Category Archives: Blog

Is Your Business Prepared for EMV?

emv_keyA major merchant processing change coming in 2015 will be the end of magnetic stripe reader (MSR) technology. The United Sates is actually the last major market to use old-fashioned swipe and sign systems, and it’s a major reason why almost half of the world’s credit card fraud happens here in America. Beginning October 2015, consumers will stop swiping and instead embrace a system based on ‘chip and pin’ technology. 

Major card issuers (MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Discover) are leading the way for better security standards. American consumers will be introduced to EMV (Europay, MasterCard, Visa) where cards will be inserted into a slot where POS machines will read a microchip, not a magnetic stripe. Consumers will still be signing to complete purchases during the early phases of implementation, but the new system will eventually enable the use of PIN numbers. In the wake of devastating data breaches faced by major U.S. retailers in the past year, the new technology promises to make hacking attacks much more difficult to pull off.

The adoption of EMV will require retailers to invest in new point-of-sale hardware that will recognize EMV and/or Near Field Communication (NFC) payments. Merchants who do not implement will be held accountable for the loss of consumer data (as opposed to credit card firms who have traditionally bared the burden of costly breaches). The goal of the liability shift is to encourage merchants and card issuers (banks) to adopt more secure standards. If for any reason a merchant does not use the EMV technology after October 2015, then the merchant will now be liable for bogus and stolen card purchases. Based on EMV usage in Europe, the industry expects these changes to account for at least a 30% decline in fraud.

As with all new technologies, it’s going to take a little time to adapt. Although the upcoming deadline is strong encouragement for all payment processing parties to become EMV-compliant as soon as possible, experts expect to see about 50% of banks and retailers to be completely transitioned over by October.

If you’d like to know more about EMV technology and how the upcoming changes may affect your business, we are here to help. Reach us at 866.820.8910 by email,

5 Tips for Improving Your Customer Service in 2015

customer-servicePlenty of us make New Year’s resolutions about personal improvement (more exercise, better diet, read War and Peace, etc.), but what about resolutions regarding your small business? This might be the right time to look again at the quality of customer service you provide—both online and, where appropriate, in your retail setting. Regardless of your product or service, the thing customers usually remember most is the experience they had interacting with your business. Here are five tips to dramatically improve the quality of your customer service in 2015:

WordPress Updates, Do I Need a Developer?

wordpress-snippetsThe short answer: most likely. Unless you are yourself a developer, a web professional, or a highly technical person – you should at very least seek out a little assistance with updating your business website.

Why? Because we hear this phrase everyday: “I tried to update my WordPress site and now it is broken.”

The first rule of WordPress is to always run the latest version of WordPress. No matter what platform your website is built on, you need to do updates to make sure your site is functioning correctly. Think of it this way: over time, you need to preform periodic upgrades on your car to keep things functioning like they should, your website is no different in this regard.

Video Content Marketing: An Integral Piece of Your Digital Marketing Campaign

Why Video is VitalAccording to Cisco, video will account for 69% of consumer internet traffic by 2017. If you do not have a defined Video Content Strategy within your overall digital marketing campaign, chances are you are falling short to your competitors and losing potential customers. Think about when you go to a website, are you more likely to read every word on the site or quickly search for a video which tells you what the company is about? The stats say most people would rather watch a short video than read.

If you are embarking on a Video Content Strategy here are some things to consider:

6 Ways to Supercharge Your Search Engine Rankings in 2015

Improve-Ranking-by-SEO-300x300As we approach new digital marketing campaigns for 2015, let’s review the best practices as defined by the leading search engines to help your local business rank within the search results.

There are many different localized organic factors which effect ranking, they can be broken down into the following categories:

On-Page Optimization

7 Sales Secrets to Live By

sales-secrets-leading-sales-execsThe technique of selling is an art. It requires you to engage with the client one on one and ever so eloquently persuade them to invest in your company. There are a couple things to keep in mind which will turn you from an unconfident, fumbling with your words novice, to being successful and at the top of your game.

Product Knowledge and Value       

Which Social Media Platforms Are Right For Your Small Business?

socialplatformsSome businesses have been around for many years and have been successful. Often times a business is passed down through the family and in those cases, their marketing may be a little archaic. Techniques used 50 years ago to market a product will not work in this new age of technology. Social media and e-commerce plays a huge part in the amount of people one can reach and if you aren’t utilizing these platforms, then you are definitely missing out on becoming more successful.

There are many options from the likes of Snapchat, to Instagram, and Facebook, so how do you choose the right platform?

4 Things You Should Know Before Applying for a Business Loan

abusinessownerApplying for business loans can be a stressful and exciting time. You are on your way to starting your business, but you need the capital to make it come true. Banks or government agencies are popular sources of funding for your startup venture. Before following this route, there are a few things to know and take into consideration:

Develop a Business Plan and Financial Statements

5 Easy Steps to Protect Your WordPress Business Website

wp1 protectionIf you need an easy-to-use website to grow your business or your brand, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better option than WordPress. While WordPress is our go-to platform for building basic small business websites, its popularity and ease of use make it a very popular target for hackers.

We thought some general tips on how to keep your WordPress-powered website protected would be most helpful. Taking the following, relatively simple, steps will go a long way in helping to protect your site from potential threats.

Use Strong Email Subject Lines to Boost Open Rates in 2015

email yellowIf some or most of your sales grow out of email offers to prospective clients, you know better than most how hard it is simply to get someone’s attention.

A recent analysis of five million emails by the email management service Baydin found that on average, a typical email user gets 147 messages a day and deletes 71 of them (48%). That means there’s great pressure on the email subject line to achieve one single overriding goal: Get the recipient to open your email.

With the right strategies, your email subject lines can do a lot of the heavy lifting (sales-wise) up-front. Here are six tips to keep in mind: