Tag Archives: small business

4 Powerful Internet Security Tips For Small Businesses

Keep Your Data Under Lock and Key And Avoid Embarrassing Information Breaches

business owner must work with his or her employees to protect customer and employee information. In fact, this is a huge task that many businesses fail to take seriously enough and because of that, serious problems often result.

Fortunately, one can easily develop a comprehensive strategy that protects your enterprise information and saves your business time and money.

1. Secure Your Payment Information

When it comes to credit card processing, there are several measures you can take in order to protect your finances and client information.

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Are Mobile Payments Becoming Commonplace?

When making any kind of payment, consumers look for security and convenience in that order of priority. Cash and checks are the most secure forms of payment, but they are slowly on the way out due to the convenience of card transactions and the convenience of not carrying jingling change in your pockets or worrying about losing your cash to pickpockets. Credit and debit card transactions are on the rise, with close to 66%of all in-person transactions last year being completed with plastic cards, according to Javelin Strategy & Research market report on retail point of sale.

Add to this the smartphone proliferation into our day-to-day lives as we manage our communications, socialize with friends and watch or listen to entertainment on the go. The logical result of these trends would be the convenience of using a mobile or smartphone as a form of payment instead of cards or cash. There are many experiments, field trails and actual transactions already happening this way.

Let’s look at Google Wallet as an example. Google Wallet enables…..

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Latin Americans Give Strong Seal of Approval to Social

Much fonder adopters of social media than internet users in the US

Social media has quickly become important to internet users in Latin America, based on research from Ipsos ITOX and Ipsos Global @dvisor.

The July 2013 survey of web users around the world found that nearly four in 10 of those in Brazil, along with 28% in Mexico and 27% in Argentina, rated social media “very important,” or a five on a five-point scale. A further quarter of internet users in Brazil and Mexico, and 19% more in Argentina, rated social media a four. That means a solid majority of web users in Brazil and Mexico, and nearly half in Argentina, consider social media at least somewhat important to them.

That makes these users much more likely than those in the US to place importance on social media—just internet users polled in the US said social media was “very important,” with a further 21% rating it somewhat important. Numbers were similar in most of Europe, though internet users in Russia and Spain were a bit further ahead than other countries studied. The attitudes of web users in Canada almost exactly mirrored those of the US. Latin American web users appear most similar to those in developing economies in Asia-Pacific, including India, where 30% of internet users considered social media very important, Indonesia (27%) and China (25%).

eMarketer estimates that this year, 38.4 million internet users in Mexico will use social networking sites at least monthly, as well 78.3 million internet users in Brazil and 17.8 million in Argentina.

Latin Americans Give Strong Seal of Approval to Social . Retrieved from 2013, Oct 22,  http://www.emarketer.com/Article/Latin-Americans-Give-Strong-Seal-of-Approval-Social/1010322#cOsyQprXkv3kH4DT.99.

Zions Bank Combs Big Data for Customer Preference Clues

What do Hispanic small business owners want? Zions Bank, recognizing the growing Hispanic community in Utah, has turned to analytics software to better understand the needs of Hispanic and Asian consumers and businesses in its markets.

“Our mission was to provide Hispanic and Asian communities the opportunity to have banking services and to have more access to capital on the business side,” says Juancarlos Judd, senior vice president of the $53 billion asset bank, which is based in Salt Lake City.

Utah’s 2012 population was 2.8 million and non-white communities comprised 20%, reaching nearly 600,000, 67% of which Hispanic. Utah’s Hispanic aggregate income is projected to surpass $6 billion by 2017.

There are also burgeoning small business opportunities within this market. “Utah is a very entrepreneurial state, so by nature immigrants coming in are entrepreneurial themselves, it’s a really good place for thriving small and large businesses,” says Judd.

The bank has been using business intelligence software from Geospace to better understand the Hispanic market.

“You start out thinking you need Spanish language support, but it’s much more a matter of identifying the needs of every consumer,” says Judd. Continue reading

PayPal to Give Small Businesses Access to Working Capital in Minutes

Online payments company PayPal launched a lending platform today whereby small-business owners can apply for access to capital and be approved in minutes.

Called PayPal Working Capital, the funding tool allows business owners to pay back their loans based on a fixed percentage of sales. For example, if you opt to pay back your loan at a 10 percent rate, and you bring in $500 in total sales one day, $50 goes toward paying off your loan. If you bring in $5,000 in total sales the next day, then $500 goes toward repaying the loan. If you make zero sales on a particular day, you don’t make any payments on your loan.

The other unique aspect of the PayPal capital access product is that borrowers pay a single fixed fee for the loan. The faster a business owner opts to repay the loan, the smaller the fee. Many loan products have multiple, hidden fees associated with late payments, initiation, processing and even early termination fees. The PayPal loan product prides itself on being exceptionally transparent about the entire cost of the loan up front. Continue reading

Small business: Best practices for online credit card processing

Introducing a credit card payment option is a great way to enhance customer satisfaction. Most shoppers prefer using credit and debit card when shopping online. In America, people have become more dependent on credit cards.

Thus, for small business owners, integrating credit card processing is a huge advantage over competitors. Using credit cards is convenient and easy for both the business owner and the customer. However, if not correctly implemented, credit card processing could be risky for small businesses.

Needless to say, online credit card processing is highly vulnerable to the illicit acts of cyber criminals. Nevertheless, there are several ways on how entrepreneurs can effectively integrate a credit card payment option with their small businesses. Continue reading

40 Percent of Small Businesses Using Mobile Credit Card Readers

As many as 40 percent of small retail and service businesses are using some form of mobile payment technology like credit card readers, according to the latest findings from the Local Commerce Monitor, an ongoing study by BIA/Kelsey that looks at the advertising behaviors of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).

Mobile payment acceptance has been gaining significant traction with these businesses, who state that they now accept payments at the point of sale with a mobile credit card reader attached to a smartphone or tablet. Credit card reader devices are now available for most smartphones, from technology companies like Intuit, PayPal and Square. As much as 16 percent of respondents said they plan to add mobile payment capability within the next year.

Many small businesses are also turning to mobile to get customers in the door, with 32 percent of the small businesses surveyed are also using some form of mobile advertising to promote their businesses, up from 28 percent in 2012. Continue reading