What is Open Banking and Why Do Bank Clients Like It?

Open banking is a financial service that allows third parties to act as intermediaries in facilitating financial transactions between banks and clients via the API.

The latter refers to the Application Programming Interface (API) technology that makes banking practice more convenient for consumers, as the platform links consumer accounts with different financial institutions and service providers. Mainly because data will be accessible to third-party providers who will carry out full completion of financial transactions between clients, consumers and financial institutions when initiated online.

Whereas before, clients can make same-day, real-time transfers of money to another bank account only if such account is maintained in the same banking institution In open banking, through the API of a third party intermediary, the fund transfer can take effect in real time even if the recipient account is maintained in a banking institution that is different from the transferring bank.

Other Potential Advantages of Open Banking

Open Banking technology has been proven as very useful as it provides a new alternative especially in times of pandemic:

1.  With open banking, it shows potential that it can increase sources of revenue as customers who engage in online income-earning opportunities will have increased capabilities to perform online transactions through financial institutions.

2.  Open banking can also assist money lenders in determining the customer’s financial circumstances and risk levels. The open data related to applicant-borrowers makes the evaluation and decision-making processes easier for lenders when giving consumers practical and manageable loan or credit terms.

3.  As smaller banks engage in open banking, the bigger and well-known banks would be constrained to make their rates and services more competitive against newer and unfamiliar banks. As a result, larger banks would be pressured in providing better client service, use newer technologies to decrease banking costs being shifted to clients.

Understanding APK or iOS-ASP as Prerequisite for Downloading a Mobile Casino App

In Southeast Asia, gamblers overcome the difficulty of accessing online casinos by downloading the dedicated mobile app of a specific online gambling website. To do this however, users of Android supported devices have to first download an Android Package Kit a.k.a. APK. iPhone users on the other hand, have to download the iOS App Store Package (ASP).

However, caution must be observed when obtaining APK or ASP files because they are also used as tools for downloading malware or spyware; or in some cases, may contain stolen applications — any of which, can put a smart device at risk. The best step to take is to download the APK or ASP from the official source recommended by the related mobile app developer, or to be specific, by the online casino agent.

Why is APK or ASP a Prerequisite to Downloading a Mobile Casino App?

In understanding why we need to install APK or ASP files in our device when downloading a mobile casino app, we must first know their function.

Generally, Google maintains a policy of not allowing or supporting gambling apps of unregulated online casinos and sports betting operators; including applications offered by affiliate websites run by online casino or sports betting agents. Although the most popular online casinos in Southeast Asian countries are operated by licensed and regulated online gambling operators, as far as Google Play Store is concerned, mobile apps are unregulated if deployed in countries that ban gambling activities.

iPhones on the other hand, cannot access any kind of mobile application that is not supported by the Apple Play Store.

Nonetheless, the way to go around such restriction is to first download an Android Package Kit (APK) for Android-supported devices; or the iOS App Store Package (ASP) files for iOS gadgets. An APK or ASP package contains the file format used by the Android operating system or Iphone operating system, in distributing and installing middlewares, mobile applications and mobile games.

Once the appropriate file formats are properly installed in a mobile gadget, smartphone users can then access and download the related mobile applications recognized by the file format, which otherwise would not be accessible to them in their respective country or region. Gamblers located in countries that prohibit gambling, will have direct communication with the online casino platform. At the same time, their gambling activities remain private and out of reach to gambling watchdogs.

Citing 918Kiss as Case Example for APK or ASP Use

918kiss online casino is one of the most popular online gambling sites accessed by millions of online gamblers across Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore and Brunei. The popularity of 918Kiss mainly lies on its trait as a regulated gambling platform. Moreover, the online casino is supported by major igaming proponents like Playtech, Real Time Gaming and Spade Gaming, all are licensed and certified fair and safe by gambling regulators.

Those looking to download the 918Kiss mobile app must first obtain the APK or ASP, whichever is applicable, from a trusted 918Kiss agent like esibet dot com. The agent’s website provides instructions on how to enable the appropriate fike formats in downloading the 918Kiss mobile app.

As a security procedure, a registering member must first make contact with a 918Kiss support staff, who will carry out the identification and onboarding processes. If no problem is encountered and the required deposit has been made, the 918Kiss support staff will provide the new online casino member with a password to use.

https://youtu.be/vj42VSPe8Hs

As registered members of the 918Kiss online casino, the password will serve as the key for unlocking and accessing the broad selection of online casino slots and table games listed in the dropdown menu.

