Article Written By Evangelos Pappas

An Expat’s Journey to Europe

How I created Ocyan, a startup to solve the financial inclusion for any expat, after going through the struggles to make myself part of the local economy.

Gabriele Cacciola, Ocyan

Moving to a new country is relatively easy, but integrating with the local bureaucracy and system is one of the hardest things that you will do, and this is my story on how I managed to achieve it, when I moved from Italy to the UK.

Hi, I’m Gabriele and my story starts a long time ago, in a country far, far away, while I was in Italy. As most of us I got a job offer, an opportunity to work for a big enterprise in London. Obviously it was a great temptation that you could hardly look away, yet it had one big obstacle: I had to move to the UK.

You see, I thought relocation was easy, as I had been to Australia for my postgraduate studies, but apparently permanent relocation is a whole other story that I was set to soon find out.

So first thing first I researched and wrote down a list of things that I needed to do when I moved there to live, and the list had these major tasks: to get a bank account, a mobile contract with enough data allowance, a new accommodation to rent and find the best deal for my utility bills, and finally get a new credit card to get along with the essentials during the initial months.

The critical tasks I needed to complete first were getting a bank account, a local mobile contract, and setting up my accommodation process.

Gabriele Cacciola, Ocyan

As an initial step I started with the bank account, as you can’t really do anything else without it. Yet, it was 2015 and Revolut-like banks were not a thing, so my only option was traditional banking branches. Then, having no other option, I went to open a bank account armed with my passport.

Little I knew, and after a long and unproductive discussion with the banking staff I got rejected. To my surprise I asked why, and the only answer I ever received was “I don’t know, our central servers just said no.”.

Having no other choice, I managed to convince my friend to “guarantee” for me in order to open my new bank account. I honestly don’t know how else I would have managed if I didn’t have this option.

The following day and onwards to my next task I went down again to get a mobile. It was immediately clear that my best option for my lifestyle, I needed a standard contract, as the prepaid (pay as you go) plans clearly didn’t fit.

Confident enough, and after having obtained my debit card from my new bank I went, only to be rejected again. This time I got two reasons, my proof of address and my local financial history weren’t in any record that they could find.

Trying to keep my morale high I had found a place through the local listing sites to view so I could rent, and oh my God that was the trickiest of all parts.

Obviously the requirement of a bank account was paramount, but the reason that I got rejected (again) was due to the fact that my address history (which was in Italy) couldn’t be confirmed by the local agency office. This meant I had to pay in advance an extended deposit of 6 months, and if you can do the maths a 6-months rent in London is cash that you can’t easily have available.

The reason that I got rejected was due to the fact that my address history couldn’t be confirmed by the local agency offices.

Gabriele Cacciola, Ocyan

Thankfully I had great friends, and Cettina and Giovanni (hey guys, thank you so much!) lent me their inflatable bed to use, so I managed to save enough cash for the next deposit while searching for the right place.

Last but not least, I needed some cash to spare in order to survive before my first salary would land in my brand new bank account. That’s the classical use case for a credit card, so I went to my bank branch again to ask them for some additional support, only to be rejected. Again. Leaving me no other option, but rather to ask the only institution that could never say no to me, my mum (thanks mum!).

So after all these blood and tears, I only managed to have the basics to survive in the big city, but then again why did I struggle so much? As a person, I never had any past issues with banks, I have always been paying my bills in time and I had a good earning employment contract. Yet still, I felt really frustrated, as I left my home country to move a step back in my life quality standards.

Why do expats feel financially underserved?

While my career was growing in the UK, I managed to get employed by a small startup called ClearScore, which now is the biggest credit scoring and reporting company in the UK. Whilst being there I came across the term invisible or “thin file”, that got me intrigued to find out what it meant.

Retrospectively, when the banking employee had initially rejected me, the real reason was that the bank tried to analyse my credit profile only to find it was empty, and so decided that I wasn’t worth the risk.

Subsequently, this happened for every other rejection on my story, why? Nobody wanted to offer me a mobile contract due to the lack of historic utility repayments. Moreover, my utility bills were more expensive than expected for the same reason and the bank didn’t want to take any risk, let alone a credit card!

Nobody wanted to offer me a mobile contract due to the lack of historic repayments. Subsequently, my utility bills were also more expensive.

Gabriele Cacciola, Ocyan

Hello from Ocyan

So based on these emotions and experience we created Ocyan. We are huge fans of the freedom of movement, and great believers that people should be able to move across countries while bringing their data with them. With our venture, we are aiming to make it possible to relocate to any new place and receive a fair and transparent treatment from the financial ecosystem. We aim to facilitate this vision by empowering people to access local providers and manage their own data in a clear and easy manner.

