Tuesday, May 15, 2018

How much money do you need to be wealthy in America?

A few million should do it. But for some, it’s not just about the cash—it’s what you do with it.
Many Americans cite leading a stress-free life and having “peace of mind” as their personal definition of wealth. That doesn’t sound too money-centric on the face of it—until you consider that money, or specifically the lack of it, is a major source of stress..
To be financially comfortable in America today requires an average of $1.4 million, up from $1.2 million a year ago, according to the survey. The net worth needed to be “wealthy”? That’s an average $2.4 million, the same as last year in the online survey of 1,000 Americans between age 21 and 75.
There were some heartening signs amid the numbers. While 18 percent defined wealth as being able to afford anything they desired, 17 percent said it was “loving relationships with family and friends.” That jibes with how Joe Duran, chief executive officer of money manager United Capital, said he likes to think of “wealth.” After building and selling his first company, “I realized that money is nothing more than fuel,” he said. “It is a resource that lets you have choices, but if you don’t think about what you are working for, you will die rich but not live rich.”.. Read more here

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Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Tablet POS is a Smart Choice for Start-Up Establishments and Emerging Restaurants

Making the Switch to a Tablet-Based POS
..Mobile POS allows businesses to mount the iPad-based system at the front counter, but employees can use them throughout the food establishment or restaurant. This means an employee won't have to leave the customer to check prices or gather additional information. He or she can use the tablet to verify that information, such as the cost of the menu, to compare costs of different dishes, and answer additional questions on the spot. Customers have a more positive dining experience knowing that wait staff are always on hand to provide the information they need quickly and without fuss..
The POS Benefits Both the Environment and Business Strategy
A tablet POS is good for the environment for several reasons. The most obvious is the reduction in paper and printed material. In restaurants, servers can take orders electronically cutting down (or possibly out) the need for order pads. What's more, the orders can be sent directly to the kitchen terminal cutting down on incorrect orders and other expediting errors. Customers also have the option of receiving email copies of their receipts...Read more here

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Thursday, January 18, 2018

What Restaurants Need to Know about EMV Compliance

..We all witnessed the change from swiping to inserting our credit cards two years ago, but that transition is ongoing. Small businesses, and restaurants in particular, can be wary of adopting EMV technology for myriad reasons, including cost, process, and the pressures of adopting new technology. However, one concern stands out above the rest—security, and rightly so..
The Chip
..Whereas existing magnetic stripe technology continues to be prone to hacking, embedded chip cards are much safer, with near-impossible encryption to prevent against counterfeiting. Data is actually more secure than on a magnetic stripe card because EMV supports dynamic authentication. This means that the card has an ever-changing password of sorts encrypted within, making it vastly more difficult for hackers to access and copy the data. The United States is one of the last nations to adopt EMV technology, which is surprising considering how global credit card fraud has dropped significantly since worldwide implementation.
While the chip is the most visible change, many restaurateurs are also concerned about who the liability will fall to should there be fraudulent charges on their new EMV payments system.
Prior to EMV, credit card issuers were responsible for the liability in fraudulent chargebacks from customers. But, the liability ownership changed with the deadline for compliance. Now, should an EMV chip card be swiped as opposed to dipped, and concurrently a fraudulent chargeback is claimed, the business is liable for chargebacks above $25. If, however, you have an EMV reader, then the liability shifts back to the card issuer, and this remains true even if the chip is damaged.
Is the average check size above $25? – If a restaurant’s average check size is above $25, it should consider EMV more closely. For chargebacks above $25 when an EMV-enabled card is processed without an EMV reader, the liability shifts to the restaurant. In other words, without an EMV reader, a restaurant will likely be on the hook for most fraudulent chargebacks..
Stored Cardholder Data
..Traditional EMV processors will not effectively protect cardholder data at the point of sale, which means that the restaurant goers’ information is more susceptible. However, there are next generation POS solutions that utilize secure cloud processing technology to prevent this customer security risk. In other words, vulnerable cardholder data is stored in a way that denies access to third parties. Not even a data security expert at the POS providing company could access the data un-encrypted..Read more here

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Monday, December 18, 2017

Three Key POS Trends Driving Innovation in Retail

..While a primary focus of retailers is to create an engaging, positive and unique shopping experience for consumers, it’s critical that they understand the importance of big data and in-store analytics, adopting cloud-based solutions and unifying commerce. With the retail industry in the process of a massive digital transformation, here are three key POS trends that retailers and consumers need to know to be successful in this rapidly changing retail environment.
1. Usage of big data analytics will increase
In an effort to compete with e-commerce, retailers are increasingly turning to big data and in-store analytics to get a better understanding of what is happening inside stores. This year, we will continue to see an increase in big data and in-store analytics being applied to every stage of the retail process by determining retail trends, predicting where the demand will be for products, optimizing pricing for a competitive edge and identifying the consumers that will most likely be interested in purchasing those products..
2. Increased focus on a personalized in-store customer experience
Customers can no longer be treated as a segment by retailers. Retailers now need to provide personalization that singles out the individual shopper. This year, we will also continue to see more retailers adopting personalized technology solutions such as mobile, which will allow for an interactive consumer experience. Through the emergence of new mobile POS technology, retailers can now offer customers more choices to accommodate their shopping habits by letting them begin, modify or complete transactions anywhere in the store..
3. Cloud adoption will increase and outdated legacy systems will be replaced, creating new opportunities for future proofing
Legacy technology is becoming a roadblock for larger retailers when updating their current systems. As a result, retailers and consumers are continuing to look for solutions that are easily upgradable, have a future-proof design and continually meet their needs as technology requirements advance. This year, we will likely see an increase in the number of small- and medium-sized retailers adopting cloud-based solutions. Since these businesses are often nimbler and aren’t typically tied down to large, complicated legacy systems they are in a great position to switch to unified commerce technologies, further validating that cloud adoption is increasing.. Read more here

