Archive for the ‘Help and Advice’ Category

The History of Swiss Currency

Posted on: January 19th, 2023 by Ian Stormnet

The History of Swiss Currency

The Swiss franc is the official currency of Switzerland and Liechtenstein and plays an important role in both countries’ economy. Here’s a brief look into the history of Swiss currency and how it has evolved over time.

Pre-Swiss Franc Period

Prior to the introduction of the Swiss franc, various currencies were used throughout what is now modern-day Switzerland. In Old Swiss Confederacy (15th century), small coins known as “batzen” or “hellers” were used (although these have since been replaced by other currencies). Even before that, from 8th century onwards, there was gold coinage which was struck in Lucerne; it wasn’t until the late 19th century that this ended and many parts reverted back to using goods as payment such as wheat or cattle.

Introduction of the Swiss Franc

The Swiss franc was first introduced in 1850, replacing all previous forms of payment and becoming the sole legal tender nationwide. It was initially pegged at 4⅓ French francs but this changed after World War I when Switzerland adopted its own exchange rate policy with respect to other major European nations. By 1945, it had become fully convertible against all foreign currencies whilst simultaneously receiving backing from gold reserves held at Basel’s central bank; this ensured stability for many years until 1975 when free convertibility between different currencies was abolished altogether by government decree (which still stands today).

Current State & Use

Today, the Swiss franc remains one of the world’s most stable currencies – largely due to low inflation rates. It is also often seen as a safe haven asset during times of political or economic uncertainty since its value rarely fluctuates significantly against major currency pairs like USD/CHF or EUR/CHF. Furthermore, due to Switzerland’s neutral geopolitical stance, it has not been subject to any major devaluations thus making it an attractive option for investors looking for a reliable store of value over long periods time. It is also very common in international transactions where companies may need some protection from volatile exchange rates fluctuations or when businesses are looking for a more secure way to transfer money abroad without having to use riskier investment vehicles such as stocks or bonds.

That concludes our brief look into the history of Swiss currency! As evidenced above, its long-standing stability makes it a popular choice among investors, businesses and other individuals looking for reliable store value with minimal risk attached – especially considering its strong performance even during times of global unrest!

Exchange Your Old Foreign Notes Today

Posted on: July 11th, 2017 by Ian Stormnet

Out of circulation? No problem! We can help you exchange them before it’s to late.

As the excitement for the next £5 note and £1 coin calms down, we look at when they are discontinued and what you can do to keep those penny’s safe so you can still get your money’s worth. As well as this, we will let you know what exactly is old but still exchangeable for now, so you still have time to get your soon to be expired coins and notes into us.

UK £5 Notes

As you’re probably aware, the change-over in fiver’s from paper to plastic saw the UK going into meltdown… Literally. The so-called indestructible plastic note that saw people trying to tear, melt and even use them to play through a vinyl player! However, you may not be aware that the old beloved fiver note has now been discontinued. Do not fear, we are still happy to exchange these for you!

Cypriot Pounds

Now, you may be less familiar with the news that the Cypriot pounds will no longer be accepted after 31st December 2017. If you have holidayed abroad to the beautiful country of Cyrpus in the last 9 years, you may be aware that the Cypriot Pound was swapped for the Euro in 2008. Now, if you happen to find a few of these lying around in old suitcase, under the sofa or in the ‘junk’ drawer then please don’t forget to contact us before December 31st!


Spanish Pesetas

Whilst this one is a little less urgent, it is still crucial you get your left over Spanish Pesetas before December 31st 2020 (that gives you 2 and a half years of rummaging!) The Spanish Peseta has changed considerably over the years with a changeover in the 1980’s from old chunky notes, to notes that were designed around a modern era and had features such as the security thread and florescent fibres, as well as the large engraved images of history figureheads. However, these were changed again in the early 90’s, introducing American figureheads on to their currency as well as Spanish, to celebrate the fifth centenary anniversary of the discovery of ‘modern’ American. These notes included even more security features, including that of the advanced lithographic ink. This ink helps to detect fraud when an ultraviolet light is placed over them. They even had a feature added that helped people with impaired vision to distinguish the notes through embossed marks. These advanced notes then paved way for the new Euro notes that were introduced into Spain in 2002.


