Innovations in Financial Technology are transforming the financial sphere, and whilst the government attempts to grapple and understand the way in which they work, these new tools are revolutionizing the way in which consumers pay and receive their money, battling with the banking services that have always been.
Although we live in an environment where every technological update will be scrutinized by experts in the field and the public in general, we can certainly admit that, for better or for worse, the technology that we wield has vastly improved the efficiency of how we go about our financial exertions, either in business or personal use.
With the help of Alpha Blue Ocean, an alternative investment company, we investigate how this branch of technology is opening new doors to those most in need.
Despite the amount of physical shops closing for a number of years, leaving some of the smaller towns and villages across the UK stranded when it comes sorting out their personal finances, systems are now in place to ensure traditional problems don’t arise, such as queuing at peak times or elderly consumers having to walk a short distance to their local branch.
All that is needed in this generation to access your finances is a stable internet connection, which in the 21st century is expected even in the most unexpected of places. Of course, a potential digital barrier could arise here if the elderly aren’t competently equipped with the necessary skills in order to perform their business.
The handing over of physical cash has been the known transactional method when it comes to paying for most things or for helping out those who are in need to get by. But as of last year, debit cards payments overtook cash payments for the first time, marking a revolutionary landmark in the finance and banking industry.
But with more and more consumers resorting to card payments when they go out leisurely, they carry less cash. This isn’t’ a concerning problem yet, but this is a trickling issue that will only grow in time. With us heading into a cashless society, how will we be able to offer assistance, no matter the size?
Startups are beginning to realise this growing problem and have already started to act. Spare is an app that is currently partnered with certain restaurants, encouraging diners to round up their bill to the nearest pound or dollar, and then distributes it to one of its many registered charities or food banks. To put things into perspective, just 99¢ can provide four meals.
This method of addressing a huge problem, with the help of this particular type of Fintech, is a quick and easy way to become charitable in an effective way. Ad an added incentive the app tracks how many meals you have provided and offers rewards, so participants know they have helped people out whilst getting something back in return.
The fintech industry is already deconstructing the barriers that lay in the paths of those who are financially excluded. An example of widespread fintech use in an undeveloped country is M-Pesa, a mobile phone-based money transfer service. Launching in 2007, it soon gained traction and in 4 years had accrued 17 million subscribers in the country alone.
A 2016 study based on the M-Pesa showed that at least 2 percent of Kenyan households were lifted out of extreme poverty, and women graduated women from farming to small business. This highlights that mobile-money services aren’t just convenient, they also have a positive impact on people’s livelihoods.
Technology will always split opinion, and whether it is leading us to be lazier or it is efficiently assisting our lives to make them more easier, it’s interesting to see startups and larger corporations giving back to those that need it most.
Top 5 Useful Tips for Using LinkedIn Effectively
LinkedIn currently has over 660 million users and is the 21st biggest site in the world. Are you using LinkedIn to build your professional network? If not, now is the time to start.
There are lots of benefits of LinkedIn that you can experience when you use it in the correct way. Read on for five tips for using LinkedIn that you can implement today.
LinkedIn is a social networking platform, similar to Facebook. The big difference, though, is that it’s specifically meant for professionals to connect with one another.
As a member of LinkedIn, you can create an online resume to easily share with others. You can also use LinkedIn to chat with other users, learn about job openings, and even publish articles.
LinkedIn is a great platform for those who are looking for work. It also helps those who want to get in touch with others in their industry to gain clients and foster new business relationships.
There are lots of reasons why you might want to use LinkedIn, whether or not you’re actively looking for work. The following are some specific benefits that you can enjoy when you include it in your social networking strategy:
First, LinkedIn provides you with lots of opportunities for exposure. It allows you to easily start building an online brand and get noticed by the right people. You can also show off your work and share your portfolio with recruiters and others who might want to hire you.
You can use LinkedIn to show your network that you are knowledgeable and have a lot of offer those who work in your industry (or in related industries). Through regular posts and long-form articles, there are lots of ways that you can provide insight and make a name for yourself.
If you’re in the process of looking for a job, LinkedIn helps you to conduct research and learn about companies to which you’re thinking about applying.
You can connect with people who currently work for those companies and talk to them about their experiences, for example. You can also learn about the people who might be interviewing you for a job to find out things you have in common before you sit down to meet.
Of course, LinkedIn can also make you aware of new job openings. Lots of employers publish listings on LinkedIn before sharing them in other places. If you’re active on the platform, you can be the first to know about a potential new job and get your resume sent in before the inboxes get flooded.
