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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Market research in a digital age

Big data and access to a growing amount of statistical data gives marketers a unique opportunity to better employ their resources for commercial success. The following Survey Goo infographic illustrates key trends in the digital marketing game. In addition to big data, micro surveys and text analytics comprise a substantial part of digital marketing research demand.

As consumers interact with mobile hardware in new ways, finding the most effective ways of interpreting, employing and mobilizing that information in to marketing practices is vital to the success of marketing managers. Properly managing digital information and making it work with changing technology is just one of the several challenges faced by the marketing industry. This is because the flow of information and responses to it are rapid, in real time and dynamic.
Why Western Companies fail in China'
Embedded from Survey Goo

Friday, November 13, 2015

Mobile payments and the future of the credit card processing business

Convenient payment options builds brand equity

By Lautaro Martinez

Technology moves at a rapid-fire pace and retail systems are no exception. Sleeker, more innovative equipment is making its way onto the market and business owners are taking notice. Fattmerchant is a part of that innovation, providing mobile payments that will help streamline your business. 

Mobile payments are going to be a big part of the future of the credit card processing business, and companies like Fattmerchant are out ahead of this technological wave. Here are just some of the ways in which mobile payments are changing the retail game.

They’re a major convenience booster

Almost everyone has a smartphone, and the capability to turn that smartphone into a terminal is a major increase in speed for the user. Fattmerchant works with RIM OS, iPhone, and Android phones. You download the Fattmerchant app; there is no extra equipment necessary. You can begin swiping once the app is installed. Many functions are available; discounts, taxes, and tips can all be processed with this app. Accepting payment while “on the go” will allow you to generate revenue faster than you would if your payment process were more stagnant. Innovation engenders innovation, meaning that an innovative payment system allows your business the flexibility to try new things that couldn’t previously have been accomplished without “on the go” mobile card processors.

Returns and refunds—No problem

Refunding someone’s money or accepting a returned product might seem like it can’t be covered by a mobile app, much less one that doesn’t require any additional equipment. Fattmerchant’s app is actually able to do that. Refunds and returns are configured with the system, simplifying a process that may not seem to be mobile-compatible at first.

Amex and Discover aren’t an issue

Discover Card and Amex (American Express), both cards that may cause other merchants trouble, are not an issue with Fattmerchant’s software. These two cards are included in Fattmerchant’s pricing plans with 0% markup. They’re also funded the next day, no typical 48-hour waiting period. This relates to mobile payments because it’s important to remember that Fattmerchant software plans extend to even this revolutionary, new way of paying. The mobile payment app isn’t more difficult or complex to use. Simple, easy transactions exist across the board.

Wide-range wireless support

The Fattmerchant app is supported by all major wireless carriers, meaning that there isn’t a lot of finagling and hassle to attempt to get it to work. In combination with the major phones it services (iPhone, RIM OS, Android), the app, along with all the other software options Fattmerchant offers, uses the National Processing Company as its primary processing system. The base of people who can accept mobile payments grows because, as aforementioned, almost everyone has a smartphone and is supported by a major wireless carrier. Mobile credit card processors mean that you’re not limited to terminals; the options for payment are widely expanded.

Protection still a priority 

Mobile payments don’t require a tradeoff. It’s not necessary to give up security in exchange for the convenience that paying by app provides. The mobile payment system is still compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, which is a set of guidelines and standards by which companies have to comply. The PCI DSS standards ensure the protection of customer data and private information. This mobile app is compliant with PCI DSS standards, so there is no need for a heightened concern about privacy simply because the process itself is functionally simpler.

Mobile payments are a vital component of the future of the credit card processing business. They follow the general trend of technology as we progress through the 21st century: faster is better. Payments are made simpler and hassle-free with the click of the download button. Convenience is the key with Fattmerchant.  

About the author:  Lautaro Martinez is a small business owner and freelance writer who is constantly striving to run his business smoothly and effective while staying up to date with the latest technlogy. If you would like to learn more about Lautaro, you can check out Google+ profle

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The biggest insurance payouts ever

This interactive StoryMap highlights some of the world’s largest disasters, some natural, some man-made, that resulted in some of the biggest insurance payouts around the world. For example, the United States hurricane season in 2005 was so catastrophic, that it resulted in damages estimated to be valued at $130 billion US dollars. In terms of human life, the hurricane season, which included hurricane Katrina, Rita and Wilma, killed almost 4,000 people in one of the worst natural disasters to hit the United States in the past decade.

In 2008, a major earthquake shook the Sichuan Province in China. It caused an estimated $20 billion US dollars of damage, the majority of which was not covered by insurance. Worse still, it killed 68,000 people and left five million people homeless. This happened in the same year as the beginning of the global financial crisis, one that had not been seen since the ‘Great Depression’ of the 1930s. With stock markets crashing, banks needing government bailouts and businesses going under on a daily basis, the overall insured losses were estimated to exceed 100 billion dollars. For more insights, have a look at the StoryMap created by Easy Life Cover.

Credit cards for students: A simple guide for parents

Student credit
Wise use of credit builds credibility
We tend to think that credit cards and our children are two incompatible phenomena. But let us not forget that right after having obtained a first credit card we tended to make such foolish mistakes that we would never repeat in our adult life. So why are we taking this chance from our children - a chance to get to know how credit cards operate?

Credit cards have both: advantages and disadvantages. It goes without saying that they are more secure than cash. Moreover, banks provide customers with numerous offers and discounts. But if a person does not pay enough attention to the credit card - it may lead to enormous troubles. Therefore it is quite momentous to teach students on practice how to cope with credit card and what they may serve for.

Tracking down all expenses

No matter how worried you will be for the first time - that a child might lose a card or spend all the funds at one time while visiting a shopping mall - do not take it too close to the heart. First, this will be completely useless to put substantial funds on the bank account. Go with small amounts for a start.

Later on, increase the funds as you will observe responsibility increase in your child’s behaviour. Furthermore, online applications have been designed for guarantor and sponsors for  tracking down the expenses.  This way, you will obtain all everyday information on what, where, how much and when your child spent this money.

Sunny days vs. rainy days

Do you have an emergency account or at least a fund that you keep only for unpredicted urgent occasions? How long have you been sticking up to it? If an answer is positive, you definitely know how crucial it is sometimes to have such additional funds.

Do not forget that your children may also have anything popped up at any time. Remind them of having such a fund and if they choose a decent bank, it will do it a priori for the customers.

Credit score is never too early to be set right

The earlier you start thinking of your kid’s personal credit score or history, the more successful and better prepared your child will appear to be among all freshmen. It will also ease a process of them to obtain most kinds of loans even at the bank.

Student credit scores
Credit score affects loan rates
Credit cards are widely used all over the world and actually it is one of the best financial options to start with. There are many special offers for students which help their parents to monitor and keep control over the kid’s spending. Just let your kid learn to be a responsible customer as he or she will definitely use various financial products in the future, including payday loans online offered by Speedy Loan Search company . 

Remember one simple thing: this is your child and until he or she grows up, the responsibility is solely on your shoulders. Do not slip the fact that they still need your guidance and experience sharing otherwise they will learn by themselves but with huge mistakes. Nobody wants that, right? 

Images: 1.  401(k) 2012,Flickr "Credit",  CC BY-SA 2.0 2. Pne/Wikipedia, "credit score chart"; CC By 2.0