James Turner, Director at Turner Little
The stock market is beginning to show signs of life as measures introduced to help businesses amid the pandemic begin to take hold, but much is still uncertain. There’s no doubt that the pandemic has affected most people’s finances. From the Bank of England’s decision to reduce its rates, to the potential loss of earnings for people forced to remain at home, there is much to contend with.
“Naturally, at times of economic uncertainty such as these, people fear their retirement pots will be wiped out. For most people, their pension is one of the most valuable assets they hold,” says James Turner, Director at Company Formation Specialists, Turner Little.
So how could the continued pandemic and impending recession affect your pensions?
“If you have a defined contribution pension, your savings have probably been hit hard as a consequence, because pension schemes invest in the stock market, so big rises and falls can have an impact,” says James.
“It is important to remember that pension savings, as with any investment, is usually long-term. If you’re young, there’s still time for markets to recover before you take your pension, but if you’re close to retirement, there is the potential that your pot could have taken a bigger hit,” he adds.
Pensions are typically invested in stocks and shares, bonds, property and cash. If you’re concerned about its value, most schemes now have online platforms where you can see how your investments are performing.
“It’s important to treat your pension as an asset, and asset protection is all about planning. Effective planning ensures that no matter what happens, you will remain in control of your assets,” says James.
If you’re interested in finding our more about asset protection and would like to discuss your specific requirements, get in touch with us today. Our specialist team of experts will deal with matters pragmatically and sensitively, taking the time to meet with you and discuss your individual objectives in detail, in order to provide solutions that are uniquely tailored to your needs.
WHAT’S NEXT? PAYMENT TRENDS IN 2021
CEO at Paysafe Group
Undoubtedly COVID-19 is going to continue having an impact on us all at least for the next few months and maybe all of this year, but there are still reasons to be optimistic. The industry continues to evolve quickly, and that in mind, here’s five of our predictions to watch out for in payments in 2021:
1. New consumers to online change the digital payments landscape
As more consumers headed online during the first wave of COVID-19, businesses noticed that their customers were also paying differently. Three quarters (76%) of the businesses we recently asked for our Lost in Transaction research report series said that consumers were using different payment methods during the pandemic, with the increased use of digital wallets being the most common. Having more customers that were new to eCommerce, and customers now shopping regularly with businesses that they were not comfortable sharing their financial details with, were key reasons for this.
Consumers confirmed this was true. When we asked in April, 18% of consumers told us they shopped online for the first time during the pandemic. With 38% of consumers telling us they are planning to shop online more even when COVID-19 is no longer a factor in their lives, we should see this shift to alternative payments continue.
2. SCA will drive mass adoption of biometric authentication
Perhaps the first factor to shake up the payments industry in 2021 is going to have the greatest impact of any trend we will see in the coming year. That is because, after a series of extensions, the deadline for PSD2 Strong Customer Authentication is fast approaching. From December 31 2020 any transaction that isn’t verified by multi-factor authentication will be automatically declined.
One of the inevitable consequences of this is going to be a huge increase in the use of biometrics to verify payments. With the growth of mCommerce that we have seen before and during COVID-19, it seems very likely this will accelerate beyond predictions made at the initial SCA deadline in 2019. Juniper Research has already predicted that biometrics will be used for more than 18 billion transactions in 2021, with a value exceeding $210 billion in 2021.
3. A renewed focus on 5G
The importance of 5G and the growth of the IOT was another prediction we made for 2020. But while the impact of the pandemic has been to accelerate many of the trends we expected to see, perhaps one area where the pandemic has actually slowed adoption is the growth of 5G. With consumers spending so much time at home, appetite for personal 5G-enabled devices has been limited.
But at the same time, the need for the in-store shopping experience to be as frictionless as possible is now more important than ever. Almost half (46%) of businesses told us that they had lost sales in 2020 because their checkout times were too slow. So the use of 5G technology to overhaul the checkout will be back at the top of retailers’ agendas.
Almost half (47%) of stores told us that 5G will mean the end of the traditional checkout, and more than half (53%) believe that Amazon-Go style frictionless checkouts are the future of retail. Omnichannel experiences where consumers shop in a store and then pay via a digital checkout on a smartphone app are also on businesses’ radars.
4. A surge in subscription models
Almost one fifth (18%) of stores told us that they had launched a subscription services during the pandemic, and this is not only a result of business need but also customer demand. Overall, 27% of consumers told us that they were already planning to increase the number of subscriptions they had in the future, and this rose to 37% for consumers aged 18-34.
