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Monese Current Account Review

Monese is a financial services provider based in the UK. Established in 2015, Monese provides mobile banking services, streamlined current accounts, and modern finance to both UK and Eurozone residents. The company takes mobile banking a step further by allowing customers to create an account without a U.K address.

U.K residents can add funds to their account and prepaid debit card from 40,000 locations including Post Offices or any Paypoint location. Monese also integrates with your phone’s mobile wallet allowing you to make direct payments from your Monese account through Google Pay or Apple Pay.

Monese Current Account

The Monese current bank account is simple to open even without a perfect credit score or documentation for utility bills. The account offers services similar to a standard bank account. These include budgeting, direct debits, cash at ATMs, receive GBP or Euro bank transfers, debit cards, and much more.

Is Monese Safe?

The FCA under the Electronic Money Regulations 2011 (900010) has authorised Monese Ltd to issue electronic money and payment services. Furthermore, Monese uses best practices to protect your money and secure your personal information. A network of stable European banks helps store all the transfers made to Monese current accounts. In case the company should go bust, customer funds are ring-fenced to protect your money from being reinvested by Monese.

Monese has also developed innovative technologies and processes to protect accounts against unauthorised access. This adheres to the latest standards in financial security. The company is a member of CIFAS and works with major banking services to fight against fraud.

Accessing your Monese account from a single mobile device prevents any possibility of someone gaining control of your account. Monese uses a secure multifactor authentication to verify identities including Touch ID, 3D Secure and Face ID biometric recognition.

How to Transfer Money with Monese

Monese works like digital-only accounts via the app which has multiple tabs for different aspects of the account including:

  • Debit card – The Monese debit card performs the same functions like a traditional debit card. It’s also prepaid and contactless for extra convenience.
  • UK bank transfers – You can pay your bills or send money to friends and family with Monese bank transfers which use the Faster Payments Service that takes between 2 to 4 hours.
  • Foreign transfers – You can transfer money abroad into eight different currencies using the “interbank rate”. The transfer takes between 2 to 4 working days.
  • Foreign transfer from Eurozone accounts – If you transfer money with a Euro account through a SEPA payment, the payee will receive the money by the next working day.
  • Pay contacts – You can make payments or transfer money to friends and family straight from your phone’s contact list.
  • Standing orders – You can set up a standing order to make routine payments for specific amounts, dates or payee via a managed in-app.

Monese is a great option for digital nomads and travelers looking to open an account quickly in a different country. You can access fee-free card payments and ATM withdrawals abroad which is impossible with traditional bank accounts. If you need to deposit cash in your account regularly, Monese deposits are free making it a better option over other UK challenger banks such as Monzo and Starling.

Jeff Mwaura No Comments

Mintos Marketplace Review

Mintos is a Latvian P2P marketplace for investors that links different lending companies with investors and borrowers. According to AltFi Data, it currently leads the continental Europe marketplace with a 38% market share. Launched in 2015, the platform serves over 60 loan originators and more than 146,000 investors from 70 countries. Mintos offers an accessible and transparent option to the traditional banking system. In 2017, Mintos reached profitability with EUR 2.1 million in revenue and EUR 196,000 as net profit.

How it Works

Both retail and institutional investors can invest in fractions of loans from across various loan types and continents. Mintos connects loan originators to the marketplace and offers instant access to investors looking to buy loans

Opportunities for investment include personal unsecured loans, mortgage loans, invoices, secured car loans, and small business loans. Many of the marketplace loans are secured. This means the borrower has to attach an asset with their loan application. In case the borrower defaults, the loan originator can engage to sell the asset and redistribute the money to investors. This lowers any potential loss in case of a default.

Buyback Guarantee

Mintos buyback guarantee is usually with secured loans. This is a promise from the loan originator that they will intervene and refund you back the invested principal plus interest earned. This is inclusive of the 60 overdue days a borrower fails to make repayments. Though this method is not risk-free, it transfers the risk from the borrower to the loan originator.

