Given the potential for security breaches and fraud in the world of financial transactions, it’s no surprise that the U.S. federal and state governments have instituted a robust set of rules and regulations governing the remittance industry and the service providers that operate in this sector.
While this might not be a major factor in your search for a money transfer company, it needs mentioning as some money transfer companies are more committed to consumer protection, compliance standards and customer service than others. While it may be difficult for you to evaluate these variables without quite a lot of digging, one source you can easily check is the Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating.
Check with the Better Business Bureau (BBB)
In school, your performance on tests and exams was assessed by issuing grades. If you received an A+, you felt proud and enjoyed a sense of accomplishment. The Better Business Bureau, likewise, assigns grades to companies based on a broad array of performance criteria, including:
- Length of time this business has been operating.
- Complaint volume filed with BBB for a business of this size.
- Response to complaint(s) filed against this business.
- Resolution of complaint(s) filed against this business.
So make sure to check that your prospective money transfer company is accredited with the BBB and, if it is, whether it has achieved the coveted A+ BBB Rating.
Affiliations & Certifications
While some companies view compliance as something they have to do and often wait until the last minute to get up to speed, if at all, a few forward-looking companies that are truly customer-focused lead the charge and even “push the envelope” to make sure that their customers are protected. From their perspective, this is simply good business and an effective way to gain their customers’ trust.
In the case of money transfer companies, in addition to their BBB Rating, you can also check their affiliations and certifications, which they should be proudly displaying on their websites. Are they a member of highly regarded anti-fraud associations such as the Merchant Risk Council and the Association of Anti-Money-Laundering Specialists (ACAMS)? Are their privacy practices certified by an independent monitor such as TRUSTe? Is their website certified with a Verisign SSL Certificate, so that you know your information can be transmitted securely over the Internet?
At Xoom, we are committed to securing your financial information and employ proven technology to protect and secure your personal information. Plus, we have the Privacy Certification with TRUSTe, an A+ Rating from the Better Business Bureau, and the Symantec SSL Certificate from Norton Secured.
As a remittance sender, you want to select a money transfer company that is vigilantly pursuing human and technological resources to protect you and your family from online predators whose mission is to coerce you to send your money to them.
You are entrusting your money transfer company to safeguard your account with them, as well as the entire transfer process, so that your money arrives safely in the hands of your loved ones at home.
That is one big responsibility and you need to have confidence that the company you choose is up to the challenge. Your provider must be prepared to deliver rapid and effective intervention should anyone or anything compromise your ability to send money, or if you happen to fall victim to a scam.
Check to see if your prospective money transfer company is using top-of-the-line data security encryption, so that all information sent between your web browser and your money transfer company’s website remains private and secure.
Generally, if a provider is “bullish” on security, they will trumpet that fact on their website. More detailed information regarding certifications from third-party security and privacy organizations should also be available on their website.
So how secure is the Xoom?
At Xoom, we strive to be the most progressive money transfer company in the industry when it comes to the deployment of the latest and most robust security protocols to protect your data and privacy. And if anything interferes with the successful transfer of your money, we are ready to take immediate corrective action to resolve the issue and get your transfer through safely to your family.
We use 128-bit data security encryption, so all information sent between your web browser and our website remains private and secure. The entire Xoom website, even pages viewed without logging in, is served via encrypted, secure pages.
The servers we use to store your information are protected both physically and electronically. They reside behind a firewall and are not directly connected to the Internet. We regularly audit our security policies to ensure the protection of your personal data.
When you sign up with Xoom, you will immediately notice how much your business means to us and how committed we are to keeping you as a customer “for life.” From the welcome call you will receive right away when you sign up, through the highly-transparent on-screen disclosure of every part of your transfer, to the fact that nobody answers the phone faster when you really need help: you will discover that Xoom is no ordinary money transfer company.
And check out the NEW Xoom app – a fast, convenient and safe way to transfer money to your loved ones.
In the remittance universe, scam prevention is a team effort between the customer and money transfer company. If you do encounter any suspicious or unauthorized activity in your account, you should contact your provider immediately. In those cases, the money transfer company should immediately secure your account, conduct a thorough investigation and, if it turns out that someone has hacked into your account and sent money in your name, your money transfer company’s policy should be to cover you for the full amount of the unauthorized transaction.
Many of the top money transfer companies provide tips on their websites to help you protect yourself from harmful situations when sending money back home. The different types of scams are well-documented and a few online searches can provide a comprehensive list of the most “popular” scams in use today.
Here, we will quickly summarize a few of the most commonplace scams, just to give you an idea of what is out there and a few suggestions about how to spot them and prevent them from ever causing you trouble.
Send Only to People You Know – This is just common sense. Only send money to the family or someone you know well. Don’t send a dime to anyone you don’t know. Strangers will try all sorts of creative ways to con you out of your money. Family and friends only. Period.
