Pay on the Go: How Mobile Payments Evolved in the Last Decade

Back when Steve Jobs announced the iPhone, most people only saw a smarter, better phone, with a bunch of features they didn’t know what to do with. But in time the various industries discovered the potential of this pocket-sized computer, rolling out new services, new ways to use it. Among them, an ever-growing service that allows users to use their phones as payment devices, much like virtual credit cards.

Paying online was never this easy

There are several ways in which you can transfer money over the internet, from the traditional remittance to a series of electronic methods. Some of them are listed at

, but there are many others – some available worldwide, others for residents of certain countries only. But this was not always the case. For years, online money transfer was a service offered by a single company, a groundbreaker on the market – PayPal. The next years saw a rapid development of online payments, with new operators emerging, and their services becoming more widespread and secure. But due to the low penetration of mobile internet connections, these services were most of the times restricted to the land-based internet – and desktop devices.

Mobile payments in the new century

Although mobile payment systems were introduced in the late 1990s, they didn’t start to grow in a meaningful manner until the early 2000s. Although more than 90 million people purchased various products and services using their mobile phones by 2003, many markets were tardy in adopting this new way of money transfer. Some of the options introduced in these times are still available today – like the one when you send a text message to a certain number to pay for a product or service, which will appear on your phone bill at the end of the month. But with the emergence of smartphones, mobile payments have become more seamless and handy than ever.

Using your smartphone as a credit card

The introduction of services like Apple Pay, mobile payments have taken an evolutionary step. Users don’t need to have their credit cards on them anymore – they only need their smartphone. Apple Pay and its likes store the users’ credit card information in a safe virtual wallet on the device. Payments are made using technologies like BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) or NFC (Near Field Communication). Users don’t need to swipe their credit cards anymore – they can simply hold it close to the merchant’s POS, enter a PIN code, and voilá – their payment has been done.

Mobile payments are becoming increasingly popular among smartphone users. According to an estimate, up to 90% of smartphone users will have made a payment using their device by 2020. And the value of such transactions is estimated to exceed $60 billion by next year.

The Benefits of Compatibility: Choosing a Trading Platform that Suits you

While the UK may have voted by a narrow majority to leave the EU, this prospect arguably appears to be further away than ever before. With departing Prime Minister David Cameron refusing to pull the trigger on Brexit and his potential replacements also unwilling to make such a commitment, it is unclear whether Britain’s extraction from European Union will ever come to pass.

Although the fulfilment of Brexit could ultimately damage the British economy and reduce its GDP, the uncertainty surrounding its implementation is even more debilitating. This is certainly having an impact on traders, with the value of sterling, shares and property likely to fall below 2015 peaks in the near-term.

Choosing a Trading Platform to suit you: The Key Considerations

To help thrive in such a climate, investors will need to choose asset classes and trading platforms that suit their needs. The latter point is particularly important, so here are the key considerations when choosing a compatible option: –

1. Does your Platform include Multiple Asset Classes?

On this note, the short-term economic uncertainty will hit some assets harder than others. Currency and equities are likely to suffer considerably, for example, but it is possible for experienced traders to alter their portfolios in real-time and capitalise on such turbulence. With this in mind, it is important to select a trading platform that affords you access to multiple products and derivatives, as this creates the type of diversity and flexibility that enables you to prosper in a strained economic climate.

2. Do you Need to hone your skills and Strategies?

While we would not recommend entering the financial marketplace as a novice in the current climate, those of you who are inexperienced and already financial invested will need to tread carefully in the coming months. If you feel as though you are in need of further education or keen on honing your existing skills within a simulated market environment, for example, it is wise to open a demo account and utilise this for a period of three to six months.

This will let you refine your strategy in a real-time but risk-free market, so look out for a trading platform that offers a demo account.

3. Do you Rely on Analytical Tools?

As a trader, your underlying philosophy and the assets that you invest in will determine how you execute decisions. It is likely that you will need a suite of analytical tools to help inform your decisions, however, so it is well worth selecting a platform that offers economic calendars, webinars and live market insight.

