Tag Archives: retail shopping

How Stripe, a company you’ve never heard of, powers the sharing economy

The sharing economy has made life’s annoyances a little less irritating. In the old days, you would hail a cab on the street and pull out a $20 bill to pay the driver. Today, you find a Lyft nearby using a smartphone app, and the app just charges your credit card, which is on file. No muss, no fuss.

But the backbone of that seamless user experience is a third party you never interact with at all. Stripe, based in San Francisco, has staked out its spot as the easiest way to make any kind of payment to anyone, anywhere in the world. That’s a lofty goal–but the company, which turns two years old on Monday, is well on its way to achieving it. Continue reading

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Starbucks Has Processed Over 26m Mobile Payments

December 6, 2011 – By Zen Terrelonge

Coffee chain now receives one in four payments via mobile apps.

The company’s app selection has proven to be popular among the caffeine hungry with versions across iOS, Android and BlackBerry.

The apps allow users to manage their Starbucks Card balance by loading it with credit in addition to finding nearby stores.

Starbucks says one in four transactions received are now made via mobile and it received over 26 million m-payments in total across all platforms.

Adam Brotman, SVP and general manager of Starbucks, said in the nine weeks after the app was released, there were three million transactions but in the past nine weeks there have been six million transactions.

He continued to reveal $110 million has been topped up to customers Starbucks cards via mobile, while $2.4 billion was loaded onto Starbucks cards overall in 2011. Starbucks has process over 26m m-payments.

Starbucks Has Processed Over 26m Mobile Payments. (December 6, 2011). Retrieved from http://www.mobile-ent.biz/news/read/starbucks-has-processed-over-26m-m-payments/016393

DailyMarkets.com Announces Best Credit Cards For Holiday Shopping

-December 6, 2011

Having the right credit card for holiday shopping allows consumers to save money and pay less for their purchases by being rewarded for every dollar they spend. DailyMarkets.com’s guide to the best credit cards for this holiday season will help consumers find the credit cards that will reward them most and help them save more money.

DailyMarkets.com, a financial website based in New York that helps people save smarter and invest smarter, has just launched a new guide to the Best Credit Cards for holiday shopping, so that readers can find the credit cards that will reward them most and help them save more during this holiday. Continue reading

Credit Card Processing – Quick Tips for the Holiday Season

Many businesses start to see a spike in their sales during the Holiday season so we thought it would be instructive to provide 7 Quick, Useful Credit Card Processing Tips:

  1. It’s always important to exercise caution when accepting credit cards, but use even more due diligence when you receive an order that is well above your average ticket or especially above your highest ticket.  If an order seems almost too good to be true, it may be a worthwhile expenditure of time to reach out to the customer before delivering the item.  Some merchants even request the customer to offer proof of address and/or a driver’s license, for example, when facilitating a high volume purchase.  Obviously, you need to be respectful of your customer’s time and privacy but you always have to be on alert for potential fraud as well.
  2. Online merchants should strongly consider using AVS and CVV fraud preventative options — particularly during the Holiday shopping season when incidents of fraud tend to escalate.  Some businesses will only ship out merchandise to the card holder’s address, confirmed with an AVS match.  The customer should also be able to provide the exact CVV2 code found on the back of a credit card, proving that he/she has the card in hand.  Once you decide to ship out product, you should receive signature on delivery.
  3. Review your specified processing amounts (monthly volume, average ticket, and highest ticket) which you may have indicated on your merchant account application (assuming the processor has agreed to cover such limits).  In order to minimize any problems with your processor’s risk department, touch base with them as soon as possible if you exceed the aforementioned limits.  You don’t want your funds to be held, if at all possible — particularly at a hectic time when cash flow is crucial.
  4. Retail merchants should strongly consider the use of a manual imprinter when keying in transactions.  In the event that a customer’s magnetic strip cannot be read, you want to have proof that the customer authorized the transaction.  If you don’t have an imprint of the customer’s card, and that customer decides to charge back the amount, you can very well lose the chargeback dispute.  (Manual imprinters are cheap and your processor should be able to provide a complimentary encryption plate.)
  5. Spend time ensuring that your credit card processing equipment, if applicable, is functioning well.  You don’t want to experience any downtime and lose potential sales.  Too many retail merchants also forget to perform a quick inventory and assessment of their terminal paper, ink, and ribbons.  Remember, if you receive a retrieval request or chargeback notification, you have to provide a clear, legible copy of the sales draft.
  6. Before batching at the end of the day (whether or not you use automatic batching), it’s vital to review your sales as you or your staff may have committed  administrative glitches along the way.  You don’t want to pay a discount percentage and transaction fee on an amount that was incorrectly inputted.  Moreover, you don’t want your customer to become disgruntled over an erroneous charge and even risk a chargeback.  If you find any errors, address them before batching: void the transactions and reprocess.
  7. You have to avoid any data breach, at all costs, as you can be subject to fines and penalties, legal fees, reimbursement costs, etc.  Contact your provider to make certain that you’re PCI compliant or outsource all aspects of payment card processing to PCI compliant vendors.  You have to consistently ensure that you’re compliant and this necessity is underscored during the Holidays when fraudsters target small merchants with even greater gusto.

By following the aforementioned tips, your Holiday business season will be a safer, more profitable, and happier one.

Technology Boosts Holiday Giving

Online Charitable Donation are Up, and Capital One Giving Site Helps Maximize Gifts

MCLEAN, Va., Dec 05, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Despite ongoing economic challenges, there is some good news for non profits this year: online giving is up 20%, according to the leading charity platform, Network for Good. And with one-third of the annual online charitable donations still to come in December, the holiday giving season is just gearing up. Yet while the digital age makes it easier than ever to make charitable donations, convenience comes at a price. The processing costs associated with online transactions can deduct up to 5% from a donation, and a recent survey conducted by Capital One indicates that 85% of consumers don’t know that charities are getting less than the full amount of their donation. But Capital One gives back by covering these costs through its No Hassle Giving Site ( http://www.capitalone.com/give ) so that 100% of their customer donations get to the charities of choice.

Click here to read more: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/technology-boosts-holiday-giving-2011-12-05

First Data Releases Black Friday SpendTrend®

Black Friday Boosted By Early Openings, Cyber Monday Surges on Big Discounts

ATLANTA, Nov. 30, 2011 –  First Data Corporation released its First Data SpendTrend analysis for Black Friday 2011 compared to Black Friday 2010. SpendTrend tracks same-store consumer spending via credit, signature debit, PIN debit and EBT cards at U.S. merchant locations.

Enticed by earlier store openings, consumers responded by spending more. Significant spending actually started Thanksgiving Day, in advance of Black Friday. Retail year-over-year dollar volume growth on Thursday-Friday was 6.3% and transaction growth was 7.3%. This performance was especially impressive in light of tough comparables for Black Friday 2010, when dollar volume growth was quite strong.  Some merchant categories that saw a boost in dollar volume growth this year were Electronic/Appliances, Clothing and Accessory Stores, and NonStore Retailers. Cyber Monday continued the spending trend of the Thanksgiving weekend, with eCommerce year-over-year dollar volume growth of nearly 20.0%.

Click here to read more: http://www.firstdata.com/en_us/about-first-data/media/press-releases/11_30_11.html