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7 Simple Ways to Raise Funds for Your Child’s Overseas Education

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When the time comes for your child to start college, it is essential to be prepared. Educating your child in an overseas university is a big financial decision. Apart from tuition, it involves significant expenditure for books, living expenses, and transportation. And so, it is always advisable to start early and save in the long-term to fund your child’s dream of studying overseas.

Our first thought is education loans whenever we think of funding college education. However, few people know that loans are not the only option. There are many ways to finance overseas education without saddling your children with education debt.

Here are seven ways to finance overseas education for your child –

  1. Scholarships –One of the most well-known routes to arrange funds for studying abroad is scholarships. However, a misconception is that only the most academically-gifted kids can avail scholarships. International schools offer scholarships for students gifted in sports and arts also. Scholarships usually call for a lot of paperwork, but it’s always worth the trouble. Spend time going through the fine print to find out which countries/universities can help you get the most out of your scholarship. Many countries offer free higher education to international students if you get in touch with the government and demonstrate fluency in the language of instruction.
  2. Loans – Perhaps the most apparent option is personal loans for education. Student loans get a kid through college, but they may pay off their student loans for many years after that. Explore your options for education loans thoroughly before choosing one financer. There are many different kinds of student loans but if you plan to apply to universities in Europe, take a look at the Erasmus+Masters loans scheme. In the United States, you can apply for Federal loans that offer many benefits to make it easier to repay the loans.
  3. Sponsorships – Sometimes, you may receive sponsorship from an organisation, community, or corporate to study a particular degree or specialisation. Most of these sponsorships come with terms and conditions, so students should be careful when using them. Suppose the applicant already works for a company that can use their expertise. In that case, they may also talk to them about the sponsorship.
  4. University Jobs – In many countries like the United States, UK, Australia, and Canada, allow people on a student visa to work part-time on the university campus. It could vary from school to school and from country to country. The UK also offers a post-study work visa for international students. Your ward could find an excellent job in the administration or research department of the university. They can work a limited number of hours there.
  5. Part-Time Work – Depending on the visa regulations of the country your ward is studying in, they can plan to join a part-time job in the vicinity of their university. Usually, part-time jobs are enough to fund living expenses but not much more. Combining your part-time job with some other type of funding may help you tide over any extra costs. Most students opt for waiting tables, working in supermarkets, coffee shops, and other small businesses near their university campus.
  6. Exchange Programs –Studying abroad with your university’s support back home is cost-effective to gain overseas education experience. It will fulfil your child’s ambition of studying abroad without draining your finances. Depending on your home country and their relations with foreign universities, you may find well-funded and valuable exchange programs in your university.
  7. Grants – Grants or gift aids are usually need-based scholarships conferred on deserving students from a low-income background. They are a type of financial aid that does not need to be paid back. Even though most grants are based on the student’s economic background, sometimes they also consider other factors such as physical disabilities, refugee status, etc.

Planning for your child’s education beforehand can help create a debt-free future for your children. Partner with an expert to avail of the most lucrative education financing options to enable your child to study abroad.

With the advent of the fintech industry, there are several options that can help with any additional expenses that you might have to bear – such as, tickets, unplanned bills, rent, online purchases and so on. Based on your situation and your eligibility, you might be able to get a quick online personal loan, loans for salaried, or even choose from various flexi personal loans available. It is a good idea to do your research and keep a list handy of such fintech lenders, so you can quickly avail of funds, if a situation arises.

 

Author Bio: Tanvi Kaushik specializes in Content Marketing and works with the Digital Team at KreditBee – India’s fastest personal loan platform where self-employed and salaried professionals can easily avail of personal loans in just a few minutes when in need of quick funds. Tanvi writes to-the-point articles on personal finance and budgeting which are truly appreciated by her readers. She is committed to making money matters easy to understand even for the layman. Her commitment to her work doesn’t stop her from pursuing her hobbies of hiking, trekking and going on adventurous trips.

