Inflation has become a global problem. What with Covid-19 lockdowns creating clogs in many different supply chains, adverse weather conditions inciting food shortages, higher fertilizer prices cutting agricultural production, and now the Russo-Ukraine war lighting a fire under energy costs, inflation is everywhere.
This week the latest consumer price index (CPI) data for the US showed that prices rose by 8.3% in August, against consensus opinion that it would fall to 8.1%. The CPI in July was 8.5%.
In the UK August’s CPI, also published this week, was 9.9%, against July’s 10.1%. In the Eurozone the August average inflation level for the 19 countries using the Euro are published today (16 September) – the expectation is that it will be above 9%.
“Inflation is not just in the US or in Europe… it’s almost everywhere”, according to Hamid Rashid, head of the global economic monitoring branch of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs.
Most countries operate the same system, i.e. calculate their inflation level on the basis of comparing price movements of a set and stable basket of goods, which makes it possible to talk of a consumer price ‘index’. This basket is updated to account for changed spending behaviour – while a cathode-ray black & white TV set might have been included in a CPI in the 1960s, today it wouldn’t – a flat screen colour TV would replace it.
Apart from Australia and New Zealand, who publish their CPI on a quarterly basis, countries update their CPI monthly and release the figures at different times of the month.
In the United States, the Bureau of Labor Statistics is responsible for gathering price data for about 80,000 items a month across more than 200 categories.
Orthodox economic thinking suggests that when inflation rises above a pre-determined acceptable level – the central banks of the US, UK and the European Central Bank aim to maintain inflation at or close to 2% a year – then central banks should step in and raise the basic interest rate, and thus (hopefully) cut demand. Not all central banks follow this policy however; Turkey officially has inflation above 80% but its central bank cut its policy rate by a full 1%, to 13%, on 18 August.
Once a customer has placed an order for gold though the Glint app, and that purchase process is completed, the customer then owns the gold rather than Glint (or any other party). The gold continues to be held in a secure, insured and independent Brinks’ vault in Switzerland and this arrangement remains in place.
Glint provides its clients the most competitive spot price of gold. There are no hidden mark-ups with Glint and all exchange rates are updated real-time so you can be sure you’re getting the very best available market rate. When you carry out a gold or foreign exchange transaction, the exchange rate and any associated fees will be shown before you confirm the transaction.
There’s probably a very simple explanation why your card has been declined.
• It simply may be that you may not have enough funds in the e-wallet you are trying to use for payment (for example Gold, USD, GBP or EUR wallet). Glint does not provide credit so please ensure you have topped up and hold sufficient funds
• To protect you from fraud all your card transactions must get real-time authorization. If the merchant’s terminal isn’t online then it will decline your transaction
• Please refer to our terms and conditions (https://glintpay.com/terms/) to ensure you transaction is not prohibited
• If after everything your card continues to be declined, please contact our Client Support Team. They are at your service and will be happy to help:
In the UK, Europe and the Rest of the World outside of the USA:
Call +44(0) 203-915-811
between Monday to Friday from 09:00 to 18:00 BST or
email: [email protected]
In the US only call between Monday to Friday 09:00 to 18:00 MDT
on (877)258-0181 or
email: [email protected]
Some clients have reported they are unable to activate their Glint card. We think we’ve identified the likely cause of this problem; curing it is a very simple matter.
To activate your card via the App you need to go to the Card tab at the bottom white banner of the home screen on your Glint app. You will be prompted to enter the last four digits of the card plus the expiration date. Please be sure that you enter the expiration date in the correct format, which is: MM/YYYY. On the card that format is shown as MM/YY, the four digits conventional to most credit and debt cards; my Glint card for example shows an expiration date of 05/23.
But in the App you need to enter six digits – MM/YYYY. So in my case I would need to enter 05/2023. Put in the six digits and you should have no problem in activating your account.
However, if you still run into difficulties with this or anything else regarding your account please contact our Client Support Team who will be glad to help resolve matters. In the UK, Europe and the Rest of the World you can email them at [email protected] while in the US only the address is [email protected]
Since 2008, we have all become more sensitised to the threats from Counterparty Risk, the risk that the other party in an investment, credit or trading transaction might default or otherwise renege on its contractual obligations. It emerged that banks were highly exposed to collateralized debt obligations (CDOs). When mortgage borrowers began to default, the banks were left on the hook for the losses. As banks toppled like dominoes, issues of counterparty risk swiftly emerged – who was defaulting on what, to whom, and by how much? This led to a severe collapse of the overall economy.