Okay, you can see why LinkedIn is an important resource for professionals like yourself. Now, it’s time to learn how to use LinkedIn in the proper way. Here are some specific strategies to help you get the most out of it:
One of the most important (and basic) things you can do when using LinkedIn is to keep your profile updated. It’s going to be hard for you to establish professional connections and make a good impression if your profile is full of outdated information.
Start with a professional headline. It should showcase your current position, as well as the company you work for. It can also include keywords that describe the work you do if you’re in the process of searching for a job (writer, coach, trainer, designer, etc.).
Update your location, too. This will help you ensure that, when people reach out to you about potential jobs, those jobs are in your area and accessible to you!
On other social media platforms, it’s perfectly acceptable to use fun, casual photos of yourself. When you’re on LinkedIn, though, it’s best to keep it professional. Make sure it’s an up-to-date photo, too.
You don’t necessarily need a professional headshot for your profile. You should be wearing an outfit that aligns with the work you do, though. Style your hair, apply makeup if you wish, and do everything you can to look neat and well-groomed.
Always proofread your posts, as well as any other information you share on your profile. Read over them carefully before hitting the publish button. It’ll be hard for you to show potential employers that you’re a good fit for the job if your profile is full of typos and grammatical errors, after all.
When you send someone an invitation to connect on LinkedIn, the default message says, “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.” That’s pretty boring, right?
If you want to make an impression and get noticed, personalize the message to something that is more meaningful and will stand out to the recipient. For example, you could remind them where you met if you’ve run into them in person previously, or you could mention a post that you both liked from a mutual connection.
Make sure you’re publishing posts on LinkedIn on a regular basis. Regular posting helps you to stay relevant and increases the likelihood that people will notice you.
Not sure what to post? Start by sharing samples of your latest work, or post tips that can benefit others who work in your industry. You can also publish long-form articles that provide a thorough look into a particular topic and give you an opportunity to showcase the depths of your knowledge and experience.
Now that you know about why to use LinkedIn and how to use it effectively, it’s time to put your knowledge to the test. Keep the information discussed above in mind and you’ll start experiencing all the benefits that LinkedIn has to offer before you know it.
Do you want to learn more about how you can expand your social media presence and improve your career? If so, check out some of the other employment-related resources on our site today. The Entrepreneurship section is full of helpful articles.
3 Reasons You Keep Waking Up Tired
Do you know why so many people start off the day feeling grumpy and in need of copious amounts of caffeine? It’s often because they didn’t get enough sleep even though they went to bed early enough to get a full 6-8 hours of sleep. When it comes to sleep, the human body is highly sensitive and your sleep suffers anytime there’s a slight change to your environment or habits.
We all know that sleep is probably the most important part of having a healthy lifestyle and a healthy body, but it’s also been well-documented that for a large portion of our population, a good night’s sleep is a luxury. It’s one thing not to get enough sleep on one occasion, but when you find yourself having that struggle constantly, and it’s not a physiological cause, something in your sleep environment is amiss. Here are some of the things in your environment that are in conflict with achieving quality sleep and what you can do about them.
Did you know that your body is highly sensitive to light, and that it has its own automatic system for when it wakes up and when it starts to wind down? Having a dark room is a key part of you being able to fall asleep and stay asleep, and if you have curtains that let too much light in, that can disturb your sleep patterns. It’s all good and well when your curtains let in the light when it’s dark, but in the early morning hours when the sun starts to rise, curtains that let in light can make you wake up earlier than you should, leaving your body lacking precious sleep. This is why it’s important to invest in a good pair of blackout curtains. They give your body consistency in lighting conditions throughout the night and even in the early morning so you don’t interrupt your own Circadian rhythm. You may not think that you’re sensitive to light, but your body’s sleep clock certainly is.
We live in a distraction-heavy world, and none is as present as our phones. With phone notifications beeping and buzzing throughout the day and night, it’s no wonder that getting a really good night’s sleep is slipping through the fingers of many. Even people who sleep like logs can be woken up by notifications in the middle of the night and this can make it hard for the body to truly wind down into a deep sleep to get the rest it needs to rest, recover and rejuvenate. If you bring that distraction into your own bedroom, either the notifications or the blue light will disrupt your sleep. It’s better to have your phone far away when it’s sleep time.
