Friday, July 16, 2010

Business Opportunities for Israel

We've been sorting out our banking situation.  First, we found a Credit Union in Michigan that doesn't charge ATM withdrawl fees internationally for the first 6 withdrawls monthly.  Then we got a credit card in the US that doesn't charge the standard 3% conversion fee.  Now we're considering opening a local bank account.  But here's the catch.  They charge you a monthly fee to have the account, and they don't pay any interest.  There are no promos for opening it, or for maintaining a certain balance.  Basically, they make money while using our money to make more money.  Huh?  Whatever happened to the basic idea that whomever loans the money earns interest, and whomever takes the loan, pays it?  Credit Unions don't appear to exist here.  Surprising, as this is a more socialized country than the US.  If I were in the banking industry, I'd open an Israeli Credit Union (assuming the local banks wouldn't have me thrown in the East River (or the Sea)) for doing so.

I've also noticed that despite the huge number of expats and general population's knowledge of the English language, it has been a real struggle to find online resources.  We had a favorite in NYC, called, which listed all the restaurants in the city, by location, by cuisine, and with reviews, pricing, contact info, hours, etc.  Israeli culture is much more human networked than online networked. 
But I would imagine there would be value in expat specific sites (given the large # of us) with restaurants, hair salons, grocery stores, and other useful listings/reviews in English.  Your ad revenue would be efficient and on the higher end of the pricing scale, as the target audience would be quite clear.

And one other thing.  It IS possible to put A/C in elevators.  Couldn't it be done at least in the ones that take forever?!?

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