Using this as a gentle reminder, get searching and collecting those unused, unwanted coins and notes and send them over to us whilst you still have time! If you have any queries, feel free to get in touch with us at Cash4Coins so we can help you get the most out of your exchange.

Comic Relief Fundraising Ideas

Posted on: May 6th, 2017 by Ian Stormnet

Discover Ways to Fundraise for Comic Relief with tips from foreign cash converters Cash4Coins

Comic Relief may have been and gone, but that doesn’t mean that you have to stop raising money for the good work that they do. Not only this, but if you are worried that you missed out on doing your bit, then you can also plan in all those amazing fundraising ideas for next Comic Relief.

Bake, bake, bake

Everyone loves a bit of cake, so if you are a dab hand with a whisk and some flour, why not put those talents to good use and whip up a storm in the kitchen? You can take them to work, to school or wherever, all with the aim to making a bit of a profit that can go to charity.

Give up something you love

This is a fundraising idea that is becoming more and more popular. Giving up something that you love is hard work, and you can ask from donations from friends and family to support you in your abstinence.

It could be from chocolate, crisps, wine or cheese. Whatever you pick, make sure that it is something worthwhile and that people will support you in.

Have a quiz or games night

Do you love playing board games? Think that you are a dab hand at quizzes? Why not use these as an excuse to raise some money for charity? Set an evening of fun up with your friends and charge an entrance fee. You can offer prizes for the winners, and also make sure that you have a penalty pot set up for anyone who doesn’t play by the rules!

Organise a lunchtime disco

Sometimes a working day can drag on a bit. What about seeing if a lunchtime boogie can help to break it up? All you need is a spare meeting room or office, some tunes and maybe a disco ball or two, and you have yourself your very own office based rave. You can charge an entrance fee for everyone to come and party with you, and make sure that you have plenty of fizzy pop (non-alcoholic of course) for when they have worked up a thirst.

Have a swear jar

This is a great idea if you want to take your time in fundraising, perhaps ready to donate for the next Comic Relief. Everytime you utter a curse word, put some change in the pot. You can set an amount, or simply make it whatever you have to hand. Not only will you soon be putting money away for charity, but you will find yourself watching your language too. Just make sure you have enough space in case you stub your toe!

Charity doesn’t only have to be during these big TV drives, you can donate to causes up and down the UK or worldwide whenever you want to, and make sure that you do your bit for helping good causes around the world.


Children in Need Fundraising Ideas

Posted on: May 6th, 2017 by Ian Stormnet

For one night in November, every year, the BBC becomes a place dedicated to charity. Helping children across the globe, Children in Need has become one of the best supported charities out there.

It draws in big name celebrities and is a whole lot of fun for those that watch it.

However, Children in Need, just like many of other charities, simply wouldn’t be able to function without donations. Which means that each and every year, people around the UK come up with great ways to raise money and help those who need it.

Want to get yourself nice and organised for the 2017 Children in Need? Why not check out some of the great ways you can raise money when the time comes?

Face your fears

Is there something that you are really terrified of? A great way to raise money is to face those fears. Get people to sponsor you to hold a spider, do a bungee jump or anything that is going to make you squirm. It is a sure fire way to get some support!

Go without tech

Are you the type of person who always has their phone in their hands? Bit of TV nut? Why not pledge to give up tech for a week during the Children in Need week? Not only is it a great fundraising tool, but it might actually teach you that you don’t need your beloved gadget in the first place!

Do something big

Want to really make an impact for charity? If you do, then perhaps it is time to try out something huge. Jump out of a plane, climb a mountain or run a marathon. These big pledges are a great way to bring money in and also give you the drive to try something that you wouldn’t otherwise!

Sell something

Do you have a hobby, talent or skill? Why not use this to raise money? You can bake cakes, paint pictures, even knit a blanket. Whatever you do, sell it for cash and you can soon see the money come in for charity.

Wear your PJs for a day

Just because it is a popular one, doesn’t mean it isn’t great. Don a onesie, or your favourite PJs for the day and raise some money. Or better yet, get your whole office, school or family to do the same. Not only will you raise money, but you will be super comfy for the day too!

