Meeting Your Needs in Challenging Times

CovidIn light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we would like to take the time to reach out to our valued members and merchants. The team at SolidTrust Pay is closely monitoring the situation. Please be assured that our operations are not impacted by the recent events and all services remain active. We will continue to update you as the situation evolves.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact our Customer Support department via LiveChat or Ticket. In an effort to safeguard the health of our employees, all SolidTrust Pay staff will be working remotely. For this reason, phone support will not be available.

We sincerely thank you for your business and continued support.

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Women & Money: Be Strong, Be Smart & Be Secure

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In celebration of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, we’re examining the challenges that women face on their path to financial security. Earlier this year, CIBC, one of Canada’s largest financial services provider, released a survey that sought to uncover existing gaps between women’s money concerns and life goals. Its findings reveal that the majority of its 3,200 respondents lack knowledge of financial planning, a shortcoming that is negatively affecting how women manage their personal finances.

Despite the majority of respondents agreeing with the statement that financial security is a strong contributor to their happiness, the survey revealed financial mistakes that we are all guilty of making.  Failing to save earlier in life and not investing when they were younger, were singled out as women’s greatest financial regrets. When asked what personal wealth advice they would offer their younger selves, 56 percent of respondents said “start saving earlier,” 50 percent said “start investing as soon as possible,” and 44 percent said “start planning for retirement earlier.”

The importance of planning for retirement through proactive savings and investment plans in well known, but many women continue to severely underfund their long-term financial security. The majority of respondents expressed confusion about how best to make their money work for them. Among the women polled, only 10 percent felt knowledgeable about investing, and just 15 percent felt confident about their retirement planning. Additionally, nearly half of women polled who own investments prioritize capital preservation and predictable returns. As retirement planning is a primary concern for many women, increasing knowledge about investment strategies and how to maximize long-term returns, are fundamental to financial wellbeing later in life.

The survey also revealed an added burden women face: making financial sacrifices for the sake of others. Seventy percent of respondents have made significant financial sacrifices, including reducing working hours and putting their careers on hold to care of loved ones, which can put them at a considerable disadvantage to men when it comes to saving for retirement. In fact, almost 30 percent of females polled said that they have reduced or stopped saving as a direct consequence of childcare or eldercare responsibilities.

Of course, the survey’s findings aren’t all dispiriting. Women are increasingly taking control of their household’s finances. Nearly 55 percent of respondents said they are primarily responsible for household budgeting, while 41 percent take charge of long-term savings goals and 39 percent decide how their household’s money gets invested.

Taking charge of your finances is more than a matter of strength, it’s a matter of necessity. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, women continue to earn 81 percent of what men earn. On top of that, women statistically live longer than men and often face discrimination in terms of career advancement opportunities. This means women have to work harder and save more money than men.

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4 Tips to Help You Achieve Your Financial Goals

So how can you take control of your finances and build a secure future for yourself and your loved ones? Follow these 4 tips of course!

Make Saving for Retirement a Top Priority – You can take charge of your financial future by taking full advantage of a company retirement plan. At a minimum, contribute up to what your employer will match. Ideally, you’ll want to set aside at least 10 percent of your annual income for retirement savings in your twenties and slowly increase that figure to 30 percent by the time you’re 40. The younger you begin saving for retirement, the better, but it’s never too late to start.

Invest as Much as You Save – No one likes risk, but many women are playing it too safe with their investments, potentially missing out on long-term gains that can help you better achieve your goals. For a goal like retirement with a long time horizon, you will ideally want a diversified portfolio that has strong potential for growth.

Work with a Trusted Financial Advisor – No one has time to learn the ins and outs of financial management. That’s why working with a qualified support team can be a great confidence booster as they walk you through the entire process of getting your personal finances aligned with your long-term goals. When looking for a financial advisor, make sure they’re a fiduciary, these advisors are legally required to always act in their clients’ best interests.

Create a Comprehensive Financial Plan – Many financial plans focus exclusively on investment portfolios, maximizing returns to help ensure that you achieve a competitive return on investment. But what you really should create is a comprehensive financial plan which goes far beyond saving and investing and helps you look holistically at the interrelated parts of your financial situation. A comprehensive plan reviews your income, expenses, investments, retirement planning, insurance needs, income taxes, and estate planning needs, and assesses how they all fit together within the context of your long-term goals.

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Have You Considered Donating Your SolidTrust Pay Account Balance?

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With your support, we can continue our commitment to helping those in need. Year after year, you – our valued members – have helped us dedicate a generous portion of our operating budget to charitable giving. SolidTrust Pay was founded on a commitment to giving back and we strongly advocate for corporate social responsibility. For this reason, we currently support the following international charities:

World Vision is a global relief, development and advocacy organization that partners with children, families and their communities to ensure that vulnerable children reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. To learn more, go to WorldVision.org

Operation Smile gives children the smile they deserve with life-changing surgery for cleft lip and cleft palate. Through their expertise, they create solutions that deliver safe surgery to children where it’s needed most. For more information, visit OperationSmile.org

UNICEF works in over 190 countries and territories to save children’s lives, to defend their rights, and to help them fulfil their potential, from early childhood through adolescence. Go to UNICEF.org to learn more.

The World Wildlife Fund is the world’s leading conservation organization and currently works in more than 100 countries. Its mission is to conserve nature and reduce the most pressing threats to the diversity of life on Earth. Visit WorldWildlife.org for more information.

You can help us continue to support the work of these great organizations by donating your SolidTrust Pay e-wallet balance to one of four charities. Ideal for account balances under $5, your donation will be combined with support from other members and help bring positive change to those less fortunate. Please be advised that we cannot issue charitable donation tax receipts for your contribution.