Business

How can businesses boost employee experience for finance professionals?

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By Martin Schirmer, President, Enterprise Service Management, IFS

Over the course of the last year, The Great Resignation has seriously impacted organisations across the globe. Staff are quitting in huge numbers, leaving companies unprepared and struggling to fulfil their workloads. In fact, mass departures are happening at all levels of the labour market, as employees attempt to adapt to the hybrid working model and growing socio-economic uncertainty.

In light of this, optimising the employee experience (EX) to attract and retain talent has become a top priority for employers. Organisations have come to understand the necessity of taking immediate steps to drive employee engagement and reshape workplace culture.

The financial services (FS) industry is no exception to this trend. From increasing employee burnout to growing career dissatisfaction, the pandemic has exacerbated the need for transformation across finance teams. This is exemplified by recent data from Spendesk, which found that approximately 40% of finance professionals are willing to leave their roles or already have concrete plans to do so.

Organisations looking to get ahead of the competition must put in extra efforts to retain their existing workforce. The fact is that employee expectations and requirements have irreversibly changed, with more workforces becoming increasingly distributed. Today’s hyper-connected workforce values flexibility and simplicity, and it is organisations which offer these experiences that will succeed in the long term.

As part of this process, finance companies must look towards the power of technology to create seamless user experiences across devices. From automating workflows to improving overall efficiencies, Enterprise Service Management (ESM) can help organisations to boost user satisfaction and go that extra mile for their employees.

How poor EXs are driving finance teams to quit

With over 40% of employees spending a significant proportion of their time carrying out mundane, manual tasks, it is not surprising that poor EXs are having a detrimental impact on job satisfaction. Finance teams in particular have been slower to digitise core processes, leading to a heavy reliance on manual tasks. This not only increases the amount of time spent on each task, but also impacts the engagement levels of finance professionals who cannot focus on more strategic aspects of their roles.

As a result of the pandemic, flexibility has also moved to the forefront of finance teams’ desires. Given the fast-paced nature of this industry, the conversation surrounding work-life balance has increased rapidly. Failure to offer flexible working policies, coupled with a lack of technology to facilitate this flexibility, has led to poor EXs across the board.

Most notably, the overarching move to omnichannel, digital-first approaches has dramatically reset both customer and employee needs. Finance is the third-slowest running corporate function behind legal and IT. Operating in a competitive environment, 73% of finance operations are facing pressures to speed up, improve efficiency, and prioritise automation.

Mitigating the problem using technology

ESM, an offshoot of IT Service management (ITSM), is the cornerstone of smart digital transformation for organisations. It can help finance teams to streamline and automate routine processes, such as monitoring the status of service requests, approving expenses, sending invoices, and tracking payments. In turn, this will free up employees’ time, reducing the burden of manual tasks and enabling them to focus on the more strategic tasks.

Another advantage ESM can offer finance teams is the ability to adapt to each department’s minimum requirements for data privacy. Accounting, for example, needs additional layers of compliance built into the system.

ESM can also facilitate cross-departmental collaboration, helping finance professionals to communicate with the wider business and perform tasks more effectively.  Organisations can use ESM to incorporate all internal services into a single platform, offering employees a well-rounded view of the business and promoting a sense of community across all levels of an organisation. This will boost productivity, whilst enhancing visibility and control.

Ultimately, the current job landscape has brought with it a new set of challenges. Organisations in the FS industry looking to navigate the storm and retain top talent must refocus their efforts on bolstering the EX. Embracing a new era of technological innovation that empowers employees and boosts engagement is a critical step in this process.

 

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CBDCs: the key to transform cross-border payments

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Dr. Ruth Wandhöfer, Board Director at RTGS.global

 

If you work in finance, you’ll have been hearing a lot about central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) and the moves different markets are making towards using, regulating and evaluating the viability of moving to an economy based on digital currency.