The money that is raised during Children in Need really does make a difference to the lives of children around the world. There really is no better reason to get out there and try to raise some for yourself. Whether it is a few hundred pound or just 5, it is still going to make a difference and make up the grand total!



Fundraise for Charities That Need Your Help

Posted on: May 6th, 2017 by Ian Stormnet

Let Cash4Coins help you exchange foreign currencies to fundraise for charities that need your help

Every charity is worthwhile, and every fundraising project has an important reason behind it. But it seems that throughout the UK, there are some charities that really need your help and support.

If you are looking for a new charity to donate to, we have some of those that are looking for a helping hand from donators up and down the UK.

Battersea Cats and Dogs Home

Here in the UK we are known for our love of animals, and in particular our pets. That said, charities just like Battersea Cats and Dogs Home see abandoned and mistreated pets on a number of occasions. Their aim is not only to never turn down a cat or dog that needs a new home. But also, to make sure that those cats and dogs find their way to a loving forever home.

The Lullaby Trust

No parent should ever go through the horror and pain of losing a child. However for around 600 families every year, that lose a baby suddenly, the pain is very real. The Lullaby Trust was set up to offer specialist support to those families, helping them through the difficult times as well as creating safety advice relating to sleeping babies.

They also conduct research into SIDS to find out what can be done to try and reduce the risk of it happening.

Dementia UK

More and more people throughout the UK are being touched by some form of Dementia. This particular charity is one of many that looks at ways to help and support those whose lives are affected by Dementia. It supports Admiral Nurses who will work with families who are coping with Dementia, and offer their specialist support and guidance through what can often be an uncertain and upsetting time.


Whilst Shelter may be a charity that many people recognise, it is one that still needs donations. The issue of homelessness or bad homing is one that isn’t going away, and Shelter help millions of people each and every year. They not only provide support, but they also offer advice to those that are faced with homelessness, as well working hard to combat it on a wider level and try to eradicate the issue in the long term too.


The Royal National Lifeboat Institution has been helping people who get into difficulty in the waters around the UK since 1824. The help that they offer is vital and saves lives up and down the country, however it relies mostly on volunteers, as well as donations from people to keep it running.

These are just some of the charities that you can decide to help by making a donation. The best way to ensure that your money is going to help something that you care about, is to take a look through some of the different charities, throughout the UK, the world or perhaps just in your local area, and make a pledge to support them to carry on doing all the great work that they already do.


How to Set Up a Crowd Funding Page

Posted on: April 2nd, 2017 by Ian Stormnet

Learn how to set up a fundraising page and raise money with foreign currencies with Cash4Coins

Over recent years the world of charity has changed. Or should we say, the way that money is raised for charity has changed.

One way that charity has moved forward is with the introduction of crowdfunding. Crowdfunding is used to raise money for a specific project, drive or simply for a particular aspect of a charity.

The crowdfund is usually time specific and has a huge dependence on the world of social media, a place that offers the perfect conditions to raise awareness, as well as raising money.

Need to find a way to raise money for a particular project? Perhaps the power of the community could help to build a memorial or a dedication? Or maybe assist in a charity drive?

If that is true, why not try out crowdfunding and see if it is the ideal way to raise the money that you need?

Here is our guide to setting up your own crowdfunding page.

Pick what you want to raise money for

Before you even start a crowdfunding page, you will need have a specific aim in mind. It should also have a clear outcome that you can present to your potential funders. You will also need to decide on the time frame that you want to raise money in.

Work out your budget and set your funding target

One of the main parts of any crowd funding project is how much you need to raise, and where it is going to go. You to do this by working out the budget of what you want to achieve from the money. You will also need to think about any commission that you need to pay to the crowdfunding site, and budget for any rewards that you need to hand out.

Get your pitch ready

You won’t be able to raise money if you don’t create a great pitch. The best way to do this is to create a short video, explaining more about your project, what you need the money for as well as the difference that you will hope to make.

The idea behind a pitch is that it not only makes everything clear, but it also grabs attention too!

Find a platform that you can promote on

There are a real variety of different crowd funding platforms that you can raise money through. You just need to find the right one for you. You will need to decide whether you want to offer a reward for the donations that people send through, or simply bring in the donations and allow people to help you to get to where you need to be.