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Monday, November 27, 2017

Top 6 Tips to Avoid Getting Duped By Online Scams This Christmas

Before making any online purchases on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or any time of year, employ these safety tactics to steer clear of crooked retailers:
Top 6 Online Safe Shopping Tips:
1) Check the Better Business Bureau rating.
Before making an online purchase, log onto the BBB website and type in the URL of the company. This rating is based on thirteen very important factors to consider when buying from an online retailer.
2) Shop from the real McCoy.
Go to the source site and make sure the website address (URL) is exactly accurate. Scammers will add one letter to the URL or create a similar name so you don't notice the difference. Note that unsecured websites will be missing the lock symbol to the left of the website address and the URL will not include an "s" after "http" in the web address.
3) Use a credit (not debit) card.
Use a credit card, not a debit card, for online purchases. In the event of a scam, with a credit card, the card issuer must fight to get its money back. With a debit card, you must fight to get your money back.
4) Verify that the company is still in business.
It's hard for some holiday-oriented businesses to stay afloat year 'round, so call the customer service line and send an email to see if you get a response.
5) Visit the company's Facebook page.
Spend a few minutes perusing the Facebook page. Read the reviews. Look at how recent the page posts are and send a message to them to see if they respond. A conscientious hands-on company will be very active on their Facebook page.
6) Shop early.
When you are rushing around, desperate to get that perfect gift ASAP, the pressure can prevent you from noticing tell-tale signs of shopping shenanigans. Start shopping before the rush. Take your time. Do the research. Read more here

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Monday, November 13, 2017

25% Increase in Buy Online, Pickup In-Store Expected This Holiday Shopping Season

...According to the new research, 58% of consumers say they’ll rely on the buy online, pickup in-store (BOPIS) fulfillment option this holiday shopping season, an increase of 25% over last year. In the fiercely competitive holiday environment, retailers must focus on BOPIS services if they want to maximize in-store foot traffic and thereby cement their brands’ reputations for stellar service across both digital and physical buying touchpoints.
Other key findings highlighted in the study include:

  • Over half of shoppers (54%) said they use online inventory information to justify a trip to a store during the holidays.
  • Consumers’ reasons for using BOPIS during the holiday include saving on shipping costs (66%), saving time while in-store (53%), and getting the product when it’s convenient (39%).
  • 70% of shoppers have the expectation of receiving free shipping during the holidays, a clear influence of Amazon Prime.
  • Almost half of shoppers surveyed (46%) indicated the top way to improve their experience is for retailers to provide offers and promotions that are relevant to their current gift search.
  • 70% of shoppers indicated a relevant discount will make them more likely to visit or shop on a website during the holidays.
  • 67% of shoppers expect free shipping when gifts are returned, and 65% expect to be able to return an online purchase to a store.. Read more here

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Monday, October 9, 2017

The use of compatible supplies cannot void your manufacturer warranty

MAGNUSON-MOSS Warranty Improvement Act (c)
No warrantor of a consumer product may condition his written or implied warranty of such product on the consumer’s using, in connection with such product, any article or service (other than article or service provided without charge under the terms of the warranty) which is identified by brand, trade or corporate name; except that the prohibition of this subsection may be waived by the Commission if:
1. The warrantor satisfies the Commission that the warranted product will function properly only if the article or service so identified is used in connection with the warranted product, and...
2. The Commission finds that such a waiver is in the public interest.  
United States Code Annotated • Title 15 Commerce and Trade Chapter 50 Consumer Product Warranties 15 Section 2302
How this affects you: The use of our printer cartridges does NOT void your printer warranty. The manufacturer of the printer you are using CANNOT void the warranty on your printer because you use a cartridge manufactured by someone other than the printer manufacturer. This includes the use of compatible cartridges and remanufactured cartridges. http://www.business.ftc.gov/documents/bus01-businesspersons-guide-federal-warranty-law#Magnuson-Moss

IBM vs The United States Antitrust Lease Agreement Precedent 
U.S. law also prohibits the manufacturers of your equipment from requiring the use of OEM ink or toner or charging extra fees if you use products other than OEM products with their equipment. Those requirements and/or fees are in violation of existing anti-trust acts. IBM vs. The United States (The Sherman and Clayton Antitrust Law) The Supreme Court (IBM vs. The United States) held that IBM could not threaten customers with termination of their data processing equipment leases just because they did not use supplies manufactured by IBM. Such practice constituted a tying agreement and was found to be in violation of the Sherman and Clayton Antitrust Law.
The Sherman and Clayton Antitrust Acts (see also: Supreme Court decision: IBM vs. The United States 1936)
How this affects you: Free choice of vendors allows for competition and keeps prices affordable. Your printer manufacturers are aware of lower priced supplies. Threatening to void warranties and add additional service call charges for use of compatible ink or toner is a way of illegally trying to limit competition. http://www.justice.gov/atr/about/antitrust-laws.html
Save this information to protect yourself against illegal demands from service providers.

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