Solidarity with Women

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In the wake of the hashtag #metoo and seeing the immense impact it has made on hundreds of thousands of people around the world, we wanted to speak up about our support to all women, not only survivors of sexual assault but also any woman who has come across barriers in life and business because of their gender. Here at SolidTrust Pay, we encourage women to be entrepreneurs and we believe that a woman deserves to be her own boss. As a payment processor, we are happy to provide the services that are required to make that a reality.

 

Did you know that over 70% of the staff at SolidTrust Pay are women? The company was also started by our female CEO Stella Hiemstra who had overcome all odds and barriers to create this company 11 years ago in a strongly male-dominated industry.

 

As an ethical payment processor, our staff regardless of gender, start at the same pay scale and increases are earned based on performance without any gender considerations. We also take the extra steps and time to monitor funds so that they don’t end up being used for human trafficking or any other purpose that would hurt the rights and freedoms of women.

 

SolidTrust Pay wants to provide women with opportunities that may not be feasible to them right now due to any number of reasons. For instance, according to UN Women: “women bear disproportionate responsibility for unpaid care work. Women devote 1 to 3 hours more a day to housework than men; 2 to 10 times the amount of time a day to care (for children, elderly, and the sick), and 1 to 4 hours less a day to market activities.” The benefits of women in the workforce far outnumber the reasons for not being in the workforce. The same can be said about closing the wage gap. UN Women also said:

“It is calculated that women could increase their income globally by up to 76 percent if the employment participation gap and the wage gap between women and men were closed. This is calculated to have a global value of USD 17 trillion. Women’s economic equality is good for business. Companies greatly benefit from increasing leadership opportunities for women, which is shown to increase organizational effectiveness. It is estimated that companies with three or more women in senior management functions score higher in all dimensions of organizational effectiveness”.

 

Even though SolidTrust Pay alone won’t solve gender inequality, we want to create a space that promotes growth and support for all current and future female users and merchants. It is our hope that in the near future all women will have the opportunity to create their own success and that the barriers that are blocking so many today will no longer exist.


All About Identity Theft and How to Avoid It

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It’s 2017, and over half of the world is connected to the internet, according to the BBC. With much of the globe being more connected than ever, it leaves room for cybercriminals and scam artists to steal your personal information. When an identity is stolen, it helps to facilitate organized crime and terrorist activities, and sadly, it appears to be a growing trend. According to the Government of Canada, in 2016 alone, online scams accounted for more than 20,000 complaints and more than $40 million in losses by Canadians.
You can rest easy knowing that SolidTrust Pay is committed to protecting your information, and we take data privacy and security seriously. SolidTrust Pay has compiled an informative article that outlines how you can protect yourself in the ever-growing world of cybercrime. You are more powerful than you think!

 

What exactly are cybercriminals looking for? According to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), identity thieves tend to want your:

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Social Insurance [government identification] numbers
  • Full address
  • Mother’s maiden name
  • Username and password for online services
  • Diver’s license number
  • Personal identification numbers (PIN)
  • Credit card information (numbers, expiry dates and the last three digits printed on the signature panel)
  • Bank account numbers
  • Signature
  • Passport number

What could a cybercriminal possibly do with your mother’s maiden name or an outdated passport that is lying in your car? More than you think! Thieves could:

  • Access your bank accounts
  • Open new bank accounts
  • Transfer bank balances
  • Apply for loans, credit cards and other goods and services
  • Make purchases
  • Hide their criminal activities
  • Obtain passports or receive government benefits

 

There are many ways scam artists will try to get your information. According to the RCMP, these are some of the growing trends they have found:

Fake Online Endorsements and Sponsored Content – The reviews and comments you see on social media and purchasing sites may not be real. The review comments are misleading and not the truth.
Astroturfing – No, not golf green. This term is similar to the above definition. It means the practice of creating content that masquerades as the authentic experiences and opinions of impartial consumers, such as fake consumer reviews and testimonials. This is often part of organized efforts by companies to boost their own ratings or to lower the ratings of their competitors.
Binary Options Scam – All or nothing “bets” are invested based on how an asset will perform within a certain timeframe. The asset could be a stock, a currency or a commodity. Websites are designed to attract users to trade binary options, by offering high rates of return and by claiming to be risk-free.
Subscription Traps – Subscription traps, sometimes also referred to as Continuity Scams, can take various forms. They can appear as an advertisement featured on your favorite social media site, a referral from a friend (on Facebook, for example), a fake “survey” that pops up on your computer while you’re online on another website, or from a telemarketer.
Spoofed websites – A spoofed website is a site that uses deceptive means to mislead consumers into thinking that it represents a specific business, financial institution, government or charity. These websites generally imitate the real websites to sell products or services that may or may not be authentic or to obtain sensitive financial or personal information from users.
Ransomware – Ransomware is a type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer until a sum of money is paid. A computer can be infected by ransomware in a number of ways, but most commonly, victims click on a malicious link or attachment received through a phishing email.
Business Executive Scam – Sometimes referred to as the Business Email Compromise scam, this fraud starts when a potential victim receives an email that appears to come from an executive in their company who has the authority to request wire transfers. In some cases, the fraudsters create email addresses that mimic those of the CEO or CFO. In other cases, the fraudsters have compromised and subsequently used the email account belonging to the CEO or CFO. Losses to this scam typically range from tens of thousands of dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Employment Scam – Scammers use online classified websites like Kijiji, Craigslist, Monster, Indeed, and Workopolis to recruit potential victims. The most common scams include Mystery Shopper and HR/Administrative jobs.