Start it up

Once you have everything in place, it is time to launch. Get out and reach the community via email and social media. Encouraging people to share your page and pass on their requests for fundraising to their family and friends.

Keep it updated

It is important to keep all those wonderful people that have contributed to your fund updated on the project and how you are doing. Thank each and every person for their contribution and let them know the difference that their money will make.

Now you know more about crowdfunding, perhaps it is time to try it out for yourself, and see what you could do with the money.



Posted on: December 6th, 2016 by Ian Stormnet

The Debate

The way we pay for things has altered many times over the years depending on which culture or society it has derived from and where it is going. Currency has developed from many forms, such as leather, silver and gold. Even living animals, such as cows and sheep have been used for trade! The one thing that all of these types of currency have in common is its physical form. However, it has become apparent in the last few years that we are drastically changing our means of exchange by swapping our shrapnel for the instant contactless tap of our credit cards (and even the tap of our phones with Android and Apple Pay!) This goes hand in hand with the drastic progression of technology how it is has transformed the way we live today. We debate the pros and cons of these developments and what it means for you.

Summary of Development

Over the years, we have become more accustomed to the usage of money as a value on our credit cards rather than the physical cash that we have. This is not new though, as banks have been around for hundreds of years. This is where we can walk into any bank and get a statement of how much money we have stored in the account that we hold in that bank as long as we hold a legitimate form of ID. However, as technology has developed, the same principle still occurs, except we can now use cards, online banking and even our phones and watches in order to check the balance of our accounts. It has gone even further over the last decade, with people given the ability to do more than check the balance of their accounts. It has allowed us to control what goes in or out of our accounts by using a simple password and security questions to access our information.

Big Brother

There are many pros and cons that go hand in hand with making something as personal as our money, and how we spend it, electronic. For some people, their daily life requires the ease and speed that things like contactless payment and online banking offer. Although for some people, it can be a rather large hindrance. With the use of electronic payment, comes the record of how it is used. For many people this can be seen as a “Big Brother” economy, whereby the user is constantly being monitored on their spending pattern and cash can become suspicious. This constant monitoring can reduce crimes such as tax avoidance; however, it does pose the risk of fraudulent activity, theft and subsequently leaving many people vulnerable to their online activity being passed on to third parties. Not only is fraud an issue, but many people have a surge of marketing emails for products they don’t even want due to the way online stores share their personal information. We suggest that taking a little bit of extra time to read the fine print and un-tick any boxes that subject you to this kind of activity is one way to help you become a more savvy online shopper at a lower risk.

Risks and Personal Security

This poses the question of our safety and security. With cash in hand, at a store or a market, you know exactly what you are getting. Online, rather than simply exchanging money there are several steps involved that require us to enter all of our details such as, our home address, telephone numbers and sometimes even a family members name and address for extra “security”. Not only does this put us at risk of having our money stolen, it puts us at risk of having all of our personal information in the digital world where people can access it at ease. On the other hand, someone might argue that fraudulent activity has been an issue since the use of physical money with counterfeit coins and notes constantly in circulation.

Contactless Pay

This simple tapping method for goods under £30 has become a popular way of payment and it seems to have been received well with 81.5 million contactless cards used in the UK (as of January 2016). Apple and Android work on a similar basis of having our account details stored on our phone and tapping it against a card reader as a form of payment. There are many pros and cons to this form of payment alone, many people are in favour of its ease and speed, whilst some people simply do not trust that their cards won’t be in more danger of fraud, and other people cannot trust themselves not to overspend with such ease!

Financial Stability

Did you know that contactless payment is merely a promise? When a company allows us to use a credit card or contactless payment within their business, it is effectively the same as them giving us a loan and we are promising to repay it. The ability for us to access money that isn’t ours, and promise that we will pay it back is not a recent development, however it is now easier than ever for us to spend money that we may not have. When we can see physical cash, we are more mindful of how we spend it. This is because our minds can process, visually, when it is all gone then we cannot spend any more, whereas when it is a value on a screen that allows us to overdraw or borrow more money, we can easily forget the risks that come with it, for example, high interest charges. So when you are next at your local, remember to take the shrapnel beside your bed before you allow yourself to splurge on your card!

