CurrencyXchanger software supports Bitcoin rates

 What are cryptocurrencies?

Put simply, cryptocurrencies are digital assets – but what does that mean exactly?

Some are finding it a little difficult to understand – but the simplest way of putting it, is that it allows transactions to take place over the internet, in a secure format, without the need for a central authority or any banks.

By analogy it is like sending a golden coin through email and only the intended recipient will be able to accept this payment.

It promises security, anonymity, and ease of use. Decentralized cryptocurrency is produced by the whole cryptocurrency system communally, at a rate which is well-defined when the system is fashioned and which is openly known.

What is a Bitcoin and how can I use it?

Bitcoin

Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency – conceivably the first one of its kind. Since the Bitcoin, various other cryptocurrencies have cropped up, known as altcoins.

Bitcoin practices peer-to-peer technology to function with no fundamental authority or bank being involved, so it is said to be a cheaper alternative as it cuts out middlemen. The handling, dealing, and the supply of bitcoins is agreed cooperatively, by the network.

Therefore, it is a consensus network that allows a new payment system and a totally digital type of money. As Bitcoin was the first practical implementation, it is widely used and it is currently, the most prominent triple entry bookkeeping system at present.

As of December 2016, CurrencyXchanger supports Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency rate updatesBitcoin

Current innovations in cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin, and others are just the beginning for this technology that can help renovate many industries. There is plenty of opportunity in this space and we’ve taken this on board for 2017.

CurrencyXchanger can now update Bitcoin rates using the BTC or XBT codes.  Many large companies worldwide are increasingly accepting Bitcoins.

For more information on how you can purchase our comprehensive currency software, feel free to contact us about how your business can benefit from our popular currency exchange software.

 

SAIMA OMAR

 

 

 

How much cash can you take through the airport?

If you are flying with a large sum of cash, or other currency like traveller’s checks, money orders, and bearer bonds, you should check the legalities and custom regulations for the country you are traveling to.

Most countries rely on the traveler to declare any currency exceeding 10,000 USD, EUR, GBP or the equivalent.

Rules and restrictions on traveling with money will vary by country around the world. Be sure to check those laws and regulations before you fly, and if necessary make alternative plans before you fly.

Travel Cash

Canadian Law on traveling with large amount of money

 

In Canada, the limit is 10,000 CAD which is roughly 7500 USD. However, this is not to say that you are not allowed to travel with more cash than this.

There are no laws limiting the amount of cash that you can travel with through the airports. So even if you have 20,000 USD, you are still allowed to take it with you as long as you declare it.

Declaring money when traveling within United States

 

If you are on a domestic flight in the United States, then there is no limit as to how much cash or monetary values that you can carry. Once again, if you are in doubt, speak to the TSA before your travels.

Once at the airport, the TSA (Transport Security Administration) may ask a passenger who is carrying a lot of cash to account for the money. If the TSA suspects that the money is related to some kind of criminal activity such as drug trafficking or money laundering, they may turn the issue over to a law enforcement agency (TSA has no law enforcement powers).

UK Law on declaring large sums of money at the airport

 

If you are planning on traveling from the UK to outside of the EU, then you must once again, declare €10,000 or more to customs. You are allowed to take this amount without notifying customs to countries within the EU.

All cash varieties will be included in this, such as, notes, coins, bankers’ drafts and cheques of any kind.

Also, remember, that if you are traveling as a family your funds can still not exceed to more than €10,000,

Conclusion

 

Stacks of Ten Thousand Dollars CashWhilst you can carry large amounts of money to different countries through the airport, it is of course, not recommended that you carry large amounts of cash with you as it is risky.

If you must carry a large amount of money with you, then it is advised that you never put your cash, financial instruments, or precious metals in a checked bag. You also have to be prepared to declare the source of your funds and the reason for carrying the cash to custom officers.

If you’re carrying more than 10k currency then keep it in sight (carry-on bag) and if your carry-on baggage must be searched, insist on keeping your bag in sight, whilst it is being checked.

If asked about the amount of money in your baggage by a TSA agent or other responsible authority, always tell the truth.

If you suspect that you have been a victim of theft, contact an airport police officer or other law enforcement representative immediately (remember that TSA agents are not law enforcement agents)

When in doubt, always declare or ask an officer at the airport.

Saima Omar

What do you need to prepare for your next FINTRAC audit?

The world of foreign exchange is a competitive one right? And with that, comes regulations, rules and audits to ensure that any Money Service Business (MSB) is complying to the new government Anti-Money Laundering AML regulations.  “Compliance” is a term used to encompass all systematic methodologies used to conform with these regulations.

What is the definition of a Money Service Business?

Money Service Businesses (MSBs) are businesses offering check cashing, money orders, travellers checks, money transfer and remittance services, currency dealing or exchange, and pre-paid access (formerly stored value) products. In Canada, the regulatory body is called FINTRAC, which stands for Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada.

It is therefore more important than ever that your financial institution has a robust and comprehensive AML audit process to measure and govern your AML program’s compliance with applicable AML and BSA laws and regulations.

