Sending money to your family back home can be a challenge. If your loved one doesn’t have a bank account, the process is often slow and inconvenient, and sending regular money transfers can take a toll on your financial bottom line. You, our valued members, asked for an easier way to look after your loved ones and we listened.
Last year, we launched Bill Pay Your Way, our exclusive cross-border bill payment solution. Available to all SolidTrust Pay members, Bill Pay Your Way provides you with access to more than 600 billing companies in 15 countries with no transaction fees. Payments are easily made from your secure online STPay e-wallet and are confirmed with the billing company within 48 hours. Simply input the billing account number and the balance owing will be automatically provided to you.
In addition to being able to pay major utility providers for electricity, water, gas, cable/satellite, landline, mobile and internet services, insurance providers, educational institutions, government departments and transportation companies can also be paid using Bill Pay Your Way.
5 Benefits of Using Bill Pay Your Way
1) In developing markets, over 80 percent of people pay their bills in person. This results in lost productivity and incremental costs as individuals attempt to pay their bills on time. Bill Pay Your Way eliminates this problem. You take care of all payments and can pay your loved one’s bills anytime and on any device you use.
2) Bill Pay Your Way is ideal for landlords who require a convenient way to ensure that their tenant’s utilities are paid on time. Not only does this avoid unnecessary service disruptions, but it also saves you money as you no longer require the services of property management companies to handle these payments.
3) Financial mismanagement is a perennial problem. Senders often have no idea how their money is being used and routinely face pressure to send even more resources. Bill Pay Your Way solves this problem and allows you to exercise full control over where your money is being spent.
4) At its heart, Bill Pay Your Way is an empowering financial management tool. You obtain visibility into major family expenses and can help direct your family’s expenditures. Better financial management has been proven to help families avoid falling back into the poverty trap.
5) We discovered that balance inquiry transactions often return past due responses which means that many families are struggling to stay current with their bill payments. Bill Pay Your Way eliminates this concern and provides you with peace of mind knowing that timely bill payments are made. This ensures that your loved ones are never without the vital services that they depend on.
To make your first cross-border bill payment today, log in to your secure SolidTrust Pay eWallet and go to My Money > Pay Your Bills and click on the Bill Icon at the bottom of the page.
In 2018, more than 371 million Interac electronic funds transfers were sent in Canada worth a total of $132 billion. Even if you don’t live in the Great White North, you’re likely familiar with Interac’s services. They enable you to send money to friends, family members and associates directly from your bank account. With a few clicks of your mouse and your recipient’s email address, funds can conveniently be awaiting collection right in their inbox. All that is required is a password created by you to accept the transfer. It may come as a surprise that despite being password protected, these transfers can become easily compromised.
According to cybersecurity expert Claudiu Popa, transferring money by email is much more risky than most people realize. Financial institutions have sacrificed security in an effort to get a high number of people to use their services. This has resulted in skyrocketing rates of misappropriated electronic funds transfers. If your email account becomes compromised in a data breach, fraudsters can gain access to your information and use your messaging service’s server to intercept your transferred funds and deposit them into their own private bank accounts.
Worse still, financial institutions and Interac will do little to help you retrieve your lost funds, citing often difficult to find agreements that stipulate the conditions of using their services. If the bank deems your password and security question to be easily guessed or obtained by others, any loses you incur through theft will not be reimbursed. Instead, it becomes your responsibility to protect your email and passwords so as to not fall victim to cybercrime.
We Will Never Compromise Your Security
At SolidTrust Pay, your security is our top priority. Our corporate grade anti-virus and firewall protection is continuously monitored by our network of global security personnel. We are PCI compliant and use 256-bit SSL certificates to keep your personal information safe and secure. Despite the strength of our security infrastructure, if your account does become compromised, our recovery services ensure that you will be compensated for the full amount lost regardless of the strength of your passwords.
Unlike other e-wallet providers and payment processors, we have instituted a dual password system to better safeguard your personal and financial information. We require that all passwords be updated every 3 months and they must adhere to strict parameters. When creating a password, it must possess an uppercase and lowercase letter, a number, a symbol and be at least 6 characters in length. These requirements are the same for secondary passwords.
All SolidTrust Pay transactions require a secondary password, a TrustCard code or a Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) text message as an added security measure. Your secondary password cannot be reset or retrieved via email. This is to prevent an unauthorized person from resetting both the primary and secondary passwords linked to your account.
By requiring a secondary password for all payments and transfers sent from your e-wallet, we adopted Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) security protocols before they became best practice. We are continually striving to remain one step ahead of cybercriminals and cyberthreats, a mandate that guides our Corporate Philosophy.
When you choose SolidTrust Pay for your payment processing needs, you’re getting far more than a convenient and secure e-wallet – you’ll enjoy complete peace of mind knowing that your personal and financial information is securely stored, encrypted and only accessible by you.
