India Travel Forums – The Traveler’s Delight

We have all heard the word “forum” and the present world, fast transcending into an “e-world” has umpteen umber of such forums. A web forum can be simply defined as an online message board or a bulletin board for endless and detailed discussions on various issues. One of the most upcoming forums in India is the “India Travel Forum”.

As the word suggests, India travel forums provide a hands-on experience on travel within India. Such discussion forums also guide travelers visiting India to make their travel a pleasurable one.

Indian travel forums have certainly become a useful tool for all the vacation lovers who wish to explore the natural wonders of India. The members of forums can share their pictures, suggestions, and first-hand experiences on several destinations. Technology features like “chatting” enable the forum members to get swift responses to all their travel related queries. The personal travel experiences shared by the members give an honest review of the place visited. From the route to be taken, the tips to be followed, the places to be visited to the money you need to expend, you can actually get all the required information as to everything that a traveler can think of. Indian travel industry is expanding rapidly as every other Indian is eagerly looking forward to a getaway within India to discover the mystique landscape and the breathtaking water bodies. As they say: “Better late than never”, India has finally struck on the right keys with several Indian travel communities being set up to make travel as easy as it can get.

The Indian travel discussion forums have eventually made their mark and have come a long way from taking advice from a few friends before heading for a vacation to sharing it on a much larger platform with thousands of real-time travelers. Travel forums are not only for people seeking answers to their travel related queries, but also for people who have immense knowledge about the Indian hot-spots or frequent travelers as they can share or guide the other members. There are countless advantages of being a member of the India travel forums as listed above but a fairly important one is being saved from the exaggerated views of the Indian travel agents about any destination, which may land you in a highly praised location but does not suit your interests. Most of all, if you pay a hefty amount and do not get the worth then all that remains is an unhappy traveler-the basic purpose of travel being defeated. You are no more rejuvenated but remorseful after your trip, this is where the forums step in with the genuine common people (travelers) ready to lend a helping hand. To the contrary, the forums might just suggest a travel agent or a tour operator who turns out to be a blessing for your vacation offering cost-effective packages.

The picture-sharing feature of the forums help you to get a look and feel of the place you wish to visit. Thus, Indian travel forums can save your time, money and offer you an expert opinion by the travelers themselves. Next time when you are making your travel plans, be it a South India tour, a North India tour or any corner of the Indian subcontinent, you know where to find the travel gurus. Be a part of the change, be a member of the Indian Travel forums. Happy traveling!!

Top Advantages Of Using A Car Rental When Traveling

The most significant advantage to using a car from a rental service is cost and freedom. If you are a regular business traveler or are simply traveling for leisure, having your own vehicle to move around in is more convenient, not to mention more cost effective, than using a taxi or public transportation. This is especially true for those who are traveling for site seeing or are spending longer periods (typically 3 weeks to a month) in a foreign nation. In this article I list a few advantages of renting a car when traveling that you may find useful.

Anyone traveling on vacation with a budget will immediately see the benefit of renting a car from any international rental company. If you want an appropriate balance between cost of transportation to complete your explorations and site seeing, and freedom to leave your residence at any time of day with a car, then a rental is your only option, short of buying a car there. If you are a member of a loyalty program with a car rental company back home that has an international presence, you may be eligible to receive better discounts at your destination.

If you are traveling from the US to an Asian country, the disparity in fuel costs can work to your advantage. On average (because of the value of a dollar) you can gain slightly more fuel for a dollar in many Asian countries than you would back home. Unfortunately this wouldn’t necessarily apply for European countries as the cost of pump fuel there is higher than it is in the US.

You can expect the same high quality standard of vehicles from rental car companies in Europe as you would expect to find in the US. Not only does the European Union enforce strict rules on emissions, the level of competition coupled by the massive market of travelers to Europe who rent cars on a daily basis ensures that you will find affordable high standard car rental companies.

If you have just landed in a foreign country and are at the airport, the typical cost of a taxi is normally a huge fraction of the total cost of a car rental for an entire day. Many of the well established car rental companies have offices in the major airports of the world, making it easy and convenient for you to rent a car almost immediately you land in the country.

