Long Noodles, Whole Fish, New Hacks, and Other New Year’s Business
Reflecting on the Past Year and Looking Ahead of New Year’s Business
And so we come to our last post (and newsletter !) of 2015, with 2016 just a couple of days away (or perhaps a couple hours, depending when you read this). From our end of the world’s affairs, we can report the economy has mostly held, and business has been pretty good before New Year’s Business.
Economic Outlook for 2016
Are these trends likely to continue in the new year? According to the Christian Science Monitor, “signs seem to indicate that 2016 will be another good one, as the U.S. will continue to outperform its peers, with GDP growth ranging from 2.1% to 4%.”
Reasons for this general optimism include oil prices staying low, wages inching up, and Americans carrying less debt.
The UK’s Guardian is a little more circumspect, with their look ahead saying that “prediction number one for next year is that both inflation and interest rates will stay lower for longer than currently anticipated…Cheap money will boost both borrowing and – for a time – growth.”
But, they caution, “the next theme of 2016 will be China, where the question is not whether the pace of growth will slacken, but by how much.”
Network Security Concerns
Recent new years past have certainly taught us a profound lesson: the world is interconnected in unprecedented ways. On a practical level, this is why network security remains such a big issue in payments, and unfortunately, we close out the year with another newsworthy hack — this one affecting holiday travelers:
The Hyatt hotel chain announced over the holidays “that it had discovered credit-card stealing malware in its payment system, Reuters reports.” Also “Hyatt hasn’t said how many customers or hotels were affected, only saying that an investigation was ongoing and customers should look for suspicious charges.”
The incident seems to affect only Hyatt-managed properties, not those owned by franchisees. However, it is advisable to verify your own accounts if you have recently stayed at one.
New Year‘s Food Traditions
This speaks to another trend we’ll hope doesn’t continue unchecked in the new year: “Payment card fraud is increasing at a faster clip than payment card sales, new research from the Nilson Report reveals.
“The United States is a global fraud center, as its 48.2 percent share of global card losses is more than double the 21.4 percent share of global card dollar volume. Fraud losses now amount to 12.75 cents for every $100 in volume.”
AVPS will be here throughout 2016 to help shore you up, and keep you current, in all manner of payment processing.
Why New Year’s Food Traditions
If you desire to enhance your luck, whether for yourself, your family, or your business, you can partake in various New Year’s food traditions specifically designed for that purpose. One such tradition is the inclusion of long noodles, which is a notable contribution from Asian cultures. They represent long life. A stir-fry is pretty gentle and may be the best way to go. It’s bad luck to break or cut the noodles, so handle with care,” according to a USA Today roundup on “lucky” New Year’s dining from around the globe.
In addition, Fish are believed to bring good fortune as their scales resemble coins, and they represent progress as they swim forward. It is worth noting that Scandinavians specifically consume herring for its silver skin, associated with luck.
Or if you want to keep it simpler, still, just eat something round, that being “the shape you want for the new year. Unity, continuity, the year coming full circle. Anything round will do — bagels, doughnuts, oranges, cakes.”
And of course “roundness” represents those ongoing, and unbroken, cycles, we continually find ourselves in the midst of. So here’s to long noodles and round shapes throughout the New Year.
See you next week — and next year!