Be Vigilant – Always be on the alert for scammers with offers that are too good to be true or who send you alarming messages that someone close to you is sick or in danger and needs money sent right away to prevent some sort of disaster. Other all-too-familiar categories of scams include lotto winnings, disaster relief, loans, classified ad purchases, fake checks, romance and a host of others. Bottom line: If you’re not totally convinced right away that it is a scam, independently verify with another family member or friend so you can be 100% sure whether it’s a scam or legitimate (rare).
Safeguard Your Password – Here’s another very important reminder: Don’t give out your password. And don’t create a password that might be easy for someone else to guess. Complex combinations of letters, numbers and symbols will go a long way to preventing any unauthorized person from gaining access to your account. If you do think your password may have been compromised, change it immediately and contact your provider.
That time of year is rolling around again, possibly quicker than some kids want and yet they’re probably still really excited about it even if they won’t admit it. Yes, it’s three very big words: Back-to-School. It’s coming right up and no child can return to school unprepared, so back-to-school shopping is in full force.
Of course, the expenses can pile up, which makes it a very good time to help out.
Xoom, a leading digital money transfer provider, conducted an exclusive survey of its Fil-Am customers recently and asked its clients if they planned to send money to someone in the Philippines for Back-to-School expenses.
Nearly half of the respondents in the survey, 49 percent, said they intend to send money back home to lend a hand in Back-to-School expenses. Meanwhile, 27 percent answered that they were not planning to send money, and 24 percent in the survey said they were not yet sure.
Schoolchildren probably think more about seeing their schoolmates again instead of how they’re getting a fresh start for a brand new year of learning in the classroom. But their parents also keep an eye on the bottom line, and Xoom is there to make it easy for friends and family to help out their loved ones.
If you’re in the market for electronic devices – and if you aren’t now, you surely will be – there are so many choices that might make you feel overwhelmed. But just as surely as there are many ways to go, there are also many options out there that are important and will help you make the decision that’s best for you.
The kind of operating system the device uses was the most important reason to 26 percent who answered the survey. App capabilities and brand were the most important reason chosen by 18 percent in the survey, while 15 percent said it was the price of the smartphone or tablet.
The life of the battery was the most important reason for 10 percent of the respondents and five percent said the size of the screen was the deciding issue.
What’s most important to you? Maybe it’s best to take into account all of the reasons that make selecting a smartphone or tablet important. You’re the one that’s going to be using it, after all.
It’s always the same date every year and it’s also something you will always remember for a very basic reason. Because Mother’s Day is simply unforgettable. The second Sunday every May is the one single day on the calendar and in your heart when we recognize our mothers and give them the respect they deserve every day of the year.
Flowers for Mother’s Day, sure, you may have guessed that flowers are the most popular gift for moms, as 31 percent of those asked in the survey responded. Some 20 percent who answered the survey said a gift card was their idea how to best show respect for their mothers on Mother’s Day.
And 15 percent of the respondents said a special Mother’s Day card was their choice of honoring mom, nine percent answered a day at the spa or salon, six percent said perfume or makeup and five percent said their choice of gift for their mother would be chocolates.
Whatever your mother gets, she’ll be happy, as long as it’s wrapped in love.
Staying connected isn’t just about maintaining a relationship because there clearly is a practical side to it as well. The truth is that if you’re not connected, you’re out of touch, literally, at least in one particular instance that probably you and everyone around you understands easily.
Perhaps not surprisingly, there was an overwhelming choice – laptop or desktop was the answer from 96 percent of the respondents in the survey. Some 34 percent said they used their smart phone to access the internet at home and 16 percent answered that they used their tablet while 12 percent who took the survey said something else.
It seems possible that smart phones are most often used when you’re on the go, and that it’s more convenient to log on using your laptop or desktop when you’re at home. But whatever device to access the internet works best for you, it seems clear that staying connected is becoming an even greater part of our lives. And it probably isn’t going to slow down anytime soon.
Sending a gift package or receiving one, there is probably no difference in which makes you feel better. And it doesn’t even have to be a birthday or a Christmas or a special occasion, either, it is merely the act.
Xoom, one of the global leaders in money transfers, conducted an exclusive survey of its Fil-Am customers recently and asked this intriguing question: ‘Have you sent a balikbayan box to the Philippines in the last 12 months?’
More than half of the respondents, 56 percent, said yes they had, while 44 percent said they had not. That probably means they are getting around to it soon.
There is something special about the decades-old custom of sending boxes to family and loved ones back home, filled with such items as non-perishable food, clothing, linen, household items or toys. Often it doesn’t even matter if some of the items aren’t difficult to find in the Philippines. Rules allow one balikbayan box from the sender every six months. The boxes are easy to get at most shipping container stores.
Most of the time, it doesn’t really matter what’s inside, because the impact balikbayan boxes have is about something else – enhancing the Philippine tradition and culture for preserving family ties that can be expressed in gift-giving.