Different platforms offer this to varying degrees, so remain vigilant and seek out the platform that features the tools to suite you. Pay particular attention to your appetite for risk and your trading style, as this will help you to select a platform that helps you to get the most from your portfolio.

5 Best Quora Answers on CFDs

What is Contract for Difference?

CFDs are a type of derivative trading that allows one to try and make profits from speculating on the falling and rising prices of the fast moving and dynamic financial markets or products like indices, shares, currencies commodities, and Treasuries.

A CFD can also be described as a leveraged financial product (derivative) since their value is obtained from the value of other assets such as market indices, shares or commodities. When trading CFDs, one takes a position on the variation in the value of the underlying asset over a period.

All the CFD companies allow traders to trade both long (buying) and short (selling) with the expectation that the underlying asset will either increase or decrease in value. In both scenarios, the trader expects to gain the difference between the closing and opening value of the asset being traded.

What is leverage in trading CFDs?

CFDs allow a person to bet on the rising and falling in currencies, shares, and other assets while only committing a small amount of his or her money. The investors only leverage off the sum of money they have in their possession with the hope of making more. With CFDs, an investor can only commit a fraction of the market value of the asset being traded that can be as little as 1%. The CFD provider covers the remainder of the asset which is 99%.

Although you risk only 1% of your investment, you are entitled to the same losses or gains as if you had paid 100%.

The actual percentage to be invested is dictated by the CFD provider and the underlying assets.

This fact makes CFDs more desirable to most investors since even if you do not have enough money to procure the assets, you can share in the expected gains and losses on the value of the asset.

However when trading with leverage, your gains and losses are magnified, and there is a very high chance of losing much more than you put in especially when you over leverage.

What is the best platform for CFD intraday trading?

The recommended platform will always depend on how you trade. For example;

- If your trading is based on algorithms, automation, and technical analysis, then you are advised to use MetaTrader (MT) platform.

- If your orders are placed manually and your trading decisions are made through a separate analytical tool, then it’s advisable to use CMC market front end.

What are the benefits of CFD trading?

There are a number of advantages that come with the trading of CFDs that include;

  1. Trading on both falling and rising markets

Trading in CFDs allows one to trade the price of an asset going up as well as going down, therefore, letting you benefit from both shorting or selling opportunities as well as buying opportunities. The majority of investors use CFDs as a means of hedging their portfolios through times of short-term volatility.

  1. Efficient use of capital

One of the main benefits of CFD trading is the use of margin while trading. This use of margin gives you leverage thus enabling one to trade without having to invest the full value of a position. This moves also ensures that all your money isn’t tied up in only one transaction, and therefore it can be used for other investments.

  1. Diversification

CFDs give traders the opportunity to trade in different markets and in a wide range of instruments like foreign commodities, equities, and indices. The ability of trading across different markets aids traders to diversify their trading portfolio and spread their risks at the same time.

Is it advisable to trade CFDs so as to make bigger profits?

CFDs are generally leveraged derivatives of their underlying assets like commodities or stocks. Therefore, for a small down margin, a trader can have control over a larger position size. However, this condition magnifies not only the profits but equally magnifies the losses thus it must be used cautiously. It is never advisable to risk more money than the sum available in your account since you might get wiped out when a certain move goes against you. Such a scenario will have you owning your broker and hence receiving a margin call.

In short, when trading CFDs, always think of the risk prior to the reward

Are You Interested in a Career on Wall Street

Are you interested in a career on Wall Street? If you are, then you have your choice of options. The amount of money you could make as a stock broker on Wall Street can depend a lot on your level of education, experience and training. It also depends on the current market state and the current economic conditions. The New York Stock Exchange is for people who can think fast and who are good with numbers. If you are interested in such a career, you may have to consider the following tips:

Before you are able to work on Wall Street, you may first think about getting a college degree. This is not a requirement, but a recommendation. A bachelor’s degree can provide a clear advantage for people who earn it. For improving your chances to find a good job, you could get a degree in accounting or finance.

