Sunil is also a rather efficient public speaker as well. He has been around to many different places providing his public speaking service, which is used to help other business-minded individuals improve upon their investments and processes. There are tons of different tips and tricks to learn regarding property management (as well as business management in general), which is exactly why a helping hand every now and then isn’t something to deny.
Sunil had recently spoken at the Robert G. Allen event in Toronto, and he went into the depths of his mind during the endeavour. He stated that he needed to decide between his family and his job, which is exactly why he got into the business of real estate investments. A police officer doesn’t have the strongest relationship with their family, they work long hours and usually have awkward shifts (as well as overtime) to deal with.
People usually look at Sunil as a “money guru”, most people have the tendency to think that he’s all about money. If that’s not the reason, others think it’s because Sunil is well-spoken or has tons of connections. The reality is that he’s hard-working, there’s no secret formula to becoming successful. Sunil is incredibly family-based, he worked as hard as he does because he wants to have financial security pertaining to his family. Although he wants to make sure they’re set for life, he believes that time is a lot more important to them than money is.
(NC) – Forget about walking down the lane or driving to the post office to pick up your federal benefit cheque. The majority of Canadians now receive their federal payments electronically through direct deposit into their bank accounts.
Four out of five Canadians—parents, seniors, veterans, students, businesses and Aboriginal people—have enrolled in direct deposit, the federal program to eliminate paper cheques by the year 2016. More than 90 percent of pensioners currently receive their Canada Pension Plan or Old Age Security payments through direct deposit while 95 percent of current or retired federal government employees receive electronic payments. There are some holdouts such as those receiving GST/HST credits (only 54.8 percent are enrolled in direct deposit) and Canadians waiting for their income tax refunds (only 43.9 percent are enrolled). Perhaps the holdouts are concerned about reliability or security or are simply unaware of the direct deposit program.
If enrolling in direct deposit is on your list of things to do this spring, consider these benefits and you may just find yourself signing up today:
• Direct deposit is safer and more secure than paper cheques.
• The payments cannot be lost or stolen.
• The processing time is faster and more reliable.
• There is no need to wait for the mail or visit a bank. You can still go to the bank to pay your bills in person and update your pass book if you like.
• Payments are deposited directly to your bank account so money is available even if you have moved or are away on business or holidays.
• Your payments will not be affected by delays in postal delivery.
• You can reduce your carbon footprint by supporting a program that will save 32,000 trees a year and reduces greenhouse gas emissions by eliminating transportation of cheques.
• As a taxpayer, you will benefit from the $17.4M a year reduction in printing and mailing costs.
You can find more information about how to enrol for direct deposit at www.directdeposit.gc.ca.
(NC) — Things are looking up for Canadian boomers. Compared to the generation that precedes them, they are healthier, living longer and many will work past the age of 65.
This changes how retirees need to should look at their retirement property.
“Accessibility tops the list of considerations for retiring homebuyers, followed by amenities, size, finances, and of course, location,” says Phil Dorner, president of the Ontario Real Estate Association. “A retirement property should be able to change with you and also fit with your lifestyle. You’ll want to consult with your Realtor on a few things before acting on your next move.”
Here are some considerations:
Property type – If customizing a house to include things like elevators and supportive equipment is simply too cost prohibitive, condos are an excellent option. They are almost universally accessible, come at various price points, in a host of locations. On the other hand, many house owners are accustomed to a lot of space and a yard, so moving to a condo can be a big adjustment.
Location and amenities – Think about what you need to be socially and physically active now and in the future. The closer you are to the services you rely on, the better. Know what your transportation options are – this will help when you can’t drive yourself or others are not available to take you.
Maintenance – A big yard will require work in the spring and summer months, while a sidewalk in front of your home will require snow removal in the winter. Will you be prepared to handle the demands of a house or will you be able to afford services that will help you with these responsibilities?
Adaptability – Look for a home that can adapt to your changes. For instance, having a main floor space that could be turned into a bedroom if required is a good idea.
“Considering your needs now and in the future will lead to a long and happy stay in the new home,” says Dorner.
More information is available at www.wedothehomework.ca.
The latest report from SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication), a co-operative for financial messaging services, states that the Canadian dollar accounted for 1.8 per cent of activity in January which makes it the fifth most used currency in the world. The percentage is the same as one year earlier. However, the loonie, as the country’s dollar coin is known, was the seventh most-used then.
The share of the Australian dollar and the Swiss franc dropped below that of the loonie compared to last year which led to the difference.
The report released by SWIFT was actually about the rise of the Chinese yuan, which moved to the seventh spot from thirteenth in January. This is a notable surge.
