Saturday, September 13, 2008

Visitors from all over the world - welcome!

It`s been a while since I haven`t posted to my blog and the reason for that is due to an opportunity that has recently become a reality.

I am referring to the Forex market and to what it means. I`m talking about all the research you need to do in order to win in this game. To all factors to be taken into account when dealing currency.

That was the reason I was away from my blog; however the passion for Forex is not in against the blog`s theme.

This post however is about something else, it`s about you, visitors that spent time reading about paypal and about the things enclosed. I don`t know exactly whether it really helped anyone in improving their life but I certainly hope for the best. I see stats showing that people from as far a Thailand to Arkansas, Brazil to Bulgaria, South Africa to Denmark and the Netherlands take interest in my blog.

I only refer to visits that last for at least 1 minute.

I invite you to an open talk, a dialogue about your interests or objectives in this field and wish that I can answer to as many people as possible.

There will be no concern unaddressed and hopefully I can be of help.

Anyways, a big thank you to all my visitors!!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

What is the cross border fee?

Usually a percentage out of a transaction ranging from 1 to 3. Say for example you have a purchase of $50 and an additional $0.5 next to it showing related to that purchase then that $0.5 is the cross border fee.

It is something supposed to keep processing costs low but in fact it`s a fee that goes straight into the banks pockets.

Stoping this fee seems to be a major hassle since both Merchants and Customers don`t appreciate it yet banks often don`t admit to being the ones that actually charge it.

It`s incorrect to believe that it is a fee charged by the Merchant e.g. Flight Tickets Company but it also is incorect to be billed on against your Account.

A good idea is to ask your issuing bank to stop it or use a bank that doesn`t charge this fee. After all, during a 1 yeatr period you might end up paying a lot more than you should.

If you are a Merchant the same applies, business might be negatively impacted and need to take it with the banks as Customers don`t have anything to do with it.

Currency trading at Saxo Bank

A currency market that is fluctuating is an opportunity as opposed to when the market doesn`t fluctuate. The reason for that being in currency trading one trader could only make profit when the pair is moving.

As an example I would like you to imagine the EUR>USD pair. A country`s currency is never quoted in itself. It always gets a quote - or a value - in report to another country`s currency. In this case, the EUR>USD has recently reached a 1,6000 range and above.

That was from 1,4000 some 6 moths ago. At the same time the GBP>USD has reached the $2 per 1GBP.

The question that comes to mind is how can someone take profit in a moving currency market? The beautiful thing about it is that a pair can go both UP as well as DOWN and you can still make money on it. Why would that be?

Take this as an example you have a "lot" of 30 000 EUR USD that you invest. Meaning if you have proof/ reasons/ strategy to indicate the dollar will gain strength against the EUR then you should BUY the dollar. That is actually done for the EURUSD pair by SELLING the Euro which at a rate of 1.6000 will mean 18750 EUR paid for 30000 USD. Say the dollar gains and gets to be 1.5000 then you would buy back the EUR but 30000 USD would now buy 20000 EUR meaning you got a profit of 1250 EUR.

Caution please as this kind of move (1000 pips) does not happen over night - it takes months and this should probably be a long term position.

A really interesting experience is with Saxo Bank as they provide a really good platform and good leverage too. Plus their positioning in Denmark leads to the conclusion that Saxo is a pretty safe option to go with.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

A decent explanation of why oil price rose today

Apparently the rise in the oil price as well as the fall of the USD is to be explained through the so called long range missiles tests shown on Iranian national television.

It`s geo - strategical location close to the Hormuz strait enables Iran to impact oil prices. It is believed that 40% of the world`s crude oil passes through that area. Having control over it or posing threat to it would lead to impact on the oil prices and currencies attached to it (almost all, mostly USD).

The full story can be previewed here.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

UK House of Lords committee blames banks

Very interesting decision coming from a ruling body such as the UK`s Lords commitee. Someone eventually realized that in order to fight this phenomenon is better to start by adding some ownership to it.

After all it involves money - everybody`s money so they basically stress on two things:
1) Banks should be liable for all electronic fraud;
2) Reports to the police need to be made for e-fraud rather than the banks.

Examining these two points of view I would consider that the second is very appropriate while the first is a little bit exaggerated.
Banks cannot and will not be made fully liable for e-fraud as 90% of the loss in fraud related activities would have to be supported by them. While right now 90% of the e-fr is supported by the merchants.

The second would be reporting to the police which is happening in increasing numbers as opposed to previous years is a very good point the House of lords has made. This way police would be invested with the necessary power to investigate and eventually prosecute cutting down this invisible mafia that is the 21st century type of organization.

You can see the nice clip by clicking here here.

