Thursday, August 2, 2007

My VMI experience - Part One

Part of the reason why I blog is so that I can make money. Money, moolah, dinero, dollar, yen, rupee... it's all about the $$$. I like to write and if I'm paid for doing so, great! Now most of my blog-for-money efforts are paid for using PayPal. I'm paid in USD and PayPal is a good system that's secure (I haven't heard of any fraud cases happening yet!). But the thing about PayPal is that it's so secure, I can't touch any of my money in there. This is because PayPal only recognizes banks from certain countries ( e.g. Singapore) or a US bank account. And therein lies the problem for Malaysians using PayPal. Unless you happen to have bank accounts in the approved countries, all you can do is look at your money as it exists only online. But... there are ways to get around this PayPal system. There are a number of ways you can do it, but I'm going to blog about my experience with VMI.

What is VMI? VMI stands for Virtual Money Inc
, a US bank (Southwest Bank) backed international debit card. Using VMI as your US bank account, Malaysian PayPal users can then transfer money from PayPal to VMI and use the local ATM machines to withdraw their hard-earned cash. Sounds simple enough? It is.

My VMI journey started on 25 July 2007, while I was searching for the cheapest and easiest way of getting my PayPal monies. A number of Malaysian bloggers had blogged about the methods they use (HSBC, e*trade, VMI, 3rd party transaction) but what made me choose VMI was Hong Kiat's blog entry on how easy it was to use VMI. I'm always looking for the easiest (but legal!) way out. No sense in making things any tougher for yourself, right?

There were a number of people who were VMI affiliates, so I emailed two or three of them to judge the speed of response. They were all super prompt (amazing!) but in the end I chose a Malaysian affiliate. Might as well have a local whom you can contact in case of any trouble.

And how did the first contact go? That's in Part Two...


parisb said...

can't wait to read about your experience with VMI. btw not trying to be nitpicky, but is there a way to increase the size of your font? These ol eyes aren't what they used to be :)

rinnah said...

parisb: It gets better in Part 2! Hehehe. I'll look at the fonts in the dashboard settings. My eyes are somewhat strained too. :o)