New Year’s Traditions and Prognostications

Another year has come and gone so quickly, and we dare say, it will feel like only 7  or 8 months more have gone by before we’re wishing you a “Happy 2016!” But we get ahead of ourselves. 2015, in all its promise and mystery, still looms ahead. And as you plan your celebrations, have you considered smashing some dishes, or walking around with empty suitcases?

A Credit Card Theory of Everything

Quantum physics is suddenly big in pop culture. Black holes and spacetime, for example, are central to both the plots of current films “Interstellar,” and “The Theory of Everything.” In the latter, cosmologist Stephen Hawking spends his life trying to find a single theory to “explain” all of life. Similarly, those mindful of payment card security in an age of proliferating hacks are looking for a single theory — an unassailable, breach-proof idea — to make payments secure and safe for the foreseeable future.

Payments Need Safe Holiday Travels, Too!

As you may have seen in last week’s newsletter, we mentioned that in addition to the holiday revelry, and holiday sales, your business is enjoying, you’ll also want to be careful of a potential uptick in fraud and hackery in your business’ databases and Point-of-Sale devices.

Holiday Highlights and Headlines: Season Off to a Solid Start

Hopefully there were some “takeaways” at your Thanksgiving — along the lines of turkey, pie, stuffing, and more, making for some nice leftovers for the long holiday weekend.  But if those “takeaways” have been eaten up, we have a few more now that some of the returns are in on shopping and consumer trends with this season’s official Black Friday/Cyber Monday kickoff:

Economic Snapshot: A Bit More “Gravy” This Thanksgiving

While there are always certain bedrock things to be thankful for this time of year — one’s loved ones, good health, warm food on the table — a couple of holiday-themed articles this week underscore that there may be more to give thanks for, this fall, on the economic side, too. Certainly when compared to the more recent Thanksgivings since “The Great Recession.”

The Wallets, They Are A-Changin’

The Wallets, They Are A-Changin’ It’s That Time of Year It’s the time of year where customers are encouraged to…

Holiday Shopping Kicks Off to Record Sales — In China!

Black Friday may not quite be here yet, but in Canada, Thanksgiving has already come and gone, and in China — well, there they’re setting records already for online holiday shopping. We refer to the just-concluded “Singles Day,” in China, which comes on 11/11 — the idea being that all those “ones” emphasize “single-ness.” As Bloomberg News describes it “Singles’ Day, a Chinese twist on Valentine’s Day, was invented by students in the 1990s… When written numerically, the date is reminiscent of bare branches, the Chinese expression for bachelors and spinsters.”

Mobile Processing Allows You to Process a Transaction from Anywhere

Before the invention of the smart phone and tablet, businesses were limited with the types of transactions that they were able to process. In the store, credit card transactions could be processed through an in-store card reader, but it was difficult to take credit card payments from any other location. For a long time, businesses only accepted cash or check payments when they were on the road or at trade shows, but it sometimes limited the number of customers that could make a purchase.

The Road Ahead for Payments: Yellow Bricks, or Leaking Digits?

As our readers already know, changes are coming to the world of credit cards. Chief among those, as a new article in Wired states, are EMV cards, which “have an embedded microchip that authenticates the card as a legitimate bank card to prevent hackers from embossing stolen card data onto blank cards to use it for fraudulent transactions. The chip contains the same data that traditionally is stored on a card’s magnetic stripe, but also has a certificate used to digitally sign each transaction.