An Inconsistent Sleep Routine
The older you get, the more your body relies on routines and schedules to function optimally, and this is especially true for sleep. Not having a set sleep schedule is unhealthy. It can set you up for always being tired, groggy and cranky. When you have set sleep and wake up times, your body starts to function on that cycle, and your own internal clock will adjust accordingly. That means you’ll also start to feel sleepy at the same time each day, and you’ll also be able to fall asleep and wake up on schedule.
If your body is on a constantly changing sleep schedule, it’s going to be hard for that internal clock to sync up, and for you to fall asleep and wake up at certain times. If you don’t have a set schedule you’re going to have inconsistency, where you’ll get a lot of sleep one night and very little the next. With that routine out of whack, your body will always be playing catch up, throwing everything else off. To solve this, adopt a strict sleep schedule and habits around it, whether it’s switching off your television, getting into bed at certain times or implementing relaxation techniques. The more you nurture a routine, the more predictable and fine-tuned your sleep becomes.
Remember, without quality sleep, every other area of our health will start to decline. Our diet will suffer, we won’t have energy for our hobbies and interests, our mental focus and sharpness suffers, along with our work and even our relationships. By dialing in your sleep, you do yourself a huge favor that will have a massive payoff, the very least being you actually waking up bright, happy and ready to tackle the day every single morning. Make a few changes and you’ll see your entire life change for the better.
How to Evolve Your Holiday Plans for 2022
The holiday are nearly upon us, and this year is proving to be more unique than years past. With the pandemic still going on, many of us have needed to alter our usual plans throughout 2020, and the holidays will likely be no exception. Here’s a few ways to enjoy your socially distanced holiday season, no matter what the rest of 2020 may bring.
Personally, I love throwing holiday parties, but I’ve needed to change my plans with everything going on. I have found 2 ways to throw a safe, successful party. The first way to invite 10 or less people. Although I usually invite more (many more) people, I’ve found there are perks to having less people at my house. There’s less mess to clean up afterwards, less drinks and snacks to buy, and shyer guests tend to come out of their shells a bit more. It’s a nice change to having 30 or more guests at my place. So don’t cancel your party plans, just shorten the guest list!
If you’ve got a bunch of people you simply must invite to your party, then make it virtual. I recently attended a family reunion over video chat, and it was wonderful! Everyone in the family was able to go because no traveling was involved. It was great to chat with family in Tennessee, California, and Texas. We never would have been able to meet up in one physical place, so meeting up virtually was the perfect solution. I got to see people I haven’t hung out with in years. I plan on throwing a virtual Christmas party in December with friends that live out of town. Take advantage of the technology we have now and throw a party online. You and your loved ones will have so much fun!
Another way to celebrate the spirit of the season is to send out holiday cards. I send out cards every year, and quarantine or no, this year will be no different. You can take your photos in your backyard or a large park so you can get the shots you need while staying safe. Like me, you may be at a bit of a loss for what family updates to give considering how long we’ve all spent in quarantine. If you can’t decide how to sum up 2020, just make a joke about the past year instead. Your loved ones will appreciate the joke. I always get my holiday cards from Basic Invite. I really like how you can create holiday cards on their site by customizing the layout and font on all of the cards. You’re sure to find just the right card for you.
A final way to celebrate the holidays this year is to take time out for yourself. This past year has been stressful for us all, and with everything going on, you may have had less time for self care than ever before. No one wants to get sick, especially right now, so do yourself and your family a favor and take a break. Rest will help you stay well and lessen your anxieties. Your health is just as important as everyone else’s.
Despite everything that’s happened, I hope you all end the year with a bang! Take care of yourself, send out holiday cards, and throw a socially-distanced party for you and your friends. Stay safe, stay healthy, and happy holidays!
Beginner’s Guide to Throat Hits in Vaping
As a beginner in vaping, there is a lot in store for you. Surprisingly, it can be overwhelming attempting to grasp all these things at once. But don’t worry, having the best experience comes with time. Among the things you need to know include using the best e-juices on the market, buying a starter kit, learning how to maintain your device for the best experience, and now, understanding how to get the best throat hits.
For now, let’s focus more on the throat hits and how to get the best as a beginner. Seasoned vapers may have learned a lot about this and are already enjoying the throat hits of their dreams. As a novice, it all starts by knowing what a perfect throat hit feels like. Let’s go.
What Is a Perfect Throat Hit?
Simply, this is the feeling you get when the vapor lands on the back of your throat. At first, you might not be able to identify the difference between different throat hits, but with time, you will know. Those who just ditched conventional smoking have an idea since cigarettes work in the same way. But they also need to know what a vapor throat hit feels like.
