Visa is offering its customers financial tips to tie in with this week's Chinese New Year. The global payments solutions company launched its latest financial literacy campaign to mark the Year of the Dragon - the symbol of power and wealth.
"2012 is the Year of the Dragon and that's also your Chinese zodiac sign if you were born in 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988 or 2000," says Brian McGrory, Visa's head of consumer debit products - Asia Pacific, Central Europe, Middle East and Africa.
"The Dragon is the symbol of power and wealth, but being born in a Dragon year is more the financial equivalent of having a strong tail wind. Unless you set your sails right, your Dragon status won't move your financial boat forward. They may be lucky, but people born in the Year of the Dragon still need a good financial management plan if they want to prosper."
Mr McGrory says the key to spending within your means is to know what your expenses are and to spend less than you make.
"Start by creating a realistic budget that you can stick to - whether daily, weekly or monthly - whatever works for you," he says. "Now you need to prioritise your outgoings, sorting out the 'must haves' from the 'would likes'.
From this, set yourself goals to achieve throughout the year. You need to think smart, which means setting yourself goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-related."
By using a debit card to make payments, Mr McGrory says consumers are more likely to stick to their budgets and goals and avoid the "buy now, pay later" trap.
For more information, visit www.visamiddleeast.com.
UAE Exchange and Union Bank of India have teamed up to offer Indian expatriates a new remittance service that credits accounts almost instantly.
With the UNION FLASH Remit service, beneficiaries can receive money within minutes. The moment the amount hits the beneficiary's account, an SMS notification is instantly sent to the mobile phones of both the sender and the receiver.
"Indian expatriate customers will experience a revolutionary improvement in turnaround time for account credit," says BR Shetty, the managing director and chief executive of UAE Exchange.
"UAE Exchange has always walked that extra mile to bring customers more value."
The service is only available to Union Bank of India account holders.