Ocyan team, Gabriele, Evan, Alan
Some of the team behind Ocyan,
(left to right) Gabriele, Evan, Alan

If you would like to reach out for more clarifications, or any related discussion or just share your experience with us just contact me here , and I’ll be looking forward to hearing from you.

To follow ocyan, join us on twitter, linkedin or facebook!

OCYAN | Financial Marketplace for Expats
. Banking, Mobile & Insurance
OCYAN | Financial Marketplace for Expats. Banking, Mobile & Insurance

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Selling Terms And Conditions

OVERVIEW

This website is operated by AnyExpat Ltd. Throughout the site, the terms “we”, “us” and “our” refer to AnyExpat Ltd. AnyExpat Ltd offers this website, including all information, tools and services available from this site to you, the user, conditioned upon your acceptance of all terms, conditions, policies and notices stated here.

By visiting our site and/ or purchasing something from us, you engage in our “Service” and agree to be bound by the following terms and conditions (“Terms of Service”, “Terms”), including those additional terms and conditions and policies referenced herein and/or available by hyperlink. These Terms of Service apply  to all users of the site, including without limitation users who are browsers, vendors, customers, merchants, and/ or contributors of content.

Please read these Terms of Service carefully before accessing or using our website. By accessing or using any part of the site, you agree to be bound by these Terms of Service. If you do not agree to all the terms and conditions of this agreement, then you may not access the website or use any services. If these Terms of Service are considered an offer, acceptance is expressly limited to these Terms of Service.

Any new features or tools which are added to the current store shall also be subject to the Terms of Service. You can review the most current version of the Terms of Service at any time on this page. We reserve the right to update, change or replace any part of these Terms of Service by posting updates and/or changes to our website. It is your responsibility to check this page periodically for changes. Your continued use of or access to the website following the posting of any changes constitutes acceptance of those changes.

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SECTION 1 – ONLINE STORE TERMS

By agreeing to these Terms of Service, you represent that you are at least the age of majority in your state or province of residence, or that you are the age of majority in your state or province of residence and you have given us your consent to allow any of your minor dependents to use this site.

You may not use our products for any illegal or unauthorized purpose nor may you, in the use of the Service, violate any laws in your jurisdiction (including but not limited to copyright laws).

You must not transmit any worms or viruses or any code of a destructive nature.

A breach or violation of any of the Terms will result in an immediate termination of your Services.

SECTION 2 – GENERAL CONDITIONS

We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason at any time.

You understand that your content (not including credit card information), may be transferred unencrypted and involve (a) transmissions over various networks; and (b) changes to conform and adapt to technical requirements of connecting networks or devices. Credit card information is always encrypted during transfer over networks.

You agree not to reproduce, duplicate, copy, sell, resell or exploit any portion of the Service, use of the Service, or access to the Service or any contact on the website through which the service is provided, without express written permission by us.

The headings used in this agreement are included for convenience only and will not limit or otherwise affect these Terms.

SECTION 3 – ACCURACY, COMPLETENESS AND TIMELINESS OF INFORMATION

We are not responsible if information made available on this site is not accurate, complete or current. The material on this site is provided for general information only and should not be relied upon or used as the sole basis for making decisions without consulting primary, more accurate, more complete or more timely sources of information. Any reliance on the material on this site is at your own risk.

This site may contain certain historical information. Historical information, necessarily, is not current and is provided for your reference only. We reserve the right to modify the contents of this site at any time, but we have no obligation to update any information on our site. You agree that it is your responsibility to monitor changes to our site.

SECTION 4 – MODIFICATIONS TO THE SERVICE AND PRICES

Prices for our products are subject to change without notice.

We reserve the right at any time to modify or discontinue the Service (or any part or content thereof) without notice at any time.

We shall not be liable to you or to any third-party for any modification, price change, suspension or discontinuance of the Service.

A flat rate of 20% is due on all sales is retained by AnyExpat Ltd, this includes postage costs so price your items to consider this.

SECTION 5 – PRODUCTS OR SERVICES (if applicable)

Certain products or services may be available exclusively online through the website. These products or services may have limited quantities and are subject to return or exchange only according to our Return Policy.

We have made every effort to display as accurately as possible the colors and images of our products that appear at the store. We cannot guarantee that your computer monitor’s display of any color will be accurate.

We reserve the right, but are not obligated, to limit the sales of our products or Services to any person, geographic region or jurisdiction. We may exercise this right on a case-by-case basis. We reserve the right to limit the quantities of any products or services that we offer. All descriptions of products or product pricing are subject to change at anytime without notice, at the sole discretion of us. We reserve the right to discontinue any product at any time. Any offer for any product or service made on this site is void where prohibited.

We do not warrant that the quality of any products, services, information, or other material purchased or obtained by you will meet your expectations, or that any errors in the Service will be corrected.