Fashion Styles And Haircuts

An old English idiom says: “Don’t judge a book by its cover”. This means that we shouldn’t evaluate people by appearance alone. Nobody likes to be judged by their suit, shoes or their gown. But, sometimes, appearance can say a lot about somebody’s personality, profession, lifestyle and aesthetic preferences. We can often tell many things about people by the way they look.

In a world where the first impression is often decisive, you should try to look pulled together at all times. To avoid making faux pas, always choose clothes that make you feel good and look good, without being too posh or too trashy. And, most importantly, always make sure that the outfits, the accessories and the haircut you wear are compatible and form together a harmonious whole.

Today, we deal with an abundance of fashion trends. Actually, anything goes as long as it reflects your personality and lifestyle. If you want to look classy and elegant, invest in a few quality pieces that never go out of style. Wear little black dresses, pencil skirts, simple white shirts or neutral colored tops with matching quality shoes and handbags. Chic hair buns go well with this office look.

Don’t ignore your nails and your hair either. Even if you wear the most exquisite clothes, the overall effect will be disastrous if you have messy hair and chipped nail polish. A real lady knows how important these details are. An elegant hair bun goes well with a blazer and a pair of fancy pants. If your style is more relaxed, go for casual, comfortable clothes and easy to do hairstyles. Wear leggings or washed jeans with sexy tops and long cardigans, oversized scarves or snoods and fashion jewelry. If you like simple turtleneck tops, you can embellish them with a statement necklace and matching earrings. If you want to accentuate your face, tie your hair up in a simple pony tail.

If you don’t have enough time to get dolled up for the party, don’t worry. With a little imagination and some glitzy accessories, your office suit can be turned into the perfect party outfit. Change those flats with a pair of sexy pumps, embellish your simple top with a beautiful sequin scarf or a big necklace, add a flashy headband over your sleek hair and you already look glamorous.

Developing Your Own Fashion Style

Your style is important. Ask yourself every time you buy anything, every time you make anything, or have anything made: Is it in accord with my style? Does it meet the requirements of correct dress for me?

If you live in a little city or a village and suddenly found yourself on Fifth Avenue in New York City, would you feel conspicuous in your clothes? If friends from the fashion centers of America were coming to visit you, would you feel out of place in your costume? You should not. You have the same opportunity to be correctly dressed as any other woman if you will study and persevere toward perfection in dress.

We must realize that we have a style of our own and that we are of a particular type. This is recognized by every fashion authority in the country, and by every fashion publication, for if all women were to adhere to one fashion, one fashion only would be shown in the fashion books instead of twenty, thirty, or fifty different designs.

Look through any fashion book today and you will find round-and-round and up-and-down lines in the same issue–all with the idea of helping women to clothe themselves correctly and of giving suggestions that will help them individually to find appropriate styles.

Establishing a style for yourself and then perfecting it–be it in hats, gloves, shoes, dresses, or suits–will prove economical, and it will not be long before a degree of perfection will be acquired.

A prominent New York business woman, who is one of the most distinctively dressed women that I know, wears the smartest suits and hats and always severely tailor-made gowns. And her neckwear, usually a jabot or a stock, is so smart that you would never for a minute question whether it is authoritatively fashionable. She always wears high shoes on the street, and usually they have light-colored tops, because she is tall and the light tops of the shoes help to break the appearance of height.

One day, this young woman came to visit me. I could not refrain from remarking about the completeness of her costume. I said, “If I saw your shadow, I should know that it was you by the harmony that your silhouette expresses and the very way you carry yourself.”

She said, “Do you know that remarks like yours are what caused me to persevere in acquiring my style of dressing? I used to think I wanted loose, floppy clothes in which I could relax and be just as free and comfortable as if I were in negligee. Once, when in a ferry boat crossing New York harbor, I saw sitting opposite me a line of crumpled-up women apparently enjoying their slovenly posture. Not one of them expressed dignity or pride in her personal appearance. Not one of the women on that boat, I thought, was unusual or had any desire to know better. I then took a little self-inventory. I was ashamed of myself, because I realized I was not very much better dressed than the other women on the boat. I sat up straight and determined right then and there that I would acquire a style becoming and practical for me and would express that style in the most attractive and agreeable way that I could. And that resolution has helped me more than I can say.”

She was frank enough to tell me that she attributed a great part of her success to having wakened up, to having made herself trim and having kept herself so. She always plans to have one good suit or one good dress–just as good as she possibly can afford; she procures a garment that she has to respect, and that will make her “dress up to fit.”