Monday, July 7, 2008

What should I do when I don`t recognize a charge? ...or a practical giude to chargebacks

Most people check their charges only once a month or once every 3 months (3 months is not recommended however as it`s way too long and you might end up abused by fraudsters). Some other people check it online before the statements are being issued which is more adequate as one could thus see potential multiple billing, fraudulent charges so on..

Then the next thing that is advisable would be to check for the contact phone number next to the charge. The reason for that is simple - in over 40% of the cases the charges are legitimate just that showing under a different brand than what you are used to call the store. Say for example you had a charge for $7.55 showing from COFFEE RET. 888-555-2343 but you don`t remember having paid it to Coffee anything but do remember a $7.55 charge from STARBUCKS. It is just an example of how charges might show - I`m not by no means implying that`s how Starbucks charges show.

Considering it helpfully for Consumers and Companies both to be aware of this misunderstanding I have put together a list of merely suggestions on how can things get straightened out before any of the parties ends up with loss.

Step 1) Look for the phone number next to the charge.
Why would you do it? One good reason is because sometimes the Merchant that shows on your statement and the name of the store (online or not) may be different.

Step 2) Call the number in case you are having doubts on the legitimacy of a charge. Once you call that number ask for what that Company sells or what their area of business is. This way you ensure you will not dispute/ chargeback a legitimate charge.

Step 3) Once you know what the Company does or sells decide whether you or some secondary cardholder (usually family members) used it to pay for the respective Goods or Services.

Step 4) Check with your family (if you have a spouse, child or another member as authorized user of your account) if they purchased the respective product or if they know/ recognize the respective charge.

Step 5) If you do recognize the charge eventually than everything is clear and you don`t need to chargeback anymore. Usually chargebacks raise tension between a company and the respective chargeback account holder. The reason for that is the chargeback fee on top of the Amount. Companies cannot accept overlooking the chargeback fees as these come included in the monthly loss Amount. You might find yourselves in the situation that a Company will deny future business from you on the basis of a irresponsible chargeback.
is nothing but loss of time and money for both parties involved if you chargeback a legitimate charge that you temporarily don`t recognize and rush to report it to the bank.

Step 6) If neither you nor any other authorized user of your account recognizes that charge then go ahead and fill in the corresponding forms with your bank. The banks usually respond quick to chargeback requests and issue it without to much investigation solely upon Card holder`s request. Some other banks actually encourage their Customers to check with the Merchants before a credit card dispute.

Step 7) Even if a chargeback is filed that doesn`t make it final. The whole process entitles the Merchant to provide evidence that the respective person actually participating in the transaction. If pertinent proof is provided then it gets reversed and the Card owner gets billed again for the Amount of the Conditional credit he or she had previously been given.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Expuse Code from Paypal - a definition

There is sometimes hard to find a correct answer to a simple question. For this reason alone I consider this article would make sense.

PayPal Expuse Code = A 4 digit Code that reflects on a cardholder`s statement (or even online statement) that shows next to a TEST Charge from PayPal. The charge is usually a small Amount of $1 or for cards issued in Euros is 1,5 EUR. The purpose of this test charge is that PayPal Validates or links the Cardholder to their bank and to the actual credit/ debit card.

The PayPal Expuse code is a smart choice for online validation of a person. The main reason behind it is that a bank will not release you this Expuse Code over the phone, or is not supposed to do so at least. Thus it consolidates the link between a bank and it`s Customers. A cardmember/ cardholder usually gets or obtains this code by paying their bank a visit in person rather than waiting for a whole month for the statement to be issued and sent out.

This practice is actually valid worldwide, it`s meant to increase responsible usage of online payment means and reduce fraudulent attempts.

No matter where a specific card is issued (be it San Diego, California or Johannesburg, South Africa) the Expuse Code will be the same - a four digit code next to a charge that is called Expuse Code.

Hope this is a satisfactory explanation and if more info is necessary on the matter please leave a comment and I will try my best to obtain pertinent answers.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Chicago Tribune despre traderul Jerome Kerviel

Titlul articolului indica "Accused fraud mastermind 'without particular genius'"

Este vorba despre un angajat al grupului Societe Generale, grup care detine BRD-ul din Romania. Este necesara o precizare de la inceputul articolului pentru a va pune in tema asupra contextului.

La nivel de grup financiar un anumit procent din lichiditatile detinute sunt investite pe piata valutara. Piata valutara este in continua miscare insemnand ca rata de schimb afisata la banci sau la casele de schimb valutat pentru o anumita zi din an nu este si cea reala.

Rata care apare pentru o anumita zi reprezinta de fapt o medie a zilei anterioare sau valoarea maxima la care a ajuns moneda respectiva cu o zi un urma.