SECTION 6 – ACCURACY OF BILLING AND ACCOUNT INFORMATION

We reserve the right to refuse any order you place with us. We may, in our sole discretion, limit or cancel quantities purchased per person, per household or per order. These restrictions may include orders placed by or under the same customer account, the same credit card, and/or orders that use the same billing and/or shipping address. In the event that we make a change to or cancel an order, we may attempt to notify you by contacting the e-mail and/or billing address/phone number provided at the time the order was made. We reserve the right to limit or prohibit orders that, in our sole judgment, appear to be placed by dealers, resellers or distributors.

You agree to provide current, complete and accurate purchase and account information for all purchases made at our store. You agree to promptly update your account and other information, including your email address and credit card numbers and expiration dates, so that we can complete your transactions and contact you as needed.

For more detail, please review our Returns Policy.

SECTION 7 – OPTIONAL TOOLS

We may provide you with access to third-party tools over which we neither monitor nor have any control nor input.

You acknowledge and agree that we provide access to such tools ”as is” and “as available” without any warranties, representations or conditions of any kind and without any endorsement. We shall have no liability whatsoever arising from or relating to your use of optional third-party tools.

Any use by you of optional tools offered through the site is entirely at your own risk and discretion and you should ensure that you are familiar with and approve of the terms on which tools are provided by the relevant third-party provider(s).

We may also, in the future, offer new services and/or features through the website (including, the release of new tools and resources). Such new features and/or services shall also be subject to these Terms of Service.

SECTION 8 – THIRD-PARTY LINKS

Certain content, products and services available via our Service may include materials from third-parties.

Third-party links on this site may direct you to third-party websites that are not affiliated with us. We are not responsible for examining or evaluating the content or accuracy and we do not warrant and will not have any liability or responsibility for any third-party materials or websites, or for any other materials, products, or services of third-parties.

We are not liable for any harm or damages related to the purchase or use of goods, services, resources, content, or any other transactions made in connection with any third-party websites. Please review carefully the third-party’s policies and practices and make sure you understand them before you engage in any transaction. Complaints, claims, concerns, or questions regarding third-party products should be directed to the third-party.

SECTION 9 – USER COMMENTS, FEEDBACK AND OTHER SUBMISSIONS

If, at our request, you send certain specific submissions (for example contest entries) or without a request from us you send creative ideas, suggestions, proposals, plans, or other materials, whether online, by email, by postal mail, or otherwise (collectively, ‘comments’), you agree that we may, at any time, without restriction, edit, copy, publish, distribute, translate and otherwise use in any medium any comments that you forward to us. We are and shall be under no obligation (1) to maintain any comments in confidence; (2) to pay compensation for any comments; or (3) to respond to any comments.

We may, but have no obligation to, monitor, edit or remove content that we determine in our sole discretion are unlawful, offensive, threatening, libelous, defamatory, pornographic, obscene or otherwise objectionable or violates any party’s intellectual property or these Terms of Service.

You agree that your comments will not violate any right of any third-party, including copyright, trademark, privacy, personality or other personal or proprietary right. You further agree that your comments will not contain libelous or otherwise unlawful, abusive or obscene material, or contain any computer virus or other malware that could in any way affect the operation of the Service or any related website. You may not use a false e-mail address, pretend to be someone other than yourself, or otherwise mislead us or third-parties as to the origin of any comments. You are solely responsible for any comments you make and their accuracy. We take no responsibility and assume no liability for any comments posted by you or any third-party.

SECTION 10 – PERSONAL INFORMATION

Your submission of personal information through the store is governed by our Privacy Policy. To view our Privacy Policy.

SECTION 11 – ERRORS, INACCURACIES AND OMISSIONS

Occasionally there may be information on our site or in the Service that contains typographical errors, inaccuracies or omissions that may relate to product descriptions, pricing, promotions, offers, product shipping charges, transit times and availability. We reserve the right to correct any errors, inaccuracies or omissions, and to change or update information or cancel orders if any information in the Service or on any related website is inaccurate at any time without prior notice (including after you have submitted your order).

We undertake no obligation to update, amend or clarify information in the Service or on any related website, including without limitation, pricing information, except as required by law. No specified update or refresh date applied in the Service or on any related website, should be taken to indicate that all information in the Service or on any related website has been modified or updated.

