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Tips for global fintech transactions while travelling

Whether you are a well-travelled adventurer or a nervous but excited first-timer, international travel is something to look forward to, and with modern advances in technology, it can be more exciting than ever.

Of course, there’s a lot to think about to help you prepare for your trip: what to wear and what to pack, which sights to see, which foods to eat, and where to stay. And managing your money can be challenging while travelling internationally.

Obviously, you first have to budget for travel-related expenses and experiences. But more than that, it is important to be able to safely and securely interact with your currency while abroad to make sure that all of your expenses are covered and anything left at home is being taken care of.

Getting a Safe and Secure Connection

Perhaps the most important thing to do before ever trying to access your finances abroad is to make sure you have a safe and secure internet connection. Although many places offer free public WiFi, it is important to make sure you’re not actually using that public connection to make financial transactions or really do anything that would hurt you severely if you were to be hacked. Depending upon where you’re travelling, avoid using unsecured lines.

You may also worry about censorship and being able to connect in certain countries. Take somewhere like Russia for example. There is certainly some level of censorship within the country that can make internet access more challenging, but it is possible to get around most of it with the purchase of a virtual private network (VPN) subscription. Surprisingly, Russia and most other countries actually have pretty solid WiFi access if you are just trying to connect in general. However, using a VPN is one of the best precautions to take.

Using cryptocurrencies, which typically incorporate blockchain for financial transactions, can also help to improve the safety and security of your online actions abroad. Blockchain is incredibly difficult to hack — perhaps almost impossible. This can mean that you’ll be much less at-risk no matter where you are making transactions. 

Currency Exchange

Prior to your international trip, you should also think about things like how much cash you are going to carry (if you plan to carry cash at all) and the associated currency exchange. Most well-experienced travellers would recommend that you always have a bit of local currency on you just in case something happens that renders your card useless. Think of things like broken ATMs, cash-only establishments, or an inability to access accounts and transfer money for various reasons.

There are plenty of places that you could exchange currency if you are planning to do so. It really depends on where you are going and where it is easiest and safest to get the best exchange rate. Many banks and online vendors are able to exchange currencies for you prior to leaving on your trip. Some people would rather exchange once in the country and they are able to better determine just how much cash they need and would want to carry. There are plenty of exchange centers in airports and most hotels.

Although the idea of cryptocurrency is growing at a profound rate, it still isn’t necessarily available and accepted everywhere. Though it is a safe and useful form of money, it can be hard to use it abroad, especially if you aren’t in a developed country or even a major city. For that reason, it is valuable to have some other options on hand. 

International Finances

The fact of the matter is that sooner or later you are likely to have a financial issue or two while travelling abroad. Whether you simply need to pay a couple of bills that have come due back home, get cash for an emergency, or actually do a bit of work, finances are not something that can be put off for too long. If your trip is for business this could be especially true.

For instance, many financial companies will send employees abroad on business trips. To this end, fintech has come a long way and there is a lot that can be done now that wasn’t even dreamt of a few years ago, such as transferring money via a cellphone app. However, that comes with a price. Accountants and other financial sector employees are typically targeted for hacking because of their access to the valuable information of the clients. Regardless of the reason you are dealing with finances abroad, it is important to take precautions such as making sure you have a strong, secure internet connection. Having a backup plan by exchanging currency and carrying some cash won’t hurt either. Taking the time to plan your financial needs while abroad is well worth it — doing so will allow you more time to really take in the sights and make the most of this once in a lifetime experience!

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