We are already seeing progress in the research, piloting and introduction of CBDCs into the financial system. The Banque de France for example, recently launched its second phase of CBDC experiments in line with the “triple digital revolution” unfolding in the financial sector. The infrastructures of financial markets and fintechs, however, are not prepared to accommodate their security, stability, and viability.

This could be an issue in the not too distant future. Each year, global corporates move nearly $23.5 trillion between countries, equivalent to about 25% of global GDP. This requires them to use wholesale cross-border payment processes, which remain suboptimal from a cost, speed, and transparency perspective. In fact, the G20 cross-border payments programme considers improving access to domestic payment systems that settle in central bank money, as one of the key components in facilitating increased speed and reducing the costs of cross-border payments.

The current state of cross-border payments

International transactions based on fiat are currently slow, expensive, and highly risky due to today’s disconnected financial infrastructure, messaging, and liquidity. Wholesale cross-border payment settlement can take 48 hours or longer, which is not practical in today’s digital world. Even if not every market moves to CBDCs, in an increasingly digital era, cross-border settlements between central banks will unavoidably involve dealing with CBDCs. So, not only will we have different currencies, we’ll have different technical forms of currency being exchanged – digital and fiat – as markets adopt CBDCs at different rates, adding another layer of complexity to cross-border settlements.

While there is much anticipation about the opportunities CBDCs can bring, the adoption of this technology will only be widespread if payment and settlement capabilities are overhauled to allow for new innovations in currencies.  This need for transformation represents an opportunity to redesign existing infrastructure to support cross-border CBDC transactions.

The current cross-border payments system involves correspondent banks in different jurisdictions using commercial bank money. Uncommitted credit lines used in cross-border transactions are a potential risk for any bank that relies on credit provided by a foreign correspondent bank. Interestingly, there is no single global payment and settlement system, only a complicated network of interbank relationships operating on mutual trust. While trust has allowed financial systems to function smoothly, when it begins to fail, as it did during the 2008 financial crisis, the result can be catastrophic.

Following the crisis, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) implemented the Basel III agreement, which required banks to maintain additional capital against correspondent banking account exposures. These risk-weighted assets impose a costly capital charge on positions held by banks at other banks under correspondent arrangements. While this framework helps combat risk, it neglects to address the inherent problems in traditional correspondent banking that contribute to these risks.

Making the case for CBDCs

CBDCs can offer an improvement in settlement risks and are certainly thought to have potential benefits by the BIS. If implemented correctly, wholesale CBDCs can indeed accelerate interbank transactions while eliminating settlement risk. They can also encourage a more efficient and straightforward method of executing cross-border payments by reducing the number of intermediaries.

It is likely the evolution towards CBDCs will initially see the financial market supplement rather than replace existing payment instruments with new types of digital currency. CBDCs will coexist with current forms of money in a wholesale context, and their payment rails will also work alongside the existing payment systems. In simple terms, CBDCs will need to be linked to the broader capital markets ecosystem and applications such as securities settlement, funding, and liquidity.

If built with an innovation-first mindset, the future of banking infrastructure should provide full interoperability and convertibility between fiat, CBDCs, and any other type of digital money used in wholesale payments.

The future of CBDCs

To unlock the full potential of CBDCs, a ‘corridor network’ will need to be formed. This involves combining multiple wholesale CDBCs into a single, interoperable network under common governance agreed upon by all central banks involved. The legal framework of this platform would then allow for payment versus payment (PvP) or, where applicable, delivery versus payment settlement.

Practical wholesale CBDCs appear to be on the horizon, either as a supplement to existing financial systems or as part of a transition to a digital, cashless world. Looking ahead, central banks would benefit from collaborating with fintechs that provide innovative cloud native technology to enable seamless wholesale cross-border payments without interfering with the flow of funds. If wholesale CBDCs are to become a reality, fintechs must be prepared to accommodate them.

 

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