Tag Archives: Banks

Apple Pay – All you need to know

Apple Pay will eventually replace your wallet. When Tim Cook launched Apple Pay last year it has escalated into the most simplest, secure and speedy method of making payments on the go and within apps. Apple Pay has been a big success in the US since its launch in October 2014, and last week Apple Pay launched in the UK. Here are all the details you need to know….

How do I set it up?

If you are an iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus or Apple Watch user then Apple Pay is for you. Setting up your device for Apple is very simple. Make sure you are on the latest iPhone software (currently iOS 8.4) and go to the Settings App. Scroll down to ‘Passbook & Apple Pay’ and then tap ‘Add Credit or Debit Card’. You’ll then be asked for your Apple ID password, then click ‘Next’ in the top right corner.

A camera window will appear where you need to place your debit or credit card in the window so it can scan your cards details. Check your details and enter your card’s security code. Now all you need to do is activate the card which can be done via a call or text and you’re ready to go. The process is similar within the Apple Watch app for Apple Watch users.

Please note that not all UK banks are offering the service at present. American Express, MBNA, Nationwide, NatWest, RBS, Santander and Ulster Bank customers are able to use Apple Pay. HSBC will launch on 28th July and Barclays later in the year.

Where and how can I use it?

You can use Apple Pay wherever there is a contactless payment terminal. Most retailers such as Boots, Costa, McDonalds, Nando’s, Subway and many more are offering the service. Also if you live in London and use Transport for London to get around, then you can use Apple Pay via the Oyster Card terminal to pay for your travel. In the UK, there is a £20 payment limit which will increase to £30 in September 2015.

Using Apple Pay is very simple. On your iPhone 6 or 6 Plus, simple bring your device close to the contactless pay terminal and your phone will ask for your fingerprint on Touch ID. Simply place your finger on the fingerprint sensor and you’re done. You’ve paid using Apple Pay. You’ll hear a sound and your phone will vibrate once payment is confirmed. With Apple Watch, simply double click the side button and you’re cards will appear. Bring your Apple Watch close to the pay terminal and you’ll hear a sound and feel a vibration once complete.

How secure is it?

Apple Pay is very secure. Even more secure than your PIN number. PIN numbers can be easily guessed and stolen which can lead to fraudulent activity. As Apple Pay uses Touch ID and your fingerprint it makes it very difficult to copy or duplicate. No card details are passed on to the merchant which keeps you in total control of your personal information. Authorisation can only be done with your fingerprint so this makes your payments using Apple Pay very secure.

Have any questions about Apple Pay? Ask away in the comments below…

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Bankers face more taxes

Financial Activity Tax comes to Banks

Just weeks after George Osborne’s budget, where it looked good for banks, a new financial activity tax is to be implemented. This new tax is expected to raise £2.5bn and will be implemented upon bank’s profits and pay. On June 22nd 2010, the Chancellor outlined in the budget that the banks would benefit from taxes; however this news comes to a surprise and shows that it could raise more money to help reduce the deficit.


I feel the banks should face more scrutiny in the future, but this second levy shows that Mr Osborne is trying to lead the way in banker’s tax. As mentioned in the article, the Chancellor is hoping other countries follow suit in introducing such a bank tax. I know that banks need to pay the penalty for the current global financial crisis, but I feel this bank levy will not work and raise enough finances to help reduce the deficit. I feel Mr Osborne’s budget was unclear and does not show any transparency, which is currently needed by banks.

The link to the Guardian article is shown below:

Bankers warned of further tax on profits and pay

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Accountants should be more aware of bank bias

Management bias needs more attention

Accountants have been urged to pay more attention to the management bias of the banking industry. The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has said that bank auditors need to improve cooperation between themselves, banks and supervisors. Problems in the financial crisis need to be avoided in order to ensure that the future of the banking sector is transparent and to make the banks more accountable.

I feel that if the accountants and auditors’ relationship with the banks are too close, it could provide management bias. In order to provide an independent and unbiased service and opinion, the auditors need to take a more robust approach. This will enable a more transparent banking sector in the future.

With the recent collapses of banks such as the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), HBOS, and Northern Rock, the banking sector needed a much needed reform. The accountants can do their bit by making sure an unbiased opinion is offered and the independency in the relationship is maintained. I feel if this continues the banking industry will begin to improve as more trust will be offered by the outsider.

Below is the link to the Bloomberg article:

U.K. Accountants Should Pay More Attention to Bank Bias, Regulators Say

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Banks look to profit after Osborne’s Budget

Budget looks favourable to banks

Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne’s first Budget looks to help the financial stricken banks. The cut in corporation tax from 28% to 24% for higher rate tax firms will help business save a lot of tax expenses. The banks in particular will benefit as it will help them return to higher profits, or even turn their losses into profits.

I feel this is a good decision by George Osborne, as it will help in the short term by helping business and banks find their feet again and hopefully this will see some stability in the financial sector. The only negative to this is that KPMG believe that the VAT rise from 17.5% to 20% will cost banks £500m. This could prove to be a tough balancing act played by Mr Osborne, by outweighing the loss in revenue of corporation tax, and the potential increase in revenue from VAT. I feel this decision could help in the short term, but in the long term it could affect the government’s finances, especially due to the 4% cut in the higher rate of corporation tax.

Below is the link to The Guardian article:

George Osborne’s tax changes good for banks, say analysts

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