The preparation phase should begin from your last year of college. Don’t wait until you graduate, as there are firms that can offer you an internship. You will be able to work while you are still in college and earn some experience. Write your resume and apply to different companies on Wall Street. Don’t forget to write about your grades, your work experience and any proof that you are an ambitious and hardworking individual. Make sure you include all the references.

It can be very hard to work for a company on Wall Street from the beginning, so you may have to begin with some of the available satellite firms. The company that you choose must be a member of FINRA (Financial Industry Regulator Authority). After four months have passed from the moment you became employed, you can take the series 7 licensing exam.

The employer may apply to this exam for you. The template of the test is available online, so you can download it and familiarize yourself with it. There are more than two hundred questions with multiple choice answers and the duration of the test is of six hours. Study and prepare yourself for months before the exam by taking a Series 7 course. If you pass the exam you will get a license. But, this license is not permanent. You will have to update it every year.

If you don’t find a job on Wall Street immediately, you will have to work for many years for a satellite firm, in order to get the training and experience necessary to become a successful Wall Street stock broker later. There is a lot of competition in New York Stock Exchange and you have to be well-prepared for it.

It would be wise not to have any regulatory issues or compliance problems in your record. Brokerage companies on Wall Street avoid hiring any suspicious brokers. Not only that you will have to maintain your record as clean as possible, but you also have to make it to look impressive. This can be done by achieving high commissions while you are working for a satellite firm. Visit www.stockbrokersalary.bizregarding more information on financial careers on wall street.

Five Scholarship Hunting Tips to Bear in Mind

Going to a quality university can be too expensive. One practical option to earn your dream university degree is to apply for a scholarship to fund your studies. Landing on one, however, is easier than most people think. It requires much preparation and effort. These five scholarship hunting tips might help you get your dream scholarship:

Start Early

Remember the popular saying, “early bird catches the worm?” This is indeed true, particularly for students who wish to land on a scholarship program. If you have enough time, you can plan on how to go about your hunt.

Most scholarship grants, if not all, would require you to write essays and prepare a long list of documentary requirements. If you have enough time, you will be able to write top notch quality essays and prepare all of the requirements. So starting early is essential.

Carefully Decide on Who to Ask for Letter of Recommendation

This is a crucial part of any scholarship grant. Even before you formally submit your requirements, you need to have people in mind. This is like applying for a job, and the person who would write the needed letter of recommendation might make or break your application. You may choose from among your mentors, teachers, and bosses who can talk about your skills, personality and achievements. Do not ask your relatives or friends to write the letter for you as this is not a professional thing to do.

Your Image is Everywhere, so Be Cautious

Applying for a scholarship does not end in sending the requirements. You have to be careful on the things you post online, especially on your social media accounts. Applying for a scholarship is like applying for a job, so you need to take it seriously. For sure, organizations do not want to waste money on an individual who has a negative image.

You should also be professional and not too personal. While you are still considered a student, it’s a good idea to act like a professional. Government bodies or organizations giving scholarship grants have their own standards for their scholars. Aside from grades and achievements, some may assess you based on your personality.

Don’t Be Afraid to Think Outside the Box

Instead of focusing on traditional scholarships to apply for, try finding programs that guarantee a limited applicant pool by finding a few unusual scholarships. Some popular ones include the Zolp Scholarship offered at Loyola University of Chicago for those with the last name Zolp, the Tall Club’s International scholarship for men 6’2″ and women 5’10” or taller and the StarFleet Academy Scholarship for Star Trek Fans.

Do not Apply if You are not Eligible

This tip requires one’s common sense, but some tend to overlook this. Make sure to review the eligibility requirements. Some end up wasting their time and effort applying for scholarship programs that do not fit them. For instance, some scholarships may just be offered for Americans, some are just for Asians and others could just be for specific states in America. It depends on the funding organization, so make sure to double check before preparing your requirements.

These are just 5 scholarship hunting tips that you can consider. There are still a lot of things to remember, which you might learn along the process of preparing your application. You might have to deal with rejections, which require another set of tips. But if you are determined to land on a scholarship grant, you will surely find ways on how to be successful on your next try.