Campaign Rewards

Mintos introduced campaign rewards in 2018. This allows you to get cashback when you invest in loans from a certain loan originator. In some cases, the loans may even be repurchased if the loan agreements change. In such a scenario, you’ll receive your invested principal plus earned interest which you can withdraw or invest in new cashback loans.

Mintos Auto-Invest

Auto-invest is a Minto tool that automatically completes your investment of choice strategy. Once you choose your investment criteria, Auto-invest will invest in suitable loans on your behalf. Auto-invest is accessible anytime and you can follow your portfolio activity in real-time. The tool is efficient as it saves time spent on investment matters. You can even access newly placed loans in the system before manually-made investments.

Auto-invest has three investment strategies

  • Primary market with a 14% interest rate and buyback guarantee within any duration.
  • Primary market which features a buyback guarantee, 13% interest rate, and a 12 months duration.
  • Secondary market which features loans with buyback guarantee, 14% interest rate and a 60 months duration.

As a new originator, you need to choose and fine-tune your strategy when there’re new campaigns or when interest rates change. Failure to adapt may lead to cash drag when no loans fit your benchmark. If you set your benchmark low, you can even miss on higher-interest loans.

The main advantage of Mintos is the variety of options to diversify your investments. But you must exercise caution as it could also be another fraud. This is partly due to the many loan originators and options making it difficult for new investors to choose the best investments. Despite some doubts, the generous buyback campaigns offer Mintos a trusted P2P platform with a long working history and various diversification options.

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Islamic Financial Trading

You have some money saved up and you are thinking about investing that money somewhere to make profit off it.

So you start to explore your options and you stumble upon the vast trading options offered by financial markets. Trading in financial markets is a lucrative option because the returns are usually instant and significant.

However, Forex trading and trading in the stock markets is a controversial topic. People are concerned about whether investing and trading in these markets is halal or haram.

There are many rulings about the final verdict and every school of thought rules in the favour or against of it, based on their particular teachings. But the ruling against the trading activities that involves interest is definitely certain.

Is trading in shares and stock market halal?

A popular consensus amongst the scholars from major school of thoughts is that investing in shares per se is not haram. Buying shares of a company means that you own a percentage in that business and you are deemed as a partner of profit and loss, of that percentage.

However, one important thing to note here is that the individual has to make sure that the company he is investing in does not deal in unislamic activities. Riba or making profit in the form of interest is prohibited in Islam. Therefore, trading the stocks of the companies in which interest is integrated in the business models is regarded as haram.

What if a company deals in partially unislamic activities?

For instance, a pharmaceutical company that deals in the trading of alcohol. General ruling for such cases is that if a company deals in only an insignificant fraction of unisalmic activities (let’s say less than 10%) then it is perfectly fine to invest in buying the shares of that company.

It all comes down to common sense and your knowledge of the company’s dealings. Investing in the shares of a company that solely deals in alcoholic beverages is not allowed. On the contrary, a pharmaceutical company that deals with alcohol but not as a final product is allowed.

Is Forex trading halal?

Before dwelling into the discussion of the halal or haram nature of Forex trading it is important to understand what the term implies.

Forex trading means trading in foreign currencies in the foreign exchange market. It is a very lucrative industry that promises significant returns. And apparently there seems nothing wrong with simply trading currencies.

However, to understand the rulings of Islam on the subject, it is imperative to look at the intricacies of the process.

Forex trading is deemed permissible under following conditions:

  • The cost of transaction should be remitted immediately
  • The trading should be instantaneous.
  • Accruing interest on the trade is considered unislamic therefore the transaction should be free of interest

Usually currency trading takes place with the help of a financial institution as an intermediary, usually banks. And banks are involved in usurious interest, which is prohibited in Islam. Therefore, Forex trading under such conditions is not permissible.

Shariah law

If you want to invest in financial markets but are also concerned about following Shariah law, UFX online trading platform is the best trading option available. It provides Islamic accounts for trading Forex and CFDs. UFX is in compliance with the Shariah Law because it is a broker and not a bank. Therefore, this eliminates the chances of ‘usury’ or interest involved activities.