Throat hits are determined by different factors that we are going to see shortly. They range from the device you are using to how you vape. Again, you need to appreciate the feel of different throat hits. There are strong hits and weak hits, and it is typical to desire either of them at different times.
What Determines a Great Throat Hit?
- The settings of your device – Vaping devices come with different features as you can see when you click here now. Some of the basic settings determine the throat hit that you will get. Turning up the power and increasing the airflow automatically lead to a strong throat hit. As such, you can regulate these two major settings until you get the desired hit.
- PG or VG – By now you already know that e-juices use either propylene glycol (PG) or vegetable glycerin (GV) as the base. It has also become common to mix the two. When the PG concentration is greater in e-liquid, you will get stronger throat hits. So, choose your juices well.
- Nicotine levels – Well, beginners might have difficulties deciding on the nicotine levels to start with. But if you want to have strong hits from the beginning, you probably need to choose high levels of nicotine. If you are not up for this, increase it gradually from low to high to eventually reach this level.
- Vaping style – Believe it or not, the vaping style will determine the throat hit that you get. Most beginners inhale and exhale the vapor without holding it inside. This denies them the opportunity to get a throat hit even when implementing all the favorable factors discussed above. But with time, you will learn the trick.
Strong throat hits are not for everyone. Beginners may have a difficult time reaching this great experience, but over time, they will get there. Strong throat hits are addictive, but you can rest assured that your vaping experience will never be the same again.
Gambling Laws in the US – How to Get a License?
Four main laws can be quoted when it comes to regulating gambling in the
United States of America. Though restricted gambling markets have generated
huge revenues in recent years. In the US, some states unlike others, have
legalized the practice of betting within their borders.
US Gambling Laws
The first in this kind is the interstate wire act. Enacted in 1961, the wire act is
also known as the federal wire act. According to the wire act, online sports
betting is authorized but the practice still remains under strict restrictions.
Anyone who engages in gambling business or uses communication facilities
with a clear intention of making money is punishable by law. This legal
instruction makes provision for either two years imprisonment or a huge
The second law which falls under the same scope is illegal gambling business
act. Established to control organized crime in the gambling market, illegal
gambling business act, later, became part and parcel of the organized crime
control act of 1917. This law, like the previous one, sought to keep track of
criminal sources of income.
Another regulating law of gambling in the US is the interstate wagering
amendment. The difference with this particular one is that it was mainly voted
for lottery establishments. It stipulates that any organization needs permission
from the state government to run a lottery or face the hardness of the law.
The last law adopted to regulate gambling in the US is unlawful internet
gambling enforcement act. This law came into existence in 2006. The sole
purpose of this law is to regulate gambling laying emphasis on two main points.
Going by this law, anybody playing online gambling is no longer a criminal.
Besides, it went ahead to legalize the operation of a gambling website. Though
the US gambling market flourished under this law, some restrictions or
prohibitions are still to be scrupulously observed.
Requirements for a Gambling license Under US Laws
Before we proceed to discuss the steps to be followed in getting a gambling
license, it is of prime importance to define what a gambling license is. In simple
terms, a gambling license is a certificate of authority issued by a licensing body,
prior to the opening of a betting place.
Any organization that aims at starting a gambling business is obliged to have it.
In other words, gambling license is mandatory under US gambling law. The
requirements for the delivery of a gambling license depends on either the
licensing authority or on the country concerned.
In order to have a certified license under the US law, here are the steps to be
followed to the letter. The first condition to be fulfilled is the proof of honesty
and integrity by bosses and employees of any given company. Issuing a license
is something crucial. That is the reason why the licensing authority cares about
the mindset and character of people asking for this document.
The third requirement in this process is the disclosure of details regarding
everyone related to the said betting place, including the proprietor, partners and
other associates. This information is to be completed by details like employment
as well as criminal record on specific individuals within the organization. The
procedure of getting a gambling license is very strict, given the attractiveness
and the competitiveness of the US gambling market.
Online gambling market earns benefits in billions per year. As a reminder, 24%
of all online gamblers in the whole world reside in North America. The US
bookmaking market flourishes like wildfire. Gambling places like Unibet
Pennsylvania is an example of a bookmaking environment which made the US
betting market a renown one.