She said, “If I put on a shabby dress, I will allow my shoes to be shabby and will be careless about my personal grooming; but when I have a dress that I have to be particular about, I always have my hair, my shoes, my gloves, my corset–everything–Just right for it, and I always look very much better.”

Living up to your clothes, creating a style, and being equal to an intelligent expression of it are worth many dollars to a woman who wants to be a success in business, in the home, or in social life.

A Pediatric Dentist Can Help Your Children Care for Their Teeth With Ease

When you bring your children to a pediatric dentist for the first time, an experienced doctor will do what’s necessary to make your children comfortable. Depending on the age of your children, a doctor may engage in conversation or even a bit of play. Bottom line, the goal is for your children to feel relaxed from the beginning and for the doctor to create a good rapport with your kids. In addition, there are other benefits of bringing your children to this kind of doctor. Not only will this type of skilled doctor help them have a positive view of the dental experience, but also help them better care for their teeth.

Kid-friendly office

One of the biggest ways taking your children to a pediatric dentist can help your children care for their teeth is the fact that the office is specially designed for kids. Oftentimes, an office that caters to adults does not have an area for toys and the staff communicates in a more adult manner. On the other hand, a kid-friendly office is usually filled with brighter colors and a waiting room where kids can play and have fun. Also, this office may have television screens mounted on the ceiling so kids can watch movies while they’re lying back getting their teeth worked on.

Sensitive staff

In addition, the staff talks in a more playful tone that connects with kids and makes them feel at ease. For example, there are some technicians or hygienists that are genuinely good with kids. They know how to relate to them and make them more accepting of certain services and procedures. The same can be said for the pediatric dentist. He or she will go out of their way to make your child laugh and feel less anxious. In fact, sometimes the doctor won’t even perform any procedures on your children until he feels the children are well adjusted and have formed a sense of trust with him or her and the staff.

Oral hygiene tips

Once the children are ready to have procedures, the doctor may begin with a simple cleaning. This way, the children are getting able to get used to seeing strange tools coming near their mouths as well as the sounds some of these tools make. Getting a cleaning at a pediatric dentist is a lot less stressful than having to get other dental work, such as a filling. That’s why when children visit this type of doctor on a regular basis, they are not only becoming more comfortable but also learning to form better habits. As a result, they’ll have fewer cavities or no cavities at all, which can prevent them from having to get more in-depth or painful dental work later.

How to Find That the Natural Cosmetics You Buy Truly Are Natural

With increasing awareness of the harmful effects synthetic products can do to our bodies, more and more people are getting interested in natural cosmetics & beauty products. Because of the booming popularity of natural beauty cosmetics, today, one can find a natural product for skin care, hair care, nail care and more.

However, the word natural can have a multitude of meanings and therefore, it is important to understand what actually ‘natural’ means, so that you be certain that the natural beauty cosmetics you buy really are natural? The best way is educate yourself. It is wise to start with reading labels. Companies that follow good practice and International norms print the ingredients of the product over the packaging label. Research over the Internet and learn what are the popular herbs or natural ingredients are used for that particular product. You can search ingredient(s) over Internet and find whether they are really natural or not!

It is worth it to spend some time researching the different companies and their product lines, so that you can trust the natural beauty cosmetics you buy really are natural. Cosmetic companies call just about anything natural because the government doesn’t regulate use of word ‘Natural’. The best solution is to know what most experts agree we should avoid. If you find any of following as ingredient in the label of the product, do not buy it:

– Lead: Found within coloring agents of some lipsticks and hair dye.
– Mercury: Found within preservatives used in some mascaras and eye liners.
– Phthalates: A chemical used in fragrance to stabilize scent.
– Sodium lauryl sulfate: Used in soaps such as shampoo and hand wash.
Environmental groups also caution against ingredients such as parabens (which are used as preservatives); petrochemicals and their by-products (often found in skin creams, foundations, and lip balms); mercury (in mascara and eyedrops); and dioxane (in shampoos and body washes);

Dressing For a “Brave New London” – Examining the Iconic Look of Twiggy and the Mod Style

Even before I crossed the Atlantic Ocean, I knew there was something special about London and the United Kingdom. After all, how could a place that is smaller than the state of Oregon produce so many legendary musicians, such as The Beatles, Elton John, Radiohead and Underworld. How could it produce cult movies such as Clockwork Orange, Trainspotters and Shawn Of The Dead. It’s my belief that only great cultural centers could produce such great art.