The Future

With the vast developments in technology more and more people signed onto online banking, “E-Money” seems as though it is here to stay. Whilst some people may be skeptical of its safety and security, these technological developments are not without great amounts of research and action in order to protect and prevent any complications of its use. Although it is simple, quick and easy, we believe that there is still a place for cash and the physical monetary form. So if you’re a little bit old fashioned, like us, and have any queries about any currency or money you may have then please contact one of our experts today.

What does Brexit Mean for You and Your Pennies?

Posted on: July 4th, 2016 by Ian Stormnet

As you may have noticed, last week, Britain made one of its most poignant and controversial political decisions in history – to exit the European Union. It is a seismic topic that has been on everyone’s mind, whether you voted in or out, or simply couldn’t decide what you felt would be best for the future generations to come, I’m sure you had an opinion to offer on the matter. With immediate affects to the value of our pound, it is certainly a topic that we have been interested in here at Cash4Coins! The pound fell to it’s lowest value since the 80’s and everyone immediately cast their opinions that the financial market was going to crash, however, the constant fluctuation since last week has left people unsure as to where we stand. So, for those who are unsure, we are here to give you an unbiased report on what Brexit really means for our economy…

Immediate Aftermath

In the wake of Brexit, Britain fell to 6th place in the world’s largest economy, behind France. The immediate 10% fall meant that there was a global rush of capital into a more secure currency, such as the Japanese Yen and the Swiss Francs. According the likes of the Bank of England and large UK organisations, there was a prediction, pre-exit, that suggested the economy would flourish considerably slower without the EU. However, many pro-Brexit economists are suggesting that there is no need to worry as they have projected that, although we had a drastic fall on day one, we will eventually build up our economy and come back fighting (as Daft Punk would say) ‘Harder, better, faster, stronger’!

What does this mean for your travel spends?

Cameron has claimed that, although the result has come as an immediate shock to the system, whether it is to your delight or dismay, nothing will actually change straight away, so it could take years and the smallest of difference to change the way we spend our pennies abroad. As it stands at the moment, due to the drastic fall in value of the pound, there have been some effects to the exchange in currency. Only last week, the day it happened, many places in Greece were not exchanging sterling to euros, simply because the value dropped so much in such a short space, they couldn’t work out what the exact exchange rate was for hours. It also meant that if you were travelling that weekend then you would, unfortunately, have been getting less euros for your money. BUT… Do not fear! This can be excused as a mere reflection of the knee-jerk reaction to the uncertainty of the UK financial market now that we are standing alone, since last week the pound has already risen by 2%, which in money terms… is a pretty positive rise! So, it has been advised that, if you are yet to book your holiday this year, then choose wisely, as picking a destination where the sterling is strong and the local cost of living is low could make a real difference to how you make the most of your pennies when sunning yourself this summer.


Although it is claimed that Bank of England predicted a slow start and slow development for the UK economy after Brexit, they lifted stocks up to an all time high since February 2014 by driving £3.1bn in UK lenders, which resulted in bids of up to £6bn.

In The Home

The link between wholesale gas and electricity coincides with the price of oil, so it wouldn’t come as a surprise if your main concern with the Brexit aftermath were the price of general living costs and your daily trips to the petrol station. Although no costs or calculations have been proven or confirmed, there still lies the threat of these rising prices along with the possible rise in taxpayer’s rates, which could really tighten the family budget. It has also been predicted that value of properties could fall over £2,000 within the next 2 years, and over £7,000 for London alone. This is one of the main concerns of the National Association of Estate Agents who believe that the property market is based on ‘confidence’, so with such uncertainty cast over the UK housing market with our vote to leave, it leaves outside investors sitting on their hands waiting for some sort of restoration in trust.

Savings and Pensions

Since 2012, standard saving rates have been an uphill battle with downhill result with the base rate sitting at 0.5% for the last 7 years. However, some believe that due to the eventual high interest rates, it would relieve those savers who have seen such a downturn in returns over the years. Pensions, understandably, seem more unreliable after Brexit, with the possibility of private pensions being savaged if stocks fall or the market crashes, meaning it would take years to rebuild. In this case, the younger generations of voters have more time to reassess how they will save for their futures and what will be a best way to keep their money safe. It also means that over the years we could see drastic changes in pension laws due to our involvement with the EU, so at the moment it is a case of uncertainty for all ages and pension holders. Currency exchange also affects the pension rate for British citizens living abroad in EU countries.

