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      Author: Joel Wright

    Joel has been involved in the markets for more than a decade. During this time he’s worked in market analysis teams in London, in the financial technology sector in Singapore, and most recently he’s planned FX hedging strategies for SMEs in Bangkok. Joel currently writes about foreign exchange for several global businesses.


    Banks Charge Small Customers 25 Times More for FX, Research Shows

    New research from the European Central Bank shows that banks charge smaller customers up to 25 times more for FX forward transactions and that those who fail to compare providers pay 14 times more for FX than those that do.

    Revolut Adds Group-Saving Feature

    This week saw the addition of a group-saving feature in Revolut. “Group Vaults” are an extension of popular Vault functionally that Revolut introduced last year.

    Consumers Throwing Away Billions on FX Fees (TransferWise Study)

    As in the rest of the world, consumers in Singapore are being fleeced when it comes to foreign exchange costs, a study by TransferWise has revealed. Individuals in Singapore are being charged 15 times more on international payments than companies are, with S$2 billion lost in hidden FX fees annually.

    India Pursues Complete Ban on Digital Currencies

    Cryptocurrencies and the blockchain technologies that support them are at the forefront of remittance-industry innovations, but these are under attack in India, where a complete crypto ban will be proposed in May.

    SGD/MYR at 17-Month High; Ringgit Slumps on FTSE Index Deselection

    What is arguably Southeast Asia’s most important exchange rate, Singapore dollar-Malaysian ringgit, leapt on Thursday to its highest level since November 2017, driven by FTSE Russell’s decision to reconsider Malaysia’s inclusion in an important bond index.

    Brexit This Year Now a Toss-Up, Bookmakers Say; What Next for Pound?

    With the chance of a 2019 Brexit now reduced to 50 percent, the pound’s value is likely to remain capped for the time being, most likely near US$1.34, experts say. On the downside, US$1.24 is likely should the latest Article 50 extension be used to hold a UK general election.

    Bitcoin More Popular Than Visa, MasterCard for Large Payments; Recent Price Surge Only the Beginning (DataLight)

    Research has highlighted the popularity of bitcoin for large payments, including those across borders. By transaction volume, bitcoin has nearly caught up with Mastercard and may in future overtake the market leader, Visa. In the markets, bitcoin’s sudden surge earlier this week is yet to be explained.

    TransferWise Announces PayNow Funding Option

    TransferWise is now officially offering PayNow as a funding option for users in Singapore, the company has announced.

    Benign Brexit Outcome Most Likely; Pound to Strengthen, Says Bank of America

    Developments this week make a “benign Brexit outcome” the most probable and offer reason enough to be favouring British pound appreciation for the foreseeable future, analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch have said.

    Revolut Steps Up Brexit Preparations

    Fintech hotshot Revolut has written to millions of its customers to warn that new verification documents will be needed in the event of a no-deal Brexit; it has also called on the UK government to get serious about post-Brexit tech visas.

    CBOE Ditches Bitcoin Futures Amid Reduced Interest

    Amid declining interest, the Chicago Board Options Exchange, or CBOE, has announced it will no longer offer bitcoin futures contracts once current contracts expire in June.

    Revolut Introduces Auto Currency Exchange

    Digital bank Revolut announced this week the introduction of a significant new feature: auto currency exchange based on targeted exchange rates.

    Messaging Apps to Take Slice of Remittance Market Using Their Own Cryptocurrencies

    Users of popular messaging apps, including WhatsApp and Line, might soon be able to make cross-border payments effortlessly. In a move that will further disrupt the payments industry, the creators of such apps, including Facebook, are working hard to develop their own digital currencies that can be transferred to anyone in a user’s contact list.

    “Witching Hour” Woes: Currency Traders Wary of Flash Crashes During Quietest Part of Day

    Currency traders continue to be wary of the potential for flash crashes during the dreaded “witching hour” between the end of New York’s business day and the start of Tokyo’s. Flash crashes can cause massive losses to those on the wrong side of them and without central bank intervention more of these are on their way.

    Mega Bank Ends Cash Remittances

    Japanese mega bank MUFG has announced it will end all over-the-counter money transfer services in June of this year in an effort to avert money laundering.

    Revolut Readies Singapore Launch

    Revolut, a digital bank that allows users to receive, send and spend money at the interbank exchange rate, should be ready for its Singapore beta launch in March 2019, the company has said.

    China’s Ant Financial Acquires WorldFirst

    Chinese fintech giant Ant Financial has acquired British payments specialist WorldFirst for an undisclosed amount.

    Cryptocurrencies Soar: Litecoin Gains 30 Percent

    Cryptocurrencies exploded on Friday for reasons not fully understood by analysts. Litecoin was among the day’s stars, gaining 30 percent. Brokers, though, remain skeptical about the rally’s sustainability.

    Bitcoin Is a Bubble: It’s a “Classic Case,” Says RBNZ Head

    Bitcoin looks “remarkably like a bubble” to the Acting Governor of New Zealand’s central bank, Grant Spencer. Speaking to TVNZ this weekend, Spencer – who will lead the RBNZ’s Monetary Policy Committee until March – said that bitcoin appears to be a “classic case” of a financial bubble. “Over the centuries we’ve seen bubbles and […]

     
    Please note that the opinions of our authors are their own and do not reflect the opinion of Best Exchange Rates and should not be taken as a reference to buy or sell any financial product.