Posted by Barry on Aug 16, 2010 in Rants
, Rugby Union
What a big question to ask any devout Wallaby Fan eh!
Can they do it? On current form I would seriously doubt it, but remember we have six good players out of action and a coach who insists in continually picking one player in particular that is a show pony.
At the moment we have four lynch pin forwards missing with season ending injuries – Ben Alexander (Tight head prop), Wycliff Palu (N0. 8), Tatafu Polota-Nau (Hooker) & James Horwill (Lock), it is through these four players that the mongrel in the pack comes from, without these player we are missing some serious grunt in the pack. Also, Dan Vickerman is back for the 2011 Wallaby season, so he is a automatic pick for his aggression and line out smarts.
Add in Digby Ioane for the backs and you have five quality Wallabies missing + Peter Hynes is on the comeback from injury, but I dont think he is any better than either Drew Mitchell or James O’Connor, I’d maybe stick Hynes in for O’Connor and play the later in the second half when the opposition forwards are getting tired.
I think Matt Giteau needs to cool his heals on the sidelines for a week or two and allow Berrick Barnes to resume his partnership with Quade Cooper, these two seemed to work really well together in the fist test against the Poms yet a week later with Giteau back at Inside Centre we bomb out.
Lets not forget who missed the sitter in front of the goals at full time allowing the Poms to go home with a victory over us on home soil – Matt Giteau.
Who missed the sitter in 2009 against Scotland in the final seconds of the game to give the Scots their first victory over the Wallabies since 1982 and cost us a crack at the Grand Slam? – Matt Giteau.
Who needs to be sitting on the bench in two weeks time in South Africa? - Matt Giteau.
Bring back Berrick, swap O’Connor with Hynes and we will have a nicely balanced back-line for the rest of the year, add Ioane back into the mix as a replacement for Hynes with Hynes dropping out of the match day 22 to keep Giteau & O’Connor on the bench, sadly there is no room for Luke Burgess unless he improves his pass and has a stellar Super 15 in 2011.
2010 & 2011 RWC Match Day 22
Remainder of 2010 (Changes in bold)
1. Moore, 2. Robinson, 3. Mafu, 4. Higgenbotham, 5. Sharpe, 6. Mumm, 7. Pocock, 8. Elsom (C), 9. Genia, 10. Cooper, 12. Barnes, 13. Ashley-Cooper, 11. Hynes, 14 – Mitchell, 15. Beale.
Bench (4 forwards & 3 backs) - 16. Faingaa , 17. Slipper, 18. Simmons, 19. Hodgson, 20. Burgess, 21. Giteau, 22. O’Connor
2011 (Changes in bold)
1. Polota-Nau, 2. Robinson, 3. Alexander, 4. Vickeman, 5. Sharpe, 6. Elsom (C), 7. Pocock, 8. Palu, 9. Genia, 10. Cooper, 12. Barnes, 13. Ashley-Cooper, 11. Ioane, 14 – Mitchell, 15. Beale.
2011 Bench (4 forwards & 3 backs) - 16. Moore, 17. Slipper, 18. Kepu, 19. Mumm, 20. Horwill, 21. Giteau, 22. O’Connor
Posted by Barry Smyth on Nov 12, 2008 in Rants
This is the first post on my new personal blog and I thought I would start off with a RANT.
In fact – I’d like to offer this rant up as a guide to anyone wanting to sell goods and services online to anyone outside Australia and on how to get a multi-currency merchant facility in Australia, unfortunately there is only one OFFICIAL option for this in Australia – the National Australia Bank (AKA The NAB)
My day job is running search marketing education events with my Australian based company – Search Strategies, we do events all over Australia and New Zealand plus we recently started looking at South East Asia as an growth area for the company, we are running an event in Singapore this year and wanted to have a facility to charge credit cards in USD as it seemed to be the currency of choice on a regional scale.
However, my regular business bank the Commonwealth Bank of Australia sadly does not offer multi-currency merchant facilities in Australia, as I mentioned above – right now this is a monopoly held by the NAB (National Australia Bank) in Australia.
It is fair to say that I just went through 6 weeks sheer torture while trying to establish this multi-currency merchant facility with the NAB.
My payment gateway provided me with a telephone number at the NAB to call (which was incorrect to begin with) and this ended up being the NAB sales line and the sales agents knew zero about the account type I needed, they directed me somewhere else and that lot directed me somewhere else.
Throughout this early period I managed to get redirected to four separate departments till I hit the right one – Merchant operations, but the real name is Transaction Services Direct.
IF & I really stress this – IF you need to setup a multi-currency merchant facility and you cant use Paypal for Credit Card collections on your website then I have instructions on what to do at the end of this post, my own story gets worse.
So, on with the tale, when I did get through to the right department on July 23rd 2008 I went through the process of giving them all my information, was interrogated about what the facility was for and why I wanted to charge people in USD. I then received an email two days later with a Merchant Detail Form to fill out and fax back, needless to say the fax# they gave me was engaged for two days straight & I ended up scanning the document and emailing it to them.
The following Monday I received a call from the NAB, they told me that in order to process the USD merchant facility I was required to have a USD bank account, I asked what I needed to do to set this up and the inevitable wrong phone number was given and the whole farce began again (12 phone calls), NO ONE & I mean absolutely NO ONE knew how to do this, I was lucky enough to quite accidently talk to a really helpful guy in one of these wrong departments that all I needed to do was go into my local NAB branch and they would set the account up without much hassle – famous last words.
So off to my local NAB branch in Brookvale (this is only one in my area – my Bank the Commonwealth Bank has at least 6 branches within shouting distance of each other) and more fussing around, after waiting in the branch for about 40mins I finally made it to the "Service Representative" only to be told that she did not know how to open one of these "complicated" accounts, so I had to make an appointment with the one person in the branch that knew anything about “offshore” Accounts.