Thanks to your support, SolidTrust Pay’s success has reached far beyond our community of over one million members, and we hope that your generous support will help us positively impact the lives of those in need this year.

If you would like to donate your remaining e-wallet balance to one of the four aforementioned charities, please log in to your secure SolidTrust Pay account and go to My Money > Transfer to Others. In the “Send to SolidTrust Pay Username” field, enter STP_Relief_Funds and select your currency and the amount you wish to transfer. You may specify the charity you would like your donation to go to under the “Note to Receiver” field.

On behalf of our charity partners, we sincerely thank you for your donations.

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10 Things You Can Do To Avoid Fraud

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Whether by phone, email or at your front door, fraudsters will seize any opportunity to get your money or personal information. The Financial Cost of Fraud Report, developed by advisory and risk firm, Crowe, in conjunction with the Centre for Counter Fraud Studies at the University of Portsmouth, revealed that fraud costs the global economy over US$5 trillion. To put this figure into perspective, loses from global fraud represent nearly 70 percent of the US$7.4 trillion the world spends on healthcare. This is a staggering sum of money.

As the costs of global fraud continue to rise year over year, individuals are finding themselves increasingly targeted by scammers. Fortunately, there are simple steps you can take to protect yourself from falling victim to fraud. This handy guide will introduce you to common scams used by criminals and provide 10 tips to help ensure that your identity and financial information remains secure. By being informed about the multitude of ways thieves use to steal personal information, you can better protect yourself from becoming a victim.

Romance Scams

In this scam, fraudsters target the victims via online dating sites. They click, wink, or message a potential love interest and within days tell the victim they’ve fallen in love with them. The fraudster often poses as someone much younger who lives overseas, which conveniently makes it difficult to meet each other in person. Once the fraudster gains the victim’s trust and love, they will begin asking for large sums of money to help with a variety of financial emergencies, ranging from family healthcare expenses to job loss.

Inheritance Scams

The fraudster, often posing as a young, attractive woman will say she is living overseas and has received an inheritance from a recently deceased family member in another country. The catch is she needs money to acquire it. The fraudster will request a large sum of money from the victim to pay for a never-ending list of expenses, which may include legal fees, travel expenses and inheritance taxes.

Taxation and Immigration Scams

In these scams, fraudsters impersonate a government official or immigration officer if they discover an individual is new to the country. They tell the person that they owe a large sum of tax or an immigration fee to the government and if they don’t pay within 24 hours they’ll be arrested or worse, deported.

Lottery Scams

In the Lottery Scam, fraudsters mail what looks like a certificate showing that the recipient has won an overseas lottery. The letter comes with a fake letter from a law firm saying that the recipient must respond within 24 hours to claim their prize. When an intended victim contacts the firm, they are asked to pay a small handling fee to receive their winnings. The fraudsters will then proceed to collect the victim’s personal information, including address, phone number, credit card number and bank account details.

Phishing Scams

More than one-third of all security incidents start with phishing emails or malicious attachments sent to unsuspecting recipients. These scams are based on communication made via email or on social networks. In many cases, criminals will send users messages or emails by trying to trick them into providing valuable personal data. Login credentials from bank accounts, social networks, work accounts, and popular e-commerce sites are all desirable targets. After you click on a malicious link, you will be redirected to a fake login access page that resembles a real website. If you’re not paying attention, you might unknowingly end up giving your login credentials and other personal information.

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Red Flags for Scams

These methods of accessing money are common in many scams. Never use these methods to pay anyone you don’t personally know.

Personal Bank Transfers – A fraudster will ask the victim to e-transfer money from their bank account to the fraudster’s personal account. In certain scams, the victim may be conned into giving their banking information and password which allows the fraudster to empty out their account.

Pre-paid Credit Cards – Criminals will get the victim to buy a prepaid MasterCard or Visa card from a grocery store or convenience store. The fraudster will then get the account number from the victim and exploits those cards.

Western Union and MoneyGram – A scammer will ask the victim to arrange a bank transfer through these companies either online or in-person with an agent. The fraudster claims the money at a Western Union or MoneyGram location with the money transfer number and identification.

Cryptocurrency – If you receive a cryptocurrency transfer request, assume it is a scam. Cryptocurrency payments are quickly becoming the favoured medium of exchange for online criminals.

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10 Tips to Protect Yourself from Fraud

1. Don’t believe in love at first click. When someone writes or says they are in love with you online within days, it’s suspicious – no matter how great you are.

2. Don’t trust caller ID. Fraudsters use technology to fool people. They can ‘spoof’ numbers to make calls show up as official agencies on your call display.

3. Don’t wire transfer money using Western Union or MoneyGram to someone you’ve never met in person. Fraudsters often use this method to collect money because it’s untraceable oversees.

4. If someone says you cannot call them back, then they are not a government official.

5. Don’t believe government threats of arrest, violence and deportation. A government official would never make these threats.

6. Never click on links listed in an email message, unless it is from a known sender, and do not open any attachments contained in a suspicious email.

7. If you hover over the URL link in a communication and it’s an extremely long and complex, chances are it’s the work of a fraudster.

8. Keep track of contests, draws, or lotteries that you enter. Also, test the caller; ask them to tell you the specific location where you entered.

9. Do not enter personal information in a pop-up screen. Legitimate companies, agencies, and organizations don’t ask for personal information via pop-ups.

10. Never send money or give personal banking details to anybody you don’t know and trust, even if they’re very nice and helpful.

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