Canada’s economy picked up in the fourth quarter of last year despite a December chill. GDP fattened by 2.9 per cent, annualized, in the last three months of the year according to Statistics Canada today, though it slipped 0.5 per cent in December alone as 2013 drew to a frozen close.
Chief economist Douglas Porter of BMO Nesbitt Burns said, “While today’s GDP report is a bit of a mixed bag, the bigger picture is that the Canadian economy looks to have had better momentum than widely appreciated through much of 2013.”
Running a business is so much easier if you know how to manage your finances effectively. Most large businesses employ people specifically for the purpose of looking after the finances, but if you have a smaller business, you are probably unlikely to be able to afford to employ people just to take care of your finances. If you’re starting a small business or you’re already running one, here are some great tips to help you manage your business finances properly and maximise your profits.
1. Have a proper cash flow forecast and budgets
For any business, proper cash flow forecasts are essential. Many businesses don’t start to see profit until after a first couple of years, so don’t be alarmed if you don’t see great results at first. As long as you persevere and stay organised with your finances, after a while, you’ll start to see the results that you want.
Cash flow forecasts and budgets are two things which should be done often and consistently. They should also be done early on and before you start your business. Before you start spending money, it’s important to see how much money is going to be coming in and how much you need to spend on specific things.
2. Make sure you know where the money is going to come from
Most people setting up a business have to borrow a bit of money at first. Borrow the lowest amount possible so that there’s less to repay as you’re trying to run your business. You don’t want to end up having to take out debt consolidation loans in order to sort out your debts while you’re already struggling to keep the business going. While you’re running the business, think about ways in which you can raise money, especially if you need to pay for large things, such as new furniture or even a new building for your business. Selling assets is a great way to raise some money without debt becoming involved, but once you start making profits, the business should be able to pay for itself.
3. Don’t forget about tax
Remember that although you’re running your own business and you’re self-employed, you still have to pay tax. Find out how much you need to pay for the amount which your business is making, and don’t forget the deadline for sending off your tax forms. If you’re struggling to do it alone or you think you could benefit from hiring an accountant, get in touch with a reputable accountant and let them do the work for you. The other great thing about having an accountant is that they’ll know all the tricks for saving money on your tax bill, so you might find yourself with a much lower bill than you anticipated. Whichever option you choose, make sure that you’re aware of tax throughout the year, and make sure that you have enough money saved away so that you can pay the tax bill when it arrives.
4. Keep track of everything
It’s very important to keep track of everything that’s coming in and going out, especially when you’re running a business. Not only is this essential for tax purposes, but it’s also very good when it comes to being able to see how you can improve your business. You can look back after a year and see which months didn’t go as well as others, and you can plan for the next year and discover what worked and what didn’t work for your business. The more organised you can keep your business, the better you’ll be able to run and manage it properly.
How did Florida real estate agents boost their marketing strategy? It is surely not easy to market homes for sale or for rent especially when they are trying to sell it to people from other countries like Canada. Florida real estate agencies are planning to expand their business and through that, they want to offer their services to people from Canada.
The weather in Canada is usually cold and it’s probably safe to say that Canadian’s love to buy estates in a place where it is usually sunny like Florida. But the question here is how will Florida real estate agencies sell their services to them?
Nowadays, it is easier to do things with the help of the internet. And through this, it also becomes easy for companies to advertise their products and services. This is called advertorials. Advertorials are articles where the writer is selling the company’s business, products or services to the readers. It is convincing the readers to buy the products or avail the services offered. These usually appear in newspapers or magazines, and today it can be seen on websites where people from all over the world can easily see and read them.
So through these advertorials, Florida real estate agents were able to promote their services to Canadians.
If you’re looking for an agency where they could write advertorials for your business, you can visit AdvertorialAgency.com. They have a group of journalists who can provide their services to you through advertising your products or services.
Microsoft will officially end technical support for its Windows XP operating system on April 8.
The fact is that computers running XP will keep working after April 8 but with an increased risk of becoming victims of viruses and malware.
If new flaws in XP are discovered after that, they will go unfixed by Microsoft as no updates will be released.
According to some statistics, almost 30 per cent of the world’s desktop computers run XP.
There is a lot of risk in the system. Hackers may have found vulnerabilities in Windows XP that they haven’t disclosed, that they’re waiting until after April 8 to start using. Depending on the severity of those, they’ll have large success attacking machines.The End of Windows XP
Moreover, there is concern related to vulnerabilities that haven’t been discovered yet. Even if they are identified in the future, Microsoft won’t release any more security updates to fix them.
So, what does one do if still running Windows XP on your home PC?