The growth will not be limited to digital either. Pret A Manger recently launched the first in-store coffee subscription service in the UK, and we expect to see similar models populating malls and independent stores soon.
Also, only the initial purchase of a subscription is subject to PSD2 multi-factor authentication. So for some businesses, launching a subscription service may be a way to reduce friction in the online checkout.
5. AI and machine learning as the cornerstone of fraud prevention
We’ve known about the importance of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to financial services for years, but in many cases the industry has been slow to implement the technology. With the sophistication of financial crime increasing, and the growing concerns of consumers of being a victim of fraud, it is no surprise that adoption is now accelerating rapidly.
Banks have currently spent as much as $217bn on AI applications already, and in 2021 AI and machine learning based systems will be the standard in fraud prevention.
THE TOP 5 CRYPTO EXCHANGES IN THE WORLD YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT
Crypto Exchange is a very important part of the Cryptocurrency EcoSystem. Crypto exchanges are the platform where transactions take place. You can also purchase Bitcoins in crypto exchanges.
It is a marketplace in the digital sphere that allows traders to purchase and sell Bitcoins. Do note that fiat currencies and altcoins can also be used in crypto exchanges. Since you have clicked on the link to this blog, there is a high chance you are a Bitcoin investor, or you are someone who likes to keep a keen eye on the crypto space.
And why should you not? Given all the buzz that cryptos are making in the financial markets. Bitcoin is the most famous cryptos, so I will be talking only about bitcoins in this blog for the sake of convenience.
Crypto Exchanges 101
A Crypto Exchange’s primary objective is to act as a broker and bring a buyer and seller to one place. It is pretty much like a traditional stock exchange; the only difference is that everything related to crypto exchanges happens digitally.
However, the process is not that different. On Crypto exchanges, traders have the option to sell and buy Bitcoins after inputting a value or order. When a trader selects the market value, the crypto scans the best market value available for the Bitcoins and presents it to the trader. Visit daily profit to start investing.
In order for a trader to transact in bitcoin, he needs to get himself signed up with the exchange platform. And then go through the various amounts of verification procedures. Once the trader has successfully verified his identity. He can start trading. But before that, he needs to transfer his fiat currencies to Bitcoins, and only after that, he can buy Bitcoins.
The currency exchange methods vary from exchanges to exchanges. Some allow users to transfer it via wiring through the bank; some well-established exchanges allow a direct transfer from the bank. Some allow the use of credit and debit cards.
Features of a Crypto Exchange
Crypto Exchanges have a lot of features that will ease up your transaction process.
- Crypto Exchanges are decentralized – Decentralised means it operates without any governing body. There are no intermediaries in between. It offers peer to peer trading without having to show an account of your spending to the regulatory body.
- Low Processing Fees – As crypto exchanges are decentralized, it is a peer to peer connection.
The Top 5 Crypto Exchanges In The World You Should Know About
There are more than a thousand crypto exchanges; trying them out one by one will take a lifetime. So as a crypto investor, I have personally selected the top five most popular crypto exchanges that you ought to know about.
The most widely used Crypto exchange on the face of the Earth is Gemini. It is perfect for all the major cryptocurrencies, but when it comes to Bitcoins. The only little drawback that I find in Gemini is that it asks for way too much personal information.
Etoro is more of a financial trading service than an actual crypto exchange, but it is worth talking about nonetheless. Crypto investors hold this app in high regard; it has a very good reputation. It has very high processing fees, which may annoy some traders.
When it comes to security, none can match Kraken. Apart from that, it has a very big user base. And it also charges very low transaction fees. A handful of traders do not like Kraken as it does not offer the best customer support services.
Unless you had been living a rock, you must know Binance. Binance is the go-to crypto exchange. You get to see the ads of the Binance app over the Internet a lot. Binance gives you the added advantage of trading huge amounts of cryptos in a single time. Binance is only meant for experienced traders. It is not recommended for newbies.
Coinmama offers very strong security. The UI is user friendly. The best part is the customer support. I personally like Binance the most because it takes a step further and makes sure that proper security measures are implemented and add to that its classy user interface.
Many traders may not like Coinmama as the significant-high processing fees.
There you go, there was the list of top 5 crypto exchanges. Please invest your money at your own risk. You should have a very strong knowledge of the crypto market before investing. Otherwise, you may face huge losses.
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