Fashion is another cultural phenomenon that has echoed across the world. In popular culture, the Mod subculture and style was born on the streets of London in the 50s, but it still lives on throughout today on the streets of San Francisco, New York, Hong Kong, Moscow, etc.

The origination of the Mod style can actually be traced back to Mary Quant, a British fashion designer. Through her boutique on Kings Road in London, she let loose a style that the masses would eventually make their own.

It’s never easy to explain a fashion style. After all, fashion is meant to be a visual art. The best way to explain a fashion style is by looking at those iconic figures who the general audience associates with that style. In the case of Mod, The English model Twiggy may be the most iconic figure of this style.

In her most simple outfits, Twiggy could be seen wearing a simple solid color a-line shift dress. The shift dress is a corner stone of the Mod style. The shift dress is defined as a dress without waist shaping or seam. When laid out flat, the shift dress is very geometrically shaped in nature. In fact, the Mod style can be described as a very geometrical fashion style, especially compared to the Bohemian style with its flutter sleeves and floaty tops. It is rare to see a photograph of Twiggy in the 50s and 60s where she is not wearing something geometric.

Another defining characteristic of the shift dresses worn by Twiggy is the length. Though there are those who would dispute this claim, Mary Quant has also been credited with creating the mini skirt and dress or at least making it popular among the young women of the United Kingdom. Quant believed the mini skirt to be liberating and also practical, allowing women to run after the bus. Quant’s mini dresses and skirts were raised 6 or 7 inches above the knee, attracting women who were interested in something daring and outside of what adults found socially acceptable.

Additionally, when browsing through photo galleries of Twiggy, one would find her in horizontal striped tunics and dresses. Mod stripes should not be mistaken for nautical stripes. Nautical stripes are meant to be more sophisticated and classic American style. Meanwhile, Mod stripes are far from classic. Mod stripes are thicker, bolder, and more glitzy, further defining the Mod style apart from traditional more conservative English dress.

Finally, since the Mod style originated in London, a jacket or coat is necessary to walk the often gloomy and wet streets. In public photos of Twiggy, she rarely dawned a jacket. Rather, she is mostly photographed wearing a statement coat with a check print. Just like the Mod mini dress, the coat should take on the a-line shape and slightly longer than the mini dress. In fact, the Mod coat, when buttoned up, should almost be mistaken as a dress itself.

Though Twiggy is seen as the iconic figure for the Mod style, women across London and the world have influenced the look with such pieces as the flat boot, boxy jacket, and double-breasted coat, etc. Nonetheless, if one is inspired to relive this era in London history, Twiggy can show one how to do so with sexiness and style, characteristics that women still strive for today.

Travel Health Insurance: It’s Easy to Get and Cheaper Than You Think

Of the concerns people have when the topic of world travel rears its exciting head, few feel as serious as the concern of getting sick or hurt in a foreign country without any form of health insurance to take care of the problem. Compared with the fear of running into serious health problems abroad, the concern of not knowing where to travel, or the worry about getting scammed, or insecurities surrounding your ability to make the money necessary to travel all seem trivial. None of those fears can kill you- getting sick or hurt abroad without any form of health insurance can.

Most forms of health insurance are nationally based, they are domestic, which means the insurance you use at home isn’t going to do much of anything for you abroad. Thankfully, getting health insurance while you’re traveling, or getting insurance that will cover you as you travel, is a lot easier than you think and it doesn’t need to cost an arm and a leg.

An Important Question

Before we get into the nitty gritty of how to acquire health insurance that will keep you secure and feeling good during your travels you need to ask yourself a single important question- do you plan on traveling to one country or multiple destinations?

The answer to this question will determine what sort of insurance you will need. If you’re traveling all over the place than you need a more comprehensive, far-reaching insurance. If you’re traveling to a single city or country and setting down roots for a few weeks or a couple months then you only need to get health insurance valid within that country.

Even though you should avoid overly-detailed travel planning to figure out the answer to this question before you leave home, it is a good idea to plan your health insurance needs.