Simple Explanations on How APIs Work

Most online consumers have encountered the term API and are quite interested to find out more; beyond the technical jargon of what the acronym stands for: Application Programming Interface.

First off, API is a product that is usually offered to developers of applications or resource platforms that will allow the offering of a specific product or service to consumers by way of digital technology.

Know that the term interface refers to a program that enables mobile app user to connect to a platform from which they are requesting a service. An API allows communication between the app user’s device and a specific service provider’s platform.

Simple Example of How APIs Work

The simplest example is when a user of a Facebook Messenger app wants to send a message to other FB Messenger users. The API acts as the conduit or intermediary program that will connect the requesting party to Facebook’s Messenger platform. Upon receipt of the request, the FB platform will in turn, process the request, whilst making sure that only those authorized to connect to that particular Messenger app can send back responses, which the API forwards to the requesting party. .

Why API is Important for Mobile App Developers and Resource Providers

Since APIs are products in the form of program codes offered to app developers and resource platforms, the quality of the API integrated as part of the program or software is of great importance. The API can promote active use of the mobile application, especially when users find it easy to engage in the quickest time possible and in the safest of environments.

APIs can influence customer experience and can become a deciding factor for app users to continue using the stores or the service providers to which their app is connected.

The industry benchmark in determining the quality of the API that sends out communications between app user and resource platforms is the level of user retention, or the percentage of users who return and engage through the app within three months, from the very first session.

Still, it is important to note that brands tend to set their own standards of customer engagement and retention, as metrics to follow when choosing the mobile apps and resource platforms.

Some of the major technology companies that offer APIs are Google, Amazon, Expedia, eBay and Salesforce, because their platforms are connected to the most popular commercial markets. .

DoJ to Probe Anomalies in PPP Stimulus Loan Grants

Cases of potential fraud regarding Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans surfaced, after JP Morgan Chase granted SMB loans to disqualified publicly traded clients. As a result, stimulus loan applications of about 220,000 eligible SMB loan applicants were left out of the funds released as economic relief for small businesses.

Last April, burger restaurant giant Shake Shack was forced to return a $10 million PPP loan intended only for small businesses .as gesture of mistake made in good faith. sis. Other companies, such as Potbelly Sandwich Shop, and Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse chain , are yet to announce that they intent carry out similar actions. The two big companies had also received approval for a $10 million and $20 million loans, respectviely, from JP Morgan Chase despite their ineligibility to receive the stimulus package.

JP Morgan Chase Said Other Applicants Have to Wait for New Congress-Approved Funds

At first JP Morgan Chase, through the company’s spokesperson said that although the money loaned out will be returned by the aforementioned companies, the bank will not be able to release new loans until Congress authorizes the release of new funds.

 

Now that the Department of Justice has launched investigations of circumstances surrounding JP Morgan’s release of PPP loans to non-SMBs, the bank recently announced that the Small Business Administration has  provided an additiomal $15 billion, to fund PPP loan applications of around 239,000 SMBs..

 

SBA to Review Applications of Businesses that Received Funding

As part of its administrative role, the Small Business Administration said that corollary to the DoJ’s investigations, the agency will review who among the recipients do not qualify as PPP borrowers,

 

The government agency also announced that those who are aware that they are not qualified, can return the money and be considered as having acted in good faith. However, the offer of clemency is good only up to May 07, 2020.

Underscoring the Significance of Underwriting Using AI-Enhanced Technologies

The importance of accurate financial information is underscored, whenever businesses seek additional capitalization, either from banking institutions or potential investors. However, business owners should understand that banks and other financial institutions base a great part of their decision on the results of the underwriting process.

What is Underwriting

Underwriting is a key function that is ever-present in the financial world, because it entails the assessment of risks posed by an individual or a business entity, either as a borrower or as an investment prospect. Although banking institutions and venture capitalists make funds available in exchange for fees, it is important for decision makers to know the degree of risks involved.

That way, in case the borrower fails to settle the loan or the entity fails to deliver the promised return on investment, the funds provider can recover, even in part, the amount loaned out or supplied as capital investment.

The Underwriting Process in the 21st Century

Business owners should have awareness that the underwriting process in the 21st Century no longer rely on simple financial reporting, even if supported by certifications issued by external auditors.

Lessons have been learned from the 2008 Financial Crisis, in which companies like Enron resorted to manipulating financial information, in covering up the fact that they had more debts than assets to present to banks and potential investors.

Through interconnected network systems, developers of technology built databases from which real-time data can be collected, analyzed and interpreted for report generation.

To eliminate the tediousness and inaccuracies of manual underwriting processes, improvements in financial technologies saw the creation of Artificial Intelligence or AI.