The Positives

Although there are two sides to every story, it seems as though uncertainty has cast a dark shadow over many professional and public opinions and divided people’s views on our future in the UK. However, many economists are encouraging people to believe in the UK’s ability to stand on our own two feet and embrace the change with gusto. One economist, based in Tel-Aviv bank, Leumi, has claimed that this is a positive change and sets precedence for the UK to finally be able to fine tune our own legislations and trade agreements. So, whether you pro or against Brexit, there is definitely an air of change around the UK public and we can now embrace the change positively by taking matters into our own hands and being more involved in the political world. If anything, it has made the British public far more passionate about and engaged with politics, which can only be a good thing.

If you would like any advice on your money exchanging needs, we would love to hear from you! You can contact us today by phone or email.

Don’t Scrimp, Be Savvy

Posted on: January 11th, 2016 by Ian Stormnet

How to start the New Year on a positive

You all know the saying; New Year… New You! Make January a positive start to your year and become savvy about your money. From your old francs to your shiniest sterling pound coins, make the most of your money and follow these simple and fun steps to help you benefit more from your pennies this year…

Set Goals

So, first thing’s first. How do you want your year to look? Do you want to go on holiday this summer? Are you saving up for a house? Or do you simply want to get yourself some savings? Whatever it is, set yourself some goals, but keep them realistic. Purchasing a notebook fit with a calendar could really help you keep you focused on your end goal. Try setting yourself short-term and long-term goals that are achievable. For example, a short-term goal may be ‘for the next week, instead of my daily coffee, I will put £3 a day in a jar and treat myself to something at the end of the week with the money I have saved.’ This is an achievable goal that will reward you with satisfaction and help you realise how much you are spending and ultimately spur you on to make more goals!

Top Priorities

Christmas has been and gone, and not only does the festive season squeeze the most out of your waistband, it is also known to squeeze the most out of your bank. Particularly you’re your credit cards. We know it is tempting to add to the collection or opt for a larger balance to spend but resist those urges and make paying them off your top priority. Make sure to pay off the debt with the highest interest rates first in order to decrease your monthly minimum payments.

Keep a ‘Naughty Jar’

A fun way to save the pennies, especially for younger children if you have a family, is to have a ‘Naughty Jar’. This can cover any topic you wish, for instance, if you are prone to stealing extra biscuits from the biscuit tin, make sure to replace your custard cream with an amount of money of your choosing. You could set a rate (e.g. £1 per biscuit or chocolate taken, which could also reduce those waistlines we spoke about… Bonus!) Or depending on the extremity offense, adjust accordingly.

Prepare for success

It sounds ever so simple, but if you are prone to the odd takeaway or dinner date, especially getting into the habit of dining out over Christmas, the spending’s can really add up. Purchasing your lunch whilst out at work can cost anything between a local £3 meal deal to a special Marks and Spencer’s salad for £5 – not to mention coffee purchases between an extra £2-£3.50 each! Whilst these are a (delicious) daily luxury, that is how they should remain: a luxury. Try a fortnightly or monthly shop of your favourite sandwich fillings, salad ingredients and soups and take the time to prepare your lunches the night before and try buying a flask and taking your coffee to work. (You could even go the extra mile and calculate how much you spend on coffees, lunches and dinners out and compare it to your fortnightly/monthly shop and put the difference in a piggy bank every month. At the end of the year you will be surprised how much you have saved and look forward to treating yourself when it comes round to opening it!)

You ‘Crafty’ Bugger!

This concept may scare some of you if you’re not into DIY, but hear us out… Whilst Kirsty Allsop’s regular TV appearances flaunting her homemade crafts may not float your boat, it could ultimately save you money, make you money and even release stress! Spending time to alter clothing (snipping off sleeves can take you from winter-wardrobe to summer-wardrobe in no time!), to making your own candles (all components can be bought off Amazon for no more than £10 and last you between 10-20 candles worth!) are just some of the ways to add to your wardrobe and home in very little time whilst taking your mind off that stressful work load. Here’s the money-making part: if you become increasingly interested in your craft work and think others will share your love for it, platforms such as Etsy can provide a place for you to showcase and sell your work to others.

