You can already use Google Pay in Malta!

UPDATE: Some users have reported that Revolut was not allowing them to add cards to their Google Pay accounts in Malta. So, your mileage may vary. Users whose cards are already added will still work fine. This was working as intended at the moment of writing.

Unless you have been living under a rock, you’ll know that Apple Pay is now supported in Malta, through Revolut. But little did Android users know that Google Pay has been supported by Revolut for more than a year now!

According to an article on Android Police, around mid-July 2018, Revolut rolled out support for Google Pay. This means that using any NFC enabled Android device, you can start paying locally with your phone!

What is Revolut?

Revolut is an online bank based in the UK – you can get a free debit card to be used locally and comes with a great Android app. It’s the only card that works with Google Pay in Malta – BOV, HSBC, BNF and any other local bank do not support Google Pay, so Revolut is your only choice in this case. You can sign up with Revolut for free here (note that with each successful sign-up, I get a small kick-back, as described here).

How to I get Google Pay?

Easy – using your Android Phone, just search for Google Pay on Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.walletnfcrel

Can’t find the app on the store, or it says something like “This app is incompatible with all of your devices”? Just download the APK from some APK Mirror, like https://apkpure.com/google-pay-pay-with-your-phone-and-send-cash/com.google.android.apps.walletnfcrel. Of course, side-loading applications can be risky so proceed with caution.

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How do I add my card?

Adding the card is very easy – just follow the setup on screen. If you ever used your Revolut card with Google, you’ll find it right there. If not, just add your details. Have your Card No, Expiry Date and CVV at hand though. You’ll need to confirm a code by SMS as well. No screenshots for this section as Google Pay doesn’t allow you to take screenshots when adding cards. You can find a video guide here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zS6aR22QZM

Anything I should know?

Yes – keep in mind that these transactions are considered Online transactions. Therefore, you’ll need to enable Online Transactions in the Card Security section. Don’t worry, if it’s turned off by default, Revolut will warn you about this.

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How will my transactions appear?

This is the nice part – they will show up like all other transactions. The payment will not be towards Google; it will point to the retailer you’ve just purchased from.

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How can I use Google Pay to pay?

Very easy! Firstly, make sure that NFC is turned on. Then, just unlock your phone and tap the payment machine when the retailer asks you to do so. Your phone will vibrate when you get tour phone close enough and Google Pay will activate itself. You may be asked to verify your identity, such as by supplying a PIN, Fingerprint or lock pattern. By, the way, lock patterns are bad and you should avoid them.

Take that, Apple Pay!

GDPR and the Maltese Political Propaganda

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, GDPR is now in effect as of 25th May 2018. I want to discuss the impact of GDPR, with regards to the Maltese Political Propaganda. This new law brings up a lot of changes and rights to the end user – the below is a summary which should be easily understandable without any jargon.

Politicians CAN send you personalized letters through postal services

Politicians do have the right to obtain your home address through three main channels: Electoral Register, Online Directory and Printed Directory. Though, these letters must have clear instructions on how one can easily opt out of these personalized letters and they must provide a method to do so, such as a mailing address, email or contact number.

Politicians CAN call you on your telephone / mobiles

Politicians do have the right to obtain your telephone / mobile again through three main channels: Electoral Register, Online Directory and Printed Directory. Though, the caller must respect the fact that you can ask them to hang up and remove your personal details so that they do not contact you again. One can also opt out of the directories in order to hide their telephone / mobile number, through their phone operator.

Politicians CAN contact you on election day to encourage you to go out and vote

Politicians can contact you using different mediums, which may be obtained from the following: Online Directory, Printed Directory public Social Media information or any publicly made information that the end user has made public himself. Of course, you can ask whoever is contact you to stop any communications and immediately delete your personal information.

Politicians CANNOT send you e-mails UNLESS you have given them an explicit consent and your email directly

In order for a politician to obtain your e-mail address, you must give it to them. This is typically done through direct political channels, such as propaganda websites. Also, these channels must provide an easy way to opt out of these emails, such as a unsubscribe link, which is clearly labelled and visible appopriatelty. The unsubscribe link must be send with each and every email.

Politicians CANNOT send you SMSs UNLESS you have given them an explicit consent and your phone number directly

In order for a politician to obtain your phone number, you must give it to them, exactly like the previous case with e-mails. With each SMS that the subscribed user receives, the sender must provide a contact number or email with each and every SMS sent, which the receiver can use in order to opt out of such SMSs.

3rd Party contractors which may send Propaganda SMSs (such as Go / Vodafone) MUST ensure that the politican has obtained the proper consent of the end user

If the politician does not provide clear and legitamate proof of consent to the 3rd Party contractor, the contractor must refuse to send propaganda SMSs to end users.

Liking / Following a politicians’ account on Social Media means that you’re giving him consent in order to obtain your PUBLIC Social Media information, such as e-mail or phone number.

Any information that you publicly post on Social Media can be accessed and used for political propaganda, by simply liking / following a page / account.

Some additional information:

  1. You ALWAYS have the right to opt-out of any propaganda messages, whether’s it’s postal, email, SMS or any other means, even if it’s something that has not been invented yet.
  2. Consent is ALWAYS needed for electronical communications, whether it’s email, or some futuristic electronic holographic message, consent is ALWAYS needed.
  3. Personalized letters can be sent through any means, be it postal services, or some fancy pigeon delivery. Keep in mind that you can always opt out of these letters, but by default, you’re in.
  4. If you’re tired of receving door-to-door political propaganda, you can stick a “no junk mail” message with your letterbox, and they must respect this fact.
  5. Politicians CANNOT charge you money to opt you out of any communication

Note that I’ve omitted some less important information in this article, such as dealing with Automated Calling Machines. All this information has been obtained from the Office of the Information and Data Protection Commissioner. If you feel that your rights have been violated, you can submit a report here.
Note by all means this article is not a legal advice, merely a guideline on your rights.

Source of article is here

Do we really have a lack of developers in Malta?

Recently, I was talking to a friend of mine who works in the same industry; software development. We were talking about the fact that the more time passes, the more difficult it’s becoming to find some good developers on board to get some work done. The argument was that the company he’s working for had to decline some work due to the fact that they simply do not have enough developers in order to get around and deliver this work within a reasonable time frame.

During the same argument, I’ve also mentioned the fact that we, as developers, are always getting messages on platforms such as LinkedIn in order to attempt to poach us. I understand that these people need to recruit people in order to get their monthly wage; I’m not saying that they should not be doing their job. What I’m saying is that it seems that the amount of demand for developers is higher than the actual amount of developers that are ready to work here in Malta. What’s going on?

At my workplace, I’ve noticed that the typical recruitment that occurs during the summer (recruiting new graduates) did not as well as usual. There were some new faces, but then I discovered that they were actually students / interns, not full timers! It seems that even us, we’re finding it very difficult to get more developers on board with us. We can also talk about the high turnover that’s obviously present, but that’s an argument for another day.

We must then ask another question then: what happened to the new graduates? I have no idea on the amount of graduates per year in Malta, but I’m pretty sure it’s not THAT bad. So, are they being poached by bigger companies (iGaming) with huge salaries? Are they working on their own projects? Or maybe, the new graduates are sub-par to the industry standards and end up un-recruited?