Single-Country Insurance Strategies

As far as insurance goes, if you’re traveling to a single city or country you have it easy– though it’s important you act fast for peace of mind and safety’s sake. You should purchase local insurance the first day you arrive.

Doing this not only makes sure you’re protected no matter what happens, resolving to buy insurance your first day in a new country is also the best way to be sure you actually get it done. It’s easy to put off chores and busy work, the less sexy elements of travel, when you’re excited to be in a new country and itching to start exploring. Getting all the boring stuff out-of-the-way as soon as possible protects you against the dangers of procrastination- dangers that are potentially lethal when it comes to medical coverage.

But how, exactly, can you find local insurance?

Well, you have two options.

  • You can spend hours trying to research local medical coverage plans online, often browsing through poorly translated websites in an attempt to compare one plan with all the others. Or,
  • You can take the easy route and just ask an employee at your hostel or your hotel what local health insurance they have and what insurance they think you should sign up for. Then find out if their insurance coverage is available to visitors. Hospitality workers are there to help you out, and the more personally owned and operated your lodgings the better the chances of receiving some good advice from them.

Multi-Country Insurance Strategies

Owning local insurance in addition to global insurance is almost always a good idea. After all, it’s a safe bet local hospitals will accept your local insurance card but there’s no guarantee local hospitals will accept your international coverage. That being said, if you’re traveling to a large number of different locations, you don’t really have much of a choice. You need to get the most comprehensive global health insurance you can afford.

When it comes to global health insurance you have a couple options at your disposal.

1) First, you can take a look at your existing domestic health insurance and determine whether it provides any sort of worldwide coverage at all. The bigger the insurance carrier the more likely it will provide something for you when you’re out crisscrossing the globe. If you don’t know where to look and you’re unsure about your current coverage you should get on the phone with a representative and start asking questions.

If your current coverage won’t help you overseas you need to ask whether there’s any plan provided by your carrier that will help you out as you travel. If there’s an upgrade to your insurance available and if the upgrade will cover you abroad you’d be wise to pay a little extra to make sure you’re secure. Acquiring traveler’s insurance isn’t really difficult but ultimately it’s a lot easier to stick with the carrier you already have than to unnecessarily jump ship.

2) If your current carrier does not provide travel coverage while you’re traveling and if they do not offer any sort of upgrade, add-on or package that will cover you abroad, then you need to locate a new carrier.

You can either switch over to a large carrier who provides a wide range of insurance options, or you can just sign on with a carrier who specializes in traveler’s insurance.

3) Travel Health Insurance is a LOT more common and a LOT cheaper than you’d think. Don’t be surprised if you find travel health insurance that is considerably less expensive than what you’re paying for your existing domestic coverage. Not only that, but travel health insurance tends to be extremely flexible. You can purchase insurance for a single trip, you can purchase insurance for trips of varying lengths (such as 30, 60 or 90 days) and you can purchase insurance for those times you’re going to travel indefinitely.

So how cheap can travel health insurance be? How does less than $1,000 dollars a year sound to you? Compared with the normal $300-$500/month you’d pay for your own health insurance, if it’s not covered by your employer’s travel insurance, this represents a really, really good deal.

What Types of Travel Insurance Do You Need?

When you start researching travel insurance you’ll soon realize there are many types of travel insurance out there, all covering a different corner of the traveler’s experience.

  • The average traveler simply needs to purchase the most comprehensive Travel Health Insurance they can find. But if you’re traveling to snowboard the alps or something else that may be considered risky, then Hazardous Sports Insurance might also be worthwhile.
  • Evacuation Insurance might make sense to help get out of countries if political or environmental situations turn ugly, but only if you are in a country where you could reasonably assume you could be evacuated by helicopter.
  • You can purchase Identity Theft Protection in case someone swipes your passport and credit cards.
  • You can purchase Cancellation Insurance to make sure you end up at your destination even if your airline starts messing with your reservations or some other unforeseen problem arises.

Whether you purchase these different forms of insurance or not depends a lot on where you’re going and what you plan on doing there.

But after you settle the issue of travel insurance, what’s keeping you from finally taking that trip you’ve always dreamed of?

Internet Banking: Relevance in a Changing World

Surprising, but true – Internet-based activity is not the preserve of the young “digital native” generation alone. A 2008 survey says that Generation X (those born between 1965 and 1976) uses Internet banking significantly more than any other demographic segment, with two thirds of Internet users in this age group banking online.