If You Still Want Those Luxuries…

So you want to arrange a lad’s weekend, or a spa trip, maybe get your hair done… There are some great discounted stores online that can help you with these more expensive things to save yourself a bit of money. Sites like Wowcher, and other discount or comparison apps accessible on smart phones and tablets often offer you the best deal for that week or month depending on how many rooms hotels have filled or where is best to stay depending on what sort of break or treatment you are looking for.

Talk About It

If you feel like debt is overwhelming you or you feel that you won’t reach your goals, don’t be afraid to talk about it. Whether it is to your partner or to a professional money advice service, there is always help nearby. Even creating a finance book to help educate your family, partner or housemates can really help you feel like you are not alone in your journey (and teach younger children about smart budgeting!). Keeping a finance book with your ingoing’s and outgoings can help you see where your money is going and help you decide what is necessary and what isn’t.


Everyone has one. Yes, even you! We are talking about your change jar, and everyone knows that all change at the end of the day ends up here, even those old euros you’ve kept in your junk drawer for the last 3 years. Spending a little time to separate your shrapnel from your cents could help loosen the wallet/purse strings a little! If you have any enquiries about trading in your coins, please don’t hesitate to contact one of our experts today!


Top Ten Tips for PIN Security

Posted on: March 6th, 2013 by Ian Stormnet

Keeping Your PIN Secure

This blog explains why you need to choose the right PINs for your cards and how to keep them safe from prying eyes.

Many people often use PIN patterns when it comes to choosing a PIN for their card. However, these types of patterns should be definitely avoided. Choosing a random PIN pattern makes your PIN much more secure BUT you still have to remember the number so why not follow our top ten tips for PIN security:


Never make the mistake of writing down your PIN number and then leave it in the same place as your card. What we mean is don’t keep it in the wallet where you keep your card is kept as this is just inviting a thief to use your card.


If you have more than one PIN, then keep a list of your PIN numbers in a safe place at home. Create yourself a little black book of PIN and passwords. Add a little touch of extra security by not writing the full PIN/password. Instead write yourself a little hint. For example if your 4 digit PIN is the month and year you were born then write down ‘month and year born’.


Always choose an extremely good PIN number, a number which will be totally random to anyone else but you and make sure you stick with this number. A PIN is different to a password as you don’t need to keep changing a PIN.


Don’t make the mistake of using the same PIN number for multiple devices. Remember the old proverb ‘don’t put all your eggs in one basket’. The last thing you want is everything to become compromised because one PIN has become exposed.


Always be careful when entering PIN number. The most common way for your PIN to be exposed to the bad guys is by them watching you enter. Your PIN can become exposed at bars, an ATM even in a shop. Always try and cover the keypad as you enter your PIN and be aware of your immediate surroundings. You never know who is watching you. As soon as the baddies know your PIN it doesn’t take them long to target you and this is something you need to avoid at all costs.


You have heard the saying ‘keep your cards close to your chest’. Well this applies to your PIN but keep it closer. Never divulge the PIN number for your debit/credit card to anyone. And remember, a bank will never ask you for your PIN over the phone.


We all tend to use birthdays or other memorable dates for a PIN. However, this is bad practice. When the baddies are searching for information about you, they often target dates of birth, wedding anniversaries and other important dates which they know are memorable to you. They then know these are the ones most likely to be used for a PIN number. Effectively you are making it easier for them to guess your PIN number.


Never ever create a PIN number from the numbers printed on your debit/credit card. One of the four digit groups on the card may seem like a good idea but should be avoided at all costs.


Always be aware of keypads when entering a PIN number. The keypad can become worn showing indication of what the 4 numbers are that are used to make up the PIN. For example a house alarm may have smudge marks and finger print marks on it or a smart phone may have smudge marks on the unlock sequence.


Finally, if you think your password or PIN number has become exposed or compromised, then change it immediately. Even if you are not sure, don’t wait to change it just do it. You can never be too careful and it is better to be safe than sorry.

We hope you found this blog useful, please do leave us a comment if you have any additional PIN security tips.