Cu aceasta lamurire revin la subiectul articolului precizand ca domnul Kerviel de fapt asta facea. Practic dintr-un procent de 15% li
Blogger: Be safe in ePay world - EditaĊ£i articolul "Chicago Tribune despre traderul Jerome Kerviel"chiditati angajatii pe functiile de traderi au responsabilitatea sa cumpere sau sa vanda anumite perechi valutare functie de strategia pe care si-o creeaza. Aceasta strategie este urmare a unei analize tehnice sau "technical analisys".

Valoarea curenta a unei valute precum si prognoza pentru perioade scurte de timp se deduce (economia fundamentala este in dezacord cu analiza tehnica) din studiul evolutiei valorilor anterioare.

De aici si pana la cum a reusit sa cauzeze o pierdere de 7,2 miliarde de dolari e cale lunga. In primul rand pentru ca toate mecanismele de investitii pe piata valutara folosesc metoda stop-loss prin care nu iti permite sa pierzi mai mult decat ai. Rata de multiplicare pe care o poti obtine este in medie de 1:100 adica un euro poate cumpara echivalentul a 100 de unitati.

In acelasi fel traderul Kerviel putea deschide anumite pozitii in limita stocului real iar cu rata de multiplicare ar fi ajuns la o asemenea suma. Pe de alta parte o asemenea suma 7,2 miliarde pierdute pot echivala cu pozitii de 100 de ori aceasta valoare deschise la un moment dat in piata.

As face o pledoarie in favoarea traderului francez din urmatoarele doua motive. O munca de acest gen este in unul din cele mai speculative medii de lucru. Speculatiile la bursa implica un grad ridicat de risc daca nu cel mai ridicat. Pe de alta parte sumele pe care el le-ar fi avut de gestionat reprezinta o responsabilitate uriasa pentru o singura persoana daca aceasta persoana eludeaza procedurile/ uzantele bancii pentru care lucreaza.

Un alt motiv care mi se pare ca ii acorda circumstante atenuante este si gradul de fluctuatie de pe piata valutara din perioada de inceput a lui 2008. Euro in raport cu dolarul american a cunoscut evolutii foarte ciudate atingand valori maxime fata de perioade mergand in urma cu 3 ani.

In acest context consider ca a fost vorba de o eroare umana si de management deoarece mai ales intr-o banca oricine ar putea verifica teoretic ce pozitii si pe ce sume sunt deschise in orice moment al zilei.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Depozite sau economii

In momentele in care modificarile valutare urmeaza un trend volatil apar dileme de genul daca este mai bine sa facem economii in lei sau in Euro sau dolari.

Economiile in Euro raman o varianta pentru termen lung deoarece prognoza indica o crestere relativa pana/ inclusiv in luna martie. Valoarea prognozata este la 3.7 ron (ceea ce este deja actual) dupa care o continua descrestere pana catre finalul anului 2008 unde va cobori la 3.2 - 3.3 ron.

Dobanzile la depozitele in euro oferite de banci (BRD si BCR-Erste) ating un maxim de 4.5% doar pentru termene de peste un an. Raiffeisen ofera mai putin in jur de 3.75%. Cea mai buna varianta pentru un depozit pe un termen de pana la 2 ani este dintre cele 3 este BRD apoi BCR-Erste Bank si Raiffeisen.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

PayPal cel mai bun card in Romania

Am fost rugat sa prezint o comparatie pentru ofertele de carduri disponibile pe piata bancara din Romania in scopul utilizarii acestora pentru conturile de PayPal.

Fiind personal posesor de carduri al mai multor banci si avand la activ coordonarea unui eveniment masiv de refuzuri la plata (a se vedea subiectul La Redoutte unde au fost facut peste 15 refuzuri la plata catre acelasi comerciant) voi incepe cu o intrebare.

Cel mai bun card din ce punct de vedere? As spune ca suntem preocupati nu atat de cat de usor sau de dificil accepta PayPal un card sau altul cat mai degraba ce fel de protectie ofera banca emitenta.

Acest lucru inseamna disponibilitatea bancii respective de a rezolva in favoarea ta un refuz la plata in cazul in care lucrurile merg prost cu o tranzactie.

Pana acum singura capabila sa rezolve spre satisfactia clientului un refuz la plata a fost Raiffeisen Bank.

Pe de alta parte puteti lua in considerare si moneda in care urmeaza sa tranzactionati cu alte cuvinte cardul pe care il cautati trebuie sa fie in Euro sau in USD in functie de piata pe care intentionati sa activati.

Pentru dolari cel mai potrivit este un Mastercard in dolari de la banca sus amintita iar pentru Euro un MasterCard in Euro. Planificarea cardului tine si de ce moneda primiti ca venit, adica salariu, bonus, chirii etc. Daca primiti dolari lunar are mai mult sens sa deschizi un cont in dolari si implicit un card atasat in dolari.