Now, providers of underwriting services use financial technologies that not only collect and analyze data for comparative analysis and financial projections. They now have AI-enhanced financial software that can also apply machine learning in establishing patterns. Such patterns or trends are useful in determining the accuracy of good or bad applications.

Some underwriting AIs have the capaability to link countless numbers of structured and unstructured data, which the machine can smartly transform into contextual data that can be used for accurate underwriting.

Intel Commits to Helping Bridge Race And Gender Wage Gaps by Providing Equal-Pay Advocates with Data

In a radical move to set itself apart from other big tech companies, Intel announced plans of releasing pay data, which advocates for equal pay, can use when looking deeper at race and gender wage gaps in the tech industry.

The announcement came after Bloomberg reported that the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) will make it a requirement for business organizations with more than 100 employees, to file pay data. Since the requirement does not make it obligatory for businesses to publish the related information, Intel announced said it will release the pay data to allow public examination.

Although Intel’s announcement also brought into focus the company’s own issues about pay discrimination accusations by female, black, Hispanic Intel employees in various states.

Yet the Department of Labor made it known that Intel had already agreed to pay $5 million to settle the pay-inequality accusations. According to the report published by the Department of Labor, $3.5 million will apply as back pay settlement, while the remaining $1.5 million has been alloted for pay-adjustments of Intel’s engineers.

At the moment, Intel has not made any comment on when such data will be released, as Bloombeg also reported that the EEOC, may yet change its decision to require businesses to file the data in 2020.

About the Race Gender Wage Gap Issue in the U.S.

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The Race Gender Wage Gap issue in the U.S. has become more pronounced than ever. Equal-pay advocates have established the fact that for over a period of 15 years, from 2001 to 2015, the earnings of female workers were only 49 percent of male workers; indicating that there is a 51% wage gap between male and female employees.

White female employees earn only 81.5% of the amount paid as wages to white male employees.

In the U.S. female workers of all major racial and ethnic categories earn less than men belonging to the same categories; suggesting that they also earn less pay than white male workers.

Race and gender wage gap for Asian women though is not as wide as compared to other female workers under different race categories. Asian women rank high in comparisons, since their median weekly earnings represent 93.5% of white male employees’ median earnings per week. Still, when compared to their Asian male counterparts, their median earnings for a week’s work is only 75.5%.

When compared by race categories, the weekly median earnings of Hispanic workers are the lowest versus any race and gender categories; whether white, Asian, or black female and male workers. In 2018, Hispanic women earned $617 weekly for full-time work. The amount is only 61.6 percent of the wages earned weekly by white male workers as median weekly salary. When compared to median weekly earnings of Hispanic male employees, Hispanic women’s weekly earnings represent only 85.7 percent of their male Hispanic counterparts.

In the same way, there is a wage gap between Hispanic and black female workers, with the latter earning $654 as median weekly compensation. Still, the amount earned by female black women per week, represents only 65.3 percent of what white male workers earn as weekly median pays. Wage gap still exists between black male and female workers, as the median weekly salary earned by black women is only 89% of the median weekly earnings received by black male employees.

Making Technology Adoption Part of a Senior’s Preparations for the Golden Years

Technology adoption is getting recognition as part of a senior adult’s preparation for the golden years. Baby boomers coming of age as present and future retirees are lucky, because they will be retreating into a world enhanced with technological advancements. Many innovators in technology have in fact devised gadgets and applications that aim to assist and empower senior citizens to independently manage life in retirement.

Becoming digitally connected has become a norm even among older adults. However, a 2017 Pew Research reported that smartphone use tends to drop significantly among seniors in their mid-70s and over. About 31% of retirees aged 75 to 79 years still own and use smartphones. The percentage drops to 17% among those aged 80 and beyond.

Since the UK government is planning to push retirement age to age 75 in the next 15 years, technology use during that period will become more important than ever. After all, that would be the stage when health and wellness issues become more pronounced.

There are now technological innovations that can help retired seniors manage typical old-age problems; such as lack of mobility, loss of memory, vision and/or hearing impairment as well as despondency. Although assistance from senior caregivers are often provided, adeptness in using basic technology when advancing to one’s sunset years will prove to be most helpful.

Ways Technology Adoption Can Help Senior Adults

Simple things such as sharing of medical data between senior patients and their health care provider through the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT), can address mobility issues that prevent seniors from seeking medical consultations.