We live in a world surrounded by contracts, which is a model of transactions based on trust (but enforceable by law). When we buy goods at a supermarket, or when we use a utility to buy electricity; we depend on people entering into and fulfilling their contracts with us.
For any type of paper-based investment, where no direct assets are involved, e.g. shares, bonds, traded funds, etc. there is always a degree of counterparty risk. This is true of ‘gold-backed’ exchange traded funds (ETFs) – the counterparty risk is that the trust (which actually owns the gold) could default. Bitcoin solves counterparty risk but other parts of cryptocurrency business – such as exchanges – carry their own counterparty risk. There have been many examples of Bitcoin exchange collapses over the years.
Physical gold and silver have no counterparty risk. The ownership of physical precious metals involves no ‘other party’ who might default on payments or go bankrupt; no boards of directors are involved; and they are not subject to the many manipulations potentially affecting other investment assets.
But possessing physical gold/silver can be a drag – literally, because they are heavy. And there are insurance costs, storage headaches, theft worries on top of that. And it is extremely difficult to use the gold as money – getting a sliver from your physical bar to pay for a coffee is challenging.
That’s why we promote Glint. With Glint, the gold in your account is allocated to you, there’s no counterparty risk; even if the vault it is stored at in Switzerland goes into default, you are still legally entitled to the gold you own. Moreover, you can spend gold on your account as you would any fiat currency (you can hold Dollars, Euros and Pounds Sterling as well as gold), in any amount, no matter how small, you like. So not only no massive weight tearing at your pocket, nor any storage or security concerns, and there’s no counterparty risk.
The financial world is full of acronyms but few are as important as KYC.
KYC stands for ‘Know Your Client/Customer’, a process which aims to prevent fraud and criminal activities. Verifying that clients are who they say they are is part of the important regulatory process under which Glint operates. KYC is why we ask you to prove you are who you say you are, your address, and so on.
But don’t worry – this doesn’t affect your credit score, although you may see an identity check on your credit report. This identity check is a type of soft search that is recorded on your credit report so that there is a transparent record of who has been viewing your credit history.
We need to know who you are, so that criminals stand less of a chance of getting away with it.
Last week, we brought you a special report on the best time to buy gold – this week we have some suggestions about how to buy gold.
There are lots of different ways, all of them shouting for your attention, all of them claiming their own advantages.
But, unlike Glint, they also have their own particular drawbacks.
Gold-backed exchange traded funds (ETFs) are one popular way of getting exposure to gold. But one of the biggest reasons for buying gold is that it’s the only financial asset that is not simultaneously someone else’s liability. With gold ETFs there’s a lot of counterparty risk – the risk that the other party in a transaction (generally a bullion bank used by the ETF Trustee to buy/sell/hold the underlying asset, i.e. gold) may default on its contractual obligations. On top of that, buying a gold ETF doesn’t really give you ownership of gold but only ownership of shares in the Trustee who runs the ETF.
You could buy a derivative on an exchange which trades gold; but once again this is a paper asset, not gold itself.
You could buy bullion coins, and pay a whopping premium over the current price of gold.
What about physical gold – a real piece of metal? That has clear advantages – you can see it, touch it, it’s not some paper representation of gold. But there are also disadvantages. You’ll need to buy insurance against possible theft; it’s cumbersome to lug about; and you can’t use it as money.
That’s why Jason, our CEO, founded Glint.
With Glint you can buy, sell, send or spend real, allocated gold, stored safely in a non-government Brink’s vault in Zurich. That ‘allocated’ is crucial – it means the gold is fully purchased and owned by you, the buyer, before being stored by Brink’s. Moreover, we want to restore gold to its rightful place as everyday money, so we have created a simple debit Mastercard® & App to enable Glint clients to buy almost anything, from a coffee to something much more substantial, in gold.
Gold is security – Glint its key.