In a previous post, we explored how artificial intelligence is transforming the financial industry, making investing accessible to anyone, no matter their financial literacy or expertise. One such breakthrough is the use of robo-advisors in the management of investment assets. Despite their name, robo-advisors do not provide in-depth financial advice tailored to your specific needs or life stages. Instead, they are online financial service providers that utilize specialized software and proprietary algorithms to make investment decisions on your behalf. By 2025, it is predicted that robo-advisors will have over $16 trillion worth of assets under their management. A staggering sum when you consider that the first robo-advisor was launched just over 10 years ago in 2008. Well known robo-advisor platforms include Betterment, Wealthfront and Wealthsimple.
Last week, we outlined 5 reasons why a robo-advisor might be the ideal tool to help you achieve your long-term financial goals. We are now going to explore the shortcomings of using a robo-advisor and offer insight into whether you should consider signing up with one. Robo-advisors are not the ideal financial tool for all investors, and depending on your goals, unique situation and level of financial expertise, a traditional wealth manager may be exactly what you need.
4 Disadvantages of Using a Robo-Advisor
1) Lack of Financial Personalization and Guidance
Robo-advisors are often marketed as being able to fulfill all the duties of a traditional financial planner. This is simply not true. Like a financial planner, robo-advisors can effectively create and manage your investment portfolio, but unlike a good planner, they cannot get to know you on a personal level and help you implement an investment strategy that makes use of all the financial tools and opportunities available to you to reach your specific long-term goals. Investment managers exist to educate and guide you to where you want to be with your money. It’s an ongoing process and having someone guide you and help keep you on track can make all the difference. Unlike their human counterparts, robo-advisors simply cannot do this.
2) Inability to Help You Meet Short Term Financial Obligations
Robo-advisors primarily focus on long-term investments and growing retirement nest eggs. If your financial goals include getting out of debt and building an emergency fund, their services often fall short. For this reason, robo-advisors are not a one-size fits all financial tool, and getting a handle on your overall financial situation is something robo-advisors cannot help you do. We all know that long-term financial planning is important, but if you’re not in a stable financial position today, your chances of sticking to your long-term goals dramatically decline. In these situations, a traditional wealth manager can offer you helpful advice for meeting your short-term needs.
3) They Falsely Claim that They’re the Least Expensive Investment Option
Compared to the financial services industry as a whole, robo-advisors do possess lower fee schedules and lower minimum investment balance requirements. Yet, there are financial advisors who charge approximately 1% of assets under management for their services. This fee is comparable to many robo-advisors. Similarly, if you lack a healthy sum of money to invest, there are wealth management alternatives for those just starting out. The XY Planning Network is a fee-only financial planning community of advisors with an affordable monthly fee structure. They cater to young and new investors who are just starting out and charge a flat fee which puts a cap on their charges.
4) Your Choices Are Limited
There exists a plethora of asset classes to invest in. If you’re seeking to create a diversified portfolio that includes investment choices outside exchange-traded funds and stocks, you will likely not be satisfied with the limited options provided by most robo-advisors. If you want to play an active role in selecting the type of assets you invest in, a traditional investment manager will work with you to create a diversified portfolio that reflects your choices.
Should You Choose to Invest With a Robo-Advisor?
Like any investment tool, robo-advisors provide benefits to investors with specific needs. If you’re young, have more than 20 years until retirement, wish to build a simple portfolio and lack investment experience or are simply unsure where to begin, a robo-advisor is an excellent option for you. On the other hand, if you have short term financial obligations to meet, you’re closer to retirement and fear that your investment strategy is falling short, you want a face-to-face relationship with your financial advisor and you enjoy having a say about the assets in your investment portfolio, a traditional financial planner or investment manager will better serve your needs.
If you’re still unsure whether you should use a robo-advisor, financial experts advise to err on the side of caution and opt for a human advisor. In times of economic uncertainly robo-advisors will do little to soothe your nerves and talk you out of making rash decisions. Robo-advisors also do not know about your particular needs. If you have a special needs family member that requires long term care or are one mistake away from losing your job, a human advisor can better adjust your financial plan around these circumstances. Of course, there is nothing wrong with using a robo-advisor to manage your money until you find the right financial advisor for your unique needs.
Would you use a robo-advisor to manage your investment portfolio? Let us know in the comments section below. If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to our Blog and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for news, updates and more helpful content!
In celebration of Victoria Day and the official start of cottage season in Canada, our office will be closed Monday, May 20th. Our Customer Support and Verification departments will be unavailable on this date. If you require assistance, you may leave a support ticket for us at any time by clicking HERE, but please be advised that it will take us a little longer to respond to your inquiry. Please also allow additional processing time for deposits, withdrawals and e-currency exchanges.