Know-how in using smartphone applications can also help seniors live life in comfort during retirement. With or without caregiver assistance, older adults can monitor their medication, as well as their heart rate with the help of a phone app. In some cases, sudden memory loss may leave a retired adult stranded in an unfamiliar location. In knowing that family members or caregivers can track his or her whereabouts through a phone app, a lost senior will have no reason to experience pangs of anxiety attacks.

Basic smartphone features such as GPS and cameras prove useful in collecting and transmitting information vital to senior care. However, the costs of such gadgets and applications may not be as affordable to senior adults with minimal retirement money on hand. Some though managed to raise money by taking out loans through home equity schemes.

What is a Home Equity Release Facility

A home equity release facility is a type of loan available to older homeowners who are at least age 55. Based on the age of the borrower and the value of the owned property, a percentage of the equity value may be borrowed without having to worry about burdensome monthly payments. Settlement of the loan will come in due time, either when the senior borrower passes away, or when it becomes necessary for him or her to enter a nursing home.

Money that will be used as payment for the total amount due will come from the sale of the property. Any excess, between the proceeds of the sale and the home equity debt, will then form part of the estate that the senior borrower left behind to his beneficiaries or heirs. In the UK, a no-negative equity release guarantee, protects a borrower’s family from ending up with unpaid debts arising from a home equity mortgage.

A web tool called equity release calculator online can be used to determine the value of the amount that can be borrowed against a home equity.

Plus Token Sold Off $3 Billion-Worth Digital Money Placed by 10 Million Cryptocurrency Owners

Plus Token, a blockchain based mobile wallet company operated by Chinese nationals was able to entice about 10 million cryptocurrency users to store their digital money in the company, by promising them high yields of interests. Although blockchain reviewers voiced doubts about Plus Token as a legit cryptocurrency operator, the ewallet site was able to gain the trust of cryptocurrency users, which numbered to as many as 10 million Plus Token members by July 2019.

Unknown to the millions of members, Plus Token was into a Ponzi-like scheme of paying dividends using digital money coming from new cryptocurrency investors.However in July of this year, Primitive Ventures, another blockchain-based company owned by Dovey Wan took notice of the ongoing mass sell-off being carried out by the fraudulent Chinese company.

Ms. Wan alerted players in the cryptocurrency ecosystem by sending out tweets about the Plus Token mass sell-offs. She called on other cryptocurrency exchange operators to blacklist the company. According to Ms. Wan, Plus Token still has control of a large amount of cryptocurrency which it still intends to dump and launder using various digital wallets linked to Plus Token.

In order to hasten preventive actions, Ms. Wan attached investigative data gathered by Peckshield, a security audit firm and the e-wallet addresses associated with Plus Token. The Peckshield report showed how real money flowed from PlusToken to the questionabl e-wallets early in July, the same time when Plus Token started dumping the digital money entrusted to the company by millions of cryptocurrency owners.

In a recent oped written by Ms. Wan for Coingraph, she reported that Chinese authorities have already hunted down the core team running the Plus Token cryptocurrency Ponzi scheme. Six of the Plus Token Chinese nationals were extradited to mainland China by Vanuatu, an island country located in the South Pacific.

Crypto Analytics Firm Explains How Plus Token Navigated the Sell-Off

London-based crypto-analytic firm Token Analyst said Plus Token did not sell off cryptocurrencies directly to exchange and trading sites. Instead, the fraudulent company used online mixing services to obscure the origins of the blockchain transactions, before they eventually reached the e-wallet addresses owned by Plus Token.

What Do Online Mixing Services Do in the Cryptocurrency System?

Although using cryptocurrencies allows users to hide their identity when using digital money for peer-to-peer and other online transactions, there is still a database in which comprehensive information about cryptocurrency transactions are stored. Keep in mind that cryptocurrency transactions require the real identity of the owner, but are kept confidential when recorded as blockchain entries through the use of key codes.

Each movement of a specific amount of cryptocurrency, indicates all keycodes involved in a chain of cryptocurrency encryptions that recorded the transfers of digital money. Anyone who would be interested in knowing the true identity of a cryptocurrency source can simply trace it through the related blockchain database.

This is where online mixing services play an important role. The services they offer involve mixing their customer’s cryptocurrency funds with cryptocurrency funds owned by other people. That way, the trail leading back to the original owner of the digital money will be obscured.

Understanding How Blockchain Technology Makes the Use of Virtual Money Possible

Blockchain technology is a method that makes it possible for Internet users, to send and/or receive money without need to use a third party infrastructure. Using a specific blockchain application and by way of cryptography, money remains confidential and virtual for as long as transfers are made and recorded in the open ledger of a blockchain platform.