SECTION 12 – PROHIBITED USES

In addition to other prohibitions as set forth in the Terms of Service, you are prohibited from using the site or its content:

(a) for any unlawful purpose; (b) to solicit others to perform or participate in any unlawful acts; (c) to violate any international, federal, provincial or state regulations, rules, laws, or local ordinances; (d) to infringe upon or violate our intellectual property rights or the intellectual property rights of others; (e) to harass, abuse, insult, harm, defame, slander, disparage, intimidate, or discriminate based on gender, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, race, age, national origin, or disability; (f) to submit false or misleading information;

(g) to upload or transmit viruses or any other type of malicious code that will or may be used in any way that will affect the functionality or operation of the Service or of any related website, other websites, or the Internet; (h) to collect or track the personal information of others; (i) to spam, phish, pharm, pretext, spider, crawl, or scrape; (j) for any obscene or immoral purpose; or (k) to interfere with or circumvent the security features of the Service or any related website, other websites, or the Internet. We reserve the right to terminate your use of the Service or any related website for violating any of the prohibited uses.

SECTION 13 – DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTIES; LIMITATION OF LIABILITY

We do not guarantee, represent or warrant that your use of our service will be uninterrupted, timely, secure or error-free.

We do not warrant that the results that may be obtained from the use of the service will be accurate or reliable.

You agree that from time to time we may remove the service for indefinite periods of time or cancel the service at any time, without notice to you.

You expressly agree that your use of, or inability to use, the service is at your sole risk. The service and all products and services delivered to you through the service are (except as expressly stated by us) provided ‘as is’ and ‘as available’ for your use, without any representation, warranties or conditions of any kind, either express or implied, including all implied warranties or conditions of merchantability, merchantable quality, fitness for a particular purpose, durability, title, and non-infringement.

In no case shall AnyExpat Ltd, our directors, officers, employees, affiliates, agents, contractors, interns, suppliers, service providers or licensors be liable for any injury, loss, claim, or any direct, indirect, incidental, punitive, special, or consequential damages of any kind, including, without limitation lost profits, lost revenue, lost savings, loss of data, replacement costs, or any similar damages, whether based in contract, tort (including negligence), strict liability or otherwise, arising from your use of any of the service or any products procured using the service, or for any other claim related in any way to your use of the service or any product, including, but not limited to, any errors or omissions in any content, or any loss or damage of any kind incurred as a result of the use of the service or any content (or product) posted, transmitted, or otherwise made available via the service, even if advised of their possibility.

Because some states or jurisdictions do not allow the exclusion or the limitation of liability for consequential or incidental damages, in such states or jurisdictions, our liability shall be limited to the maximum extent permitted by law.

SECTION 14 – INDEMNIFICATION

You agree to indemnify, defend and hold harmless AnyExpat Ltd and our parent, subsidiaries, affiliates, partners, officers, directors, agents, contractors, licensors, service providers, subcontractors, suppliers, interns and employees, harmless from any claim or demand, including reasonable attorneys’ fees, made by any third-party due to or arising out of your breach of these Terms of Service or the documents they incorporate by reference, or your violation of any law or the rights of a third-party.

SECTION 15 – SEVERABILITY

In the event that any provision of these Terms of Service is determined to be unlawful, void or unenforceable, such provision shall nonetheless be enforceable to the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, and the unenforceable portion shall be deemed to be severed from these Terms of Service, such determination shall not affect the validity and enforceability of any other remaining provisions.

SECTION 16 – TERMINATION

The obligations and liabilities of the parties incurred prior to the termination date shall survive the termination of this agreement for all purposes.

These Terms of Service are effective unless and until terminated by either you or us. You may terminate these Terms of Service at any time by notifying us that you no longer wish to use our Services, or when you cease using our site.

If in our sole judgment you fail, or we suspect that you have failed, to comply with any term or provision of these Terms of Service, we also may terminate this agreement at any time without notice and you will remain liable for all amounts due up to and including the date of termination; and/or accordingly may deny you access to our Services (or any part thereof).

SECTION 17 – ENTIRE AGREEMENT

The failure of us to exercise or enforce any right or provision of these Terms of Service shall not constitute a waiver of such right or provision.

These Terms of Service and any policies or operating rules posted by us on this site or in respect to The Service constitutes the entire agreement and understanding between you and us and govern your use of the Service, superseding any prior or contemporaneous agreements, communications and proposals, whether oral or written, between you and us (including, but not limited to, any prior versions of the Terms of Service).

Any ambiguities in the interpretation of these Terms of Service shall not be construed against the drafting party.

SECTION 18 – GOVERNING LAW

These Terms of Service and any separate agreements whereby we provide you Services shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of Clyde Offices, 2nd Floor, 48 West George Street, Glasgow, BFP, G21BP, United Kingdom.

SECTION 19 – CHANGES TO TERMS OF SERVICE

You can review the most current version of the Terms of Service at any time at this page.

We reserve the right, at our sole discretion, to update, change or replace any part of these Terms of Service by posting updates and changes to our website. It is your responsibility to check our website periodically for changes. Your continued use of or access to our website or the Service following the posting of any changes to these Terms of Service constitutes acceptance of those changes.

SECTION 20 – CONTACT INFORMATION

Questions about the Terms of Service should be sent to us at [email protected]

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