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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Could buying your car new save you money in the long run?

New versus used cars
New cars have several financial advantages that used cars do not have
Car buying is a complicated task. It signifies a huge investment, and we want to get the most for our money. With the financial hardships and rigours of the recession still fresh in our minds, we’re all loathe to pay over the odds for what we need, and that’s one of the reasons why so many of us settle for second-hand models.

But is this wisdom really as cost-effective as we think? Although the initial outlay might be much lower, the long-term calculations could surprise you…

Fuel consumption

Buying a used car will always be cheaper than purchasing its contemporary counterpart, but owning and acquiring are two very different beasts, and it’s often the case that buying a brand new model is more cost-effective in the long run.

Your weekly fuel consumption is a prime example. The current focus on CO2 emissions has had a marked impact on car manufacturers, and more of them than ever are making a real effort to reduce fuel consumption and make cars more environmentally friendly. The less you spend on fuel, the lower your costs will be overall, meaning that a new motor might be the ideal option for those on a budget.

Maintenance and parts

Another advantage to obtaining a car fresh from the showroom is its improved reliability. Most vehicles have a certain shelf life, with different parts lasting for varying amounts of time. The older a motor is, the more likely it is that some form of malfunction will occur, meaning that maintenance costs can be much higher for used vehicles. With the price of parts also likely to be maximised due to their increased scarcity, you’re looking at paying out a lot more to keep a second-hand car on the road than you would for its modern contemporary.


The increased risk of problems will be reflected in the amount that you pay out for your insurance and breakdown cover. The higher likelihood of parts breaking and recovery being required will push up your premiums, and this could really add up in the long run.

Road tax

One final consideration should be theamount that you’ll need to pay out in road tax. Road tax charges are heavily influenced by your car’s CO2 emissions, and the newer it is, the lower this figure is likely to be.

So, could it be that buying new is actually more economical than the alternative? The answer appears to be a resounding ‘yes’. Select a showroom model today to keep your costs down tomorrow.

Image: Pictures of Money/Flickr; "Car Costs"; CC BY 2.0 

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.