The Importance of a Gambling License in the US
It has been observed that when gamblers choose an online casino, they focus all
their attention, on game selection, bonus offer and so on. By so doing they lose
sight of an essential aspect which is safety brought about by licensing. Without
an online casino being licensed to a reputable authority, the safety and security
of gamblers at the online site is at stake or in danger.
First and foremost, to get green light and operate in the gambling sector, some
high standards must be met. The said exigencies are in relation with security,
safety, fairness not forgetting the quality of services offered. It means that a
number of guarantees have to be presented by an online casino before being
chosen by gamblers.
Understandably, if an online casino is to be trusted and respected, it must get a
license from a high-profile institution, inspiring confidence. It is only when
casino operators meet the requirements by a reputable licensing authority that
they get the go ahead. It should recall that not all licensing bodies have the same
conditions for operating in the US, but they aim to achieve almost the same
The Flourishing American Gambling Market
Gambling has spread all over the world, but the US gambling market seems to
be in the lead worldwide. Without a doubt, gambling industry is booming on
American soil. It is not a secret that the United States is home to two most
famous and notorious gambling cities in the world.
Las Vegas and Atlantic City are towns where sports gambling witnesses spikes
in the numbers of customers. Between 2017 and 2018, revenues for most areas
increased substantially. Commercial casinos went from 41.2 billion dollars up to
51.4 billion dollars. As for tribal casinos, they grew from 21,945 billion dollars
to 32,801 billion dollars.
From the figures above, it becomes pretty clear that legal gambling flourishes in
the US. Las Vegas, of course, is the greatest contributor to these figures. This
city alone generated 6.59 billion dollars, while Atlantic fell behind with only
2.51 billion dollars. It is true that each state of the United States contributes its
quarter to the growth of the US gambling market.
Nevada has led the way, thanks to Las Vegas. Arkansas equally witnessed an
increase in most casinos. The trend is almost similar in the other states. We can
say that sports betting delivers a big boost with individual states regulating
gambling practiced on their soil. It goes without saying that the US gambling
market is the number one sport betting in the world.
As a summary, there are four laws regulating the US gambling market system.
The US gambling market has come a long way before its explosion into
surpassing any other market in the world. For one to run a bookmaking business
under the US law, different steps are clearly spelt out. Authorities in issuing a
gambling license want to keep track of betting operations on the entire
A Few Options For Traveling This Autumn
The pandemic has changed lives for quite a bit of people over the past couple of months. People are thinking about how to change their lives and adapt to the new situation.
Everything was normal or similar to the previous day in March, and then it changed once the White House made an announcement. That is when we saw Coronavirus testing and measurements rise in many countries in the world.
Each country took varied but generally similar approaches to others in dealing with the situation, and the residents of each country had to go along with the mandates put forth by the state.
Fast forward a few months, and we are still in a state of uncertainty about travel plans and figuring out how to live in this world today. We ask ourselves, should we go to that wedding or for that event? Should we adjust our shopping habits and other practices to minimize our interactions with pandemic related problems?
Corporations to governments are looking at ways to implement work from home for the long-term and minimize potential risks to their employees.
Meanwhile, you, me, and everyone else are adjusting their plans for travel and thinking about how they can still enjoy their lives and make the best out of this situation. People seek to connect with their families and build relationships or search for the past.
Of course, we think this situation will progress into 2021 and last until the end of that year. What do we do? Are we supposed to go on a pause? Freezing of our lives?
Thankfully, no, we can still travel and move but maybe not in conventional ways.
Practice Caution While Traveling
The first point is to travel in ways where you do not have to assemble with a host of other people. How can you do so? The answer is quite simple; you can travel by car.
The beautiful aspects of traveling by car enable you to genuinely appreciate each part of the trip with the people you travel with on the journey.
The remarkable aspect of traveling in your vehicle and heading off to outside destinations minimizes the possibility of transmission. That is why experts suggest that partaking in outdoor activities like walking, hiking, or other can certainly be possible if done safely.
Experts would also suggest wearing masks, carrying hand sanitizers, and practicing safety cautions while heading into outdoor destinations.
Road Trips and National Parks
You have several options when thinking about where to go and what to do for your fall trip. The first one is to go on a road trip throughout different states and head to your specific destinations.
The second option is to explore your favorite national parks. I prefer the latter option because it enables you to dive into something intriguing and fantastic.
We are busy in our lives and forget about the great outdoors and what it has to offer to us. That is why I’m happy that we have the time to invest in national parks and see what our great country has to provide us with a broad base of natural scenery.
Don’t forget to pack your safety gear and ensure to have fun!