Gen X users have also professed their preference for applications such as Facebook, to share, connect and be part of a larger community.

This is some irony in this, since online banking, as we know it today, offers minimal interactivity. Unlike in a branch, where the comfort of two way interaction facilitates the consummation of a variety of transactions, the one way street of e-banking has only managed to enable the more routine tasks, such as balance inquiry or funds transfer.

It’s not hard to put two and two together. A clear opportunity exists for banks that can transform today’s passive Internet banking offering into one that provides a more widespread and interactive customer experience.

It is therefore imperative that banks transform their online offering, such that it matches the new expectations of customers. Moreover, Internet banking must journey to popular online customer hangouts, rather than wait for customers to come to it.

There are clear indications that the shift towards a “next generation” online banking environment has already been set in motion. It is only a matter of time before these trends become the norm.

Leveraging of Social Networks

Forward thinking banks are leveraging existing social networks on external sites to increase their visibility among interested groups. They are also deploying social software technology on their own sites to engage the same communities in two way discussions. Thus, their Internet banking has assumed a more pervasive persona – customers are engaging with the bank, along with its products and services even when they’re not actually transacting online.

Heightened visibility apart, banks can gain tremendous customer insight from such unstructured, informal interactions. For example, a discussion on the uncertain financial future among a group of 18 to 25 years old could be a signal to banks to offer long term investment products to a segment that was previously not considered a target. Going one step further, a positive buzz around a newly launched service can create valuable word-of-mouth advertising for the business.

Collaborating through Web 2.0

The collaborative aspect of Web 2.0 applications has enabled banks to draw customers inside their fold more than ever before. Traditional methods such as focus group discussions or market research suffer from the disadvantages of high cost, limited scope and potential to introduce bias. Feedback forms merely serve as a post-mortem. In contrast, Web 2.0 has the ability to carry a vast audience along right from the start, and continue to do so perpetually. Thus, an interested community of prospects and customers participate in co-creating products and services which can fulfill their expectations.

The pervasiveness of Web 2.0 enables delivery of e-banking across multiple online locations and web-based gadgets such as Yahoo!Widgets, Windows Live or the iPhone. This means next generation online banking customers will enjoy heightened access and convenience

A New York based firm of analysts found that 15% of the 70 banks tracked by them had adopted Web 2.0, a number of them having done so within the last 12 months.

Standard Chartered Bank employees connect with their colleagues through Facebook and use the platform to share knowledge, clarify questions and participate in discussions on ongoing company activities.

Bank of America, Wachovia Bank and Commonwealth Credit Union have built a presence within interactive media to create awareness and keep up a dialogue with interested communities. They have employed a variety of methods, ranging from creating YouTube communities to launching campaigns on Current TV, a channel in which viewers determine content.

Personalization of Online Banking

Vanilla e-banking divides customers into very large, heterogeneous groups – typically, corporate, retail or SME, with one type of Internet banking page for each. That’s in sharp contradiction to how banking organizations would like to view their clientele. Banks are moving towards customer-specificity, almost viewing each client as a “segment of one”, across other channels, and online banking is set to follow suit. For instance, a specific home page for home loan customers and another for private banking clients could well be a possibility in future.

Interestingly, National Bank of Kuwait had the foresight to do this several years ago – they enabled customers to determine which products they would view and access, and were rewarded with a dramatic increase in online transactions.

Money Monitor from Yes Bank allows customers to choose their landing page – for example, they can set “all transactions”, “net worth” or “portfolio” as their default view. Other features include the ability to categories transactions as per customers’ convenience and the printing of custom reports.

Empowerment Online

Beyond doubt, Internet banking has created a more informed, empowered class of customers. This is set to climb to the next level once customers are allowed to proactively participate in many more transaction-related processes. The Internet has already made it possible for customers to compare product loan offerings, simulate financial scenarios and design custom retirement portfolios. Going forward, they would be able to consummate related transactions – which means, after comparing interest rates, they could originate a loan online, and once secured, they can begin to repay it online as well.