 

 

The blockchain platform supplies the “private key” or the verification code needed by each transacting party, either as a cryptocurrency sender or recipient. Without a private key, the cryptocurrency cannot be transferred or recorded in the blockchain ledger. The inclusion of a private key encryption therefore, renders the cryptocurrency transaction valid.

Correlated to the “private key” is the “public key,” the latter being the open cryptographic message generated by the blockchain application to identify every cryptocurrency transactions recorded in its blockchain ledger. A blockchain cryptograph entry therefore represents the public key and a valid private key.

How the Blockchain Platform Records and Links All Related Cryptocurrency Data

The blockchain ledger is open as it allows verification of transactions as they occur.

A specific blockchain recording, starts by linking the origin of the cryptocurrency in use. The original cryptocurrency transaction may be related to the purchase of the virtual money for a specific value using actual cash. The virtual money may have originated from a cryptocurrency exchange platform or cryptocurrency wallet provider.

Another origin of a specific cryptocurrency is when a miner earns it by solving all transactions connected in a particular blockchain ledger.

In both cases, a public key to identify the original transaction is generated, while the procurer or miner receiving the cryptocurrency will obtain a “private key.” If a portion or all of the original cryptocurrency received will be sent to another blockchain platform user, the private key encryption of the new owner will be recorded in the blockchain ledger.

The new recipient will likewise receive his or her own “private key,” as it gives the recipient valid authority to use the cryptocurrency for his or her own blockchain transaction.

In every blockchain transaction, the public key identifying the cryptocurrency transaction must come with a corresponding “private key,” to allow confirmation that the transaction is connected to a particular series of blockchain entries.

A cryptocurrency may be in bitcoin denomination or any other type, classified as alternative coins to the widely used bitcoin. Some examples of alternative coins or altcoins are Ethereum,Litecoin, Ripple, Dash and Cardano.

How to Convert Cryptocurrency into Actual Cash?

Still using cryptography, virtual money or cryptocurrency can be converted back into actual cash through a cryptocurrency exchange platform. The platform may be one that belongs to a third party cryptocurrency broker or a peer-peer network of cryptocurrency users.

The commutation of virtual currency into actual cash will again be recorded as a related part of the series of blockchain transactions; tying it up to the initial blockchain entry identifying the method of how the cryptocurrency was obtained. Once the public key and the private key has been verified through the blockchain platform, actual exchange of cryptocurrency into cash will be allowed to take place.

Understanding the Essence of the Cash Flow Statement as Part of Financial Reports

Preparing a Cash Flow Statement has become an integral part of the financial reporting system. Aside from presenting reports on how much a business entity earned as Net Income and of its Net Worth for a given period, it has been mandatory since 1987, to provide information by way of a Cash Flow Statement on how business funds were obtained and used rationally.

Business owners therefore must require periodic submission of an Income and Expense Statement, a Balance Sheet and a Cash Flow Statement. That way, the summarized results of business operations and administration are available for periodic review and analysis, in order to determine impact, progress, and for pinpointing areas that need improvement.

Components of a Cash Flow Statement

Simply stated, a Cash Flow Statement (CFS) presents a summary of how much funds entered the business, and of how much of those funds were used during the period.

The CFS is structured in a way that will reflect how the end-of-period Cash and Cash Equivalents reconcile with the Net Income after all funds generated and disbursed for Operational Activities, Investing Activities and Financing Activities, and other non-cash elements have been taken into account.

Cash Equivalents by the way refer to short term investments held by a business, as they can be easily sold and converted into cash at any given time.

Cash Flow Coming from Operational Activities

In this section, the CFS presents the total revenues earned by the business entity throughout a period, purely derived from operating the business, whilst mainly using the entity’s assets. In addition, this section also shows how much of the revenues generated were used in paying off related operational and administrative costs for the same period.

Non-cash values such as depreciation, accruals and unearned portion of revenues occuring during the period of operation will likewise be presented in this section, but as reconciling items.

Cash Flow from Investment Activities

Investment earnings pertain to funds generated thru non-operational activities but still involving the assets of the business; such as selling of long-term assets like property and equipment, as well as earnings collected from maturing investment ventures like marketable securities and other cash equivalents.

In the same way, any amount used in purchasing property and equipment, including software, and/or placed as investment in marketable securities shall be reflected under this section.

Cash Flow from Financing Activities

Financing funds increase the size and composition of the business capital or equity, like those obtained from borrowings including funds acquired by way of bonds, or from issuances of additional shares of stocks.

On the other hand, other factors may change the composition of the business capital, like repayment of borrowings including interests, and/or payment of dividends.