 

It may seem like a lot to take in, but you can do things to prevent your information from being stolen, such as:

  • Monitor your credit score by contacting your credit bureau.
  • Do not carry excessive amounts of documents on you or in your car. Only carry what is necessary.
  • Shred/destroy all documents when you are finished with them. This is a classic way to gain information about you!
  • Read user agreements carefully on any website that requires your personal details.
  • If you are getting unsolicited emails asking for information, check the email address. Does it look legitimate? Have you heard of the person/business/company before? Be skeptical. Do your research about the email if you’re not sure!
  • If you change your address, let your postal service know that you have done so, that way old mail can be forwarded to your new address.
  • Be skeptical. If something seems like it’s too good to be true, or the little voice in your head is saying “hmmm, this doesn’t look/feel right”, don’t ignore it! Your intuition could save you thousands of dollars and a lot of headaches.

 

Knowing about the issue is only part of the solution to protecting yourself. Despite your best efforts and diligent eye, what can you do if you think your information has been stolen?

  • Report the incident right away to your local authorities.
  • Let your bank and credit card company know that your information has been stolen. These places are helpful when it comes to identity theft, and they take it seriously.
  • Contact your credit bureau and let them know that someone has stolen your identity.
  • If applicable, contact your local anti-fraud center.

If you think your account has been accessed by someone other than yourself, please contact SolidTrust Pay right away. Our help center can be found here.


SolidTrust Pay Partners with PayKii for Cross-Border Bill Payments

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Today, we are announcing that we have signed an agreement with PayKii Inc. (PayKii) to bring cross-border bill payment solutions to the SolidTrust Pay platform.  

PayKii is the leading provider for Latin American bill payment coverage, connecting remittance providers with billers around the world, and enabling individuals living abroad to conveniently pay bills for their family back home.

Earlier this year, we endorsed IFAD’s International Day of Family Remittances (IDFR) on June 16 with a day of free member-to-member transfers. We also signed IFAD’s IDFR pledge to work together to enhance innovative financial technology, provide greater efficiency, and lower costs for a more accessible financial sector for all.

With this announcement, SolidTrust Pay is solidifying its commitment to that pledge. Our CEO Stella Hiemstra has plans to continue implementing resources and solutions to improve the ease and accessibility of international remittances.

When asked about the partnership with SolidTrust Pay, CEO of PayKii, Fabian Saide remarked: “it gives us immense pleasure to announce this collaboration with Canada’s industry leader bringing new cross-border bill payment services.” He went on to state that PayKii “will continue to expand its international footprint by opening up additional markets in 2017 in support of SolidTrust Pay’s users.”

According to PayKii and Juniper Research, bill payment accounts for up to 20% of remittance beneficiary’s expenses with billions of transactions globally.

Through PayKii cross-border bill payment integration, we hope to make regular and remittance bill payments easier and more accessible. Users of SolidTrust Pay will be able to pay electricity, telephone, internet, cable, water, and gas bills directly from their SolidTrust Pay e-wallet, eliminating the risk and cost associated with regular money transfers.

SolidTrust Pay expects to have PayKii bill payment solutions fully integrated on their platform by October 15, 2017.


GOBBLE GOBBLE – October 9 is Canadian Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving is around the corner for Canadians, SolidTrust Pay’s live chat services will not be available on Monday, October 9th. Ticket replies will also be delayed until Tuesday, October 10th.

SolidTrust Pay is celebrating by spending time with our friends and family as well as providing you with 5 fun facts about this holiday:

– Canadians purchased three million whole turkeys for Thanksgiving in 2011, according to the Turkey Farmers of Canada – about 32% of all whole turkeys sold during the year.

– Thanksgiving was first celebrated in Canada when English explorer Martin Frobisher held a feast in what is now Newfoundland to mark his safe arrival to the New World in 1578. The first national celebration in Canada wasn’t until 1859.

– While it is widely believed eating turkey makes you sleepy, many experts believe it is actually the carbohydrates that are part of the Thanksgiving meal that causes you to feel tired.

– Turkeys, native to the Americas, are very old – 11 million years old, according to paleontologists.

– Canada produces approximately 5,000 metric tons of cranberries annually, mainly from Quebec, Nova Scotia, Ontario and British Columbia. Bala, Ont. claims to be the Cranberry Capital of Canada and holds a Cranberry Festival on the weekend after Thanksgiving.
On behalf of the staff at SolidTrust Pay, we would like to wish all of our clients, in Canada and abroad, a happy and safe Thanksgiving with loved ones and friends!