Portalization

The emergence of Web 2.0 technology coupled with banks’ desire to personalize their e-banking to the highest degree is likely to result in “portalization” of Internet banking. The idea of banking customers being able to create their own spaces online, filled with all that is relevant to them, is not that far-fetched. Customers can personalize their Internet banking page to reflect the positions of multiple accounts across different banks; they could include their credit card information, subscribe to their favorite financial news, consolidate their physical assets position, share their experiences with a group and do more – all from one “place”.

Money Monitor enables customers to add multiple “accounts” (from a choice of 9,000) to their page. Accounts could be savings or loan accounts with major Indian banks, or those with utilities providers, credit card companies, brokerage firms and even frequent flyer programs. Users can customize their pages as described earlier.

As banks seek to develop their Internet banking vision for the future, in parallel, they will also need to address the key issues of security and “due defense”. While it is every marketer’s dream to have customers work as ambassadors, adequate precaution must be taken to prevent the proliferation of malicious or spurious publicity. Therefore, before an individual is allowed to participate in a networking forum, he or she must have built up a favorable track record with the bank. The individual must be a recognized customer of the bank, having used a minimum number of products over a reasonable length of time. Qualitative information about the person’s interaction with the bank’s support staff (for example frequency and type of calls made to their call center, outcome of such interaction and so on) may be invaluable in profiling the “right” type of customer who can be recruited as a possible advocate.

Collaborative Web 2.0 applications may necessitate opening up banks’ websites to outside technology and information exchange with third party sites, raising the spectre of data and infrastructure security. A robust mechanism of checks and balances must be built to ensure that the third party sites are secure, appropriately certified and pose no threat to the home banks’ sites. Likewise, before a third party widget is allowed to be brought on to a site, it must have passed through stringent security control.

Due diligence must be exercised before permitting users to place a link to another site to guard against the possibility of inadvertent download of malicious software, which could, in the worst case, even result in phishing originating from the banks’ sites.

It is equally important for a bank to guard its customers against invasion of privacy, data theft or misuse. The concept of portalization envisages deploying technology to bring information from other banks’ or financial service providers’ websites into the home bank’s site. The home bank must ensure that its customers’ personal or transaction related information, which may be shared with the other providers, is not susceptible to leakage or outright misuse.

Banks will do well to partner with an Internet banking solution provider which has not only the expertise to translate their vision into a cutting edge e-banking experience for the user, but also the foresight to define boundaries for safety. With security concerns adequately addressed, next generation Internet banking is full of exciting possibilities. Banks that seize the opportunity may find that Internet banking can become a means of differentiating themselves from competitors, rather than a mere cost cutting tool. Clearly, providing a more powerful and interactive e-banking experience, is the way forward.

The Various Styles of a 10k Gold Ring

Stylish jewelry does not mean it has to be expensive. Many styles are very affordable, like a 10k gold ring. When looking for items made from gold, you could choose an item that has a lower karat weight. Usually, the higher the karat, the higher the price is. A 10k gold ring will be much less expensive than one with 24-karat gold. For most jewelry made of metal, the featured metal is not the only metal used in the item. A gold metal ring for example, will have gold mixed with silver and nickel to create the band of this particular ring.

The karat weight for the gold content lets you know how much of the actual piece of genuine gold is. Out of 100 percent, even twenty-four is a small fraction. Besides the higher price of gold, another reason the metals are mixed is to create a harder substance. Gold by itself is a very soft metal, which means your delicate gold ring would get scratched very easily. The lower gold content in a ring will not generally affect the overall look of your ring. These 10k rings made with gold will still come with stylish gemstones placed in the band’s settings.

You may be surprised to find genuine diamonds set in the lower karat gold, but there some rings that have them. The advantage to this is that you can get an elegant diamond ring at a fraction of the cost of a higher karat setting. You can find some of these rings with diamonds retailing for as low as $200. A variation on the traditional yellow colored gold will be white gold and pink gold. The various ingredients used in creating the metal determine the color. Pink is derived by adding copper to the various other metals in the mixture before the item is formed.

Another popular type of gold is called rose gold, from the Black Hills. This is also available in varying karats and may come with gemstone settings. If you are looking for a ring to wear more for fun or fashion than for elegance, you could select a 10k gold ring set with a cubic zirconium stone. These have all the sparkle and glitz of a diamond, but come without the high price tag. All of these rings created from gold are available in sizes and styles suitable for either men or women to wear.