Oricare dintre variante nu va restrictioneaza optiunile in nici un fel. Astfel puteti beneficia de utilizarea internationala a acestor carduri oricand doriti. Puteti merge oriunde in Europa si plati cu un Mastercard in dolari sau in Euro de la Budapesta la Wiena si chiar in Anglia.

Modalitatea de verificare din partea PayPal a identitatii unui cont este aceeasi indiferent de banca sau de cardul utilizat. Acest procedeu este descris intr-un alt articol sub denumirea PayPal Expuse Code.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Top ways to stay safe in epayment

As I would like it to be clear on the first line please note that the top trick in getting your identity stolen is by phishing. Ok so that means stay alert about giving out your details. It`s been said and written over and over that phishing is number one way of loosing your identity (billing address, security questions, credit or debit card numbers and phone numbers) online in the hands of ruthless criminals. Nevertheless it doesn`t make it disappear as thousands of people get scammed everyday out of their precious data.

One of the latest trends is through social networks such as myspace or friendster and hi5. This legitimate phenomenon of web.2.o is now getting exploited by the same people as before. They too have spread networks so to keep a long story short I would sum up a list that you could print out and keep it in your wallet.
1. Do not respond to unsolicited emails asking you to confirm your billing details. No bank on the planet would make you confirm your identity by asking you data they should ALREADY have.

2. When browsing social networking sites do not fall for any of the following tricks: offer to pay for your "friend`s" ticket unless you personally know the person, do not offer to pay for a puppy or any cute animal to save it from Senegal or Mozambique they often do not exist, do not offer to pay rent or any loses a "social networked" friend would come up with it`s no more no less than a scam.

3. When physically present in a foreign country and paying by credit card watch closely where your card is being placed as sometimes skimming may occur without you noticing it along with your payment. Next thing you know is your card was used two continents away...

4. Check your online statement for any signs of unrecognized charges. Small Amount non recognized payments go undetected for a 6 week period of time as most fraud experienced individuals go for low amounts during an extended period of time rather than fast high amount purchases.

5. Call the merchant! Most banks should be able to provide you with a toll free number to call for inquiring about a specific purchase. And as a secret most merchants include their toll free number in the billing descriptor to make it faster and more convenient for you to recognize as they do not want any illegitimate chargebacks.

6. Use prepaid credit cards. Most times these can get you out of illegitimate activities as they are only valid for a short period of time and are linked to a bank account only for the prepaid amount and not more thus rest of the funds being intangible.

7. If you are spammed with a lottery gain that you know you never entered stay away from it as you know better that no money comes effortless. Why would lottery be so much different?

8. If you are a merchant check all your high orders for any sign of inconsistency. This means any mismatch between the identity of the payer and the shipping address or between the name and the accent or funky email addressed created for free on yahoo.
You can check when was the last update under the yahoo profile section and a fresh email address (recent) indicates the individual is not really "as advertised".

9. Watch out for any fast deals. Wherever the speed of a claimed deal such as discount now, large discount offer of less than 40% of the price you find anywhere else "only if you act now" is not a positive sign. Rather wait and compare options than submitting your details on the spot. The two continent away purchases won`t hesitate to appear afterwards...

10. Keep an open mind about everything that involves immediate payment and you cannot check the reputation of the seller. We live in the digital world where almost everything is supposed to be traceable so do a background check on your seller or buyer and if you come with a reasonable number of clues as to indicate consistency then go for it otherwise wait and compare with a different offer.

The above indications are not claimed to be complete yet should suffice any interested person in keeping themselves safe in the epay world.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

What is an efficient chargeback?

All the time someone gets an unrecognized charge on their statement they have two options. One of them is to call your credit card company asking them for the phone number of the Company that incurred the charge and a second option is to simply dispute it.

If you are unsure what the Company stands for (what services they provide or what they sell) it is strongly advised to give them a call. This because some companies don`t display their store brand name next to the charges but some third party processor.

Now if calling that number helps remember the Merchant and you know it was a legitimate charge then there is no need to dispute it as most probably, if they have a cbk department in place, you will loose it on a Visa and Mastercard.

Companies with large amount of sales have a chargeback department and they can respond and win back the charge that you disputed in the first place. This not only results in lost time and money but also will give you a hard time if you intend to make any more purchases with that company in the future.

On the other hand if calling the toll free and still not recognize the Company or you haven`t purchased with them then go ahead with a dispute mentioning what your reasons are. It is usually a good idea to provide as much information as possible about the time and date, the possession of the card at that point and the missing/ unrecognized Amounts.

You will have to receive then what is called the conditional credit which means the charged amount is set back into your account and will stay as conditional until that company responds or x number of days (usually 14) have passed and no response came from the company. This usually means they acknowledge the charge was fraudulent.

A last piece of advise on this matter would be to use it moderate and be careful with your cards as a charegeback dispute on a reason of fraud will automatically incur the cancellation of that cc and additional fees and time for issuing a new one.