Microsoft suggests two options: upgrade to a newer, supported version of Windows. Or buy a new PC. These are certainly the best options.
However, if you simply must keep using Windows XP, you must keep in mind the following things:
set up a home firewall to keep out malicious network traffic.
use an up-to-date web browser that isn’t Internet Explorer. Google Chrome or Mozilla’s Firefox are suggested.
an up-to-date antivirus product will help
The conclusion is that if you still have XP, it’s time to move.
You may be surprised at what actually motivates an employee. Is it the paycheck? Is it the benefits program? Is it the hours required of them? Though the studies have been done for decades have given employers a look at what makes their employees happy and satisfied, it’s still a puzzling question for many. Forbes has compiled a list of things that motivate employees to succeed at work, but it’s never as cut and dry as it seems. Employees are far more likely to work harder and to put more effort and innovation into their jobs when it means something to them personally. Working as a part of a team instead of as a drone makes a huge difference in the day to day lives of your workers.
Keeping your employees satisfied is of the utmost importance because a toxic workplace culture can create heaps of problems there isn’t time or resources to deal with. If you’re trying to turn a new leaf, keep a few things in mind to make your employees feel like you appreciate them.
Give your employees the tools that they need. Take a long look at what your employees need to be successful and try to think in terms of investment. Many workers find themselves using personal cell phones for company use, and while it may not amount to much on their phone bill, the principle behind it stands. If you feel unsure about costs, look into companies like Mobi-data that offer low-cost data plans. Giving them the option of using company phones will make them feel like you know where they’re coming from in more than one way and it may not be nearly as expensive as you think.
Recognize achievements and reward appropriately. If your employee does something phenomenal, make sure you let them know you see their hard work. Offer incentives like an Amazon gift card when something truly special happens, or if the budget is really tight, offer a handwritten thank you. Positive reinforcement is far more useful than punishment and your workplace culture will flourish in no time. Mobi Data
Challenge in new and encouraging ways. You may be surprised to hear someone say they appreciate the extra responsibility, but in truth, most people do. When you give someone a challenge, you’re effectively letting them know that you have faith in their skill and judgment. When you see the potential for a learning experience, pass along the task with appropriate direction and check in to see what kind of progress is made. Employees will not only appreciate your faith in them, but may also appreciate the time to hone skills that could lead to promotions or advancements.
Making your employees feel like a part of a team doesn’t always mean a bump in their salary. It can be something as little as recognizing a job well done or showing your appreciation with a pizza party. The most important thing is to actually mean it when you give praise; there’s nothing worse than a phony pat on the back.
All too often fraud is not detected until it is too late, in some cases several years after the fraudulent act has been committed. In many instances the fraudulent act remains completely undetected. Currently fraud issues abound as the banking system undergoes an overhaul to bring it back to some semblance of health. Perhaps one of the most worrisome signs is the rise of insider fraud, or occupational fraud, which is plaguing SMEs across the UK.
One of the problems faced by SMEs is the decentralisation of power required to run a successful start-up. The more people a business employs, the lesser the control the business owner has over sensitive information such as company accounts. In many cases, the first incline an individual has of a fraudulent act is when they access a free company checking website (like Rmonline.com) which provide detailed company information, including credit reports. In some circumstances, a business which should have an immaculate credit profile is refused a loan. This prompts the business owner to check the company’s credit profile, only to then identify that fraudulent activity from within the organisation has damaged the company’s credit rating. Unfortunately, by this stage the damage has already been done.
The more we automate, the more difficult it becomes to identify fraudulent activity, but there are certain behaviours and situations we can look out for which suggest an employee may be tempted to use company resources inappropriately. Finger prints
In tough economic times, when salaries are being frozen and employees are being overlooked for promotion, workers can often become resentful towards their employer. In many cases, people are asked to do more work for the same money. Any of the above is enough justification for some employees to take their anger out on the employer, and in many cases take what they rightfully believe to be theirs. A change in the personality of an individual is a sign that they may be considering defrauding their employer. If a normally cheerfully and positive person is sullen and subdued, this could be cause for concern.
If a not a particularly well paid employee arrives at work in an expensive new car, has a sudden glut of new clothes and jewellery and is regularly going away on holidays abroad, this could be a sign that something isn’t quite right. Of course they may have a wealthy other-half, or have been left an inheritance, so tread carefully, but it might be something worth investigating.
Conversely, it may become clear that an employee is experiencing financial problems, and in this case the temptation to defraud the company, particularly if they have access to sensitive information, might be difficult to resist.
There are a number of clandestine behaviours which should certainly arouse suspicion if you know what to look for. An employee who frequently asks where the boss is, is commonly seen in areas they have no reason to be, or is overly possessive about a task they are working on should be viewed with some suspicion.
