Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Foreign Banks Trickle into Israel for FinTech

Israel has spent a long time trying to draw in foreign banks, to give their domestic ones some competition. However, it is only now that foreign banks are taking an interest in Israel, and it is not to be competition. On the contrary, foreign banks are still not interested in opening new branches in Israel.

So why are they there?

Banks such as Barclays and Santander have moved focus to Israel because of the FinTech that is growing there. FinTech is the unique combination of Finance and Technological sectors that has recently begun to grow in popularity. People are constantly looking for easier ways to manage their money, and FinTech startups realize that this management is most convenient through technological applications. The FinTech sector is a field in which Israel continues to excel. So, instead of opening bank branches, foreign banks are setting up hubs to invest in and provide mentorship to small businesses.

FinTech is a field that has expanded quickly since it was first created. It went from simply making bank transactions faster to encompassing a large range of technological innovations having to do with the finance sector. One such innovation,for example, would be mobile banking. FinTech has provided faster transaction speeds, more convenient banking, and tighter security for banks.

Now, Israel is expanding the technology in FinTech. For example, Citi Bank has set up a hub in Tel Aviv, and is already reaping the technological rewards from mentoring startups there. They recently were able to reveal a new mobile application called Citi Velocity. This application combines a trading platform for institutional investors with up-to-date market research.

There is no doubt that FinTech startups in Israel are doing well at this point. In 2014, six companies were sold for over 600 million dollars. However, Israeli startups have not always had free reign to show the world what they are capable of. Israel was filled with regulations that made being a startup difficult, as well as high costs to develop a product and a lack of investors. FinTech startups revolutionized this by changing who they show the end product to. They do not just focus on banks, but also on enterprises.

Now, bank owners are fighting to get their companies into Israel to mentor FinTech startups. The cost of setting up a hub is well worth the technology that they will get out of it.

For more information on Israel’s burgeoning FinTech startup scene, check out this Reuters article.

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Pay Roll Cards: a Must for Today’s Global Workforce

Due to the sweeping changes that we’ve seen in technology over the past two decades, today’s workforce no longer faces the same limitations of remaining tied to a desk from 9am to 5pm, Monday through Friday. Instead, many of today’s professionals have the opportunity to decide what their workday looks like. As long as employees have a strong internet connection, their offices could virtually be anywhere.

Given the nearly limitless possibilities for where and when employees choose to work, it’s important to offer payment solutions that address this evolving professional lifestyle. Payroll cards offer a viable alternative to direct deposit or traditional paper checks when it comes to distributing employee wages. Payroll cards are issued by major payment processors, and enable workers to use them anywhere credit cards of the same payment processors are accepted. 

Employees that have payroll cards are able to access their wages from an ATM, or even as cash back from an in-store purchase- as one would with a traditional debit or credit card. When members of your workforce are based in other countries, frequently travel, or work as freelancers, payroll cards offer a wonderful alternative to the traditional methods mentioned above because there is an immediacy of payment transfer and accessibility that might otherwise be absent in the payment process for these kinds of employees.

Another advantage to Pay Roll Cards, is that in some cases, these cards can benefit employees who don’t have a bank account because they will have instant access to their salaries. Instead of facing fees for cashing a traditional check, these employees simply use their reloadable pay roll cards in order to access their rightful wages. 

The new technologies involved in payroll card programs affords employers and employees wage payment solutions that offer both parties a plan that is flexible and convenient.