Normally your app updates automatically. But if you want to check you have the latest version, you can update it manually yourself. Just follow these steps:
For Apple iPhones:
Go to the App Store.
Tap your profile icon at the top of the screen.
Scroll down to see pending updates and release notes.
Tap Update next to the Glint Pay app to update it.
Go to the App Store.
Enter ‘Glint Pay’ in the search box at the top of the screen.
Tap Update next to the Glint Pay app to update it.
If it says ‘open’ next to your app listing rather than ‘update’ then your app is already updated to the latest version.
For Android phones:
Go to the Google Play Store.
Tap Menu and then my apps & games.
Search for ‘Glint Pay’.
Please feel free to contact our friendly Client Support Team for more help:
UK, Europe and Rest of World
hours: Monday to Friday 09:00 to 17:30 GMT
telephone: +44(0) 203-915-811
email: [email protected]
hours: Monday to Friday 07:00 to 18:00 MST
email: [email protected]
What to do if or when your Glint card gets stolen?
It’s not a disaster but you must take immediate steps to prevent any stranger from getting hold of your gold.
The very first thing to do is to freeze your card, so no thief can use it. It’s easy to do this. Just get into the Glint App and click on the ‘Card’ tab, which brings up three options – ‘temporary freeze card’, ‘show PIN’ and ‘cancel lost or stolen cards’. Click on the ‘temporary freeze card’ – after all, you don’t want to cancel the card, because it may show up after all. Freezing the card prevents anyone from using it and accessing your gold. Unfreezing it is a simple process too.
Then, report the missing/stolen card to the local police, and also inform our Client Services Team in the geographical region of your location.
In the UK, Europe and Rest of World, that’s +44(0) 203-915-811 during Monday to Friday between 09:00 and 17:30 GMT or email: [email protected].
In the US, it’s: (877) 258-0181, Monday to Friday 07:00 to 18:00 MST or email [email protected].
If you urgently need funds to pay a hotel bill, airline flight and so on and you are travelling with a companion who also has a Glint account then you can use Glint It! via your Glint App to P2P transfer funds to their account.
Covid-19 was not great for many businesses, but it opened up bumper opportunities for fraudsters. More online and e-commerce payments meant greater chances for criminals to do their worst.
According to the US-based Nilson Report the amount of money lost to card-not-present (remote payment) fraud in 2020 was six times greater than 2019 – and the figures for 2019 were four times greater than 2018. In 2020, debit card fraud increased while that of credit cards declined. Criminals also got smarter: they “utilized a mix of legitimate and bogus credentials to create a synthetic identity and sneak past fraud protection”. The US magazine Consumer Affairs says “Some scammers are even impersonating FTC (the Federal Trade Commission) staff to tempt people with non-existent awards or funds related to the pandemic”. The number of digital transactions in the US suspected to be fraud attempts rose by 46% year-on-year in 2021.
UK citizens were just as much of a target. In the UK, Citizens Advice says that 75% of adults have been targeted by criminals, a rise of 14% year-on-year. All of us are at risk of being a target of an attempted scam, but there are a few simple steps you can take to protect yourself from being defrauded. Perhaps the most important piece of advice is to become cynical – if something appears to be too good to be true, then it probably is. Acquire a protective shell – hide not just your PIN number when you make a transaction in person, but treat all your personal information (such as your address, your Social Security Number, your bank details) as items that are valuable and therefore worth stealing.
Don’t be rushed into any decision involving money. Never let strangers force you into fast decisions. Pause, calm yourself and think clearly and critically. Chances are you’ll quickly see the situation for what it is. Don’t be afraid to hang up and validate with your financial institution and/or law enforcement. And always report suspicious activity.
Secure your home network: Strong passwords and encryption are the best ways to secure your home network. Change your password regularly and make sure it is a strong one. Use WPA2 or WPA3 encryption so hackers can’t read the information you send. Limit access to your work device: avoid giving anyone an opportunity to view confidential material without your authorization. Be sure to shut down or lock your work computer when you aren’t around. Be careful where you click: always hover over links before you click them to make sure the hyperlink is the same as the link-to address. Be extra cautious about emails from unknown people, especially if they seem random, illogical or threatening.
And remember – no one at Glint will ever ask you what your passcode is!
Gold is security. Glint its key.