Three days later my appointed time came and off I went to the Brookvale branch to set up my “Foreign Currency Account – Offshore” this went relatively pain free until I was asked to give the branch manager all my companies bank statements for the last 12 months so they could a risk assessment on me, this I could not understand as I was not asking for a credit facility!
Thankfully my ever-helpful CBA branch was just across the road, so I ran over and in 5 minutes had 18 months worth of statements for both my accounts printed out, just in case the NOT very helpful NAB decided they wanted MORE information. To say the NAB person was surprised to see me back so quickly was a bit of an understatement – I guess they are used to their own customers having to wait hours, weeks and months to achieve these mundane banking tasks.
So, unsurprisingly a week went by without any contact from the NAB branch, so I went down and waited to see the person who had started the ball rolling with the new account. In the NAB Branch Managers wisdom she decided that I was not a front for Al-Qaeda was then told I needed approval from the local "Business Banker".
I was then told me that they would deem me worthy enough to start the USD ACC if I setup a Business Cheque account with the NAB, no problem, I assumed I would have to do this anyway.
However, I did not expect to be told that I needed to keep USD$20,000 in cash in the account and was shocked to find out that I would be hit with a fee of USD$150 per month if the balance fell below this amount, needless to say I would not be receiving ANY interest on the 2 twenty grand in the account.
So I finalised the account details, was robbed of $60 along the way because they needed to look at a free government web site to verify my ABN# and then the cheque account was setup, I was given two trees worth of documents outlining all the fees and charges I was going to get hit with every month and then finalised the USD account, that was sorted fairly easily and off I went in the hope that I would have my multi-currency merchant facility up and running within the week, how wrong I was.
Now take into account that this process started with a phone call to Eway on the 20th of July, by this stage we are at now in August – the 12th to be exact, as this is the date that my USD Account was approved by the NAB.
So armed with my brand new NAB cheque account and USD account I call back the sales consultant that I spoke to back in July to tell her that I am ready to roll, I then received a document to print, sign, scan and email back to finish off the process, I received a countersigned copy in the mail a few days later and then heard nothing again for weeks.
I sent an email to my ever-helpful NAB sales person on August 19, 2008 asking them how much longer the process was going to take, in reply I was told 7-10 working days.
On August 29th I received a call from the NAB sales person asking me where my street address was on my website, I told them I don’t have it there for privacy reasons as I have a home office, in the end I relented, added the address to the site and they seemed happy enough. It was on this same call that she mentioned that I might need to place a small bond against the account, no real reason was given for this other than some vague "risk" factor, which was never explained 100% correctly.
And so, yesterday – 6 weeks after my NAB journey began it all ended, my multi-currency merchant facility was finally approved.
Then the bad news – I could have my account provided I posted a no interest baring bond of USD$96,000 with the NAB – WHAT A JOKE!
I have no idea why did not do it in the first place, because the answer to my problems was staring me in the face – PAYPAL.
I have had a company account with Paypal for years, I pay a lot of my US based expenses with it as it is an easy way of transferring money to US based companies without being hit with massive fees and charges from the banks.
Paypal offer multi currency facilities to ANYONE in ANY currency, the limitations on credit card acceptance seems to be country based, the US Paypal take most credit cards while here in Australia they only accept VISA and MasterCard, hopefully that will change in the future, what is also great about Paypal is that my delegates can pay the invoice with a regular bank account if they have it set up at a company level, in fact 15% of my registration at my major conference of the year in Australia paid this way in 2008.
So, my advice:
- Choose Paypal
- Think long and hard before you do all of this
- Avoid the NAB at ALL costs
The reason I wrote this post – there was no information about this on any Australian website that I could find in any of the search engine, if I had found a post like this it would saved me a lot of time and effort.
So if you really have to go with NAB, here are the ten steps you need to follow.
- Make sure that your website is compliant with the NAB’s stipulations:
- Website must be active and accessible for navigation, and
- Website must contain contact details (physical/post office box address, telephone number and e-mail address), and Website and domain name must be owned by the entity applying for the merchant facility, and
- Website must clearly state the product or service being sold, and
- Website must clearly define refund and returns policy, and
- Website must state delivery instructions and time frames, and
- MAU must be able to access/view the payment page ie. The page where the cardholder enters relevant details.
- Apparently www.strathfield.com.au is an NSIPS compliant website (So is smxsingapore.com.sg for that matter)
- Website must NOT contain material that may cause reputational damage to the National.
- Please note that website/test site must be viewable for application to be assessed by the MAU**.
- Print out one years worth of bank statements before you even go near the NAB, my advice is to go to your own banks local branch and have the help desk do this for you, its easier than internet banking and only costs about $2.50 per report, not month, per report.
- If you don’t already bank with the NAB start a Business Chq Acc.
- Once you have done this start a Foreign Currency Account – Offshore.
- You need a separate account for each currency you want to transact with and the currencies are divided into major and minor one.
- Be aware that you may have to post a bond for every currency that you want to transact with and you may not get approval from the local bank manager for more than one currency.
- I originally wanted to do NZD as well, but it quickly became apparent that it was too much for one NAB Bank Manager to deal with.
- Stick to one currency to begin with, for your sanity.
- Go to you local NAB and ask for the person who looks after Foreign Currency Account – Offshore accounts
- Good luck and bring a book with you.
- Once you have that, start an account in the currency that you need
- Then call 1300 338 767 & hit option 1, this is the Transaction Services Direct department that will help further your misery
- Be ready to answer War & Peace
- Fill in a forest full of paper work
- Cross your fingers
**This is the group at the NAB in charge of merchant approvals
Ematters.com NAB information