If you have been the victim of insider fraud then we’d love to hear from you. How did you lift the veil on the fraudulent acts? What has been the impact on your company? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
The recession and credit crisis has hit people on a fixed income the hardest, and pensioners in particular are suffering from rising food and energy prices.
Make your house work for you
There are a few ways in which pensioners can make the most of their investments and assets, though. One good way is to rent out a room. A homeowner can earn up to £4,250 each year from rental income before it gets hit by taxes. Even better, this money doesn’t affect the capital gains exemption, as the house is owner-occupied.
There’s more wealth in the home, as owners might think about equity release to free up a lump sum – either for a one-off big purchase or to earn extra income. This move will reduce inheritance, so anyone considering this should think carefully and get advice from an independent advisor.
Quick cash and comparisons
Cash ISAs are a good idea, as the interest earned is tax-free, and the money is available immediately with no penalties applied. There are several banks or building societies that pay more than six per cent interest on ISA balances, so shopping around is a good idea. Getting cash out of an ISA in a hurry is infinitely preferable to getting a payday loan for examples (see wonga.com for more details.) Payday loans can be useful in a tight spot, but they have strict time limits and can easily snowball you into a dangerous place if you’re not able to pay them back.Ladies 50 more1
Compare, compare and compare again! This is the age of the comparison website, and these sites are saving people hundreds of pounds a year. If a site is accredited by Energywatch, it means it looks at every single provider possible. Saving money on energy has never been more important, as one third of pensioners could soon be in fuel poverty.
Pensioners should also use their capital gains tax exemption each year, as this can prevent a big bill further on down the line. Each individual can make as much as £10,900 in tax-free capital gains in the financial year 2013-2014.
Play the field
Spread investments across industries and global regions so that you don’t suffer too much if one area or sector has a bad year. It’s also important to structure your portfolio cautiously – aim for around 60 per cent in shares and the remainder in fixed interest stocks or bonds. There are also absolute return funds which can offer better-than-inflation returns in the long-term, despite what the market throws at them.
Of course there’s always a downside to playing it safe – you’ll probably never
What is the key to financial success? This is a question we all have an interest in, in some way or another. Read our guide to financial success in 2014 and we will relay some simple truths about financial success and show you how to achieve financial success this 2014. 1. Spending less than you earn If you spend less than you earn you are already halfway to achieving financial success. Spending less than you earn is hard though and it requires the discipline and the forethought to say no to things that you want but can’t realistically afford. It also requires that you monitor, record and constantly evaluate your expenditure and income, comparing these and ensuring that you continually spend less than you earn. 2. Getting paid what you are worth Another simple financial rule is to receive renumeration that reflects your worth. Are you stuck in a deadend job? If you are then you should create a list of your talents and qualifications and think hard about how you can get paid for these. You may find that there are jobs you can apply for that you would otherwise have ruled out, or it may be that you are due a promotion you are too shy to ask for. You may find that a career change is in order, or you might even decide to set up your own business doing something you love but may otherwise have been a hobby. canada-dollar 3. Emergency planning You always have to plan for a financial emergency and try to put some cash aside for a rainy day. If you can’t do this then there will always be a way to mitigate your losses. Instead of letting a cheque bounce or a payment bounce you could borrow money from a friend or relation, ask your bank to increase your overdraft or approach a reputable payday loan company for a short term loan. Use the calculator on the Wonga site to work out the costs of a payday loan and compare these to the costs of missing the payments. 4. Shopping wisely Shopping in the sales is something we all do from time to time, but if you plan your shopping to coincide with sales than you will save lots of cash by never paying for full price items. Always buy your winter coat in the summer time for example and try to avoid ‘high fashion’ clothes. Go for things that are durable and plain. You can spruce these up with high fashion accessories that don’t cost a lot. It also helps to shop online as when you do this you can examine the competition more extensively and make the wisest investments. 5. Fuel, travel and utilities Lots of us waste money unnecessarily on things we take for granted such as the electricity being there at the flick of a switch. We underestimate how simple efficiencies like drying clothes on a radiator instead of in the dryer, or washing clothes at 30 degrees unless they are heavily soiled can save us over the course of a year.
If you are a serious entrepreneur who is interested in owning a valuable and revolutionary online magazine, this information is for you. Online business is experiencing a lot of growth. Entrepreneurs who have put their money in this avenue are reaping impressive profits. The nature of modern information dissemination is such that the internet is overtaking mainstream and traditional media as the preferred news source. Moreover, advertisers are increasingly turning to the internet to reach potential niche customers.
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