FINTRAC AuditHow does the AML audit differ from regular audits?

Auditing is a normal process completed by all financial institutions in some capacity. It can be done by internal staff and self-governing third parties, and typically it is approached from a financial viewpoint.

Distinct from the usual financial audit, which concentrates more on the number of reconciliations and number crunching, AML audits look at program compliance and the operative, timely completion of daily tasks.

AML audits need to identify shortages, breaches, and weaknesses that may exist in the content, controls, and operations of the AML program. In this context, content is defined as having a written policy, procedures, training, monitoring, and reporting.

A consequence of ineffective auditing may lead to potential AML violations, such as failing to report suspicious activity or collecting the proper customer identification documents. An AML enforcement action by a regulator can cost a financial institution a fortune – both in standings of reputational damage and monetary penalties.

So how can you ensure you pass your AML audit with flying colours?

Compliance RegulationsAML exams can be nerve-wracking. You’re working around the clock to ensure that your Money Service Business is doing an outstanding job of catching suspicious activity at your institution. However, when the audit rolls around, you are still nervous because it’s hard to know exactly what the regulators are expecting.

Fortunately, we are here to help. Use these tips to help prepare for your next AML audit.

If you can get these basics in place, you will be well on your way to passing your AML audit with flying colours.

For your next AML Compliance audit make sure you have the following documents in order:

  • Your comprehensive risk assessment document will be required in the audit
  • Method of risk assessments, especially how to determine high risk customers, PEPs and MSBs
  • Solutions for generated audit reports
  • Proof of AML training for you and your staff – a training log book should be sufficient
  • Written policies and procedures, which includes the compliance manual (Compliance Regiment)
  • FINTRAC outline that corporate customer’s documents should be fully complete, including their registration and shareholder structure.
  • KYC due diligence – so all customer information should be entered electronically into your record-keeping system, including their occupation, date of birth, address etc.
  • Prepare the selected queries as requested in the auditor’s letter well in advance
  • Ask all your staff members to review their documents and materials and prepare them for interviews
  • Note the methods of determining high risk customers
  • Proof of Enhanced Customer Due Diligence (ECDD, or EDD) for high risk transactions and customers. The EDD include such Proof of Address, Source of Funds, Purpose of Transaction, Third party determination, PEP determination.
  • Proof that your software checks the name of your regular customers against the sanction lists. You can obtain this proof by asking your software provider.
  • Have your F2R reports available on request and ensure all confirmation numbers have been entered into your electronic system

For further help and advice on your AML audit, contact us for a chat.

 

Saima Omar

 

Exchanging Currency before or during your holiday for exotic destinations?

Many people will ask, should I buy my holiday currency at home or abroad, when traveling to an exotic destination?

Some examples of exotic destinations for travel:

  • Thailand
  • Indonesia
  • Malaysia
  • Singapore
  • Philippines
  • Albania
  • Africa

Buying Exotic Currency

Examples of some exotic currency can be, the Thai Baht, the South African Rand, Singapore Dollar, and many more.

Travel CurrencySo, the question is, do you want to exchange your money at home before your trip or would you be better off waiting until you get to your chosen destination?

Here’s the simple answer: When you are dealing with an exotic currency then you will almost always have the higher valued currency. This can lead to a higher exchange rate at home due to a wider spread between the currency pairs. Simply, this means you stand to lose more money buying your foreign currency at your home destination; especially if your home currency is a major world currency such as USD, GBP, JPY, CAD, AUD, NZD, or EUR.

Before you go anywhere though, it’s always best to do a little research of your own. Find out about whether there are any currency restrictions for taking the money in or out of the country (an example of this is Egypt). Find out if you can use a credit or debit card and whether you can easily find ATM machines.

We advise that in exotic destinations where your home currency is often valued higher, the majority of your money should be exchanged when you arrive at the destination.

You’ll often need money right away

As soon as you land in a foreign country, the chances of needing the local currency is high – you may need to get a taxi to your hotel, a drink or two or you might want to sort out a meal. That is why many people like to take at least a small amount of money in the local currency with them to their destination. Luckily though, the growing propagation of ATMs around the world means that the local currency is usually as close as the nearest cash machine, especially if you’re flying into a major international airport.

Example of buying Exotic currency

If a holiday-goer from the UK plans to go to Thailand for their holiday, then they will need to exchange their Great British Pound (GBP)  into Thai Baht.

The Thai Baht is widely stocked by many suppliers outside of Thailand and therefore it wouldn’t be difficult for the holiday-goer to exchange all of their money whilst at home.

But we advise that you should exchange most of your holiday money in Thailand!

This is because, rates obtained when on holiday in Thailand will always be higher and the likes of Bangkok, Pattaya and Phuket being large airports, will have many ATM machines on arrival. Be aware though, your bank may charge you an extra fee when withdrawing foreign currency and you will receive your banks exchange rate at the exact time of your withdrawal. Cash exchanges in Thailand charge no commission or fees at all and they are very common and clearly marked with visible signs, with daily rates on their electronic currency exchange boards.

Saima Omar